The Seventh Enemy (Brady Coyne Series #13)

The Seventh Enemy (Brady Coyne Series #13)

by William G. Tapply

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When a gun control dispute leads to murder, the Boston lawyer finds himself in the crosshairs in this mystery “that resists simplifying the issues” (Publishers Weekly).
 Over drinks one night at his Boston waterfront apartment, goodhearted lawyer Brady Coyne finds himself disagreeing with an old friend about a divisive subject: gun control. Wally Kinnick is no gun nut. But, an environmental activist and hunting expert, he believes so strongly in the right to bear arms that he has come to Boston to testify against an assault weapons ban. When he changes his position at the last minute, he finds himself with a bullet in the gut.
Wally is public enemy number one on a recently released list of opponents to the second amendment; Brady is number seven. To keep himself from becoming another trophy on the wall, Brady must find the men who targeted his friend—before the right to bear arms deprives him of his right to live. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781480427310
Publisher: Road
Publication date: 08/06/2013
Series: Brady Coyne Series , #13
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 234
Sales rank: 140,162
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

William G. Tapply (1940–2009) was an American author best known for writing legal thrillers. A lifelong New Englander, he graduated from Amherst and Harvard before going on to teach social studies at Lexington High School. He published his first novel, Death at Charity’s Point, in 1984. A story of death and betrayal among Boston Brahmins, it introduced crusading lawyer Brady Coyne, a fishing enthusiast whom Tapply would follow through twenty-five more novels, including Follow the Sharks, The Vulgar Boatman, and the posthumously published Outwitting Trolls
Besides writing regular columns for Field and Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and American Angler, Tapply wrote numerous books on fishing, hunting, and life in the outdoors. He was also the author of The Elements of Mystery Fiction, a writer’s guide. He died in 2009, at his home in Hancock, New Hampshire.  
William G. Tapply (1940–2009) was an American author best known for writing legal thrillers. A lifelong New Englander, he graduated from Amherst and Harvard before going on to teach social studies at Lexington High School. He published his first novel, Death at Charity’s Point, in 1984. A story of death and betrayal among Boston Brahmins, it introduced crusading lawyer Brady Coyne, a fishing enthusiast whom Tapply would follow through twenty-five more novels, including Follow the Sharks, The Vulgar Boatman, and the posthumously published Outwitting Trolls.

Besides writing regular columns for Field and Stream, Gray’s Sporting Journal, and American Angler, Tapply wrote numerous books on fishing, hunting, and life in the outdoors. He was also the author of The Elements of Mystery Fiction, a writer’s guide. He died in 2009, at his home in Hancock, New Hampshire.  

Read an Excerpt

The Seventh Enemy

A Brady Coyne Mystery

By William G. Tapply

Copyright © 1995 William G. Tapply
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4804-2731-0


I was sitting out on the steel balcony that clings to the side of my apartment building and savoring the evening air, which was warm for early May. It was an excellent evening for balcony sitting, and I had left thoughts of newspaper reading and television watching inside. A skyful of stars overhead and a harborful of ship lights six stories below me mirrored each other. At Logan across the Inner Harbor a steady stream of airplane lights landed and took off, and I could see the streetlights from East Boston and, way off to my left, headlights moving across the Mystic River Bridge. Harbor smells wafted up, seaweed and dead fish and salt air and gasoline fumes diluted and mingled by the easterly breeze—not at all unpleasant.

I had tilted my aluminum lawn chair back on its hind legs. My heels rested on the railing of the balcony and a glass of Jack Daniel's rested on my belly, and when the phone began to ring I contemplated letting the machine get it.

I knew it wasn't Terri. It had been six months. Since Terri, I often found myself watching the harbor lights with a glass of Daniel's.

But it could have been one of my boys. They often call on Sunday evenings, Billy from U Mass needing money or Joey from his mother's home in Wellesley just wanting to chat with his dad.

So I unfolded myself and padded stocking-footed into the kitchen.

"Brady Coyne," I said into the phone.

"Hey guy."

"Wally," I said, "What hostile wilderness outpost are you calling me from this time?"

"About as hostile as you can get. Logan Airport."

"Just passing through?"

"Actually I could use a lift," he said. "I've been waiting here for an hour. The guy who was supposed to meet me didn't show up."

"Need a place to crash for the night?"

"If you don't mind, it looks like I do."

"Hey," I said, "that's what lawyers are for. Cab service. Emergency accommodations. Sharing their booze. What terminal are you at?"

