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Death Song

Death Song

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Death Song

237 pagine
3 ore
Jun 26, 2012


After a narrow escape, Bolt goes after the mobster who tried to blow him up

As far as the record industry is concerned, Matteo DiPalma is a manager, a producer, and the hit-maker behind some of the decade’s biggest chart successes. To the federal government, he is a crucial link between drug-hungry musicians and the Rosetti crime family that keeps them supplied with heroin and cocaine. When federal agents nail DiPalma on a trafficking charge, John Bolt and six other cops go to California to escort him back east. The shotguns they carry aren’t to keep DiPalma from running, but to protect him from a Rosetti hit. The agents don’t count on death from above.

The mafia helicopter appears too quickly for the cops to react. Bolt is just outside the blast radius when the grenade hits the roof, vaporizing DiPalma and his guards. When the smoke clears, Bolt is bloodied but not broken—and ready to even the score. 

Jun 26, 2012

Informazioni sull'autore

Marc Olden (1933–2003) was the author of forty mystery and suspense novels. Born in Baltimore, he began writing while working in New York as a Broadway publicist. His first book, Angela Davis (1973), was a nonfiction study of the controversial Black Panther. In 1973 he also published Narc, under the name Robert Hawke, beginning a hard-boiled nine-book series about a federal narcotics agent. A year later, Black Samurai introduced Robert Sand, a martial arts expert who becomes the first non-Japanese student of a samurai master. Based on Olden’s own interest in martial arts, which led him to the advanced ranks of karate and aikido, the novel spawned a successful eight-book series. Olden continued writing for the next three decades, often drawing on his fascination with Japanese culture and history. 

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Anteprima del libro

Death Song - Marc Olden

Death Song

Narc #8

Marc Olden


Open Road Integrated Media



Chapter 1

Chapter 2

Chapter 3

Chapter 4

Chapter 5

Chapter 6

Chapter 7

Chapter 8

Chapter 9

Chapter 10

Chapter 11

Chapter 12

Chapter 13

Chapter 14

Chapter 15

Preview: Kill for It

Copyright page


THE GRENADE EXPLODED AND a red-orange fireball swallowed the handcuffed prisoner and the men guarding him.

From out of the roaring flames, a now-legless man flew straight up in the air, screaming Eeee!, arms churning like a swimmer, the front and back of his shirt red with fire, leg stumps spewing bright-red blood. Another man in flames rolled across the roof, stopping face down, one arm beneath him, the other missing. He lay still, yellow flames on his back and legs sending soft gray smoke to hide him in death.

Another man dragged himself across the roof on his stomach, blood seeping from under him, his eyes glazed and unseeing, face blackened by smoke and fire, repeating over and over, "Jesus, Jesus!"

Forty feet away, John Bolt lay face down, both hands gripping his shotgun, hearing bricks rip loose from the wall ringing the rooftop, then land around him with hard thumps. A sudden pain stabbed his right side, making him cry out, and he scrambled quickly, still stomach down, crawling away from the pain, from the hellish heat of the fireball.

He stopped, lifted his head up to look behind him and felt sick at what he saw. Bodies. Just smoking bodies. Not living men. A man moaned, and somebody screamed and wouldn’t stop. Bolt’s eye flicked to the twisted shotgun that had flown through the air, hitting him in the side. Except for the prisoner, Matteo DiPalma, everybody on the rooftop had been carrying shotguns.

Everybody. Three Los Angeles cops, three federal narcotics agents.

On a rooftop forty-two stories above Los Angeles’ streets, the six armed lawmen had been guarding DiPalma, who called himself a talent manager and record producer, but who was actually a courier for a New York Mafia family, carrying dope and money anywhere he was ordered. A police helicopter was to land on the roof to take John Bolt and DiPalma out to L.A. airport for a flight to New York.

DiPalma, thirty-two, a man who always dressed in hand-tailored suede and gold bracelets, was an important prisoner, someone who could link the Rosetti Mafia family in New York to dope in the pop music business. If DiPalma talked, one of the biggest record companies in America was out of business. Rosetti controlled that company, using dope, fear and murder to do it.

