A terrorist stranglehold tightens on New York...and only one cop can break its grip.
Born in the mountainous jungles of Peru. Smuggled to the concrete jungles of NYC. It's the most ingenious terrorist setup ever conceived, and it could bring the city-- and the nation-- to its knees.
Former NYPD detective Brian McKenna has tangled with the Shining Path before. His new identity and early retirement in Florida were supposed to put him beyond the terrorist army's retribution. But when the guerrillas cut down the son of his closest friend, New York's police commissioner Ray Brunette, McKenna's lured back into the center of the action, and into a deadly battle of wits with a brilliant man and a cunning and dangerous woman.
Former NYPD Captain Dan Mahoney spins a chillingly authentic tale of a city held hostage, a city at the edge of disaster.
About the Author
Dan Mahoney was born and raised in New York City. After serving with the Marine Corps in Vietnam, he followed in the footsteps of his father and grandfather and joined the New York City Police Department. He served in the patrol and detective commands and retired as a captain in 1989. Along the way he attended John Jay College of Criminal Justice and graduated as class valedictorian in 1977. His first novel, Detective First Grade, was published in 1993 by St. Martin's Press and in 1994 by St. Martin's Paperbacks. The father of three children, he lives in Manhattan with his wife, Yvette, who is a New York City Police Officer.
Dan Mahoney was born and raised in New York City. After serving the Marine Corps in Vietnam, he joined the New York City Police Department, where he worked for twenty-five years before retiring as a captain. He is the author of novels including Black and White and Hyde and lives in Levittown, New York.
Read an Excerpt
Edge of the City
By Dan Mahoney
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 1995 Dan Mahoney
All rights reserved.
JULY 20, NEW YORK CITY — It started to drizzle just before three on Sunday morning, breaking the heat and producing a sparse vapor cloud that hung close to the ground as the raindrops hit the sidewalk. The city that never sleeps was at least taking a break. The streets outside the United Nations at East 45th Street and First Avenue were deserted, with no signs of life except for the uniformed cop assigned to the lighted police booth on the cornertside the United States Mission to the UN. The post is covered twenty-four hours a day by a cop from the 17th Precinct, and his job is to protect the outside perimeter of the mission. The inside of the mission is guarded by a uniformed Federal Protective Service agent, who was visible from the street as he sat behind a desk in the lobby, reading.
A marked blue-and-white radio car turned onto First Avenue from East 44th Street and stopped next to the police booth. The uniformed cop left the booth, went to the driver's side of the car, and received the package of two coffees and two copies of the Sunday Daily News. After the radio car pulled off and made a left on East 47th Street, the cop went back to his booth and put one coffee and one newspaper on the counter. He brought the other coffee and newspaper to the federal agent inside the mission, who was waiting for him at the door. They chatted for a moment, then the cop went back to his booth and the agent returned to his desk after locking the front door.
Once inside his booth, the cop put the newspaper under the counter, stirred his coffee, and resumed studying his Patrol Guide, the New York City Police Department manual, which proscribed a procedure to be followed for each and every conceivable event. He would read a paragraph of a procedure, close his eyes and try to repeat what he had just read, then take a look around the street.
Tall and thin in an athletic way, he had a baby face accentuated by dimples that appeared at the corners of his mouth as he mumbled to himself the procedural banalities. He was handsome, with straight black hair and finely chiseled features, but looked too young to be a cop.
He was halfway into the manual and memorizing the nonsense contained in the three-page procedure titled "Processing Non-evidence Currency with or without Numismatic/Sentimental Value." It was an easy one for him because he had been studying that particular procedure for four years, which meant that three years before he even joined the police department he had been filling his young mind with police procedural trivia.
The young cop finished reading Steps 31 and 32 of the procedure, then looked up and was surprised to see a short, well-dressed man in his twenties coming toward him, slowly walking south on First Avenue under his open umbrella. He smiled as he approached the police booth, then stopped at the door. "Excuse me, Officer," he said politely in a soft, Spanish-accented voice, "but can you tell me what time the United Nations opens?"
