The Approach


By Chris Holm

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$0.99 CAD


ebook (Digital original)


ebook (Digital original) $0.99 $0.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around August 9, 2016. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

Hitman with a heart of gold Michael Hendricks is back in this digital-exclusive short story.

When a strip-club mogul puts out a hit on a dancer who won’t give him off-the-clock attention, Hendricks takes a detour to Las Vegas to stop the job in its tracks. With tech genius Lester in his ear and a fake identity as cover, Hendricks has only one problem: he has no idea what the target looks like. Against the scorching heat of the city’s desert outskirts, a case of mistaken identity nearly turns fatal, but our principled hitman has a few tricks of his own up his sleeve.


The Starlite Motor Lodge was a tired mid-century throwback on a dusty stretch of highway five miles outside of Las Vegas. Unlit neon. Pink stucco caked with grime. A rusty handrail bordering its second-story walkway. The kind of place that advertised clean rooms and color TVs, and made you wonder whether either claim was true.

I pulled my rental into the Starlite’s lot as sunset painted the horizon red. The place was pretty empty, so I had my choice of parking spots. A twentysomething in an undershirt and a faded pair of Levi’s sat reading Hunter Thompson in a lawn chair outside his room, a crumpled takeout bag from the taqueria next door at his feet. As I climbed out of the car, he whistled.

“Uh, Mikey—did you just get catcalled?” Even through the cheap Bluetooth earpiece, Lester’s amused tone was hard to miss.

“I’m pretty sure he was whistling at the car, jackass. I told you it was too flashy.” Lester was my tech guy. My right-hand man. A master forger and a genius with computers, he always set up my aliases and handled my travel arrangements. But the fucker had a sense of humor. This trip, my IDs all read Zack Carey—after Kyle MacLachlan’s character in Showgirls—and the rental car he’d booked for me was a ’67 Mustang GT convertible in Acapulco Blue.

“Aw, come on. Loosen up a little, would you? You’re in Vegas, baby! As far as I’m concerned, that car’s barely flashy enough. Besides, I think you’re selling yourself short. You’re a very handsome man, Michael. Everyone thinks so.”

“Yeah? Everyone who? You aside, the whole world thinks I’m dead.”

“Oh. Right. Guess it’s just me, then.”

The desert heat was nigh unbearable. This time of year, even nightfall offered little relief. My throat was parched. My clothes clung to my skin. Sweat gathered beneath the concealment holster on my hip. A hand-painted sign on the roadhouse across the street promised live music and ice-cold beer. Right now, that sounded like a better way to spend my evening than what I had planned.

“What room did you say she was in again?” I asked.


“Thanks.” I eyed the dingy old motel. The office was bottom right. 201 was the room farthest from. Light showed in two ground-floor windows, and—my rented Mustang aside—there were three cars in the parking lot, all clustered around the office. There weren’t any bus stops nearby, so my guess was she took a cab here and asked for a little privacy when she checked in.


On Sale
Aug 9, 2016
Page Count
32 pages
Mulholland Books

Chris Holm

About the Author

Chris Holm is the author of the cross-genre Collector trilogy, the Michael Hendricks thrillers, and thirty-odd short stories in a variety of genres. His work has been selected for The Best American Mystery Stories, named a New York Times Editors' Choice, appeared on more than fifty year's best lists, and won a number of awards, including the 2016 Anthony Award for Best Novel. He lives in Portland, Maine.

Learn more about this author