Corsican Death

Corsican Death

by Marc Olden

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Overview

With a handful of agents, Bolt takes on the crown prince of European smuggling

Two French businessmen come to the United States to arrange an export deal. Normally the federal government would have no interest, but these Frenchmen are Corsican, and their product is the finest heroin in the world. For months the crime syndicate overseen by Count Napoleon Bonaparte Lonzu has stockpiled its smack, creating a worldwide shortage and sending demand through the roof. Now it is time to open the floodgates, and dump a colossal shipment of white heroin onto the United States. But the deal goes sour from the very start. 

Lanzu’s lieutenants run into John Bolt, a narcotics agent who makes the toughest Corsicans wilt. He only has a handful of operatives in his critically underfunded anti-drug detail, but Bolt will crack the Corsican syndicate if he has to cross the Atlantic to do it. Count Lanzu may have an army, but next to a determined American cop, every Napoleon looks small.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781453260753
Publisher: MysteriousPress.com/Open Road
Publication date: 06/26/2012
Series: The Narc Series , #7
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 174
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Marc Olden (1933–2003) was the author of forty mystery and suspense novels. Born in Baltimore, he began writing while working in New York as a Broadway publicist. His first book, Angela Davis (1973), was a nonfiction study of the controversial Black Panther. In 1973 he also published Narc, under the name Robert Hawke, beginning a hard-boiled nine-book series about a federal narcotics agent.  

A year later, Black Samurai introduced Robert Sand, a martial arts expert who becomes the first non-Japanese student of a samurai master. Based on Olden’s own interest in martial arts, which led him to the advanced ranks of karate and aikido, the novel spawned a successful eight-book series. Olden continued writing for the next three decades, often drawing on his fascination with Japanese culture and history. 


Marc Olden (1933–2003) was the author of forty mystery and suspense novels. Born in Baltimore, he began writing while working in New York as a Broadway publicist. His first book, Angela Davis (1973), was a nonfiction study of the controversial Black Panther. In 1973 he also published Narc, under the name Robert Hawke, beginning a hard-boiled nine-book series about a federal narcotics agent.

A year later, Black Samurai introduced Robert Sand, a martial arts expert who becomes the first non-Japanese student of a samurai master. Based on Olden’s own interest in martial arts, which led him to the advanced ranks of karate and aikido, the novel spawned a successful eight-book series. Olden continued writing for the next three decades, often drawing on his fascination with Japanese culture and history. 

Read an Excerpt

Corsican Death

Narc #7


By Marc Olden

MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Integrated Media

Copyright © 1975 Marc Olden
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4532-6075-3


CHAPTER 1

The coat hanger.

Strong hands had straightened it out, unraveled it, pulling it free of curves and twists. Now it was a length of black wire three and a half feet long.

Enough to kill a man with.

They were alone in the Washington, D.C., hospital room: two Frenchmen, each with a tanned, hard face and dark curly hair, each a Corsican involved in smuggling dope from France to the United States. The short-sleeved white hospital gowns the men wore literally rippled with color: yellow and black stripes of soft sunshine and shadow easing through half-closed Venetian blinds.

In the early-morning April sunlight, one man was strangling the other, choking him to death with the coat hanger.

Come on, Claude, come on, you bastard. Die quickly. Quickly.

Alain Lonzu, his broad forehead wrapped in bandages, twisted the coat hanger tighter around Claude Patek's neck, cursing silently and urging his friend to die in a hurry. Die quickly, Claude!

Lonzu, thick knee jammed down hard between Claude Patek's shoulder-blades, pulled back viciously on the coat hanger, crossing his wrists. Each end of the wire was wrapped around Alain's fists, and as he made his fists tighter, digging stubby fingers into the palms of his hands, his forearms knotted with muscles.

He gritted his teeth, grinding them against each other. Pull back, pull up. Keep on pulling. You die, I live. That's how it is, Claude.

Claude Patek fought for his life, fought as hard as his Corsican blood would let him. But he was doomed. Both legs were broken, wrapped in heavy, thick casts. Cracked ribs were bandaged tightly, and the pain of his ribs and legs stabbed at him again and again.

But it was air that he wanted. Air.

The wire, tight around his neck, cut into his throat like a knife, sending agony up into his skull and stabbing into his eyes. Numbed fingers clawed at the wire, catching it, then slipping off, clawing again at the wire and again slipping off.