The young cop did not like it. The man was looking at his name tag as he talked, not his face, but it was one of the usual questions.
"Yes, sir. The tours start at ten o'clock and cost seven dollars."
"Seven dollars? Is it worth it?" he asked, still smiling and talking to the cop's chest.
"I guess everyone should do it once."
"Thank you, Officer Brunette. I will." The man turned and continued his slow saunter down First Avenue. Brunette watched him until he turned at East 44th Street and disappeared from view, then returned to his coffee and Patrol Guide.
Angel DeSoto closed his umbrella and got into the backseat of the green four-door Chevy Caprice parked right off the corner of First Avenue, pushing two empty ladies' handbags onto the floor as he got in. Felipe sat in the front passenger seat and Emilio was behind the wheel. Turning in his seat to look at DeSoto, Felipe said, "Well? Let's have it."
"It's him," DeSoto reported. "He's six foot one, one hundred seventy pounds, good shape, alert. He's wearing a bulletproof vest, but has only one gun. Looks like a six-shot Ruger revolver. His radio is on the counter in the booth and he's reading a book, but stops about every thirty seconds to look around."
The police scanner on the seat between Felipe and Emilio crackled. "Seventeen Charlie to Central, K."
"Go ahead, Charlie," the female dispatcher said.
"We're leaving the station house with one prisoner for Central Booking."
"Ten-four, Charlie. Time out five-oh-nine."
Emilio wrote down the information on a clipboard.
"Give me the figures," Felipe commanded.
Reading from the clipboard, Emilio said, "Right now we got just two of their cars to worry about. Sector Adam and the sergeant are in Bellevue Hospital with the lady who was robbed, Charlie is on the way downtown with the prisoner, David is in the station house eating, and Frank is on the East River Drive handling the accident. That leaves just Boy and Eddie. Four cops in two cars."
"Perfect," Felipe said. "Start it up and turn on the wipers."
Emilio stuck a screwdriver into the hole on the steering column and turned. The ignition caught and he turned on the wipers and the defroster.
Felipe picked up a walkie-talkie from the seat and keyed the mike. "Everyone report."
Felipe's men answered immediately. "Post One at Second and Forty-second. Light traffic and no police."
"Post Two at Second and Forty-sixth. Light traffic and no police."
"Post Three at the subway and ready. No police."
Felipe keyed his radio and said, "It's on. Post Three, make the call and get out."
"Sí, Comandante," the radio crackled.
Felipe picked up a sawed-off Remington shotgun from the floor and placed it across his lap. Emilio reached under the seat and brought up two .45 Colt automatics. He put one on the seat next to him and passed the other back to DeSoto. They settled back to wait.
"Post Three, call made. I'm out," came over Felipe's radio.
Instantly the voice of the female dispatcher came over the police scanner. "In the Seventeenth Precinct we have a report of a robbery one minute in the past, in the subway at Fifty-first and Lexington, downtown side. Male caller reports to 911 that black male perp, five ten, dressed in black, robbed him at knifepoint and fled down the tracks, headed downtown. Complainant states he will follow perp on the tracks. What units to respond?"
"Seventeen Boy will respond to the Fifty-first Street station to help out John Wayne, if he needs us."
"Seventeen Eddie will respond to the Forty-second Street station. We'll head uptown on the tracks."
Sirens sounded in the distance as the dispatcher came back on the air. "Seventeen Boy and Seventeen Eddie. Be advised that Emergency Service is responding from the West Side with an ETA of three minutes, and Transit Police are notified."
The sound of distant sirens ceased.
"Seventeen Boy, ten-four. We're at the scene and going into the hole."
"Seventeen Eddie to Central. Same message. We'll chat again when we surface."
"That's it," Felipe said. "Their radios don't work in the subway." Felipe picked up his own radio and transmitted. "Post One and Post Two, put your people out."