Seconds ago, the police helicopter had shown up and Bolt, enjoying the breeze from its whirling blades as it hovered over the roof chasing away some of the ninety-seven-degree heat, hadn’t enjoyed the noise it made. Somebody had to radio the Department of Dangerous Drugs regional office in Los Angeles that the helicopter had arrived. Somebody had to tell them to stay alert, to keep in touch with the helicopter and with agents on guard at the airport.

Rico Rosetti, called Richie Roses, would lose millions of dollars and his freedom if Matteo DiPalma talked. So John Bolt had moved away from the hovering helicopter and off to the side so he could hear himself talk, so he could hear D-3’s reply.

If he hadn’t done that …

He had turned to look up at the ’copter, the radio to his mouth, hair flying around his head, shirt puffed out with the welcomed breeze from the whirling blades as it dropped lower and lower. …

The helicopter’s side door slid back and a man in a cop’s uniform and mirrored sunglasses, long blond hair blowing about his face, held a rifle tight against his hip, grenade launcher attached to the end.

Aiming the rifle and attached grenade launcher at Matteo DiPalma and the armed men guarding him, the blond-haired cop pulled the trigger.

Now on one knee, Bolt looked at the men who had been alive seconds ago, seeing a couple of them crawl away from the rest. Christ! It gets harder every day, he thought. He saw himself less than twenty seconds ago standing next to DiPalma and he shuddered, feeling suddenly chilly in the dry California heat.

You never get used to dead men, you just learn to live with them. Some cops didn’t seem to mind dead bodies. The fucking guy can’t do shit to you now, they’d say. Except that all cops felt differently about dead cops. You saw yourself lying there, bleeding and looking ungraceful as hell, your legs spread apart, your mouth open like you were snoring and your arms flopped around like they weren’t even yours.

Death was ugly. And the closer you were to it, the more you cried inside for your own ass. But not always. You could feel rotten for guys who had stood on a rooftop squinting into the sun, looking up at a helicopter they had thought was one of their own.

They died thinking that. Some of them did. Who was alive now? Who?

Cocksuckers, thought Bolt as he raced across the roof towards the dead and dying. Cocksuckers. Coming out of the sky like that, hiding behind the sun, then coming down to kill us. Jesus, the narc was angry! He hadn’t expected this. Not this! Not an ambush out of the sky, not after he had checked and learned everything was on schedule, that the police helicopter was on the way.

He felt ashamed, deeply angry and sad all at once. Like anyone surviving a disaster, he was grateful and guilty, as though he had cheated to stay alive, letting someone else die in his place. But he knew this feeling would pass. It always did. If you didn’t die, it just wasn’t your time. That’s all there was to it.

The helicopter.

He heard it again.

Circling around, coming back to make sure. It had to make sure. Matteo DiPalma was an important prisoner, in a position to blow the lid off a $50-million-a-year record company and a dope business that grossed at least that much yearly, both of which were in Richie Rose’s tight hairy fists.

Shit! Crouching, his heart pounding like it wanted to push a hole in his rib cage, Bolt turned behind him, seeing the small two-way radio lying where he’d thrown it when he’d dropped face down to save his ass. It was too far away. Men moaned and he snapped his head back to them, flinching and swallowing hard at what he saw.

Jesus, it was enough to make you throw up for days, to keep you screaming for nights. Torn, smoking bodies, bone showing through bleeding skin, men ripped apart and the dying clinging to life among the dead.

The helicopter. Closer, closer …

Bolt dropped face down again, feeling the sun-heated roof against his perspiring face, chest, bare arms. He shivered at the sticky wetness against the right side of his face. Blood. Christ. Bolt swallowed hard, pulling his handmade shotgun closer to his right hip.

Play time. Play dead and hope the helicopter buys my act. Play dead and let them come on in. Closer. Give me one shot, Lord, just one.

Hope those bastards didn’t see me move. Maybe they got sun-blinded for seconds while circling around. The smoke from the fire. Yeah, that could make it hard for them to see. Shit, it’s sure making it hard for me to breathe.

