The Lost Coast by Barry Eisler is a Kindle Short story I downloaded using Kindle Unlimited (KU). The story is preceded by a warning that it is for mature audiences and contains scenes of sexual violence that might be different than what I am accustomed to. I immediately began to search my home for a tracking device. How does he know what I am accustomed to?
This short story starts out with descriptions of tradecraft. Everyone has picked up from TV that when you are on the run it is not cool to use credit cards. But what about getting a room on the second floor so you can do an emergency exit via dumpster without breaking your legs? Or the one about keeping everything you don’t need in your car? A person on the run doesn’t want to go back to a hotel and go through check-out procedures. And Larison was on the run. We readers don’t know why. The story will proceed without giving us that unnecessary information.
But Larison was lonely in his second-floor bare hotel room. It was time to cruise the town, on foot, and see what action there was to be had. The first bar was too young for him, mostly for college students, the second resembled a penitentiary, the third was more restaurant than bar, but the fourth one was just right. Goldilocks and the three bears revisited. Larison entered the bar, sized up the other clientele and settled on an innocent looking good looking guy. Luring (maybe) Seth to go with him to purchase drugs, the two exited the bar and followed a path to where two bad guys were waiting. They weren’t truly muggers although they might steal targets of opportunity; they were gay bashers and innocent Seth was the bait to the set-up.
Unfortunately, the would-be gangsters were dealing with a professional gangster and Larison began to demonstrate his professional skills. Having disposed of the immediate two problems, what should he do with Seth? Remember that warning in the first paragraph above. That is the sort of spoiler surprise. You should read the story.
This is my second Eisler story. I look forward to reading more.