Julio Montalvo left the rear seat of a stolen Dodge Caravan parked at Second Avenue and East 42nd Street. Small and slight, he looked about fifteen years old, although he was twenty-two. Without looking back, he walked briskly up Second Avenue.
At Second Avenue and East 46th Street Ingrid Troutmann left the rear seat of a stolen Honda and walked slowly toward East 45th Street. She was blond, in her thirties, and buxom, wearing heels, a short skirt, and a lowcut blouse that showed off her assets. She looked a little tipsy, but still smart enough to keep her shoulder bag clasped firmly to her side.
Julio was fast approaching her, still one short block down Second Avenue, when she made the left turn onto East 45th Street. She saw the police booth on the corner of First Avenue, one long block away and on the other side of East 45th Street. Her side of the street was a tow-away zone and clear of parked cars, but parking was permitted on the other side of the street and there wasn't an open spot.
She was a quarter of the way down the deserted block when Julio turned the corner of East 45th Street, crossed the street, and started running behind her, quickly closing the distance. Hearing the footsteps behind her, Ingrid also started to run, but Julio was too fast. She was halfway down the block when he overtook her and pushed her forward onto the sidewalk. He grabbed her bag and pulled on it, but she held on and kicked at him, screaming, "Help! Police!"
The police heard her. Brunette looked up from his book and saw the lady on the ground fighting the small kid for her purse, half a block away. He keyed his portable radio and said, "Seventeen UN Post to Central. Got a robbery in progress, Forty-fifth Street, First to Second," and hustled to grab his first arrest, anxious that no senior cop get there and steal his collar. As he ran on his side of the street, partially hidden by the row of parked cars, he heard the dispatcher transmit, "UN Post reports a robbery in progress, Four-five, First to Second. Seventeen Units to respond?"
There was no response. Brunette smiled as he ran.
Across the street and down the block, the lady was putting up quite a fight and Brunette worried that she might not need him after all. Ingrid was on the ground kicking Julio in the legs, forcing him to jump around as he tried to pull her bag away. After seconds of dancing, and with Brunette still a quarter block away, Julio had had enough. He reached down, punched her in the face, and won. Ingrid fell back and released the bag.
Bag in hand, Julio glanced around and saw Brunette running toward him, still across the street, crouching behind the row of parked cars as he ran. Julio reacted as if he didn't see the cop, but looked past him to First Avenue and saw the green Chevy turn into the block and double-park at the corner, lights off.
Ingrid was still screaming and lights were coming on in many apartments on the block. Julio bent over and leisurely punched her in the face again. She screamed louder. Then he heard Brunette behind him shout, "Police, don't move!"
"Put your hands in the air!"
Julio did, but he kept the pocketbook in his right hand when he raised them.
"Keep your hands in the air and turn around."
Julio turned and faced Brunette, who was across the street, leaning over the hood of a parked car with his revolver trained on Julio's chest.
"Drop the pocketbook," the cop commanded.
Julio ignored him. Instead, with both hands raised high in the air and his right hand still holding the pocketbook, he turned and started walking down the sidewalk toward First Avenue.
"Hold it!" Brunette yelled. "Where do you think you're going?"
"Home," Julio said, still walking.
"You're letting him get away," Ingrid yelled from the sidewalk.
"Yeah, dummy, you're letting him get away," shouted a woman leaning out of a third-floor window.
Brunette ran across the street to cut Julio off, but Julio just turned and walked in the opposite direction, toward Second Avenue, with his hands still held high.
The green Chevy started from the corner.
"Stop and drop the pocketbook," Brunette ordered as he leveled his gun at Julio's back.
Julio still ignored him, so Brunette ran behind him and hit him in the head with his gun. Julio fell next to Ingrid just as the green Chevy pulled abreast of them.
Brunette turned to the car as Felipe fired his shotgun from the open passenger window, hitting the cop in the legs with nine .32-caliber pellets. The force of the impact swept Brunette's legs under him, but he fired twice before his chest hit the sidewalk.