Jesus, this was a joke! It had to be! Alain Lonzu trying to kill him? A joke. Yet ...

In Paris there had been a warning. From Claude's brother, Remy, a Corsican drug dealer who always spoke softly and stared at you with eyes that were too bright. Take care, little brother. Alain is a snake, loyal to no one but himself. Take care. When you are in America, never turn your back on him. Never.

Claude had smiled and dismissed the warning, putting it down to older brother Remý's caution and paranoia. Alain was Claude's friend.

Face down on the bed, his life slipping from him, Claude Patek kept fighting to stay alive. He moved his hips, moved them up and down as though he were on a woman's naked body, and the hot pain from his legs and ribs exploded throughout his body. He would have cried out.

But the wire wouldn't let him.

Instead, a dry ugly sound came from his mouth, like that of an old man snoring in restless, tortured sleep. Even his blood betrayed him, sliding silently from his nose in thin, bright lines.

Panic. Now fear. And the horror of being unable to breathe. Claude's head was hot, intensely hot, as though wrapped in flames. Suddenly his head felt huge, swollen beyond anything he had ever imagined possible. Stuffed with thousands of hot coals.

Soon his head would split into a million pieces. He knew it, he knew it for sure.

Alain Lonzu pulled back on the wire, thinking only of life and death. Claude's death. And Alain's own life.

Three days ago the two Corsicans had come to America to collect a four-million-dollar advance payment, one-half of the full price, from a black heroin dealer in New York named Chester Dumas. In less than a week the Corsicans would smuggle two hundred kilos of heroin, eighty percent pure, from Marseilles to Toronto, then down to New York. There would be another payoff, again four million dollars.

And the Corsican drug dealers in France would continue to grow rich, remaining the most important heroin suppliers in the western world.

In the dope world, business was business. Harsh, and always in cash. Money up front. Always. Especially for a big load coming in from overseas.

The rest on delivery.

Alain Lonzu, thirty-two, thin-lipped, with a stocky body muscular from weight lifting, was important in the world of dope. He was important because of his brother, Count Napoleon Bonaparte Lonzu, Europe's largest heroin dealer and a man who in the past seven years had shipped almost a billion dollars in narcotics to America.

Big brother. Count Lonzu, fifty-two years old, shrewd, collector of art and antiques, and the toughest of all the Corsican drug dealers in France. No matter who challenged him, law or underworld, the Count was acknowledged to be sitting alone on the throne of illicit narcotics in Europe.

Alain was not just his younger brother. Alain Lonzu was deep into his brother's trade. Enforcer and assassin, courier and chief salesman. Go-between in Europe, Turkey and America. Heroin was the family trade of the Lonzu brothers, a trade they had been working at together since Alain was fifteen.

Blood and spit slid from Claude Patek's nose and mouth, staining the white sheet under him. Why, Alain, why? Swift thoughts raced across the dying man's mind, question after question, none of which would ever be answered for him. Not ever.

It had all happened so suddenly. One minute we're talking, Alain and me, talking low in French, laughing, telling the American police to fuck themselves, and my legs don't hurt me so much when we talk; then, suddenly, suddenly, the bastard grabs me, puts that fucking wire around my neck, and ...

Now Claude Patek's brain screamed in silent horror, a scream that stayed trapped inside his brain, a scream heard only by the dying man: Stop it, Alain! Goddamnit, you bastard, stop it! You're killing me, did you know that? You're killing me, you fucking bastard!

A game. Yes, yes, that's it. A painful game, except that it's not a game to me anymore, Alain, you prick. Can't you see that? Can't you?

Claude's fingers, weak and numbed, slipped from the wire. His bulging eyes were glazed, and when he tried to focus on the room, it was as though he were looking through tissue paper. Everything was gray, like smoke. Now everything was turning red, and it was getting harder and harder to see....

Jesus, the pain in his back, spine, and ribs—that had disappeared. And his legs, heavy with casts—they had disappeared, too. That's funny. My legs have disappeared.

He continued to gag, the sound ugly in the quiet room. Suddenly the blackness reaching out for him looked good, damn good, and he wanted to go to it, fall down in it, and disappear. Disappear like his legs.

The blackness was soft—oh God, did it feel good!—and Claude Patek wanted to sleep, to stop fighting Alain and sleep.

