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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"Say, you know I was thinking," Hopkins said. "Why don't you bring me into CURE. I'm pretty smart. I figured out something was going on. Now you know you could get me anytime, right? You can use a good brain. Look, I'm no alky no matter what anyone tells you. Ask Smith. Well, don't ask him 'cause he thinks anyone who takes two drinks is an alcoholic. But I'd be good. I would. Real good."

Remo's mouth became dry and his stomach felt the slow dissolution of distaste. He did not look down at the man beneath him, but out to the flatness of the sea until it curved round in the distance. People now knew the world was round. And this proved it. It was simple. It's always simple after someone else does it for you. Hopkins was still talking.

"Okay, I understand why Smith might not want me. But if you control the killer-arm. . . ."

"I am the killer-arm."

"Well, if you're the killer-arm, boy, could you hold up CURE. Huh? What about it? Huh? Like the idea, don't you?"

"It's great. Finish your drink."

"A deal? Huh? A deal?"

"No," said Remo.

"Ah, you're probably just some low-rank gunman. There's gotta be more than one guy in the killer-arm. About as much chance of you being it as me being an alcoholic. Last drink. The last one."

Remo looked down at the man who looked at his last drink.

"I could take this or leave this, you know. I'm not an alcoholic. Take it or leave it. But I'm gonna take it because you're going to kill me anyway. Bottoms up."

When Remo saw the last air bubble stop in the bottle as the last of the champagne drained into Hopkins' open gullet, he pushed with his right knee, sending the man leftward and with his right hand he reached out, grabbed the fat rolled neck and pushed, out and down into the tepid blue-green water of the Caribbean where he gently drowned the thrashing figure.

If anyone hidden in the cove had been watching, it would have appeared that Hopkins fell over the side and Remo reached for him but it was too late. Even though Remo reached into the water all the way up to his armpit, he was unable to reach him, and was able to grab him into the boat only three minutes later when the man floated up. But it was too late. He was dead. Well, the coroner said, every alcoholic drinks himself into the grave if he thinks he's not an alcoholic. "They just can't take a single drink, can they, sir?"

CHAPTER THREE

For Westerners who get hanged, or shot, or cut to death or freeze in passes that are impassable in winter, there are mournful ballads sung from generation to generation.

For Vinnie the Rock Palumbo, there wasn't even a missing persons report by his wife. When you are married to a Vincent Alphonse Palumbo and he does not return from a "sweet little job" you do not wish law enforcement people to know about it. Because then you, too, may not return from a walk to the supermarket or a visit to relatives.

If you are Vinnie Palumbo's father you do not miss him all that much, because the last time you saw him was eighteen years ago, when he took a pipe to your skull over an allowance dispute.

If you are Willie the Plumber Palumbo, you definitely do not talk about your brother's disappearance, because you have a very good idea what happened to him.

And if you are Vinnie the Rock Palumbo, you make no noise to anyone because you are frozen inside the cab of your Ocean Wheel tractor trailer truck, your body like rock, your eyes ice crystals in your white frosted skull.

It indeed had been a sweet job. Your brother had said: "It's a fast two hundred dollars to drive a truck a couple of blocks."

And you answered: "You're full of crap, Willie the Plumber. How much of it are you taking a walk with?"

"Okay, Vinnie," Willie the Plumber had said, coughing through his cigarette. "Because you're my brother, three hundred dollars."

"Five hundred."

"Five hundred. That's what I'm getting to pay you."

"Five hundred in advance."

"A hundred in advance and four hundred later. Okay? You got your teamsters' card?"

"I got my teamsters' card. And I ain't moving, until I get three hundred dollars up front."

"Okay. Because you're my brother, two hundred fifty dollars up front and for anyone else I'd say no."

So you, Vincent the Rock Palumbo, drive your rig onto Pier 27 one hot August morning and by 4 p.m., the Ocean Wheel container was hooked onto your horse and you drive slowly out. You also notice that people in cars are closing in on you for a tail and a hot dog truck starts to move out.

You notice three squad cars of local bulls in plain-clothes, but you keep a steady pace, and getting no signals from the car in front of you in which your brother sits, you follow it to a warehouse where your truck gets a new paste-on sign calling it Chelsea Trucking. Apparently you suddenly are no longer being tailed.

You wait until dark, then pull out again with the three other trucks following, and this time you are following somebody else, not your brother, in a car ahead. You follow him to the entrance of the New Jersey Turnpike where he signals you to take a cut-off to the new Hudson Industrial Park complex; two buildings and a set of swamps. You are instructed to drive your truck down a ramp into a hole in the ground and wait. You had been told not to pack any weapons, so you brought two, A .38 special in the glove compartment and a .45 under the seat.

You expertly park your rig in the right hand corner of the square pit with the metal and tubular linings. The other men manoeuvre their vehicles next to yours so that you are part of four trucks side by side in the same metal lined pit. You are told to stay in your trucks.

You take out your .45, just in case. You see the driver next to you reach for something also. Behind you, heavy steel doors close off the ramp. Overhead, a roof comes down over the trucks in the pit, in prefabricated sections. You were told to stay where you were, so you do, but get out of your cab to chat with the driver next to you. He tells you he is getting six hundred dollars for the drive. You curse your sonofa-bitch brother, Willie the Plumber Palumbo.

It is dark; there are no lights. Soon the matches wear out. One of the men has a flashlight. You search your cab. No flashlight. For a few blocks, you certainly weren't going to buy one and the truck owners did not provide one.

The driver next to you suggests you open one of the trucks, maybe it's liquor that was hijacked. You say no because the people will be back in a minute and for a ten dollar bottle of booze who the hell wants to blow a few hundred bucks.

The driver next to you says booze would be good now because it's getting chilly in this place. You are dressed for the summer and indeed it is getting chilly. One of the drivers on the other side is banging the sealed section where the ramp was. He is yelling to be let out. Suddenly, you go weak. What if they aren't going to let you out?

That's impossible. You've got the goods. Besides, you've got artillery to enforce it. If they want the goods, they've got to come back.

You start stamping your feet and banging your ribs. You're in a damn freezer. When you get hold of Willie, you're going to mess him up good.

One of the guys says they should shoot their way out and someone further over says this is stupid because they're not only underground but those are freezing coils and if you rupture one of those, you'll be gassed.

So you climb into your cab and start your engine and turn on the heater until you hear a knocking at the window. It's one of the drivers. He says to save everyone from carbon monoxide poisoning, they should all get in one cab and use just one heater.

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Warren Murphy
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