Warren Murphy: Mafia Fix

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  • Название:
    Mafia Fix
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  • Жанр:
    Детективная фантастика / на английском языке
  • Язык:
    Английский
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Mafia Fix: краткое содержание, описание и аннотация

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When ten billion filthy drug dollars' worth of heroin pollutes the Jersey shore and threatens to make the Mafia a second Evil Empire, the president knows there's just one man who can stop a Jersey Kingpin from destroying the country and that's an ex-Jersey cop resurrected and nicknamed the Destroyer. Remo Williams is on a mission to mainline death and destruction into the Cosa Nostra before Main Street gets stuck. But how will Master Chiun's masterpiece of a human killing machine score? Will history's biggest drug score go bust? With Remo on the mission you know he'll sniff out the swine and cover his tracks but when he gets to the top will he find he's gone too high and realize that the Mafia fix is in?

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Then when the ruddy-faced gentleman told him to wear the lifejacket for safety and had insisted on buckling it himself, Remo had thanked him. And when the ruddy-faced gentleman guided the small motor launch to a small cove protected from the sweeping breezes of the Caribbean, told Remo that the life jacket was really weighted and the buckles were really reinforced locks and that one stamp of the ruddy-faced gentleman's foot on a gray plug near the stern of the boat would sink it, Remo showed fear.

He screwed his face to tension, opened wide his brown eyes and made tugging motions at the jacket with his strong hands. It did not budge. Good. Now the ruddy-faced gentleman felt secure. Remo could tell that by the smile.

"You bastard," said Remo. "Why have you done this to me?" The ruddy-faced gentleman in gray Bermuda shorts and a bright tropical shirt crossed his legs and reached into the metal ice container for a bottle of champagne.

Remo made a short move toward the gray plug but the ruddy-faced gentleman lifted a finger indicating Remo had made a naughty. "Uh, uh. Remember the plug. You can't swim with lead weights, can you?"

Remo shook his head and sat back to listen. The man uncorked the champagne, brought out a champagne glass and rested it on the metal container. Then he popped the cork and poured the glass full.

Remo, who was trying to teach himself psychology, assumed that this was the acting out of a fantasy, sort of action-reaffirmation-of-an-event, to reinforce its reality. He liked that analysis, although he wasn't quite sure he understood his own words. He wished he could find someone to try them out on and if they didn't understand them either, he just might have gotten the whole thing right.

"Excuse the libation, if you will," said the ruddy-faced man who had introduced himself as Harry Magrudder, "but you see, it's a little reward I am allowing myself at the culmination of a year and a half's work." The man who called himself Harry Magrudder downed a glass, poured himself another, placed the champagne bottle on the metal shelf, sipped from the glass. The clear tropical sun glistened off the edge of the glass and made the champagne appear as if riddled with sunbeams.

"I'd offer you one, Mister whatever your last name is. I believe it's Katner this week; one time it was Pelham, another time Green, another Willis and heaven knows what other names at other times. But I know you don't drink.

"And you don't smoke. You eat very little meat, but a lot of fish. You often stay with an elderly Korean gentleman. Occasionally you have sex, which causes you some problems because the women seem to insist on more. Recently, you have taken to only going to bed with a woman the night before you leave a place. Is that correct?"

"No," Remo said. "That's absolutely not correct. You must have me confused with someone else."

"Perhaps I have you confused with the bodyguard for that Chinese general. You remember the little incident in Peking; rumours about an old Korean called the Master of Sinanju and his disciple, who was called Shiva, the Destroyer."

"I remember nothing," Remo said. "You've got to believe me, Mr. Magrudder. My name is Remo Katner and I'm a salesman for Sensitivity Laboratories in Ocean City, Long Island. We sell success programs to corporations, universities, schools, for people to make better use of their potential. I'm a simple guy trying to make a buck. I went out to fish today and now you got me strapped in this thing."

"I'm sure you know a lot about human potential. Your's is rather interesting. Very interesting, as a matter of fact. So interesting that I knew I was a millionaire the second time you crossed my path."

The man who called himself Magrudder sipped again from the champagne and put the glass near the bottle. He folded his arms around his red, sunburned knees.

"I'm in the, shall we say, security business. I work for the government. Some thing very strange happened at a little think-tank outside of Washington some time back. It seems an ex-Nazi got killed in a chess game. A parachute instructor lost his chute on the way down. A gang of toughs was beaten up by one man, and just before that a former employee at the think-tank was found with his head in a paint-can shaker

"My department was watching the think-tank carefully because the Russians were interested in it. Well, to make a long story short, we were told to drop the search for the security officer there who disappeared, a Remo Pelham. That was the first clue.

"Then there was the China incident when our department was called off the disappearance of General Liu. Very interesting, because my department ordinarily would have prime responsibility.

"So, I and a few other people decided to check back further, especially when bodies-internationally related bodies-turned up very rapidly during that China incident. And there were other strange things. The sudden fortunate disappearance of the executioner of the Cosa Nostra in New York. Here one day. Gone the next. And we ran into the record of an old employee who killed himself in a hospital by tearing out tubes with his hook. You should know the name of the gentleman. His name was Conrad MacCleary."

The man who called himself Magrudder finished the glass and poured himself another, savouring the first sip.

"So I checked. And would you believe that this MacCleary was listed as working for us at that moment, and we had no record of what he was doing.

Oh, we had a record all right. It was false. It had him in Bangkok. And my department head said never mind, some secret presidential mission or something. Does this story interest you?"

"Sure, Mr. Magrudder, but I'd like it a lot more if I could listen to it outside of this contraption."

"I'm sure you would. That's why you're in it. I probably wouldn't even get a chance to finish my story. And I'm sure you'll want to hear how it's going to end. So I'm taking the wee liberty of the lifejacket to make sure you hear me out."

"My life, Mr. Magrudder, is not a wee liberty. Please let me out of this. I've always been afraid of drowning."

The man who called himself Magrudder giggled slightly. "Good. You just stay afraid of me and well be fine."

"Now, follow me, if you will," he continued. "I and two other people I trust began keeping little notes. Nothing big at first, just notes of these strange occurrences and certain small events that seemed to go extremely well for the nation with no apparent reason. Luck, it was attributed to, I believe. And then, one day, my stroke of genius. I put myself in the place of a young president who was to be assassinated in Dallas.

"I said to myself, you're the President and you've got a problem."

Magrudder finished the bottle by draining it into his mouth and tossed it overboard with a splash. He took out another one from the case and this time did not bother pouring into the champagne glass. He drank directly from the bottle.

"Excuse the indulgence," he said, "but a year-and-a-half of sobriety must end with a certain joy. In any event, I said, I'm the President and I've got a problem. Crime is increasing. If I tell my police no holds are barred, we get a police state. If I don't, we get chaos, and then, if Machieveli's right, we get a police state anyway. I want to save the country. So what do I do?

"I figured what the President did. He decided to create an organization that didn't exist. It could break the law to enforce the law, but since it didn't exist, it would not endanger the Constitution.

"So I, the President, create this organization, and only I and maybe my vice president and two other men know about it. The man who runs it and the man who heads the killer-arm. The man who heads the killer-arm has to know, because he must violate the law and if he were captured and believed he worked for the FBI or the CIA or what-have-you, then it would be just as bad for the country if he confessed to that. You see, so he knows.

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