Season of the Machete

Season of the Machete

by James Patterson

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Two killers are chasing an American man who's about to face cold-blooded terror on a picture-perfect vacation . . . and discover a truth that could destroy them all.
Cool and glamorous, they appear to be a successful couple on a holiday . . . but Damian and Carrie Rose are psychopathic murderers for hire. On this picture-perfect vacation island, their target is Peter Macdonald, a dashing young American who forsakes a life of leisure to confront cold-blooded terror. But when they clash in a shocking endgame, a hideous truth will emerge -- one that might destroy them all.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780759567573
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication date: 06/01/2006
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 147,075
File size: 560 KB

About the Author

James Patterson has had more New York Times bestsellers than any other writer, ever, according to Guinness World Records. Since his first novel won the Edgar Award in 1977 James Patterson's books have sold more than 375 million copies. He is the author of the Alex Cross novels, the most popular detective series of the past twenty-five years, including Kiss the Girls and Along Came a Spider. He writes full-time and lives in Florida with his family.


Palm Beach, Florida

Date of Birth:

March 22, 1947

Place of Birth:

Newburgh, New York


B.A., Manhattan College, 1969; M.A., Vanderbilt University, 1971

Read an Excerpt

Season of the Machete

Chapter One

Damian theorized that within fifty years man would move onto and into the sea. San Dominica was only a very small beginning. An exploratory expedition. Kid stuff. The people who engineered it didn't understand their own inner motivation ... three-fifths of the world is water. and that was about to be fought over on a staggering scale.... The Rose Diary

February 24, 1979; Lathrop Wells, Nevada

As the stupid, piggy Chevrolet Impala floated through buzzard-infested desert, Isadore "the Mensch" Goldman was thinking that he was slightly surprised there really was a state of Nevada.

Every so often, though, the Chevrolet passed a tin road sign with PROPERTY OF THE STATE OF NEVADA stamped into it by some convict at Washoe County Jail.

Once, Goldman even saw some Nevadans: a woman and small children with frayed ankle boots, turquoise jewelry, faces the color of pretzel sticks.

Somewhere out here they tested H-bombs, the old man was thinking. At Mercury, Nevada.

Then the seventy-four-year-old's mind went walking.

He remembered something itchy about the still-not-to-be-believed Bay of Pigs invasion. Then a very brief, fuzzy association he'd had with Rafael Trujillo that same year: 1961.

Goldman's history. All leading up to February 24, 1979. The biggest day of the old man's life.


A man named Vincent "Zion" Tuch was patting Isadore's gray-striped banker's trousers at one baggy knee. Death spots were all over Tuch's unsteady hand.

"Bizee Izzee, what are you thinkin'?" Tuch rasped. "You thinkin' this is a big-fashion setup, Izzie? That's what I'm thinkin'."

"Aahh ... I'm getting too damn old to think all the time." The consigliere casually dismissed the powerful old capo. It was a typically stupid, if well meant, Mustache Pete question.

Old Tuch told him to go make shit in his own pants-which was also typical.

Also typical was the fact that the caporegime smelled of cheap hair tonic spilled over twenty year-old dandruff.

Goldman had flatly predicted that the final meeting at Lathrop Wells would be ridiculous beyond human belief. Even he was surprised. It had the consistency of Silly Putty. It looked like the opening scene of an Alfred Hitchcock movie.

To begin with, both sides arrived at the farm in the most absurd "anonymous-looking" automobiles.

Goldman watched and counted bodies through the green-tinted windows of his own Impala.

There were nine chauffeurs driving such cars as Mustangs, Wildcats, Hornets, Cougars-even a Volkswagen Beetle.

There were seven bodyguards, out-and-out Buster Crabbe types.

Eleven actual participants besides himself and the shriveling zombie Tuch.

Somebody had remarked at the last meeting that they didn't want to have another Appalachia at Lathrop Wells: twenty Cadillac Fleetwoods suddenly arriving at some deserted farmhouse. Drawing attention from locals or the state police.

So there were none of the usual big black cars at the meeting in the Nevada desert.

All of the twenty-seven men wore dark business suits, with the exception of one Gucci-Pucci fag and Frankie "the Cat" Rao of Brooklyn, New York. Rao wore a black-and-white-checked sports jacket, a sleazy open-necked electric blue shirt, white Bing Crosby shoes.