"Northwest. I'll wait at the curb."

"I can practically see you from here," I said. "I'll be there in fifteen minutes."

There's always somebody from our childhood who becomes famous, about whom we say, "I knew him—or her—when we were kids. You'd never have predicted it." It's the skinny girl in seventh-grade geography class who always kept her lips clamped tight over her mouthful of braces, and who ten years later smiles dazzlingly from the cover of Cosmopolitan. Or the stumbling overweight grammar school boy who goes on to play linebacker for Notre Dame, or the computer nerd who gets elected to Congress.

Most of us knew a kid who became an author or athlete or politician or actor or criminal, and we feel a kind of pride of ownership, as if we were the first to recognize his talent.

Wally Kinnick was that kid from my youth.

Nobody would ever have predicted fame for Wally. He was a quiet, unambitious teenager, a modest student with a very short list of activities on his college applications. He preferred hunting and fishing to playing sports or running for Student Council. Hell, he wanted to become a forest ranger. A more anonymous career I couldn't imagine.

After high school, I lost track of Wally for a while. When he popped up again he was famous. Outdoorsmen knew him as an expert. To environmentalists he was an ally.

Politicians considered him a nuisance.

It started with an innocuous local Saturday morning cable television program out of Minneapolis. At first it was called simply "Outdoors," a derivative good-old-boy hunting and fishing show featuring Wally and his guest celebrity of the week. But as Wally refined his television personality and style, he became "Walt" and his show became "Walt Kinnick's Outdoors." ESPN picked it up and sent him on hunting and fishing excursions to remote corners of the globe. He used the show as a forum for taking dead aim at the enemies of wildlife and their habitat.

Nobody could figure out whether Walt Kinnick was a liberal or conservative. Democrat or Republican. He defied labels. He sought the truth. He cut through the bullshit. He stepped on toes. Indiscriminately.

Walt Kinnick's name and face and voice became as well known—though certainly not as beloved—as that of Julia Child.

By the early 1990s, Walt Kinnick had become the Ralph Nader of the environment. He submitted to questioning by Larry King, traded jokes with Letterman, testified before blue-ribbon commissions, wrote magazine articles. He even endorsed an insect repellent on television commercials.

He made enemies. He got sued. I was his Boston lawyer. He had other lawyers in other cities.

He had a cabin in the Berkshires in western Massachusetts near the Vermont border, a retreat where he went to fish and hunt and escape the rigors of public life. He'd invited me out several times, but our schedules never seemed to mesh.

Like most of my clients, Wally was also a friend. Otherwise I wouldn't have been so willing to go pick him up at the airport at eleven o'clock on a Sunday evening in May.

When I got to the Northwest terminal. I spotted him instantly in the crowd that was clustered by the curb. He was wearing a sportcoat and necktie, his idea of a disguise. On television he always wore a flannel shirt and jeans with a sheath knife at his hip. But Willy Kinnick stood about six-three and sported a bushy black beard, and he would have been hard to miss regardless of what he was wearing.

I parked in the no-stopping zone, got out of my car, and walked up to him. I grabbed his shoulder.

He whirled around. "Oh, Brady," he said. "Thank God. Let's get the hell out of here. I hate airports."

He was bending for the overnight bag that sat beside him on the pavement when a man appeared behind him. He touched Walt's shoulder and said, "Walt Kinnick? Is that you?"

Wally turned. "McNiff?"

"God," said the man, "I'm sorry I'm late. My kid had the car this afternoon and left the tank empty and I had to drive all over Clinton to find a gas station that was open on a Sunday night and there was a detour on Route 2…" He flapped his hands in a gesture of helplessness.

"Sure," shrugged Willy. "It's okay. Oh, I'm sorry," he said quickly. "Brady Coyne, Gene McNiff.

I shook hands with McNiff. He was a beefy guy with thinning red hair and small close-set eyes.

"Gene's the president of SAFE," said Wally.


"Second Amendment For Ever," said McNiff. "We're sort of the New England arm of the NRA. Walt's here to testify for us."

"We need the Second Amendment to keep us safe," said Wally. "SAFE, get it?"

I smiled. "Cute."

"Brady's my lawyer," said Wally.

McNiff arched his eyebrows. "Lawyer, huh?" He nodded. "Well, it's always good to have a lawyer, I guess. You'll be there tomorrow, then, Brady?

