Force of Nature - Stephen Solomita - ebook

Force of Nature ebook

Stephen Solomita

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Opis

A psychopath is loose in Brooklyn, and it will take a half-mad cop to catch him. A gang of small-time dealers camps out underneath the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, slipping hits to passing addicts in exchange for ten bucks a pop. It's blistering hot, and they drink beer to stay cool, sharing a six-pack with a couple of local girls. As the night winds down, a massive black man appears in a coat that's too heavy for the weather, produces a shotgun, and starts to fire. Among the dead are two supposed customers - an undercover cop and a reporter whom the city will avenge by opening a new front in the war on drugs. The gunman, a full-time crack addict with a boxer's build and a bulldog's temper, disappears into the wilds of Brooklyn. To roust him, Stanley Moodrow will rain hell on the borough, breaking in a new partner as he attempts to smoke out the wild man with a shotgun.

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Contents

Cover

About the Book

About the Author

Title Page

Copyright Page

Dedication

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5

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Cover

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About the Book

A psychopath is loose in Brooklyn, and it will take a half-mad cop to catch him.

A gang of small-time dealers camps out underneath the Manhattan side of the Williamsburg Bridge, slipping hits to passing addicts in exchange for ten bucks a pop. It’s blistering hot, and they drink beer to stay cool, sharing a six-pack with a couple of local girls. As the night winds down, a massive black man appears in a coat that’s too heavy for the weather, produces a shotgun, and starts to fire. Among the dead are two supposed customers—an undercover cop and a reporter whom the city will avenge by opening a new front in the war on drugs.

The gunman, a full-time crack addict with a boxer’s build and a bulldog’s temper, disappears into the wilds of Brooklyn. To roust him, Stanley Moodrow will rain hell on the borough, breaking in a new partner as he attempts to smoke out the wild man with a shotgun.

About the Author

Stephen Solomita (b. 1943) is a prolific author of thrillers. Born in Bayside, Queens, he worked as a cab driver before becoming a novelist in the late 1980s. His first novel, A Twist of the Knife (1988), won acclaim for its intimate depiction of New York’s rough patches, its gritty style, and its dark vision of urban terrorism. This debut introduced Stanley Moodrow, a disaffected New York Police Department detective.Solomita wrote six more novels starring Moodrow, moving the character into a PI practice, and concluded the series with Damaged Goods (1996).

Force of Nature

A Stanley Moodrow Crime Novel

Stephen Solomita

 

BASTEI ENTERTAINMENT

 

Bastei Entertainment is an imprint of Bastei Lübbe AG

 

Copyright © 2015 by Bastei Lübbe AG, Schanzenstraße 6-20, 51063 Cologne, Germany

 

For the original edition:

Copyright © 2013 by The Mysterious Press, LLC, 58 Warren Street, New York, NY. U.S.A.

 

Copyright © 1989 by Stephen Solomita

 

Project management: Lori Herber

Cover adaptation: Christin Wilhelm, www.grafic4u.de

Cover design by Erin Fitzsimmons

 

E-book production: Jouve Germany GmbH & Co. KG

 

ISBN 978-3-95859-446-3

 

www.bastei-entertainment.com

 

All rights reserved, including without limitation the right to reproduce this e-book or any portion thereof in any form or by any means, whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of the publisher.

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.

Special thanks to Jim Appello, Herb Goldstein, Mike Altman, Helmut Mendes and Bob Magrisso who gave me a close-up look at life as it’s lived in the shelters, the welfare hotels and the subway tunnels.

For Ethan and Judy. Obviously.

This is a work of fiction despite the existence of a real New York City and a real NYPD. Example: the northern boundary of the real 7th precinct in real New York City is Houston Street. The northern boundary of the 7th Precinct in this novel is 14th Street. A word to the wiseguy.

POLICE DEPARTMENT: CITY OF NEW YORK

TAPE TRANSCRIPTION LABEL PD641-447 (4/85)

tape# 4377 case# MC201 loc 7th Pct

tape date 8/9/90          trans, date 8/9/90 transcribed by A. Pulliam

sig.  

civ. emp. # 901-22-3345 badge #xxxxxxxx

pers: Pet. Paul Kirkpatrick

Pet. Charles O’Neill

ADA Leonora Higgins

Angel Rodriguez

cross reference Major Cases 201

DET. O’NEILL: (faint) one, two, three, four.