"Dirty azzbole," old Tuch said. "Azzhole with all of his pinky rings."

"All very predictable," Isadore Goldman muttered. The old man lit up his first cigarette in more than eight months. Then he headed inside, through hot, heavy air that smelled like horses.

Inside the farmhouse it was air-conditioned, thank God.

A Fedders was blowing dust and what looked like cereal flakes all around the rustic, low-ceilinged rooms.

Goldman noticed the other side's head man whisper something to a younger man-his aide-decamp. The younger man looked a little like the Hollywood actor Montgomery Clift.

His name was Brooks Campbell, and he would be going to the Caribbean for them.

The older man, their side's main spokesman, was Harold Hill. Harry the Hack to the trade.

Harold Hill had spent nearly ten years in Southeast Asia, and he had a certain inscrutable look about him. Something intangible. Isadore Goldman suspected that Hill was a pretty good killer for such an obvious loser type.

Within ten minutes the thirteen important negotiators had settled down comfortably around a wide beam table in the living room. Characteristically, they had taken opposite sides at the big wooden table.

Dark, slightly European-looking men on one side.

All-American football-player types on the other.

"By way of a brief introduction"-Goldman began the meeting after allowing just a snitch of small talk-"it was agreed at the last meeting-January seventeenth-that if Damian and Carrie Rose were available, they would be satisfactory contract operators for everybody concerned...."

Goldman peeked over his silver-rimmed eyeglasses. So far, no objections.

"Consequently," he continued, "the Roses were contacted at a hotel in Paris. The St. Louis, it's called. An old gun sellers' hangout through several wars now.

"The Roses were given one month to prepare an outline for a plan that would achieve results agreeable to both sides at this table. They declined making an appearance at this meeting, however."

The consigliere looked up again. He then began to read from twenty-odd pages sent to him by the Roses. The pages outlined two rough plans for the proposed operations. One plan was titled "Systematic Government Assassinations," the other was simply called "Machete."

Also included in the brief was a list of pros and cons for each plan.

In fact, what seemed to impress both sides gathered around the table-what had impressed Goldman himself-was the seriousness with which both theoretical plans had been approached and researched.

They were referred to specifically as "rough," "experimental," but the outline for each seemed obsessively airtight. Typically Damian Rose.

"The final bid they put in for this work," Isadore Goldman reported, "is one point two million. I myself think it's a fair estimate. I think it's low, in fact.... I also think this man Damian Rose is a genius. Perhaps the woman is, too. Gentlemen?"

Predictably, Frankie Rao had the first word on the plans.

"Is that fuckin' francs or dollars, Izzie?" he shouted down the wooden plank table. "It's fuckin' dollars those loonie tunes are talking about, isn't it?"

Goldman noticed that their man, Harold Hill, seemed startled and upset by the New York mobster.

The young man who looked like Montgomery Clift broke into a toothpaste smile, however. Brooks Campbell. Good for you, Isadore Goldman thought. Smart boy. Break the goddamn tensions down a little.

For the first time since the meeting began, most of the men at the long wooden table laughed. Both sides laughed like hell. Even Frankie Rao began to howl.

As the laughter died down, Goldman nodded to a dark-haired man who sat very quietly at the far end of the table. Goldman then nodded at their side's chief man, Harold Hill.

"Does the figure include all expenses?" was Hill's only question. The young man at his side, Campbell, nodded as if this were his question, too.

"It includes every expense," Isadore Goldman said. "The Roses expect this to take approximately one year to carry out. They'll have to use twenty to thirty other professionals along the way. A Who's Who of the most elite mercenaries."

"Dirt cheap." The quiet, dark-haired man suddenly spoke in a deep, Senate floor voice. The man was Charles Forlenza, forty-three-year-old don of the Forlenza Family. The boss of bosses.

"You've gotten us a good price and good people, Isadore. As I expected.... I can't speak for Mr. Hill, but I'm pleased with this work myself."

"The price is appropriate for this kind of guerrilla operation." Harold Hill addressed the don. "The Roses' reputation for this sort of complex, delicate work is excellent. I'm happy. Good."

At this point on February 24, 1979, the United States, through a proprietary company called Great Western Air Transport, entered into one of the more interesting alliances in its two-hundred-year history: a large-scale working agreement with the Charles Forlenza Family of the West Coast. The Cosa Nostra.

