Three boys, each with circumstances that labeled them outcasts, join at a young age to stand against the injustice of an insufferable childhood. They hold strong to one another until a tragedy in their teen years tears them apart. One of them, Arthur Fetchenko is blamed for an atrocious crime he did not commit. Another, Tony Copeletti is forced far from his home to live with a gangster uncle. The third, Henry Tyler, along with his entire family, is relocated because it was felt that the Tylers could not be trusted to keep hidden the identity of the true criminal, a high ranking politician.
Later life brings payback. After years in reform school, Arthur Fetchenko is handed proof of his innocence through evidence strong enough to devastate the political party who harbored the criminal and laid the blame on him in the first place. And along with that evidence, came options. Should he see to it that justice is finally served? Or should he use the information to benefit himself, a blackmail of sorts. He chooses the latter. And once again, the threesome is reunited and off on an adventure of which the final outcome can only be summed up by the words, "To the victors go the spoils". Their goal is to take over the political machine of the day from the inside. Success comes in the end, but it comes at a high cost.
Vengeance may drive their story, but along the path noble intentions prevail, love abides, action and adventure abound, and an age old feud is fought to the death.
|Publisher:||A-Argus Better Book Publishers, LLC|
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)|
|Age Range:||12 Years|
About the Author
Schwartz is a published short-story writer who has been practicing his trade for many years. Cobb's Landing, his debut novel, was inspired by a walk in the woods where he and his wife stumbled across a deserted prohibition-days resort. From that experience, his novel grew.
His second novel, CALUMET, continued Schwart's successful venture into the field of writing and his latest, FETCHENKO, reveals even more of his incredible talent.
Read an Excerpt
Dusk arrived with the chopper’s descent into the man-made crater in a mountain near New Creek, West Virginia. The one time military installation, built originally as a secret location from which missiles could be launched in the event of an attack by Russia during the cold war, served Fetchenko and his people well. Arthur often found it humorous that a post for defending the country from the Russians was now occupied by a Russian. It was secure, more secure than the standard installation because it had been built into a mountain and had only two entrances, one by helicopter and the other by ground via a well concealed and heavily guarded tunnel through nearly a quarter-mile of rock and earth. At the bottom of the chopper’s descent lay the courtyard of Fetchenko’s estate. Tony Copeletti was on the job scanning every inch of the surrounding cliffs and the ground below for danger until the bird was safely landed.
Fetchenko opened his eyes as they touched down. He looked outside. Drizzle, he thought, the French Poodle of weather, more annoying than useful. Just rain and get it over with.
“Ready, Boss?” Copeletti asked, an overgrown smile on his face.
“You’re lovin’ this, aren’t ya?” Fetchenko commented. Tony somehow seemed to derive pleasure from seeing Arthur drenched. Fetchenko watched him as he came around the helicopter and pulled the door open.
Tony popped an umbrella open and held it over Arthur’s head. “Wouldn’t want you to melt,” he said. Then he turned to the pilot. “I want you in the security office,” he said. He didn’t believe in putting off his duties. The pilot and his less than adequate skills would be history - in short order.
“I need to inspect the bird,” the pilot said.
“As soon as you’re done - in the security office,” Copeletti said. He and Fetchenko began a dash for the ground level door to the courtyard, a door that led directly to security.
Inside, Arthur and Tony came face to face with Liz Harmon, a beautiful red-haired woman wearing tight fitting blue jeans, bare feet, a white spaghetti strap top, and a white baseball cap with a pony tail sticking through the its Velcro adjustment strap. She kissed Tony Copeletti’s cheek simply because it seemed to embarrass him and she did so enjoy embarrassing him, then she threw her arms around Arthur’s neck. “Welcome home, Boys,” she said. “Come on. Dinner’s ready.”
“You two go ahead,” Copeletti said. “I have something to take care of.”
She and Arthur took an elevator to the second floor where offices and living quarters were located. Tony’s guys were quartered on the ground floor, along with the security station, a parking garage, and the tunnel to the New Creek side of the mountain. The tunnel’s outside access was through a garage-like room off the back of a little café called Ralph’s Place, a building which used the mountain as its rear wall. Anyone who wished to leave the estate did so through Ralph’s. But for Liz, Ralph’s was a godsend. She often walked the tunnel and lunched or just had coffee there. She had been a local and had friends and some scattered family throughout the hills, and Ralph’s was someplace where she could make a call and meet up with one of them. It saved her from being homesick. When she and Arthur became involved, Tony Copeletti nearly had a fit. She was a danger. Anyone who was close to Fetchenko was a danger. History had proven that. He had lost a wife to his enemies, and a child. So… since she chose a relationship with Arthur, Tony made the outside world an off limits condition of that choice. Liz Harmon had Arthur Fetchenko, the compound staff, the courtyard, and Ralph’s place. That was her world. “What’s Tony got to do that’s so urgent,” she asked as the elevator came to a stop. “Kill somebody? I’m only asking because he looks too happy.” She knew who Tony Copeletti was and what he was. She did not know all of the details, but she did know that Tony’s uncle was a mobster from Chicago, and that at an early age, somewhere in his teen years, Tony had run off from the little Minnesota mining town where he and Arthur and Henry Tyler all grew up together, and went to live with his uncle, the Chicago mobster. She also knew that Tony was tough, extremely loyal to those he loved, and could unconditionally justify killing.