DET. KIRKPATRICK: (faint) Turn up the volume, asshole.

DET. O’NEILL: one, two, three, four.

L. HIGGINS: That’s fine, Detective.

DET. O’NEILL: Date is August 9, 1987. Time is 9:35 AM. Place is Bellevue Hospital, prison ward. Police personnel: Detective Charles O’Neill. Detective Paul Kirkpatrick. Assistant District Attorney Leonora Higgins. Angel Rodriguez, prisoner. Case number is MC201. Tape number is 4377. Okay, Miss Higgins. He’s all yours.

L. HIGGINS: Mr. Rodriguez?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Yes?

L. HIGGINS: Mr. Rodriguez, do you understand that you have the right to have a lawyer present during this interview?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Cut the bullshit, lady. Just do the fucking thing, awright?

DET. KIRKPATRICK: Watch your mouth.

A. RODRIGUEZ: Fuck you, too, man.

DET. KIRKPATRICK: Okay, be a smartass, Angel. You got the upper hand right now, but in a couple weeks you’re gonna be out on the street. Then your ass is mine.

L. HIGGINS: For Christ sake, Kirkpatrick, let’s just get through the damn interview. Without the macho.

DET. KIRKPATRICK: (Pause. Laughter. Unintelligible.) Sorry, Miss Higgins. You go ahead and do your thing.

L. HIGGINS: Angel, I have to explain your rights before we can do the interview. And you have to answer out loud so the tape recorder can pick up your response. Even if you already know your rights. If you don’t answer, which is also your right, you will have to remain in custody until or unless you can make bail. Comprendo?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Sure. The beautiful way you say it, even a spic like me could understand.

L. HIGGINS: I’m glad to hear that. Now, do you wish to have a lawyer present during this interview?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Ain’t you a lawyer?

L. HIGGINS: Goddamn you, Rodriguez, if you don’t get your act together in ten seconds, I’ll walk out of here and let you rot. I mean right now. Do you understand that?

A. RODRIGUEZ: I understand that if I name the scumbag who blew away your policeman and that reporter on Delancey Street three days ago, you ain’t gonna send me away for the hits you found on me.

L. HIGGINS: That’s right, Angel. But in addition to the information (in fact, before I can ask you even one question about that night) you have to say the magic words. Now, do you wish to have an attorney, at no cost to yourself, to represent you while we conduct this interview?

A. RODRIGUEZ: No.

L. HIGGINS: Are you giving this information of your own free will?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Yes.

L. HIGGINS: Do you understand that the information you give here is an admission of guilt and in the event you refuse to testify against the man who committed these homicides, this interview could be used against you in a court of law?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Say what?

L. HIGGINS: It’s simple, Angel. You’re going to tell us who killed your pals on Delancey Street a few days ago. If we locate the man or men responsible, you’re going to identify him in a court of law. If you change your mind, this tape we’re making will be the same as a confession that, number one, you were at the scene to sell drugs. Number two, you were in possession of a substantial amount of a controlled substance. Number three, you are guilty of several C felonies, each punishable by a prison term, third offense, of fifteen years to life. Now, do you understand? Do you want a lawyer present during this interview?

A. RODRIGUEZ: No lawyer, lady. Shit, you gonna find out sooner or later who’s doin’ all the shootin’ down there. Besides, I already talked to a lawyer and he says if I don’t do this, I’m dead, so like I don’t have no fucking choice. But I do got one question for you?

L. HIGGINS: Shoot.

A. RODRIGUEZ: Just for your fucking tape recorder, answer me this: if I agree to give you the name of the dude what blew them people away, you ain’t gonna charge me with none of them crimes you named? That’s the deal we made just for the fucking record?

L. HIGGINS: That’s the deal, (pause) He’s all yours.

DET. O’NEILL: Okay, Angel, why don’t you start it up from just before you went down to the bridge. We’ll ask questions as you go along.

A. RODRIGUEZ: I live in the projects on 4100 Columbia Street with my brother and his wife. On August 6, I got up for dinner about seven o’clock like always, then went out to do business. I was sellin’ hits and the main place for hits is by the bridge on Columbia Street which is half a block from my house. The spot opens up after the car wash closes about 8:30.

L. HIGGINS: What are ‘hits’?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Shit, lady…

DET. O’NEILL: Just tell her, Angel.

