A billion Euros in laundered currencies and gold ingots. She’s unbelievable!
Using her cover as a police officer, Daniela has stolen the secret stash. Now she’s a fugitive—branded as a jihadi extremist, an al-Qaeda terrorist. In Barcelona, a massive police dragnet covers the city. A sniper takes aim: his orders—shoot to kill.
With a stolen identity, Daniela avoids arrest but must deliver the money—and a watertight cover story. It’s not easy. Her own people are convinced she’s a double agent. In Syria, she’s reunited with Jamal, her al-Qaeda lover. Russia’s elite Spetsnaz shelter them from the government’s feared Mukhabarat security forces.
Girl On The Run is the second book in the Daniela’s Story trilogy. She’s working deep undercover, using all her skills and guile to reach the man she’s determined to meet. Lies and deception abound and Daniela is in the middle of it. What is her agenda? Whose side is she really on?
Read Chapter 2 of Girl On The Run
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The chauffeur knew he was being observed. He was aware that every word he said, every move he made, every action was being recorded and carefully noted. Days earlier, he’d been captured at the farmhouse by the Mossos and handed over to the National Police. They had transported him, chained inside a windowless padded vehicle, to a holding cell. It was somewhere in Madrid, he supposed.
To him, his interrogators were predictable. At first, they’d tried their standard routines to get him to talk. He’d said nothing. Their pathetic attempts had made him smirk. His silence and condescension only served to incense them further. Shackled to the desk in handcuffs and chains, he had laughed in their faces.
“Well, Luis,” said his interrogator entering the room, “are you going to talk to me this morning?” It was more of a statement, a precursor, than a question. Luis knew it contained a lie. They had allowed him no sleep for days. He hadn’t seen daylight since his incarceration, but he knew it was late in the evening. It was a feeble bid to disorientate him. Inwardly, he scoffed. Working for the general, he himself frequently had used the same technique when forcing information from his prisoners.
Luis scowled at him. Normally, one glance would warn off even the most seasoned police officers. He knew they regarded him as a hard case. Tall, dark, and creepy, he was aware that he might pass for being merely strange and abnormal—except for the chilling sense of evil that exuded from every pore in his body. He was proud of it. Then there was his disfigurement.
“Your hand, Luis,” said the interrogator—as if reading his thoughts. His finger gestured dismissively to the chauffeur’s right hand and wrist. “An acid burn, perhaps?”
Luis did not flinch. They’d taken away the leather gloves he used to cover up his physical deformity. It was such an amateur attempt to rattle him, he thought. The interrogator would have to do much better if he wanted to unsettle him. Luis prided himself on his self-control. He would not permit himself any giveaway muscle spasms. No involuntary twitches, no tell-tale eye movements.
He faced his interrogator, avoiding direct contact. Instead, he gazed steadfastly at the middle of the man’s forehead where a fully formed brown mole riveted his attention. It was a convenient flaw of nature, Luis decided. He knew that his unrelenting gaze eventually would unnerve and fluster the man. With an exaggerated frown, he studied the mole with the detached interest of a surgeon deciding how best to cut out the offending growth.
It was amazing that these fools were still in charge of the country, thought Luis. General Bastides, as old as he was, would have led Spain to a much better future. The general had been a mere junior cadet in the last years of General Franco’s regime—yet he had carried the generalissimo’s mission forward as if he had been appointed to do so personally by the caudillo.
The common people just did not understand the modern world, Luis lamented. Leaders need to be strong and decisive. The general had said as much to him . . . many times.
Luis’s captors would not give him any information; he was starved of news. He knew that Operation Ferrol had failed, that the general and el ejecutivo—the members of the coup’s executive government-in-waiting—had been arrested. They had been betrayed. Luis was certain.
Women were to blame; they had interfered in the work that should be done by men. The condesa had spied for the government; he knew that now. She was behind the failure of the bombing attempt at Mossos Headquarters; there was no doubt in his mind. He’d wanted to strangle her on the night she’d visited the lodge. The general had given his permission, but her husband, Carlos, had been weak and emotional. Luis would have taken pleasure in cracking the condesa’s long beautiful neck and disposing of her body, letting it sink to the bottom of the cold dark lake.
Then there was the girl. The Arab boy had called her Daniela. She’d been clever, that one. Luis had been taken by surprise. He never should have allowed himself to be captured, but her audacious night-time raid on the farm had happened so quickly. It was embarrassing. Momentarily, he had let down his guard and been captured by two young kids. They had trussed him up and left him for the Mossos to find the next morning. He’d struggled to free himself. Yet, every time he had strained at the ropes, they seemed to become tighter.
