After twenty years of working his way up the ladder, police officer Sam Wonder has just been promoted to captain in the Dallas Police Force. Sam earned this position, and as one of the department’s most beloved officers, he receives hearty congratulations from his coworkers—all except for Frenchy.

Lieutenant Napolean French is arrogant and difficult to deal with; he was also Sam’s competition for the promotion. He has long been at odds with his coworkers and has a thing for the ...

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After twenty years of working his way up the ladder, police officer Sam Wonder has just been promoted to captain in the Dallas Police Force. Sam earned this position, and as one of the department’s most beloved officers, he receives hearty congratulations from his coworkers—all except for Frenchy.

Lieutenant Napolean French is arrogant and difficult to deal with; he was also Sam’s competition for the promotion. He has long been at odds with his coworkers and has a thing for the chief of police’s niece, even though she wants nothing to do with him. But Sam’s promotion sends Frenchy over the edge. Now, all he can think about is revenge.

After harassing the chief’s niece—who makes it clear that she’s interested in Sam instead—Frenchy is placed on administrative leave, and Sam begins to hear rumors of his former colleague’s shady past. It turns out Frenchy likes to sell drugs. When Sam starts to investigate, Frenchy takes things into his own hands. He frames Sam for murder, starting a chain reaction of tragedy that Sam is hard put to stop.

With Frenchy on the loose and Sam forced to prove his innocence, the chase is on—but bringing the former cop to justice might prove too tough for Sam to handle.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781475991611
  • Publisher: iUniverse, Incorporated
  • Publication date: 8/6/2013
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 448
  • File size: 403 KB

Read an Excerpt


By Willis Nordlund

iUniverse LLC

Copyright © 2013 Willis Nordlund
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4759-9160-4


Lieutenant French punched ENTER on his computer and watched his e-mail message directory flow onto the screen. The third message was titled, "Wonder to Captain." "Son-of-a-bitch!" he hissed under his breath, "the Chief screwed me again." Lieutenant French (his colleagues called him, Frenchy) and Lieutenant Wonder were officers in the Dallas Police Department and they were in the running for the vacant Captain's position. "I've had this shit up to my eyeballs," Frenchy thought, "and I can't let them do this to me again." He clicked on the message and read the full announcement. The more he read about how terrific Sam Wonder was the more infuriated he became with Chief of Police Thornton and Sam Wonder. "I gotta be cool, I gotta be cool," he said quietly to himself. "These assholes have screwed over the Frenchman for the last time." Frenchy deleted the message and logged off. He closed his eyes, placed his right forearm over his eyes and leaned back in his chair.

Sam Wonder looked out of his eighth floor office window toward the East end of the park. He had a spectacular view of downtown Dallas. The twenty years of hard work had paid off and now he planned to enjoy some of the simpler parts of his job. The two inch by twelve inch brass plate on the massive walnut desk set said, SAM WONDER, CAPTAIN. He carefully flicked a tiny piece of lint off the plate and gently rubbed out a small smudge. He positioned the desk set exactly in the center of the top of his large oak desk, about six inches from the outside edge. The celebration of his promotion to Captain had been spirited and warm. Sam was known as the policeman's policeman. Through his twenty years of working his way up the ladder in the police department, he gained the reputation as being tough on criminals, but gentle on his men. He socialized with many of his subordinates, a practice that he knew would have to end with his new assignment. Captains simply had to make decisions that often times were difficult and could not be prejudiced by personal relationships. This really wasn't his favorite aspect of the new position, but he knew it was something he would have to do.

The buzzer on his telephone intercom chirped. He pressed the TALK button and said, "yes, Elizabeth?"

"Sir, there are two officers from vice here to see you, Officers Smedley and Stevens," she said softly.

"Oh, ya, that's right. I told those two guys to come in. Give me thirty seconds to pull something out of my file and then send them in."

"Yes, sir. Would you like some coffee?"

"Ah, no thanks, Elizabeth. Ask those two if they would like some, will ya?"