A. RODRIGUEZ: Hits are like ups and downs, awright? (pause) Two pills, man, and they go up and down.

L. HIGGINS: What’s in them?

A. RODRIGUEZ: How am I supposed to know that? I ain’t no damn chemist and I don’t know nothin’ about what’s in the hit. Alls I know is they get you colossal fucked up and people buy ’em. I’m a businessman. What else do I gotta know?

DET. KIRKPATRICK: Ain’t you read the reports, Miss? It’s in the goddamn reports.

(Unintelligible)

DET. O’NEILL: And our time ain’t valuable?

L. HIGGINS: I apologize, Detective. I haven’t studied Rodriguez’ arrest reports. Our main concern, in this case, is homicide, not narcotics. But I should have studied the reports. I concede that. Somehow I never anticipated dealing with an unknown narcotic.

DET. O’NEILL: Unknown? Hits have been on the street for more than a year. The ‘up’ half is crank, Methedrine, and the ‘down’ half is Dilaudid, oxycodone, even codeine. Looks like the chemist’s got supply troubles on the downside. Right now, hits sell for ten bucks and they’re real popular with the white kids who drive in from the boonies. See, you can’t shoot hits, so the kids don’t have to feel like they’re chickenshit about needles. By the way, hits are a narc’s dream. Two controlled substances for the price of one. We catch ’em with hits, we charge ’em with two felonies.

L. HIGGINS: Very interesting. Hits? Who would have dreamed it. Angel, you can proceed.

A. RODRIGUEZ: First I meet my main man, Pincho Correa and we stroll down to the bridge. There’s all businesses under the bridge during the day. There’s even garbage men on the other side where they fix the trucks. But at night the white people go home and leave us to ourselves.

It’s hot like a motherfucker that night, so we buy some beers at the bodega on the other side of Delancey Street, then dig in by the bridge to wait for the guinea to fall by with the hits. The delivery man’s name is Little Ugly. That’s so we can tell him from his muscle which we call Big Ugly. Both the dudes are Italians and they drop off every night around nine and pick up the leftovers and their piece of the action around two on weeknights, four on Friday and Saturday. This works out good for us two ways. One, we don’t gotta carry money or hits with us during the day. Two, we got Italians protectin’ us, so most times the bad boys leave us be. That’s probly why I wasn’t prepared for no action that night even though I shoulda seen what was comin’ down.

Nine o’clock the man drives up in his midnight blue Seville and me and Pincho get inside. We’re jus’ goin’ round the block so’s we can count the hits. Sposed ta be four hundred in the sack, but it comes up short. Comes up three nine eight.

Now the Uglys is definitely bad people, but Pincho don’t know no fear. Pincho say, “Yo, man, you short two hits.”

Little Ugly say, “Be cool, brother. I got this Chinese bitch on East Broadway loves hits. Gets her pussy wet. Take it off the top.”

Pincho don’t say no more cause even if he got heart, he ain’t crazy. Just seem more like they shoulda told us before we took the count.

Anyways they drop us off by the bridge and we go to work. There was already fifteen people waitin’. Dope been tight on the streets all this month and word with the junkies was hits could keep the pain away. We wasn’t partial to no crowds and we cleaned up the junkies and asked ’em to move on.

Business got slow after that. It was so fucking hot the Puerto Ricans was spendin’ their bread on cold beers. They didn’t want no hits ’cause hits makes you sweat. That’s the crank. Makes you sweat that real stinky sweat and nobody wants to sweat even more than they’re already sweating when it’s hot like that. Only real business we done was with the white kids. They come rollin’ up to the curb in they daddy’s cars, open the window, let the cold come pourin’ out all over me. Them little faggots didn’t never sweat.

Around midnight, the two white bitches show up, Marlene and Cindy. Young fine lookin’ bitches don’t want nothin’ more than a couple hits and a big cock. Got feathers tied in their hair. Little miniskirts. I’m sittin’ on the curb and Cindy walks right up until her cunt’s starin’ me in the face. She say, “Angel, spare me a hit. I pay you next week.”

I say, “You stick around till we go home, I hold out two hits and we party all night. Have a beer while we waitin’.”

She say, “Angel, I take you home tonight. Shit, yeah. But lemme get started on my head, now. That way I’ll be ready when we get there.”

What could I do? I put that hit in her mouth like a priest layin’ on the communion host. In my mind, I was already tastin’ them fine white titties and probly that’s why I wasn’t ready when the shit went down. I tell ya she was a fine lookin’ lady and she got her own apartment so I don’t gotta go back to my brother’s house and do it in the living room.