Alain, muscles straining, face sweaty and unsmiling, felt the bed jerk under him, moving a few inches on squeaky, unoiled wheels, stopping as suddenly as it had started. Alain had one bare foot on the yellow tile floor, and now he was becoming aware of other things, like the blanket brushing against the back of his ankle.

He could see only part of Claude's face. Christ, it was ugly, goddamn ugly. Claude's face, blue with impure blood trapped in his skull, as well as from a lack of oxygen, was jammed down into a pillow.

Alain snapped his own head to the right, the corner of his eye straining for a look at the door. The chair was still there, jammed tightly under the doorknob. Bon.

Back to Claude, to see his hands gripping the white metal bedposts as though trying to pull himself forward. Then Claude's hands stiffened, knuckles straining hard against tan, hairy skin. Now the hands relaxed, and the dead Corsican let go of the posts as he had just let go of life, both arms falling, flopping on either side of the narrow bed.

Air exploded from Alain Lonzu's opened mouth, a long, loud sigh of relief and satisfaction. He closed his eyes, letting the dizziness pass, allowing the pain to squeeze his own brain, because there was nothing he could do about it. His fingers gently touched the sweat-damp bandage on his forehead. His head ached, but no time for that now.

Opening his eyes wide, he breathed deeply, letting his chest heave up and down as though he had just finished a swift race. Got to get out of here. Got to escape.

Escape. A car was in the hospital garage, with men waiting for him and Claude. After that it was a quick drive to Baltimore and a ship, the La Rochelle. Then France. France. It was good to hear that name again, even if just in the silence of his own head.

Raising his shoulders, he dropped them, feeling the ache there. Tension. It carved at his body like a knife.

He stared down at his opened hands, seeing the red Marcs gauged into his palms by the coat hanger. Standing up, he looked down at the dead man. Thank you, Claude, for dying.

Escape.

He ran to the closet, jerking open the door and grabbing at his pants. Again his eyes flicked to the chair jammed under the doorknob. Fucking bastards. They'll come soon. American doctors with charts or clipboards. Nurses with hypodermics and foolish smiles and bad teeth.

Or a federal narcotics officer with what the Americans call "positive identification." Bastards. Positive identification. Proof that Alain Lonzu was the younger brother of the biggest heroin smuggler in Europe, as well as being his trusted lieutenant.

Proof that Claude Patek was the younger brother of Corsican drug dealer Remy Patek, as well as also being his trusted lieutenant. Positive identification. Merde. If I'm not here, what good does your positive identification do you, Mr. American Policeman?

Now Alain Lonzu stood naked, white hospital gown on the floor at his feet, muscular hairy body balanced on one leg as he quickly shoved the other down into his pants. His breathing was loud and fast, pushed by panic and creeping fear.

Escape. That's the important thing. Later I can explain Claude's death. Later. First I must escape and return to my brother in France.

Shoes. Shirt. That's it. Fast, fast, fast. Now over to my bed for my wallet, and tie my shoes. I had to kill Claude, I had to. We could have lost everything if he had talked. Everything.

Alain, ruthless yet weak enough to indulge himself in women, liquor, and gambling, was too selfish to think clearly. In his mind the issue had been decided. Claude had to die, and it was something the Count would understand.

And the Count would have to explain it to Remy. Remy Patek. Christ, what a bastard he was. Forty-four years old, small, and quiet, given to sudden viciousness and always, always unending vengeance against anyone who wronged him. Sadistic Remy. A Corsican, and that meant he could be trouble.

Alain Lonzu's killing of Claude Patek was an act of weakness, something he would never admit to himself. He saw it as self-preservation and as necessary to stop the Americans from getting the four million dollars now hidden in a place no one could get at.

No one but the Corsicans.

The trip should have been easy. Simple. Come to America, collect the four million dollars from the black, Mr. Chester Dumas, plus conclude that one other business matter for Count Lonzu, then return to France. It should have been easy, but it wasn't.

Alain cursed, mumbling in French and Italian, tying his shoes hurriedly.

That other matter. An American in the Justice Department who from time to time passed on top-secret files with information about Corsican drug dealers. A fantastic source of intelligence right from the top. Incredible.

Code name: "Mr. In." The man inside. He was worth his weight in gold, passing on information about upcoming trials of Corsicans captured in America or extradited to there. Prosecution strategy, the whereabouts of witnesses and informants. Mr. In could deliver, and did, for a lot of money.