"Yes, sir."

Sam pulled himself out of his over-sized judge's chair and reached for the handle on the file cabinet. He pulled the drawer open and fumbled through several tabbed files until he found what he was looking for. As he scanned the report, he heard his office door open. Looking back over his shoulder, he waved to Officer Smedley to come in. "Why don't the two of you grab a chair over there," he said, pointing at a line of four chairs along the office interior wall, "and take a load off yer feet."

As the two officers settled into the chairs, Al Smedley said, "these are pretty nice digs ya got here Sam. This is the first time

I've actually been in one of these upper level executive offices." Sam chuckled quietly. "Ya, Al, promotion has its advantages, but I plan to keep real close touch with all of my colleagues who actually do all the work around here." The two officers knew he meant them and the other police officers on the beat.

Looking at Joe Stevens, Sam said, "ya know what? This is the first official action I've had in my new assignment. Kinda nice that it's a positive one. Both of you guys did a fantastic job on the robbery, kidnapping case involving the Jensen family and I've delighted as hell to put these commendations in yer permanent files. As you both know, there will be an official, public recognition of your efforts at the annual banquet, but I didn't want this important work to go unrecognized for the next nine months. One or both of you guys may come up for promotion or reassignment during this period and these commendations will be nice to have in your files."

Joe Stevens slid to the edge of his chair. "Well, Captain, we are damned happy that you have chosen to do this. Most of the officers in the Department wouldn't have taken the time to make the presentation early. We knew you were the right one for the promotion and I can tell ya that every single one of us is happy as hell."

"Thanks, Joe, I appreciate your support." Sam rocked his chair back and put his left foot on the handle of the lower drawer on his desk. Looking at the two citations, he said, "well, gentlemen, there is no audience and it doesn't make much sense to read these citations to you two. They basically say that you did one hellava job on the Jensen case to bring it to conclusion and that the people of Dallas recognize and appreciate your professional handling of the case. You two can read the exact language at your leisure. I'm giving you the framed citation, but a copy will be put in your permanent files for others to consider in the future." Sam stood up slowly as he looked at Joe. He walked around the end of his desk and approached the two men. He extended his right hand to Joe and they shook hands graciously. "Good work, Joe. I'm proud as hell to be the one to give you this." He handed Joe his framed citation.

Turning to Al Smedley, he said, "and, you, my friend, I am particularly pleased. We have worked a lot of tough cases together and I know the kind of work that you do. The citizens of Dallas don't really know how hard you work and the great service you provide to the community. Thank you, Al, and congratulations." Al nodded his head knowingly as he shook Sam's hand. "Thank you, Sam," he whispered quietly.

Taking two steps backwards, Sam said in a louder voice, "okay, you two, let's get back to work and protect the citizens of Dallas. Good work, guys. I'm real proud of both of you." Both officers shook Sam's hand again as they left his office.

Elizabeth peeked around the door frame after the two officers had left. "Big smiles on the faces of those two," she said coyly. "Guess everybody likes to be patted on the back once in a while."

Motioning for her to come into his office, Sam said, "ya, yer right, Elizabeth. We all like to be told that we are doing a good job and that we're appreciated. Why don't ya sit down for a few minutes." He motioned toward the line of chairs along the wall. After she sat down, he sat down in a chair so that there was a chair between them.

"The officers in the Department are really thrilled about your new assignment, Captain," she said quietly.

"Ah, Elizabeth, ah, don't call me, Captain. Here in the office, Sam, will be just right. I guess we can be a bit more formal when others are around, but when we are alone here, Sam, will be about right."

"Yes, sir, of course. I prefer to be called, Liz, too, if that's okay?"