She takes a beer and she say she wanna party hard all night. When she say ‘hard,’ she stops for a second and smiles and I start prayin’ them guineas’ll show up early. We ain’t makin’ no bread anyway.

About 12:30 two white men come walkin’ up from the Drive. One I call Bennie. One I call Robert. This is the cop and the newspaper guy, but to me they was just two more customers. They got a six pack of Rolling Rock and we was out of beers so when they offer, we take it and all sit around drinkin’.

That cop, by the way, was super cool. He didn’t come on hard like you think a cop’s gonna do. But I tell you this for your fuckin’ record: he do his hits like everyone else. Right in front of me I seen him down hits and I seen him break out into sweats when the shit come on.

The other one, Robert, the reporter, look like a little fag Jew writer from the first minute I seen him. What kinda name is ‘Robert,’ anyway? Not even Bob or Bobbie or nothin’. Only people I know with names like ‘Robert’ is niggers and little Jewboys and he definitely wasn’t no nigger. Robert also did hits else we woulda caught onto him right away. We didn’ have no wholesale customers, if you take my meaning.

Fifteen minutes later this Chinaman name of Ho Kong shows up with a friend I ain’t seen before. I look at Pincho and he looks at me and he shrugs. We calls the little chinaman, Chung King and all Chung King ever do is smile. Even the first time when he showed with one of his boys and Pincho told him in his face, “Don’t never bring no one, less we clear it first,” all Chung King do is crinkle up his fucking eyes even smaller than they already are and smile. Nod his head like a doll on the dashboard of my cousin’s Chevy. And damn if the next time he don’t bring somebody new. And the time after that. Couldn’t talk to him, so eventually we gave up. Never seen no Chinese cop so what difference could it make?

Anyways, I got my back up against the stones supportin’ the bridge when Chungy drives up in this old Buick looks about two blocks long. Roof’s torn. Bumper’s pulled out. Rust every fuckin’ place. I was sittin’ there with my arm touchin’ Cindy’s arm, so far gone even this little shit is gettin’ me hot. Robert and Bennie are standin’ next to me, sippin’ beers and waitin’ for the hits to come on. Pincho takes Marlene’s arm and walks her over to the Buick and tells Chungy go park the Buick around the corner and walk back. Chungy starts blowin’ off in half Chinese and half English ’bout how he scared to walk around up here. Say the Puerto Ricans rob every Oriental north of Grand Street. Pincho just kicks the goddamn door and yells, “Park the bitch,” and walks back to us.

“Man,” Pincho say, “them gooks didn’t make that good food they makes, they wouldn’t have no use at all.”

Wasn’t all that funny, but we was high on the beers, so we start laughin’. Bennie say, “Yeah, but that sweet and sour shit is bad, bro. Got to keep them little yellow people cookin’.”

Then I see this black dude walkin’ over from his car. Big bad fucker. Not tall, right, but mondo. Kind of nigger make your balls crawl up into your asshole. His name’s Kubla and I know his rep’s as bad as his looks, but I also know he’s been around the scene forever and he’s aware that me and Pincho are connected to the Italians, so I’m not expectin’ no problems. That’s probly why I missed it cause I shoulda seen that he was wearin’ a long coat, like a raincoat, on a night it was so hot my balls was in a lake. That coat don’t make sense on the street and when it stops makin’ sense on the street, a man is supposed to get ready to protect himself. I had my piece stashed about six feet away, behind one of the drainpipes comin’ down from the bridge, but I swear I didn’t make one move for it. I was concentratin’ on Cindy. Tryin’ to look down her blouse to where the sweat was runnin’ into her bra. The hit was coming on and she was rubbin’ her head against my neck, lickin’ at my ear and laughin’ cause she knew I couldn’ do nothin’ till the Italians showed up.

Then I see the dude flick back the coat and there’s like another arm hangin’ under his right arm and it starts comin’ up at me and I sorta know what it is, but I can’t move. My mind starts goin’ oh shit, oh shit, oh shit and then there’s a big black hole, pointin’ straight at me. Cindy says, “Is that a gun?” with this tiny, little girl voice. Like she really don’t fucking know, man, and I flip over behind her.

