COUP ROUGE - Niklas Radzey - ebook


Niklas Radzey



Sometimes life tells stories which are so incredible that you would say: This sounds like a novel. And sometimes a novel is not only a product of sheer phantasy but also the truth. Eloy Castillo emigrates from the poor Galicia, the Northwest of Spain, to New York. He is mercylessly roped into the pulsating life of the “new world” and he has to learn to impose himself. A vacation with the love of his life Joyce opens him the door to a fascinating but still unknown dimesion. Eloy Castillo learns in a tough school. Then he becames“THE ROULETTE PLAYER”. His mentor, the prosperous and mysterious Aaron Schneider, uses this young man for his own long nourished act of revenge against the “honourable society”. But intuitively Eloy sees through this plan and uncovers the older man’s secret. When Claire Anderson, an as enigmatic character as Eloy, crosses his ways, he additionally comes in a godfather’s line of fire and is mercilessly hunted. But his intelligence and cleverness helps him to overcome brisk and explosive situations. But he is not only be left with an enormous fortune - he also has a serious problem …

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Niklas Radzey

The journalist, writer, and author with crime experience has studied communication, marketing and opinion polls and was editor of a publishing house. In 1983 he became the prizewinner of an author’s competition of the ZDF (German TV sender) and has since then published crime stories in major public magazines. As a permanent employee in various agencies in Germany he finally moved to Freiburg i.Br., where he finished his novel THE ROULETTE PLAYER. He is member of the group of german crime authors THE SYNDICATE, which holds out a hope that further extremely interessting and exiting works of liturature will follow.

ForJuan Alonso Fabregas – wherever he may be,Petra and Reinhard Nickel (New Zealand),Barbara Rogers (USA)and Charma, in appreciation

Author’s note

Sometimes life’s stories are so unbelievable, they are more like a novel. And sometimes, a novel is not only the product of fantasy.

This novel is based on a true story.

However, names and persons, several events, places and times have been changed because of laws, dramatic necessity, or simply my active imagination.

N. R.

You are to become the one you are.

Friedrich Nietzsche(1844–1900)

Niklas Radzey




Radzey, NiklasCOUP ROUGEDas Casino ist unsere BankRoman

© 2014 by Schmidt Verlag and author,Holzeckstraße 8, 79199 Kirchzarten b. Freiburg i. Br.GERMANYAll rights reserved. This applies in particular to copying,electronic recording and processing,transmission through film, radio and television and translation.Cover design: Claudio Sostelo

ISBN PRINT: 978-3-936099-26-3ISBN E-BOOK: 978-3-936099-25-6




In the New World



Home-Coming I.

Lesson I

Lesson II


Big Money



Home-Coming II.


Alberto de Caruzzi watched the videos several times. He simply didn’t want to believe what he saw. He couldn’t accept the brazenness, the boldness and the cleverness with which the player and his companion acted. They both played roulette using a method he knew only too well. However, he preferred to wipe it from his memory.

Spontaneously, he picked up the telephone and dialled a number in Atlantic City.

“We have a problem Orlando …” Alberto de Caruzzi told his friend what he had just seen.

“We’ll discuss it here in Las Vegas. I have the tapes here. Orlando, you know the risk if Quintinus were to find out about this?”

“Yes, Alberto, but …”

“I expect you in my office tomorrow. Tell the others. Basta!”

De Caruzzi gave orders and expected them to be carried out.

The Boeing 747 was on its final approach to McCarran Airport in Las Vegas. Orlando Ubbiati noted the information on the monitor: outside temperature 115 degrees Fahrenheit. By the time they landed, he had worked out that was about 45 Celsius – far too hot for a big man like him.

“Do we take a cab?” Peter Garcia asked when they disembarked.

“Alberto has obviously sent a car” Mario Ruffo said, pointing to a white Mercedes 600 Pullman parked in front of the airport terminal with its engine running. The driver got out, welcoming them as he opened the car doors.

“Welcome Mr. Ubbiati, hello Mr. Ruffo. If it is too hot in the car, I can adjust the air conditioning. We’re used to different temperatures than you people from the east.”

“It’s alright. We have a hot day ahead of us anyway, with or without air conditioning. Let’s go Henry; we don’t want to be late.”

“Yes sir.”

Alberto de Caruzzi’s office took Peter Garcia’s breath away. Large crystal chandeliers hung from the ceiling and enormous rugs covered the floor. They must have cost a fortune. The walls were covered with pink marble. Beautiful paintings, old books, antique furniture and flowers in exquisite vases adorned the room. He was very impressed.

“Alberto, may I introduce our new security manager?” Orlando Ubbiati put his arm in a friendly gesture around Garcia’s shoulder. “Peter is a very hardworking and capable fellow, who has control of his people.”