"Liz, it is," he said in a slightly louder tone of voice. "Now, I know this is a new position for you and a new one for me. We'll have to get to know each other better as we work into our new assignments. I don't think that will be any problem. I get my own coffee; do most of my own typing; make most of my own calls. I would like you to handle my calendar; screen incoming visitors; and, develop a good filing system. I'm horrible at filing and trying to locate documents. I just haven't developed that skill very well and its sometimes a real problem. Hell, I've got the original copy of my Marine Corps DD 2-1-4, some place. Can't find it to save my life. I know I would never have thrown it away. It's just 'filed' in a very good place and I know I'll find it someday, but I've been looking for the last three years and haven't found it yet."

Liz nodded her head up and down slowly as she smiled broadly. "I'll take care of you, Sam. Filing happens to be one of my strong suits. I've always prided myself on what I call the 'thirty second' rule. Once you tell me exactly what document you want, I should be able to find it within thirty seconds. If I can't, then I think it was either mislabeled or misfiled. I've found that there is more of an art than science to identification and filing of documents. We'll work on it and I'm sure it will work out great."

"I'm sure, too, Liz, and I'm mighty glad to be working with you. Well, there has been some sense that this office was not accessible to the policemen on the beat, I want to change that perception from day one. I don't want every policeman to bring all of the petty, day-to-day problems up here, but when an officer feels he needs to talk to somebody who will listen, I want to be that person. I believe in the chain of command and plan to follow it whenever it makes sense. I just want our patrolman to know that I am accessible and interested in their day-to-day concerns."

"Yes, sir, I think I know what you mean. I...." The telephone rang in Liz's office. "I better get that, Sam." She stood up and walked out of Sam's office. He could hear her say, "Good Morning, Captain Wonder's office." It sounded kind of nice to hear the words, Captain Wonder. Sam smiled and walked back to his desk and sat down.

Seconds later, his intercom buzzed. "It's the Mayor, Sam. I think he wants to congratulate you on your first day on the job."

"Thanks, Liz." Sam punched the blinking line button. "Good morning, Mr. Mayor. How are you?" Sam had known Mayor Garcia for almost all of his twenty years on the police force. The Mayor had worked his way up through the Dallas political system and he knew how the City worked. Sam held the Mayor in high regard.

"I'm fantastic this morning, Sam. I just wanted to call you to tell you how happy I am with your new promotion. The City of Dallas has wisely promoted one of its very best. Congratulations, Sam. I look forward to working with you."

"Well, thank you, Mr. Mayor. I'm pleased that you would take the time out of your busy schedule to call me. We have always had a great personal and professional relationship and I look forward to many more years of working with you. Your election to Mayor last Fall was one of the highlights of my personal life in recent years. You have worked hard to achieve this honor and I know you will serve the citizens of Dallas well."

"Well, thank you, Sam, but I didn't call to discuss my job, we're talking about your new assignment. I'll be meeting with the City Council today to review the budget request for the Police Department for the next two years. We are planning to have Chief Thornton explain how his request was put together. I was thinking that it may make sense for the two of us to sit down at some point, informally, ya know, and talk about Department priorities. The Chief does a good job, but I think it may make sense to have another viewpoint on the budget and Department operations."

Sam was taken back a little by the Mayor's suggestion. He swallowed hard and replied, "well, sure, Mr. Mayor, I would be pleased to talk with you at any time. I'm pretty new to all this, but I'd be happy to give you my views if you think they would be useful."

"I think that's what I need, Sam. I need a fresh viewpoint on these issues. I sense that the Chief has gotten too close to the day-to-day operation of the Department and in some ways may have lost perspective. I'd keep any conversations between the two of us purely confidential, ya know. I'm looking for advise and guidance. Me and the City Council will ultimately have to make the decisions, of course."

"Of course, of course. I'd like to work with you in any way that is helpful."

"Okay, Sam, ah, I mean, Captain," the Mayor chuckled, "I look forward to working with you. Just settle into your new assignment and we'll be talking not too far down the road. Again, congratulations, Captain, and best wishes. Talk with you soon."

"Thank you, Mr. Mayor and I look forward to talking with you, too. Good-bye." Sam carefully placed the receiver on the telephone cradle. He rocked back and swiveled around so that he could see out the window. "I know that Garcia means well," he thought, "but Chief Thornton wouldn't like me to have direct access to the Mayor. He considers that his unique domain and would probably cause me a lot of grief if he thought I had a direct line of communications with the Mayor and City Council. Gotta be careful."


