Nicole has experienced enough danger and excitement to last her several lifetimes. But a six-year spell in Marseilles' toughest prison has cured her adrenaline habit. Now peace and quiet are what she craves. A farmhouse buried deep in the French Pyrenees, a garden to tend, and the occasional job whipping up a passport or a visa to pay for her simple lifestyle will do her fine. John Valsamis could have been any tourist, a solitary American needing directions in Nicole's empty corner of the world. But she knows he isn't. From his briefcase Valsamis pulls a Red Notice, a document reserved for people regarded by interpol as serious terrorist threats. On the document is a face familiar to Nicole - Rahim Ali. They had worked together and been lovers a decade earlier in Lisbon. Nicole does not believe Rahim has turned to terrorism, yet Valsamis confronts her with what looks like proof, along with intelligence of a planned major terrorist strike. Rahim was last spotted in Lisbon and Valsamis wants Nicole to track him down. Nicole cannot resist the pull, the need to prove Valsamis wrong about her former lover. Just a few days, she tells herself, a week at most.
She'll find him and clear things up and be back to her old routine. But as the train slides south towards Lisbon's Santa Apolonia Station, she begins to realise how foolish her expectations had been...
Alex Carr grew up in Missoula, Montana. For much of her life, she has travelled and worked her way around the world, starting as a prep-cook in the scullery of a men's soup kitchen, through working in a fish cannery in Alaska pulling salmon roe, to being a nude sketch model at an art museum in Frankfurt. Her work, she says, has defined her and her writing.