“Thanks Orlando. Mr. de Caruzzi, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”

“Same here Mr. Garcia. You will get your opportunity to prove your capabilities after what I’m going to show you.”

Peter Garcia sat together with the six men present. He only knew Orlando and Mario Ruffo. He had just met Alberto de Caruzzi. The others were introduced to him as Paul Villa and Frank Pileri. He was told they were casino bosses in Reno.

The other man was simply overlooked. Nobody introduced him. He sat quietly on the corner of a leather sofa smoking a cigar.

“Let’s look at some videos. Please pay attention to the details.”

Alberto de Caruzzi pressed a remote control. Almost soundlessly, a marble wall moved aside. Six monitors were activated. The first video started. It played a recording from cameras hidden above a gambling table – nothing seemed unusual. People stood around the table, placed their chips and fixed their eyes on the roulette wheel. Some took their chips and left the table; others bought more and continued playing. De Caruzzi rewound the tape and started a new one. The other videos showed similar scenes.

“What did you notice?” Alberto de Caruzzi asked. Orlando Ubbiati first looked at Mario Ruffo who shrugged his shoulders, and then at Peter Garcia, who didn’t bat an eyelid. Paul Villa and Frank Pileri at the same time looked toward the man smoking the cigar. He acted very cool. It appeared as though he didn’t notice them looking at him.

“I’ll give you more information about the tapes and we’ll look at them again,” Caruzzi said. “Tape one was recorded at table one on Wednesday at 8:00 p.m., tape two at table two about half an hour later and so on, up to table six. Now we’ll watch them again. Please pay attention.”

At the end of the sixth tape, de Caruzzi wanted to know only one thing: “What did you notice?”

“Well, to be honest …” Orlando Ubbiati began. Peter Garcia interrupted him abruptly.

“We obviously know what you’re getting at sir.”

“Well, let’s hear it!” Caruzzi leaned back complacently in his easy chair. The man on the sofa took the cigar out of his mouth. They all fixed their eyes on Peter Garcia.

“The same two people show up at each table, a man and a woman. They place themselves cleverly between the other players, but they are a team.”


“They play with high stakes and hardly ever lose.”

“What else?”

“They only bet on simple chances.”

“Right again. Did you add up how much they won?”

“No sir.”

“Well, at the moment, that would be expecting too much. Still, my compliments Mr. Garcia, you have an eye for the essentials.”

“Thank you sir. How much did they win that night?”


“Wow, they have done their homework,” Frank Pileri said and Paul Villa went on: “Who in our casinos …”

“What can you do when the players pick up their money from the cashier, in the same way that they won it?” Peter asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Always a little bit at a time, maybe by another person or after each shift change?”

“Mr. Garcia is right. It’s no crime to win a lot of money. The prerequisite is that he doesn’t use tricks. If so, he would be put on the blacklist,” Mario Ruffo stated. “But what we just saw, there were no tricks, right?”

“No, that’s the big problem,” Alberto de Caruzzi said. “Here, we’re not talking about tricks. We’re talking about a slow creeping danger to our casinos.”

“May I ask a question? How did you notice this man and his companion? The videos are no coincidence?”

“A barkeeper brought these people to our attention. We are dealing with psychological factors here. I’m speaking about the theory of the compulsion to confess. When a person is unlucky, he seeks out another loser, who will listen and understand his problem. In most cases, they unload their problems onto the bartender. It’s the same with winners. They all suffer from a compulsion to confess. This may sound bizarre, but a murderer, for example, who has never been caught, will eventually confess. He has to relieve his conscience, because he can’t handle the feeling of success of never having been caught. Most criminals get caught. To them he looks like a hero.”

“But a winner who is not recognised as a winner?”

“Yes, that’s something a winner can’t accept. He has to tell at least one other person.”

“Even if it’s a priest.”

“A gambler, Mr. Garcia, has the desire to share the method he used to win with someone. It can happen the evening he wins. A schooled barkeeper knows the questions to ask”

“And they are?”

“He puts out bait. For example: last week we had a guy who won $100,000. His system was foolproof.”

“The gambler, male or female, feels challenged and asks how the system worked.”

“Correct. The barkeeper tells him something about an Albertini method. He explains the placement technique quickly and incomprehensibly and then says I can’t imagine that’s practical.”

“Because he didn’t understand a thing, the winner now tells his version, which he used to win by.”

“Right again, Mr. Garcia.”

“That’s how you get an overview of all your regular gamblers. You decide who winds up on the blacklist and who is harmless, right?”

“Yes, that’s one possibility. We got the information on the couple using our method. That’s the subject of our meeting.”

“What did the barkeeper tell you?”

“Something we can handle. The danger for our casinos is the possibility of these people continuing to play using their method. Have you taken the time to figure out the sum they could win if they came every day to just two of our casinos?” De Caruzzi had his eyes fixed on Orlando Ubbiati.”