She had placed a single ingot of gold at his tightly bound ankles. It was just one of the many hundreds of gold bars he’d been guarding. Gold which she and the Arab boy had stolen from him that night. It was an inspired tactic by the girl, he had to admit. The gold linked him directly to Aladdin’s Cave—to the general and the murdered priest. With that evidence, the police had conclusive proof that he was a central part of the attempt to overthrow the government. No doubt they would search the farm and find the body of the builder he’d thrown down the well.
It had taken almost a decade for the general and his rich and influential friends to build up the massive slush fund. The money was intended to finance the coup. The general had told them that once the democratic government had been overthrown and Spain’s security forces had pledged allegiance to the new regime, support for their cause would grow rapidly. The smart money would flood in. Business leaders would hesitate initially, some of the general’s close advisors had cautioned him. They would wait, just to make sure. Eventually, they would find a back door—untraceable ways to support the new regime. The Spanish people would welcome a strong return to law and order. The old ways.
They would put the separatist leaders from Catalunya in prison. They would find ways to demoralise the misguided separatist masses. The last of the Basque resistance cells would be infiltrated. Soon there would just be one united Spain—the Old Spain, free of the foolish European democratic experiment.
A firm hand would be at the helm. It would mirror the security that the generalissimo himself had provided for the country after the setbacks of the civil war. Luis did not believe in God, but he believed that the wealth accumulated over many years at Aladdin’s Cave had a divine destiny. Its purpose was to help free Spain from its dangerous flirtation with republicanism. The coup would re-establish Spain’s independence and sovereignty. The king and monarchy would be fully restored.
“We have captured the girl,” said his interrogator, interrupting Luis’s thoughts.
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What Readers Are Saying
5 out of 5 stars
“Sequel even better than Book 1! Loved Girl On The Run even more than The Girl From Barcelona (though suggest reading TGFB first to get the full experience). Peter does an incredible job of weaving a thrilling adventure story into the complex politics & social dynamics of Spain/Catalonia along with Middle East & US geo-politics. Terrific character development—feels like you know them intimately. Twists & turns & surprises on every page, while learning so much of that part of the world as a freebie. Unique writing style. Heartily recommend both.”
- James M. Fletcher, December 4, 2022, amazon.ca
5 out of 5 stars
“I thoroughly enjoyed reading the second book in this series. Woodbridge has a knack for writing thrilling stories with a strong female lead. Can’t wait until Book 3!”
- Katie, August 27, 2022, goodreads.com
5 out of 5 stars
“Before you realize it, Daniela is already 2 steps ahead of you. Although she may seem to some to be a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Daniela has friends in very high places, and indeed there is more than meets the eye. This intriguing international story of Daniela’s massive heist and the dangerous steps she will take to protect it has no equal. Her deception and strategy are uncanny. Not for the faint of heart, Peter Woodbridge’s sequel to The Girl From Barcelona takes the excitement of Daniela’s story to new heights. A gripping novel I can’t wait to read again and share with friends and family. A most compelling tale of redemption, Girl On The Run is very highly recommended.”
- Grant M., March 13, 2023, amazon.com
5 out of 5 stars
“Girl On The Run is a worthy sequel to The Girl From Barcelona. A thriller somewhat in the genre of La Femme Nikita. The author deftly guides you through intricately intertwined plots and sub-plots with unexpected twists and turns. International intrigue, Spanish separatist ambitions, Islamic terrorism all rolled up in one novel. A page-turner and a great weekend read.”
- Amazon Customer, December 13, 2022, amazon.com
5 out of 5 stars
“Another fun thriller from Peter Woodbridge. Daniela is the focal character, but there is excellent character development for many others. There are a few interwoven streams, which makes the story complex and intriguing. Well worth reading!”
- DonnaB, March 3, 2023, amazon.ca
5 out of 5 stars
“After reading Book One, The Girl From Barcelona, I could hardly wait to read Girl On The Run. Peter Woodbridge did not disappoint! Book Two takes the intrigue in Book One and notches it up a whole bunch! You follow Daniela through so much danger, but how she gets out of it is never clear until many pages later! You can’t put the book down, you want her to be okay and you need to keep reading to find out if she is! In Book One, I was afraid of her, in Book Two, I wanted to help her!”