Now he wanted more money, much more. He was a greedy man, a frightened man who felt the risks he was taking should be rewarded.

"I want more," he had said. "Fifty thousand dollars to pay off debts, and from now on, any information from me to you is going to cost you one hundred thousand. Going near those files could send me to prison, and I want to be paid for that risk. Paid plenty."

That message had been passed on to Count Lonzu by an employee of the French consulate in Washington, D.C., an employee who was paid to make occasional reports to Count Lonzu.

"Go to Washington," said the Count. "Speak to Mr. In. Find out if we should continue paying him. Be gentle; none of your rough ways. He's valuable, extremely valuable. I simply want to make sure that the money he's requested is going to him and not to someone between him and us. Make sure, Alain."

Make sure. So Alain had Dumas make his payment in Washington, not New York, because it was the chance to conclude all business in a hurry and in one place. Collect the money and talk with Mr. In.

The talk with Mr. In had gone well. The money would be going to him, via the French consulate contact, and all Mr. In asked was that he continue having only one contact, just one. The French consulate employee. Cuts down risks, he'd said.

That was fine with Alain. No problem there.

The problem came after that.

Remy Patek, one of several top Corsican drug dealers taking orders from Count Lonzu for the moment, had wanted to make sure, too. That's why he'd sent his thirty-year-old brother, Claude, to America with Alain. To make sure.

Two years ago the Turkish government, bowing to American pressure, ordered its farmers to stop growing opium poppies. Less opium meant less heroin. That meant that the available heroin was worth its weight in diamonds.

Shrewdly, Count Lonzu exploited this, charging higher prices for what he had in stock, paving the way for other Corsicans in France to follow him into increased wealth. His rivals, those who hated or admired him, admitted the Count was smart when it came to selling heroin to the Americans.

Remy Patek was a rival, but like others, he'd bowed to the Count's pressure to hold back on sales so the price of heroin would go up, way up. Like all famines, a heroin famine was a time of plenty for those with a supply of much-needed merchandise.

Hold back. Stockpile and let the price climb.

Suddenly that had changed. Now Turkey was allowing its farmers to grow opium again, and to hell with the United States. To hell with Uncle Sam.

Soon there would be more heroin on the Marcet. A hell of a lot more. So where did this leave the stockpile of heroin collected by Corsicans and held back at the Count's direction? Nowhere. Unless, unless ...

Sell now. Sell quickly, while the Marcet's still strong. Sell to the blacks, who have a lot of money and will pay anything to get a supply. Anything at all.

Sell quickly.

That's why Alain's trip to America was important. Close the deal with Chester Dumas for the two hundred kilos. And talk with Mr. In.

It should have been easy. But it wasn't.

It had gone wrong. Federal narcotic agents, acting on a tip, had burst through the door of the Corsicans' hotel room, capturing them, and Alain would always remember that night. One of the agents—a fierce-looking man with a scar on his forehead—had kicked Alain in the head. He'd never forget that American bastard as long as he lived.

And Claude. Stupid Claude. Jumping from a hotel window on the second floor. Breaking both legs, some ribs, and hurting his spine. Stupid.

Not all of the Corsicans' luck had been bad. The four million dollars wasn't in the hotel room. It had been hidden in the French consulate for safekeeping. No narcotics in the room, either. Delivery of the two hundred kilos was days away.

False passports and papers, nothing with correct names. A lucky break. And while agents had accused them of being Alain Lonzu and Claude Patek, brothers of Corsican dope dealers in France, each man had said nothing except "Put us in touch with the French consulate and an attorney."

Let the agents try to prove who they were.

That had been three days ago. Meanwhile, both Corsicans were in the hospital, no guards in front of their doors, because, as French consulate officials and lawyers had pointed out, neither man had committed a crime in America or had been officially identified as a criminal.

But federal agents were busy as hell trying to learn who the Corsicans really were. That much Mr. In had passed on for free. And that's why the escape had been planned.

Get out of America. Leave the money where it was, hidden safely away in the French consulate. No one would touch it. No one in his right mind. Because Corsican vengeance never stopped until it was satisfied. No, the money was safe.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Corsican Death by Marc Olden. Copyright © 1975 Marc Olden. Excerpted by permission of MysteriousPress.com/Open Road Integrated Media.
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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