Beneath Brooklyn’s wintry streets, seven people are dead, slumped in their seats on an F train. Fast thinking and good fortune prevent the subway car doors from opening, spilling poisonous gas into the station. It’s not long before a frightened metropolis of eight million demands answers: If this was an act of terror, where will these cruel killers strike next?
NYPD detective Flo Ott looks closely at the victims. Each of their stories leads to another, one more colorful and complex than the last. A few of these quintessential New Yorkers catch Flo’s attention: a mysterious off-duty FBI agent and the beautiful woman next to him, who may have been his lover. Then there’s a Russian mobster with more than his fair share of enemies.
As Flo battles false leads, conflicting witnesses, and meddling politicians, her investigation delves into the dark side of the city that never sleeps. Flo becomes convinced that this wasn’t a random act of violence, and she fears something much worse may be rumbling down the tracks.
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Taking the F train subway, a traveler can arrive in Park Slope, Brooklyn, New York, and get off at Fifteenth Street–Prospect Park, thinking he’ll walk upstairs and find himself in a fashionable brownstone neighborhood.
But if he takes a wrong turn and climbs a different staircase, he’ll discover Windsor Terrace, an enclave in a time warp, a more ordinary place, still home to some police and firefighters, sanitation workers, bus drivers and subway motormen, steeplejacks and city clerks. The salt, not the sugar, of New York.
Former FBI special agent Raymond O’Hara, long retired, made no mistake when he left the subway station, ten at night, and strolled into Windsor Terrace.
Destination: Farrell’s bar.
Almost the last of the old Brooklyn Irish saloons, Farrell’s was a few well-sited steps from Holy Name Roman Catholic Church. In front of the church, a beggar stopped Raymond, and Raymond handed the man a dollar before entering the tavern.
“Any good baddies?” Raymond aimed his remark at Brendan Ryan, whose back—stubbornly, defiantly—was turned to the only two women at the bar, Ryan’s eyes listlessly scanning the afternoon’s New York Post.
Front-page headline: VEEP NAMES TRAITOR DEMS.
Ryan folded the paper and tossed it on the bar.
“Brendan, see that guy out there by the church?”
Raymond nodded at the bar window and the man standing alone on the corner in front of the church. “Guy hit me up for a buck. First time it’s ever happened to me around here.”
“Got me, too. Broke my heart. Guy used to come in here, a regular at the bar. So I gave him the buck. Used to be, someone said ‘I’m hungry, pal, can you spare something?’ you told him ‘Get a job. Go to work.’ Not no more. Say, how’s your granddaughter?”
“Terrific, thanks,” Raymond said. “Bouncing back, chicken pox can’t lick her. She’s got the O’Hara constitution. We walked the dog tonight, and you won’t believe what she says. ‘Got your gun, Grandpa?’”
“Kids.” Raymond shrugged. “They got kids scared, crap they hear on TV, in school.”
“Hey, let me tell you something, I wouldn’t mind having mine back. My wife and me, both ex-Bureau, so you’d think they’d at least let us share one. This is New York, right, not Virginia, not some crazy place. I’d feel a lot better. Even if I only ever got to use it once.”
“For what?” Raymond said.
“No such luck. Jerk smuggling salamis, no DOA license. Guy had a warehouse full of meat, just off Court Street. Pulls a knife on me. He lost a kidney.”
“Best, if you go for garlic. Really, you don’t miss a weapon?”
“Nothing happens. C’mon, life’s good. It’s like embassy duty, retired.”
“Tell me about it, I always wanted embassy work. See the world, sock away the allowance. Brussels, I was hoping for, supposed to have the world’s best beers. Figured I’d get it for being a good boy, couple of years left in the Bureau, last post before retirement. No f***ing way.”
“Clinton’s what happened. I spent two years in Little Rock, drilling barflies.”
“They got beer in Little Rock,” said Raymond.
