The Cleaner (John Milton)
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Meet John Milton He considers himself an artisan. A craftsman. His trade is murder. Milton is the man the government sends after you when everything else has failed. Ruthless. Brilliant. Anonymous. Lethal. You wouldn't pick him out of a crowd but you wouldn't want to be on his list. But now, after ten years, he's had enough - there's blood on his hands and he wants out. Trouble is, this job is not one you can just walk away from. He goes on the run, seeking atonement for his sins by helping the people he meets along the way. But his past cannot be easily forgotten and before long it is Milton who is hunted, and not the hunter. The Cleaner A career of state-sanctioned murder has taken its toll. Milton is troubled by nightmares, a long line of ghosts who torment his dreams. He resolves to make his next job his last and, then, perhaps, he can start to make amends for everything that he has done. Sharon Warriner is a single mother in the East End of London, suicidal with fear that she's lost her young son to a life in the gangs. After Milton saves her life, he promises to help. But the gang, and the charismatic rapper who leads it, is not about to cooperate with him. As London burns through summer riots, Milton finds himself in unfamiliar territory, dealing with an unfamiliar foe. And when his employer sends another agent after him, the odds against him are stacked even higher.
more tea if you want it.” Milton saw Elijah Warriner standing in the doorway. He was unmistakeably nervous, and Milton thought he might be about to turn and leave. He smiled and waved at the boy, gesturing that he should come inside. Elijah took a look up and down the street and, satisfied, came inside. He was wearing brand new trainers. Despite the heat he was wearing a bright orange puffa jacket that was obviously expensive. He had a Dallas Cowboys shirt beneath the jacket and, beneath that,
the three gold caps. “Alright, darling,” he said, ignoring Pops altogether. “Remember me?” “Of course,” Laura said, her eyes glittering. “You heard the new record yet?” “Yeah.” “You like it?” “Course.” “That’s what I like to hear. You looking fine tonight, darling. You totally bare choong.” She did not reply, but her helpless smile said enough. Pops noticed it and a tremor of irritation quivered across his face. Bizness ignored Pops and the others and turned to Elijah. “Come with me,
cracked viciously again and again—four times—and then fell silent. Pops fell back against the bench and sat for a moment, looking up at the darkening sky. His fingers opened in a spasm as he clutched at his chest. Then his head fell sideways and then the right shoulder and finally the whole upper part of his body lurched over the arm of the bench as if he were going to be sick. But there was only a short scrape of his heels on the ground and then no other movement. Pinky looked around. There was
pressed against his chest. The youngster ran past, screaming “I got an Xbox, bruv, believe it! There’s bare free stuff down there.” Rutherford made his way further up the road. The shops were all shut now. A large crowd had gathered in the high street. Forty or fifty of them, their faces covered with bandanas or hoods, were attacking the shuttered windows of the shops. Another two or three hundred were watching, laughing and pointing at the what they were seeing, on the cusp of getting involved
the main road. 49. “SHIT’S GOING ON OUT THERE,” Mouse whooped. “You see that brother? He just put a dustbin through the window of the Poundland.” “Brother needs his head examining, looting a motherfucking Poundland.” Pinky was speaking on the phone. “It’s going down at the shopping centre, too,” he reported. “They’ve bust in through the front doors and there ain’t no security or police nowhere doing anything about it. There’s a Foot Locker in there. What we doing here, anyway? It can wait. I