For both sides it meant that they could immediately farm out some very necessary dirty work.

Neither the United States nor the Forlenzas wanted to soil their hands with what had to be done in the Caribbean during 1979.

That was why they had so very carefully sought out Damian and Carrie Rose. Les Dements, as the couple was once called in Southeast Asia. The Maniacs.

Two hours after the meeting in southwestern Nevada-on the way back to Las Vegas-a silver gray Buick Wildcat stopped along a long stretch of flat, open highway. The youthful chauffeur of the car got out. He went to the back door of the sedan and opened it. Then Melo Russo politely asked his boss to get out of the car.

"Who the fuck do you think you're talking to?" Frankie Rao said to his driver, a skinny young shark in reflector sunglasses.

"All right, so fuck you, then," Melo said.

He fired three times into the backseat of the Buick. Blood spattered all over the rear windows and slowly misted down onto the light silver seat covers. Then Russo dragged Frankie the Cat's body outside and put it in the trunk of the car.

It had been quietly decided at the farmhouse meeting that Frankie Rao was an unacceptable risk for Harold Hill and the nice young man who looked like Montgomery Clift.

"Typical," Isadore Goldman muttered somewhere out on the Nevada desert.


Excerpted from Season of the Machete by James Patterson Copyright © 1995 by James Patterson. Excerpted by permission.
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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Season of the Machete 3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 43 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love James Patterson so I took other peoples reviews with a grain of salt, but this really is a bad book. It's hard to follow and just boring. But I still love James Patterson and will continue reading his works.
EReaderGA More than 1 year ago
I didn't care for this book at all. Although I am a reader of the crime drama/mystery genre, this book was not very interesting. I thought that it took too much time to get to the point and then it didn't seem to have a point.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the book once I got into it, but the beginning was slow and confusing. At the end I was left with a lot of questions and a lot of disapointment.
rforte0531 More than 1 year ago
This book was ok. It wasn't Patterson's best, and not his worst. I am on a mission to read all of his books (in order of print) and you can definately see how he has grown as an author.
Grandpa More than 1 year ago
James once again, gives us a lightning fast, action packed story with twists and turns to make Sherlock Homes grin. I had to read just one more chapter, until I finished the book in one afternoon. Get this one, you'll love it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I found this book to be fascinating. It is definitely not Alex Cross genre, but it is intriguing in its own right. It was so graphic that it gave me nightmares and certainly diminished my desire to visit a tropical island!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Usually I am a big fan of James Patterson but I did not enjoy this book at all. In fact, it is hard to believe that this book was written by the same person that wrote Along Came a Spider. If you are already a fan of James Patterson, don't read this book. It will leave you unsatisfied and vaguely annoyed.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I really did not care for this one at all. Right from the very start , it did nothing to fascinate me and pull me in. In fact I may not finish the novel , something I hate to do. The plot seemed disjointed and choppy. There were none of the intriquing chapters that one finds in the other Patterson novels. It is sad to find that one doesn't care about the main characters in the book. If you are a fan of the Alex Cross novels , this one will seem like it is written by another author.
kissmeimgone on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
It seems like with every James Patterson murder mystery I pick up, I just can't seem to put it down and this book is no exception either. However, unlike most James Patterson murder mysteries, right off the bat, you pretty much know who does the killing. Despite that, there's still a huge sense of thrill to this novel I guess you could call it? It's all about the chase and the hunt down of the world's most wanted killers. I recommend this book to everyone who enjoys a good mystery book that will leave you wanting more up to the very last page.
debavp on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Again, decent enough. Nothing to exciting but not totally predicatable either.
theportal2002 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book keeps you on your seat the whole time. It it a quick read with a little bit of everything from a longer novel. A must read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Never disappoints
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Don't get this book even if is offered for free! There is no mystery here, just shallow characters on a killing spree. I gave it one star because the review requires at least one to be posted.
Sean_From_OHIO More than 1 year ago
I wonder what the purpose of this book was? I couldn't be to entertain. It surely wasn't to shock or titillate. James Patterson, whom some love and some hate, makes me wonder how he ever got famous after writing something this pointless in his early career. It was oddly unfocused and, when decipherable, transparent. Overall, it was deplorable.
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