Frank Corso is a pariah—a journalist once vilified for making up "facts" on a major crime story. Yet slow, sheltered Leanne Samples trusts no one but Corso to tell the world that her courtroom testimony that put Walter Leroy "Trashman" Himes on Death Row was a lie. Convicted of the savage slaying of eight Seattle women, Himes is only six days from execution, unless Frank Corso and outcast photographer Meg Dougherty into a struggle that goes far beyond right, wrong, truth, and justice. Because the lowly and the powerful alike all want Himes dead at any cost—despite startling new evidence that threatens to devastate a city once again.
|File size:||550 KB|
About the Author
G.M. Ford is the author of six widely praised Frank Corso novels, Fury, Black River, A Blind Eye, Red Tide, No Man's Land, and Blown Away, as well as six highly acclaimed mysteries featuring Seattle private investigator Leo Waterman. A former creative writing teacher in western Washington, Ford lives in Oregon and is currently working on his next novel.
Read an Excerpt
10:07 A.M. Day 1 of 6
In the year when summer never came, the spring rains lasted through July and then into August and September, until finally, with the leaves still green on the trees, people bowed to the inevitable and abandoned their memories of the sun.
More out of habit than duty, Bill Post flicked his eyes toward the street just in time to see her dismount the number 30 bus and step awkwardly out into a gray, driving rain. He watched as she pulled the hood low on her head and sloshed her big brown shoes across the sidewalk toward the front doors. Once inside, she removed her green raincoat and shook it out over the black rubber runner. He couldn't remember ever seeing anyone go to that much trouble to keep water off the floor. Like somebody was going to make her clean it up or something.
In other years, he might have mentioned the rain, and they would have nurtured the bond that forms among those who suffer together. Not this year, though. This year, spring and summer had come and gone like wishes, washing any expectation of relief so far downstream that the state of the weather was no longer considered polite conversation.
From behind the security desk he asked, "Something I can help you with?"
She seemed startled by the sound of his voice. "I hope so," she said. "I need to see a Mr. Frank Corso. He's a writer ... a reporter here." She draped the dripping coat over her arm and approached the desk.
"Is Mr. Corso in?"
"Not that I ever seen," the guard said with a chuckle. "The guy I replaced said he used to see him once in a while, but I been here just undertwo years and he ain't never been in during my shift. Night crew says he comes in sometimes to see Mrs. Van Der Hoven, but I personally ain't never seen him myself." He leaned back in his chair.
When he tilted his head forward and looked at her through the upper half of his bifocals, he instantly realized he was supposed to know who she was. He sat up straight. Closed the travel brochures he'd been reading and stuffed them in the top drawer. Tried to let it come to him, but wasn't surprised when he couldn't put a name to the face. In recent months, he seldom could. Hell, if he didn't hang his car keys on the same hook in the kitchen every night, he couldn't find the damn things in the morning.
"Maybe somebody else could help you, Miss ... ?" He left it a question.
She looked like she was going to cry. "Mr. Corso has to see me." She said it like daytime TV "You tell him Leanne Samples is downstairs and needs to talk with him on a matter of life and death."
The name did it. It was her all right. The girl from the TV. He kicked himself for not recognizing her right away and wondered again if he shouldn't discuss his failing memory with his doctor. He picked up the phone. Who? Mr. Hawes? He was the honcho. The managing editor and all that jazz. Yeah. Last button on the right.
Natalie Van Der Hoven pulled her head back and looked down her nose at Bennett Hawes, her managing editor. She was in her midsixties, with a face from an ancient coin. Pointed and haughty like a hawk, with a "fear of God" gaze to match. Wrought-iron hair and shoulders wider than most men's. Machete murderers jumped to their feet and doffed their caps when she entered a room. She had that kind of style.
"You can't be serious," she said.
"That's all she'll say. She lied at the trial. That and how she won't cooperate with us unless Corso writes the story."
Always impeccable, in a Nordstrom three-piece suit, Hawes claimed to be five-nine, but in reality stood about five foot seven. He wore what remained of his sandy hair combed completely across his scalp and sprayed in place. Worked out five days a week at the gym up the street. Everything he did, he did quickly.
She raised an eyebrow. "Surely she can be persuaded."
He scratched the back of his neck. "I don't think so," he said.
"You explained that Mr. Corso no longer works directly for the paper?"
"The distinction between direct t and indirect to be lost on Miss Samples. As far as she's concerned, she reads his column in the paper twice a month, so he works here."
"Did you explain Mr. Corso's aversion to the limelight? That he hasn't been seen in public since he hit the bestseller list?"
Hawes nodded disgustedly. "She doesn't care. We either produce Corso today or she takes her story up the road." He turned his palms toward the ceiling. "Why she wants Corso is beyond me."
"Did you ask?"
Hawes made a sour face. "She said it was because he was"he used his fingers to make quotation marks in the air -- "nice to her back then." Jamming his hands in his pockets, he paced across the room.
"Do we have a number for Mr. Corso?"
I was hoping you had one," he said.
She shook her head. "When Mr. Corso wants to chat, he calls me."
"What about his agent?"
"Some woman in New York named Vance."
"She'll have a number."
"Not that she'll share with us," Mrs. V. said. "I've tried before."
I went down to accounting. We send his checks to a P.O. box in the U District." Hawes's normal pacing suddenly took on the air of a strut. She searched him with her eyes. "You think you know something, don't you?" she said.
He kept his face as bland as a cabbage. I might," he admitted.
"Come on now, Bennett," she prompted. "Out with it."
A smile escaped his thin lips. "While I was down in accounting, I went through his expense file. Gave me an idea how we might be able to find him quickly," he said.
"Oh?" she said. "At one time, people made careers of trying to find our Mr. Corso. What makes you think you can run him to ground?"
"They never had to pay his expenses."
"Such as Corso hired a local private eye a couple of times. I know because we paid the guy's bill. I think the guy probably knows where to find Corso."Fury. Copyright © by G.M. Ford. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
What People are Saying About This
Part Sam Spade, part Hunter S. Thompson, Frank Corso is irresistible.
Fury is a winnergreat bomb-ticking suspense, a wonderful sense of place, fine writing, and flesh-and-bones characters, especially Ford's new kick-ass hero Frank Corso. Must reading.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
At one time, the media respected former New York Times reporter Frank Corso until he wrote a fraudulent piece. Frank lost his job, the esteem of his peers, and his fiancée. He was fortunate that Natalie Van Der, owner of the Seattle Sun, took a chance on him by giving Frank a job. Even after mishandling another story, she kept him on as a columnist and his name drew readers and advertisers and more money. Frank became a recluse, writing a book and turning in his columns twice a week. His world changes again when his employer calls in her marker and sends Frank on an investigative job. A man awaits state execution for murder, but the star witness recants her testimony. To keep an innocent person from receiving lethal injection, Frank has four days to find the truth. G.M. Ford, famous for his Leo Waterman mysteries, takes a turn and starts a new series starring a fresh antihero. Leo makes a cameo appearance, which serves as a catalyst to move the story line forward. Fran is an enigma who is hard to understand, but readers will like that he takes responsibility for his actions even those that go wrong. The buck stops with him, which makes FURY a mesmerizing tale that is finished in one sitting. Harriet Klausner