"Oh, sure," I said, wondering what the hell he was talking about. "Absolutely. Wouldn't miss it."

"Good, good," he said. He turned to Wally. "Look, I'm really sorry I was so late. You must be pooped. So shall we…?"

Wally glanced at me, then turned to McNiff. "I figured we'd gotten our signals crossed, Gene. So I called Brady. He invited me for the night. You don't mind, do you?"

McNiff frowned. He clearly minded. But all he said was, "Sure. No problem. Really sorry I kept you waiting. I should've at least tried to call or something."

"That's okay," said Wally. "Brady and I have some work to do anyway, so it worked out fine. Just too bad you had to come all the way in here."

McNiff shook his head. "My own damned fault."

Wally reached for his hand and shook it. "See you in the morning, then, Gene."

McNiff forced a smile. "Right. See you there. Um, I'll meet you in the rotunda a little before ten. Okay?"

Wally nodded. "Sure. I'll be there."

McNiff turned and trudged away. Wally and I got into my car. He said, "Boy, that's a relief."


"I was supposed to spend the night with him. Dreaded the thought of it. All the local SAFE guys'll be waiting there in his living room, all primed to tell me about the big buck they nailed last year and how much they hate liberals. They'll want to stay up all night drinking Budweiser and shooting the shit with the big television personality. So now McNiff comes home without me, he's a bum. I'm sorry for him, but I'm thrilled for me. I know it's part of the job, but I really hate that shit."

"You told him you and I had some work to do."

"Nah. Not really A little peace and quiet's all I want."

"You mind telling me what you're doing in Boston?"

"There's a bill up before a subcommittee of the state Senate. SAFE flew me in to testify."

"What kind of bill?"

"Assault weapon control. The hearing's tomorrow morning. I'll go and do my thing, then head out to Kenwick for a glorious week at the cabin, reading old Travis McGee novels, sipping Rebel Yell, chopping wood, and casting dry flies on the Deerfield."

"You're testifying against this bill, I assume."

"Hell, said Wally, "SAFE doesn't pay expenses for someone to testify in favor of gun control, you know."

"How can you testify against controlling assault weapons?"

I heard him chuckle from the seat beside me. "It's complicated."

"This is something you want to do?"

"Telling people what I believe in?" he said. "Yeah, I kinda like it, to tell you the truth. The upside of being a public figure is you can say what you think and people actually listen to you. Sometimes you get to believe you can make a difference. The downside is they take you so damn seriously that you have to be very careful about what you say"

"You don't want my advice on this, I gather."

"I never ignore your advice, Brady."


Wally and I had always done our business in my office or over a slab of prime rib at Durgin Park. He'd never been to my apartment. When we walked in, he looked around, smiled, and said, "Pretty nice."

I tried to see my place the way he did. To me it was comfortable. I have an understanding with my apartment. I give it plenty of freedom to express itself, and it doesn't impose too many obligations on me. The furniture can sit wherever it likes. I can leave magazines and neckties on it, and it doesn't complain. Fly rods hide in closets and newspapers find sanctuary under the sofa. I let my shoes go where they want. It's their home, too.

I expect, to Wally, it looked messy.

He dropped his overnight bag onto the floor and went over to the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. He slid them open and stepped out onto my little balcony. He gazed at the harbor. "This ain't bad," he said.

"Slug of bourbon?" I said.

"Ice. No water."

I broke open an ice-cube tray dumped some cubes into two short glasses, and filled them from my jug of Jack Daniel's. I went to where Wally was standing and handed one of the glasses to him.

We stood side by side and stared out into the night. After a few minutes he turned to me and said, "You once told me that you'd wanted to be a civil liberties lawyer."

"I was young and idealistic. And naive."

"No money in it?"

"It wasn't that." I said. "I mainly wanted to be my own boss. So I took the cases that came my way. Not a damn one of them involved the Bill of Rights."

He nodded. We watched the lights of a big LNC tanker inch across the dark horizon. After a few moments, Wally said, "So what's your take on the Second Amendment?"

"What do you mean?"

"The right to bear arms. Is it absolute?"

"Well, the Supreme Court has said many times that no right is absolute. The individual's rights are limited by the rights of society You know, you can't yell 'Fire!' in a crowded theater, even though the First Amendment says you've got the right to free speech. I'm not up-to-date on Second Amendment cases, but I do know that there are federal and state laws regulating handgun sales that have withstood court challenges."