Brunette's first bullet broke through the second-floor window of a studio apartment across the street, ricocheted off a brass ceiling fixture, and came to rest in the refrigerator door. His second shot caught Angel DeSoto as he was leaning out the rear window of the green Chevy, lining his sights on Brunette. The bullet entered DeSoto's right shoulder, ricocheted off his clavicle, took a trip through his right lung and liver, shattered his pelvis, and finally exited his body at his left buttock.
As DeSoto slumped out the window and dropped his gun to the street, Felipe pumped another round into his shotgun and fired. Six of the nine pellets hit the cop in the top of the head, exploding his skull and splattering Ingrid and Julio with blood and brains.
Julio got up from the wet sidewalk as Emilio jumped out of the car, but Ingrid was still on the ground, screaming. Emilio picked up the pocketbook and gave it to Julio, then leaned over Ingrid and pressed the barrel of his pistol against her forehead. She stopped screaming and her eyes went wide in surprise.
"Wait! What are you doing?" Julio yelled.
Emilio ignored the question and pulled the trigger, ending Ingrid's role in the charade. Then he turned and pointed his pistol at Julio's chest, but Julio didn't seem to notice. He was staring at Ingrid's body, trying to comprehend.
"Get in the car," Emilio ordered.
Julio looked at Emilio, then at the pistol pointed at his chest, and nodded.
Emilio put the pistol in his belt and slid back behind the wheel. Julio got into the rear seat behind him, threw the pocketbook on the floor, then leaned over and pulled DeSoto from the window onto the seat next to him.
Emilio drove to the corner of Second Avenue just as the light turned red. He stopped for the light and signaled for a left turn. Felipe put his shotgun on the floor and lit up a cigarette.
"How's Angel?" Emilio asked as he watched Julio in the rearview mirror.
Julio put his hand over DeSoto's heart. "Looks like he's dead."
"That's too bad," Felipe said. "He was always a good soldier, but I think he was always unlucky. His family's all dead, aren't they?"
"He has a sister left," said Julio. "I think she lives in Huancayo."
"If we survive this, we'll do something nice for her," Felipe promised.
"Good," said Emilio, surprising both Julio and Felipe. "I liked Angel."
"I liked Ingrid," Julio said, softly.
There was a moment of silence. Felipe turned in his seat and stared at Julio, but Julio avoided his gaze. "We all did," Felipe said. "But her death wasn't pointless, like Angel's."
The light changed to green. Emilio turned and drove down Second Avenue and caught the red light on East 44th Street as the drizzle turned to a downpour. "Seventeen UN Post, are you on the air?" came over the scanner. There was no response and the dispatcher transmitted, "Units in the Seventeenth and surrounding precincts, we are now getting multiple calls of an officer and a civilian shot on East Forty-fifth, First to Second. Units to respond?"
There were units to respond as every cop working in Midtown Manhattan dropped whatever he or she was doing and headed for East 45th Street.
Before long, every detective and every boss on duty in the borough of Manhattan would be standing in the rain on East 45th Street, and work would commence on the jigsaw puzzle. For them, it was the beginning of the game and they would have no idea of the big picture. But they had three important pieces to start.
There were the bodies of Ingrid Troutmann, occupation unknown, and Dennis Brunette, rookie police officer. Fortunately or not, Brunette's mortal and bloody remains on East 45th Street meant that there would be no shortage of manpower to work this double homicide. Young Brunette was now famous. Fame was something he had always wanted, but it came long before he ever intended.
Felipe had meant to leave only those two puzzle pieces for the NYPD to ponder, but the third piece had been left inadvertently. In the street, just ten feet from the two bodies on the sidewalk, lay Angel DeSoto's .45-caliber Colt semiautomatic pistol, Model US 1911A.
Excerpted from Edge of the City by Dan Mahoney. Copyright © 1995 Dan Mahoney. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
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