When it goes off it’s so loud I swear it sounds like I’m in the middle of a fuckin’ H-bomb. Then Cindy falls over across my chest. Her body is soaked with blood and more blood is pouring out her back. She keeps twitching. Lays on top of me like a statue, then starts these little hard jerks. I don’t know I’m hit myself. I think my legs are wet cause I pissed my pants. You always hope you’re gonna be tough when the thing goes down, but what you are is shit-pants scared. Like a little kid at a horror movie.

(Unintelligible)

L. HIGGINS: Take it easy, Angel. Just relax.

A. RODRIGUEZ: I’m all right, (pause) I ain’t been through one night when it ain’t happened all over again.

L. HIGGINS: You mean in dreams?

A. RODRIGUEZ: Yeah, dreams, (pause) The first thing was the black hole swung away from me. Pincho was frozen, along with Marlene, watchin’ it happen. Only Bennie was movin’. He was standin’ next to Marlene and he dropped to one knee, but he wasn’t fast enough and the shotgun went off again. This time I saw the shell eject, flippin’ over like a high diver and Bennie slidin’ on his back into the stone on the bridge. Little drops of blood broke out on Marlene’s skin, like she was in a sweat. Robert was screaming. Owwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww. Then the gun went off again and again, louder than you could ever believe, even in your dreams, and each time you wanna crawl down in a hole somewheres. You just wanna hide and there’s no place to go.

Marlene goes down. Pincho goes down. He jumps in the air like he’s shooting fucking baskets and comes down like a dog bouncing off a car. Then Robert stops screaming and it’s so quiet I can hear the nigger’s shoes as he comes across the pavement. I know for sure he’s gonna check to see if I’m dead. He’s gonna check and then he’s gonna put that black hole up in my face.…But he steps over me and goes to the trunk of this stripped-out Pontiac against the bridge and takes the stash from up under the fender where Pincho hid it. Then he walks to his car and drives up Pitt toward Houston Street. Then he’s gone.

Two minutes later the streets were filled with people and the cops came through the crowd with their sirens screaming.

When they saw I was alive, they went crazy. One cop starts kissin’ my fucking mouth and punchin’ me in my chest. I didn’t know what the fuck was going on. I said, “Man, don’t I have no rights.”

Then this black cop said, “That ain’t his blood on his face. That’s the woman’s blood. Let’s get him on the stretcher.” But when they picked me up, my leg hurt so bad I passed out. (Pause)

L. HIGGINS: That’s it?

A. RODRIGUEZ: I don’t remember nothing after I passed out on the stretcher.

L. HIGGINS: Yeah? Well, the joke wasn’t half bad, but you forgot the punchline.

A. RODRIGUEZ: What is she sayin’, man?

DET. O’NEILL: Who did it, asshole? You didn’t say who the fuck did it.

A. RODRIGUEZ: Kubla done it, man. Levander. (Pause.) Levander Greenwood.

L. HIGGINS: Are you sure, Angel?

A. RODRIGUEZ: We grew up in the same project. We was like brothers.

1

THE INVESTIGATOR’S DAILY ACTIVITY Report is one of the most creative aspects of police work in New York City. Long ago, when newly-appointed Detective Jim Tilley was still a boy, the NYPD was rocked by an enormous scandal which culminated in the creation of a special investigative body, the Knapp Commission. Crooked cops dominated the news headlines for months as a relentless prosecutor tore through the department, and, once the furor died down, the politicians responded by creating a system of paperwork that, theoretically, forces every cop to account for every minute of his or her working life. Patrolmen, for instance, carry a memo book at all times and are expected to make an entry for each job-related incident on a tour. This memo book is read and signed by the patrol sergeant as he makes his rounds, often several times in the course of a shift.

The principle is the same for the city’s detectives, even if the supervision is more sloppy. Detectives are expected to prepare Investigative Daily Activity Reports (universally referred to as “Dailies”) and turn them into the precinct whip, usually a lieutenant of detectives, every week or so.

Theoretically, a Daily accounts for every minute of a tour, but most detectives keep them as vague as possible unless they (the detectives) do something worth bragging about. In any event, it is considered absolutely essential that the Daily not include anything of a detective’s complex relationship with the ugliest aspects of urban life. One may, in good taste, mention crowd control at a suicide scene, but it is bad form to describe the sound of rubber-soled shoes on small pieces of bone.

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!

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!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!

Lesen Sie weiter in der vollständigen Ausgabe!