"But the Second Amendment seems to be based on the rights of society, not the individual," he said. "It's not so much that I have the right to bear an arm as that we all have the right to protect ourselves and each other."

"'A well-regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,'" I quoted, pleased with myself. "Yes. Except the idea of a militia is pretty antiquated."

"Damn complicated," Wally mumbled.

"The nature of the law," I said. "It's why we have lawyers."

I casually flipped my cigarette butt over the railing and watched it spark its way down to the water below. When I glanced at Wally, he was grinning at me. Wally preaches the importance of keeping our environment pristine. We should pick up trash, not dump it. I agree with him. And I had just thrown a cigarette into the ocean.

"Look," I said, "it's the filthiest, most polluted harbor in the world."

Wally shrugged. "I wonder how it got that way."

"Yeah," I mumbled. "Valid point." We stared into the night for a while. Then I said, "I thought those things were already regulated."

"What things?"

"Assault guns."

"You're thinking of automatic weapons. You know, the kind where you hold down the trigger and they keep filing. This bill is about semiautomatics. They shoot a bullet each time you pull the trigger,"

"That's what they mean by paramilitary, then?"

He nodded. "They're modeled after military weapons. Your Uzi, your AK-47. Assault guns've got large magazines, but they're not fully automatic."

"A lot of sporting guns are semiautomatic, aren't they?"

"Sure," said Wally. "Shotguns, hunting rifles.

"So what's the difference?"

"Functionally, the only difference is the size of the magazine. Except, of course, your assault gun looks—well, it looks—like a military weapon. And they're pretty easy to modify into fully automatic." Wally turned and smiled at me. "You're not that bad at cross-examination, Brady, you know that?"

"I was just interested," I said. "Sorry."

"No, don't be. Talking about it helps me clarify it."

"So this is a consultation."

He turned to me and smiled. "You gonna put me on the clock?"

"I guess I should. Julie would be pleased. Want another drink?"

He shook his head. "Mind if I use your phone?"

"You don't have to ask." I flapped my hand at the wall phone in the kitchen. "Help yourself."

He went into the kitchen, took the phone off the hook, and sat at the table. He pecked out a number from memory, I turned my back to him, sipped my drink, and watched the clouds slide across the sky. I wasn't trying to listen, but I couldn't help hearing.

"Hey; it's me," said Willy into the phone. "Here, in Boston… With my lawyer… Just one night, then to the cabin. Gonna be able to make it? …Yeah, good. Terrific. I'll meet you at your place tomorrow, then…" His voice softened. "Yeah, me, too. Um, how's? …Oh, shit. Well, look. Keep all the doors locked and don't be afraid to call the cops… I know, but you should still do it… Christ, babe, don't do that. I'll see you tomorrow, okay? It'll wait" he chuckled softly. "Right. You, too. Bye."

I heard him hang up. He came into the living room and slumped onto the sofa. I went over and took the chair across from him. We both put our feet up on the newspapers that were piled on the coffee table.

"That's a friend of mine," he said. "She's having problems with her husband."

"You fooling around with married ladies?"

"She's in the middle of a messy divorce. The guy's not handling it with much class."

"You didn't answer my question."

"I'm not fooling around with her," he said. "I'm serious about her."

"Sounds like a good situation to stay out of."

"My lawyer's advice?"

"Your friend's advice."

He shrugged. "You can't always pick 'em. You'd like Diana. She and I are gonna spend the week at the cabin. Hey why don't you join us?"

"Sure," I said. "Just what you want. A threesome."

"No, really," he said. "We've got a spare bedroom. Diana would love it. So would I."

I shook my head. "I can't spare a week."

"A few days, at least. How about it? The Deerfield should be prime."

"Boy," I said, "I haven't had any trout fishing to speak of all spring. I could maybe take Thursday and Friday."

"Done!" said Wally.

"I gotta check with Julie."

"Assert yourself."

"It's not easy with Julie. But I'll try."

We sipped our drinks, chatted aimlessly, then began to yawn. I pulled out the sofa for Wally; found a blanket and pillow for him, and got ready for bed. When I went back to the living room, he was sitting at the kitchen table reading through a stack of papers and making notes on a legal-sized yellow pad. A pair of rimless reading glasses roosted on the tip of his nose.


Excerpted from The Seventh Enemy by William G. Tapply. Copyright © 1995 William G. Tapply. Excerpted by permission of
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