“You already did that, Alberto, so tell us.” Orlando was never one of the brightest in maths.

“In one year they could win about twenty million dollars, playing only fifteen days per month in our casinos. Gentlemen, that’s our loss!”

“Unthinkable,” Mario Ruffo marvelled, “We have to stop them!”

“We’ll get to that in a minute. We don’t know how long they have been in action gentlemen, so we have no idea how much they have already cost us.”

“Now back to my question. How did you notice the couple? You said a bartender pointed them out?” Peter Garcia was sceptical.

“Yes, he can tell you himself. May I introduce our head barkeeper, Will Baxter?”

“My pleasure,” the silent cigar smoker said: He put his cigar in an ashtray and went on to explain: “The woman came to the bar, sat down on a stool and ordered a Sundowner. That’s a non-alcoholic drink and rather unusual for someone who has just won, and she had just won. You get a feeling about such things after working for twenty years in a casino. While I mixed the drink, I went through the following dialog: “Do you stay here Madam?” “No.” “Where do you stay?” “We don’t stay in a hotel in Vegas.” “Are you from Dallas?” “No, we’re from New York.” “You were lucky tonight, huh?” and she said: “I wouldn’t call it luck, it was hard work.” That made my ears perk up. “Last week we had a guy who won $100,000. He even told me the system he used. Do you want to hear it?”

“What did the lady say?” Peter asked.

“Nothing. Her partner had suddenly appeared. He said succinctly: “No, tell your casino boss. He knows more about such things and how to handle them.” Then he said to the young woman: “Let’s go.” And she said: “Please Loy, I have to rest a moment. Besides, I’ve just ordered a drink.” I brought it promptly. “Your Sundowner Madam.”

“Did they carry on a conversation?”

“Yes, but I couldn’t get close enough anymore. He watched me like a hawk. He had very quick eyes and was suspicious of me. I caught bits and pieces, typical bar talk, “I’m tired” and so on.”

“When did they leave the bar?”

“After the lady finished her drink, he said: “Vamos.” They got up and disappeared into the crowd.

“He said what?” Garcia was now wide-awake.

“Vamos,” Will Baxter repeated. “Actually, I thought I heard a bit of a Spanish accent.”

“Aha, and what did you do then?”

“I went and reported the incident to Mr. de Caruzzi.”

“I released Mr. Baxter from his duties at the bar, so that he could disguise himself as a tourist and keep an eye out for these people, and report to me if they return,” Caruzzi said.

“Just because of a nothing comment by a tired young woman at the bar? Alberto, you’re not serious,” Orlando Ubbiati was shocked.

“We would react the same way,” Paul Villa said. Frank Pileri nodded in agreement.

“And why?”

“Because she said it was hard work. Only people who fight against the bank call it hard work. They’re people who must win at all cost – highly motivated gamblers. All the others say it was fun, harmless fun,” Alberto de Caruzzi lectured. Each of the casino bosses had been a hard core gambler and learned the job from the bottom up. They were card sharks and poker, blackjack and baccarat players. Roulette was Alberto de Caruzzi’s passion. He was a partner in several European casinos and knew the game better than anyone else. He could judge which player could be a danger to the casino. The men in the room knew that and trusted him.

“The videos show I’m right. They are professionals and we have to stop them.”

“They both showed up again. Baxter saw them, you made the tapes and what else?”

“Nothing further Mr. Garcia. What should I have done in your opinion? We can prove they won once. Should we blacklist them because of that?”

“Why not?”

“They didn’t use tricks; there’s no reason. Can you imagine the media circus? It would be detrimental for business. It’s more important to find out how they played. After that, we’ll draw our conclusions. That is the next point on the agenda. I believe Mr. Baxter has provided us with enough information. You can return to the bar Mr. Baxter,” Caruzzi said with a nod. As Baxter was about to leave the office, Garcia asked a further question: “One moment please, Mr. Baxter; what color was the man’s hair?”

“He had reddish blond hair sir.”

“Reddish blond,” Garcia repeated.

“Let’s continue.” Alberto de Caruzzi started the next point on the agenda, but Peter Garcia was unable to concentrate on the matter. He heard Orlando recommend they call the gambler the ‘Red Snapper’, so they would know whom they were referring to in the future. Peter Garcia only heard the word “Vamos” and that he had reddish blond hair. Those facts gave him a strange feeling. He looked out the window and his thoughts were lost in memories of his native country. He saw the sunlight dancing on the Rio Mino, the river dividing Spain and Portugal. It looked like a Golden Fleece. He saw the river fishermen returning to the Goian harbour in their boats and heard the endless discussions about their catch. He clearly heard the children screaming with pleasure. He saw the little reddish blond loner having fun playing on the riverbank. He was the youngest son of Carlos, the baker, who was also a fisherman. And when Carlos called: “Vamos, Loy!” one would think the little boy was deaf. But the baker had a strong voice. “Eloy!” he would call his son, “We want to go home!” But the little rascal would just dive under the water. However, when Carlos called “Eligius!” not loudly, but with a dangerous undertone, the little boy would give in. Why he, Pedro Garcia, had developed a dislike for the little fellow, he didn’t know – maybe because of the reddish blond hair …

