David Stone Books



















New York Times Bestseller David Stone

The Venetian Judgment

The Venetian Judgment

David Stone's

The Venetian Judgment

Stone fans will not be disappointed with THE VENETIAN JUDGMENT, where we again find Dalton battling cunning and sadistic villains, this time a shadowy group of spies plotting to destroy America’s most critical intelligence operations around the world. The action begins on a cold bloody night in Venice. Dalton soon teams up with a mysterious and beautiful CIA operative, travelling together from Santorini to Istanbul and to the swamps of Florida’s Emerald Coast. Filled with blood-curdling violence injected with just the right about of biting humor, THE VENETIAN JUDGMENT will keep readers on the edge of their seats until its heart-stopping conclusion.

Read the Story behind the Story

An Excerpt from The Venetian Judgment:


Venice, late December, 1:45 am local time …

Dalton shot the bodyguard first, because that's how these things are done, taking him as he came out of the west gate of the Piazza San Marco, right where it opens into the Calle de L'Ascensione. The guard was a bull-necked buzz-cut Albanian kid, likely some hapless third-rater drummed out of the KLA, the way he just pixie-pranced right out into the Calle, looking this way and that into the dark with his war face on and his brows all beetled up as if he actually knew what he was doing. He had a Tokarev in his left hand, a deeply useless piece of scrap iron, and he never even got it into play when Dalton stepped out of the alcove on his left and punched a soft-nosed sub-sonic twenty-two-caliber round into his temple. Well, that was pretty much, that as the slug pin-balled around inside the kid's skull for a couple of seconds, making a kind of lumpy gray soup out of his life so far. The boy went down-straight-down, like a sack of meat falling off a flatbed.

Mirko Belajic, the kid's boss, had been hanging back under the arch, waiting for the all-clear, so when Dalton took out the bodyguard the wily old Serb flinched a half-step back, reaching into his Briony top-coat, but by then Dalton had the muzzle of his Ruger hard up against the man's barrel chest.

"Dah. Krokodil!," he grunted, as if his most depressing expectations for the evening had just been grimly confirmed. Dalton stepped out into the faint glow from the lights of the Piazza, his face stony and a green spark in his pale blue eyes, his long blond hair pulled back from his hard-planed face. He was wearing a long dark blue Zegna top-coat, black leather gloves and a navy blue turtle-neck, so in the dim light from the Piazza he looked like a skull floating in the shadow. The snow was sifting down, a curtain of powdered glass, diamond-lit by a sickle moon. Their frozen breath hung in the still air between them, a pale glowing mist, rising up.

"Krokodil, you … you wait now, just a bit" the old man said, in a flat steady voice, no quaver, not begging, just making a suggestion, as if they were arranging to meet for drinks. "Not too late for you. We talk -"

"No. We don't," said Dalton softly, squeezing the trigger once, popping a round into the old man's chest about an inch below the left nipple. The old man staggered back, his roast-of-beef face losing color and his mouth gaping open. He plunged his hand into his coat and brought out a small stainless revolver, which Dalton easily plucked from the man's gnarled arthritic hand. He threw it into the darkness behind him. It struck and skittered across the frozen cobbles with a dull metallic clatter.

Mirko Belajic stared at Dalton for a time, blinking slowly, then he pulled his suit jacket to the side and looked down at his shirt, where a black stain around a tiny frayed hole was starting to spread open like a black poppy. He put a meaty palm over it, winced, looked back at Dalton, his breathing now coming in short sharp puffs as his lung collapsed slowly. The expression on his face wasn't fear, or even anger.

He looked … offended.

"I am … killed? Mirko Belajic is … killed? For why?"

"Cora Vasari," said Dalton, and had his suspicions confirmed by the flicker of recognition in Belajic's face, a fleeting muscular contraction around the old man's left eye, a blue vein flaring in his neck, gone in an instant.

"I was … nothing with … that. That was Gospic –"