“No,” Fetchenko said. “He just gets to fire somebody.”
Hours east of New Creek a meeting took place in the back room of a little pub called The Freedom Hill Speakeasy, its name since prohibition days. It was a quaint, worn down wooden floored establishment, that served as the favorite meeting place of a small but influential group of senators, congressmen, and other political celebrities who called themselves ‘The Veterans of Power’, not because they were ex-military although some of them were, but the name was more a testimony to their long years of government service. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss how best to stop Fetchenko. He had overstepped this time.
Fetchenko was needed when this all began, him and his group a valuable tool to the Party, finding and shaping the right candidate for any office, then mentoring and grooming so that they would not only get the vote, they would serve the Party precisely how the Party wished. They all knew they were handing a converted enemy power beyond reason, but they felt the necessary controls were in place and the proper eyes were on him.
But someone had stopped watching, and while they were not watching, Fetchenko moved up and out of the reach of the Party. And now, rumor had it, he was all but in with the Republicans. Soon the whole of Washington, and many of the states, would owe their successes to Fetchenko. Frosting? America had become tired of the Democrats in the Oval Office. It happened - like clockwork. Two or three terms by one party and it was the opposition’s turn. No mystery! But the right candidate had to be in place, and Arthur Fetchenko had the right candidate. And that candidate was for sale. The price? The same ‘in’ with the Republicans as he enjoyed with the Democrats. Yes! Arthur Fetchenko had to go. And this group of old-timers would see to it that he did.
“We should have gone further,” Daniel Davidson, Senator from Ohio said. His comment came at the end of the conversation about Warren Tyler, Henry Tyler’s father, and how he had hanged himself.
“And what should we have done?” Pat Ferelli, Minnesota Senator and Fetchenko’s chief enemy asked.
“What we did to his old man.” The reality was Warren Tyler hadn’t hanged himself. These men had hanged him, or at least sanctioned it.
“We didn’t do anything to his old man,” Ferelli said, and looked around the room to see if they were being listened in on. “Besides, it’s not Henry Tyler we have to deal with. It’s Arthur Fetchenko. Henry’s not a danger. He’s one of us, or I hear he soon will be. Old man Tyler had it coming. Henry was just a kid. He didn’t do anything.”
For Warren, it had been his punishment for the aiding of convicted - not guilty, just convicted - murderer, Arthur Fetchenko. Tyler had helped Arthur gain his freedom from reform school and had provided him with information which kept him from facing further charges in the case of the young girl’s rape and murder in his teen years. That same information came in handy for use against the Party later. In effect, Warren Tyler had sponsored blackmail and that’s why he had to go. “Henry’s bidding for the seat his uncle, Alvin Beckworth, once held. Hell... that should please you, Davidson.”
“And why is that?”
“The last four who held that office, Beckworth being the first of them, died while holding it. Henry Tyler will probably follow that same tradition,” Ferelli said and grinned.
“I still don’t see why we can’t get rid of Henry Tyler,” Michael (Mac) McArthur, congressman from Tennessee, threw in.
“We got us a naïve one,” Ferelli laughed. “You don’t kill a man like Henry Tyler - too many friends - too high profile - all but in office already. Messing with him will bring all of Washington down on us. Now Arthur Fetchenko, he’s another story. That’s where we need place our efforts. We take care of that problem and our troubles are over.”
“We all agree on that, but what makes you think we can get rid of Arthur Fetchenko and not Henry Tyler?” Victor Parker, D.F.L minority leader asked.
“Fetchenko’s had so many looking to snuff him out, nobody’s going to know who got to him, and nobody’s going to care,” McArthur said. “You might think he’s got friends, but make no mistake. A man helps others into office, and then demands favors. That man didn’t make a friend. He’s made another enemy. That’s the way that works.”
“KILL THEM BOTH!” insisted the boisterous Colonel Randal (Fergie) Ferguson, retired Army and avid party loyalist who headed up security for this little group.
“Christ, Fergie. Keep your voice down,” Parker demanded.
“You can’t just kill everyone, Colonel.
eren’t you paying attention?” Mac McArthur asked.
“I can kill anyone I wish,” Ferguson said.
“All right! That’s enough. Let’s all just calm down, do some serious thinking, and at my dinner party we’ll choose the how and when,” Ferelli said. “Keep in mind though, the ‘when’ needs to be prior to his man taking the Whitehouse.”
Tony Copeletti entered Arthur Fetchenko’s quarters without knocking. His somber look told Arthur something was wrong.
“You okay?” Liz asked him.
He stood still and silent.
“Tony?” Fetchenko said. “What is it?”
“Two things, Boss.”
“Well… let me have them.”
“Sources tell me Ferelli, McArthur, Davidson, Parker, and that crazy Colonel, what’s his name?”
“Yeah, Ferguson. They’re meeting tonight. Gonna come at us again.”
“Well… that’s nothing new. Henry will be here in a couple days. He can deal with them. Now, what else?”
Tony Copeletti bowed his head.
“What is it, Tony?” Fetchenko asked. He put a hand on Tony’s shoulder. “It’s your sister… Laura… she’d dead, Arthur. I’m so sorry.”