“And more bimbos than Vegas. They don’t even speak English. Listen to that drawl for two years? Coming back to Brooklyn, believe me, Ray, like going to heaven.”
“Find any there?”
“Bimbos who blew Clinton.”
“You kidding? They all did, you listen to them. Every one of them thought they’d get retirement money, swearing they knelt before the commander in chief. ‘On a stack of Bibles, Officer, he’s got a wart on it, left side.’ So much bullshit, I couldn’t wait to get back to New York. Meantime, camel jockeys are planning the Towers. So Bush gets in, then what? Same old. Who listens to us? Bush sure as shit didn’t. They got the Bureau drilling tourists, for Chrissakes. F***ing waste. Glad you’re retired? I sure as hell am.”
“No argument from me. Another round?”
The bartender brought Raymond O’Hara and Brendan Ryan two glasses of draft beer.
“And a couple of balls with that,” Raymond said. “What the hell, retirement, right. Just a drop. But you know, I don’t blame the Bureau, I don’t hate them.”
“Of course not, me neither. I’m grateful. People who hate? My experience, Ray, they’re f***-ups. Hate puts you in as much crap as too much loving. Prudence, all that kind of stuff we used to get. The nuns and brothers were right. That’s what I miss now. Prudence.”
The bartender filled two shot glasses with Tullamore Dew.
Raymond lifted his. “To retirement.”
They knocked back the whiskey, and returned to sipping beer. And so the night rolled on, beers, wee drops, heads shaking.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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This is the way a story should be told. The book is so good because it engages the reader. Lieutenant Florence (Flo) Ott and her team in Brooklyn homicide investigate a mass murder on the F Train: “seven ashen-faced corpses, fallen and immobile, a specter arousing utter revulsion”. The plot is complex yet tight and littered with story telling about New York City characters. The end is surprising. It definitely shows that the author, a lawyer and fiction writer, was born and raised in Brooklyn. His writing style is fluid with an engaging syntax and word choice. It's a pleasure to turn to the next page. I am looking forward to “Fanatics”, Weber's next Brooklyn crimes novel.
Richard Hilary Weber's F Train What would you do if you went to take the train home and found a train car full of dead bodies arriving at your stop??? Meet Raymond O’Hare, a retired FBI agent. He is on his way home after a night of drinking when the F train pulls into the station with seven dead bodies in one of the train cars. Putting his former training into gear, he alerts the train driver, calls the police and seeing he suspects a type of gas that proved fatal was involved keeps everyone away from the car until the proper authorities arrive. Enter NYPD Homicide Detective Florence Ott (Flo Ott) and her team. The team includes Frank Murphy and Marty Keane. Fast paced story with suspense, drama, mystery, surprises and unpredictable outcome. There are a tons of suspects each colorful in their own way that add flavor to the story. A good crime novel!!! Thank you to Net Gallery and Alibi for this eBook. My opinion is my own.
I was surprisingly impressed by this novel. It is formulaic in that it is a Police procedural, however the protagonists were humanized and made interesting by the Author. The plot was sufficiently complex to hold the interest of most readers. I will read more of Weber's works, particularly the Brooklyn Crimes series. Thanks to Net Galley and Alibi for the opportunity to read it pre publication.
This is a short but suspenseful book. It has very rich writing that would appeal more to an educated person, yet it is very readable. The story starts with a train car full of bodies, and follows the process of deduction that finally leads to the killer. As the plot progresses, we learn much about the victims and the protagonists. It is a suspenseful and thought-provoking book.
I will be reading more of Mr. Weber's books in the future that is for sure. This is a police procedural which the lead on the case is Lt. Flo Ott. She is very dedicated to this political bombshell of a case, she finds herself butting head with the FBI, Mayor and Police Commissioner. This was a short book but had a whole list of different leads that took her team from one end of the spectrum to the other. I really liked the characters of this book it was very to the point and not drawn out like can be