Sam was an athlete. One of his passions in life was running. He had been a wide receiver on the University of Texas football team, but his first love was running the eight-eighty on the University track team. There was just something about the euphoria he felt at the end of a long run that made it all worthwhile. He always found the nearest high school with a track whenever he traveled outside Dallas. In recent years, he average between 60 and 65 miles each week. His favorite time to run was late in the evening. After the sun went down, the oppressive heat was gone and there were generally fewer people on the running paths. Often times, he would run after dark and not infrequently he was the only person on some of the paths.

"Liz," he said loudly.

"Yes, sir."

Without getting up, he said to her, "I will probably go running this afternoon an hour or so before the end of the work day. Is there anything I have to do between three-thirty and four-thirty?"

She paused for a few seconds and then said, "no, sir. Your calendar is clear. The only thing after your one o'clock with Personnel is your meeting with the staff at nine in the morning."

"Okay, Liz, that's great." He stood up and walked to the door. He leaned against the door frame and said, "I will probably run almost every day. I generally like to do it later in the afternoon, but we will have to see how things are scheduled around here. Do you ever run?"

Picking up a cup of coffee, she replied, "no, Sam, running is not one of my things. Getting sweaty and then trying to make it through the day without offending somebody is more than I can deal with. Wouldn't be too bad if we had access to a good shower during the work day. Absent that, no running for me."'

"Sounds like an excuse," he chided, "we can always find excuses for not doing something. Getting sweaty is not, in my judgment, a reason for not running."

Liz pulled her mouth to one side and raised her left eyebrow. "Ya, maybe, Sam, but I just don't like getting all sweaty. If you like to run, I think that's great. It just isn't for me. I'm more of the 'lay on the beach' type of person. I enjoy watching baseball and tennis, but I'm not very athletic and have never played either sport. Naw, you can have the running thing, Sam."

He decided not to pursue it any further. Putting the pointer finger on his right hand to his lips, he said, "ah, Liz, I'd like to do something for all the officers and staff in my section. I don't know what makes sense, but I'd like some kind of activity that provides them with recognition for the good work they do. Might even give me a chance to get to know some of the officers I don't see every day. What do ya think? What's appropriate? I don't want to do something that makes it look like I'm focusing on my promotion. Know what I mean?"

Liz pursed up her lips as she thought. After a few seconds, she said, "ya, Sam, I know what ya mean. I don't think anything very formal will go over with these guys. Might want to think about a family-type gathering in one of the parks. Could be hamburgers and hot dogs with watermelons. All family members could come. Might be a nice way to show your interest in both the officer or staff person and their families."

Nodding slowly, Sam replied, "ya, there are some nice possibilities with that type approach. People could come and go as they wanted; I'd be in the background. Could set up some simple games to keep the kids entertained. Good idea, Liz, good idea. How do you think we should do it?"

"Let's just pick a Saturday afternoon and a park. Put out the word to all officers and staff in the section. I think you will have a lot of people taking advantage of it. It could be a real nice gesture and I know most of them will appreciate it."

"Okay, Liz, let's do it. I'll take care of all the food and getting a park. If you would put together a nice invitation to everybody in the section and get it to them, I'd really appreciate that. I'll invite the Chief and the Mayor, too. They probably won't show up, but it's the right thing to do. Good politics, too."

Liz smiled and chuckled as Sam mentioned the Mayor and Chief of Police. She didn't know anything about Sam's relationship with the Mayor, but she knew the Mayor and Chief of Police generally didn't get along very well. It wasn't likely that they would attend a function together, particularly if it was informal and voluntary.

"Is there anybody else I should personally invite?" he asked.

Excerpted from Framed by Willis Nordlund. Copyright © 2013 Willis Nordlund. Excerpted by permission of iUniverse LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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