As the sun went down over the Rio Mino, the baker, Carlos Castillo, and his son, Eloy …

“Mr. Garcia? Mr. Garcia!” Alberto de Caruzzi suspected where Peter Garcia’s thoughts were at that moment. He gave them time to return to the office of the big casino boss in Las Vegas. He knew the things that moved the young man …


He awoke in the middle of the night and thought he heard something from the patio. But all was silent and he figured he was wrong. His eyelids became heavy and he felt sleepy again. Suddenly, he heard a scream and knew he wasn’t dreaming. He sat up in bed. His heart was beating in his throat, as he stared into the darkness. He recognised shadowy shapes of a table, chairs, cabinets and an ironing board standing there. The cold moon gave off a pale light. Another scream. Not as loud as the first, but strident. A woman had screamed. Fear went to the roots of his hair and he started to shake. If only Andres were here, he thought. But his big brother’s bed was empty; freshly made up, but empty. Andres was no longer here. His mother was no longer here either. Both of them were over there – in America.

A woman started crying, very loud at first, then softer when it seemed she got hold of herself, then only a whimper.

It wasn’t Elena. It was a grown woman’s voice. His sister was only seventeen.

Who was she, he asked himself, and where was his father?

He gathered all his courage and got out of bed. He tiptoed to the door; step by step, very carefully, to avoid the loose wooden boards giving him away. He knew where they were. He pulled the door handle down carefully and opened the door. The whimpering became louder. It came from the kitchen.

He decided to go to Elena’s room and wake her up, in case she was still asleep. Together, they could find out what was going on. He knocked on the door gingerly.

“Elena”, he whispered softly, and knew she couldn’t hear him. He opened the door carefully, just a crack.

“Elena?” His sister didn’t answer. He opened the door wider and slipped in. Her bed was empty. She wasn’t in her room. He was still shaking and felt cold. But it was summer. Tomorrow, June 29th, is his birthday, his thirteenth. It took all his courage to walk toward the kitchen. When he heard his father’s familiar voice, he opened the door. The crying woman sat at the kitchen table. In front of her was a brass candleholder with a burning candle. She was unable to calm down. She hid her face in a white handkerchief, with both hands balled up as fists.

“Senora Nuestra, ayunda me, “she stammered.

“Adela – what happened?”

Carlos Castillo had not yet noticed his son at the door.

“The Holy Virgin will surely help you Adela,” Elena tried to console her. She sat next to her with her arm protectively around her. She knew something terrible must have happened.

“Adela – what happened? Please tell us. Only then we can help you.”

Carlos sat across from the crying woman. He had a bottle in his hand. He pulled the cork out and poured a glass of wine.

“Here, have a sip. It will make you feel better. You must calm down.”

The crying woman wiped her reddened eyes with the handkerchief, took the glass and emptied it. When she put the glass down, she had stopped crying. For a moment, her big black eyes were lost in the large room. Her lips opened a little, as though she wanted to speak. They closed again, as though she had changed her mind. Suddenly a slight smile covered her face. She looked at Carlos and said in a flat voice:

“He hung himself, just like that.”

Neither Elena, who still had her arm around her, nor Carlos, said a word. They just looked at one another, because they knew who had hung himself.

“He has simply thrown his life away,” Adela added.

“I’m so very sorry Adela”, Carlos said, pouring himself and Elena a glass of wine. He noticed his son at the door.

“Eloy, why aren’t you in your bed? Do you know what time it is? What…?”

“Papa,” Elena said, “I would have woken up too.”

“Yes, you’re right. Now it’s all over and Loy goes back to bed, understood?”

“I’ll come to you later hermanito,” she called after her him as he made his way back to his room. Loy knew Elena would explain everything to him. She would talk to him in her soft voice and her calm way. She knew so many things he had no idea of. She was always honest with him and would explain things in a way he would understand. When he was back in his bed, he heard his fathers muffled voice from the kitchen. The voice got louder, excited, almost angry. Loy couldn’t understand what he was saying, but it had to be harsh words. The last sentence he heard, when Elena opened the door was: “Malditos juegos de azar,” his father thundered.

Elena sat down on the edge of his bed. She was obviously upset and said: “I don’t understand any of it. How can a person do that?”

“What do you mean?” Loy asked.

“To hang himself and abandon his family.”

“I don’t know. What did papa mean when he said damned gambling?”

“Manuel, Adela’s husband hung himself because he lost everything they owned playing roulette.”

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!