Operation Deadline

A Jonathon Stone Mystery Short Story

A hit and run death of a man on the CIA’s watch list sends Jonathon Stone on another op. This time he teams with FBI Agent Jodi Shannon. They quickly find out it was a planned murder and the victim was part of an investigative reporter’s study of a Middle-Eastern student group. Then, a second murder with a similar MO occurs and Jonathon is sent in a different direction.

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Excerpt from Operation Deadline

There was a light, misty rain falling along the ocean. The Long Beach area mornings were always like this in the winter, it seemed. It was refreshing while you run, but it was cold when you stopped. Ahead, I could see my newspaper lying in the driveway, soaked.

I put it in the sink in the kitchen and headed to the shower. A nice warm one would bring my body back to reality. Before I could make it to the bathroom, my cell phone started playing my theme song, the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

It was Wiley, my tech support guy from San Francisco.

“Hey, Wiley.

“I’m not interrupting anything, am I?”

He always asked me that since he interrupted one of my encounters last summer. My part-time girlfriend Jill reminded me of that every once in a while.

“Jon, I just picked something up off our FBI scanner system.”

The CIA had a setup where we could monitor certain types of terrorist communications from various domestic law enforcement agencies.

“Last night a young man was found dead in an apparent hit and run accident. His name was Abdul Ali and he was on the FBI’s foreign student watch list.”

“Aren’t all foreign students on that list?”

Wiley hesitated. “I believe that’s correct.”

He hesitated again thinking about what I had just said.

“This guy is getting a lot of attention for a student. It says here that he was the leader of a student group in the Southland called The Students for Arab Peace. As far as I can tell it’s a non-violent group. What doesn’t make sense is all the chatter over a car accident.”

“We should follow up on it.”

“I’ll check into the group,” Wiley said.

“It might be on the local news,” I suggested. “I’ll check out the locals here.”

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