Bolt squeezed the shotgun barrel, fingers around it in a white-knuckled grip. His baby, that gun. Made especially for Bolt in West Germany, by a Nazi who still believed he and Hitler were in the right. Whatever the Nazi’s politics, he made good guns. The shotgun was only twenty-seven inches long, fired three shells and didn’t have much range.

But it had power. Killing power. Enough power to tear an engine block out of a car and send it flying through the air like a gum wrapper in a tornado.

OK, thought the narc. You come on down, sucker. Come on down out of the sun. We’re waiting. Me and some dead men. We’re waiting.

Smoke. Its sickening odor flowed over him, clogging his nose and throat, making them sandpaper dry in seconds. Bolt coughed, body shaking, eyes burning and irritated by this silent enemy. The ’copter better come down soon because he couldn’t lie here and pretend to be dead for long with all that shit in his eyes, throat, mouth. No way.

If they saw him move before he was ready to move, that was it. Finished, over and out. One more dead man bleeding under a hot sun. Just put his wallet and watch in an envelope and send the government death benefits to his parents, who were retired out here in southern California, sitting around watching oranges grow.

The smoke was getting to him and he clenched his teeth, body shaking as he tried not to cough, not to move. Come on, come on …

"John, oh, God, John …"

Walters. Son of a bitch. He was still alive! Bolt almost leaped up and ran to him. Almost. But in a fraction of a second he remembered and lay still, seeing a dark shadow fall down around him from the hovering helicopter, feeling the breeze from its whirling blades as it came closer.

John … John …

Then Walters’ voice was swallowed up by the helicopter noise and John Bolt shook with frustration and anger because he couldn’t go to his friend, an agent he’d known for four years, a man with a wife who cooked the best eggplant Bolt had ever tasted. A good agent, a damn good man.

And Bolt had to lie still and let him die. Because if he didn’t, if he was stupid enough to move now, then it was all over for everybody. Shit, where the hell is the police helicopter that was supposed to be here? Where the fuck are those bastards? If I get my ass out of here, I’m going looking for those cocksuckers.

Walters. Hang on, brother, hang on.

The helicopter was close now and the breeze from its blades came down hard, pulling at Bolt’s short-sleeved shirt, the noise pounding him like a bullwhip, sending loose bricks, newspapers, and burned files on Matteo DiPalma flying up and around.

Jesus, the ’copter was scaring him! It drove away the smoke, but it was pulling at him like a giant claw, almost lifting him up and pushing him around. His left hand was a tight fist and his right held onto the shotgun as though it were a life preserver.

A series of things tormented him. His sunglasses dug into his right temple and the strap on his shoulder holster was too tight. Smoke tore into his nose and lungs, making him want to cough and vomit. And the blood, Jesus! Lying in it was the worst. Well, almost the worst.

Walters’ crying out, calling his name, and Bolt lying there unable to move. That was the worst, yeah, that was the fucking worst and somebody was going to pay for that.

Guilt at still being alive, at being unable to help Walters, made Bolt angry. The helicopter noise grew even louder and everything loose around him rolled, flew, sped through the air. The wind pulled at him, and the noise smashed against his head until he thought he couldn’t stand it any more. But his anger was stronger.

Rolling over on his back, he brought the shotgun up toward the noise, left hand on the barrel, right hand on the trigger, butt tight against his right hip. My turn. My turn, sucker.

He caught a glimpse of the cop with mirrored sunglasses and long blond hair. The cop was leaning out of the hovering helicopter, looking down at the bodies, one hand holding onto a handle in the doorway, the rifle with its grenade launcher in the other.

Surprise, thought Bolt, tensing under a strong wind threatening to drive him down into the rooftop like a hammer beating on a nail. From me to you, asshole.

Lord, don’t let me be out of range.

The narc wasn’t.

He jerked the trigger with grim satisfaction, half blinded by the wind in his face, feeling the shotgun kick back against his hip and hurt him. It jerked upward sharply, reacting to its own power. There was sudden heat under his left hand where he still gripped the barrel tightly.

It was a rotten position to shoot from, but no matter. The advantage of a shotgun was that you didn’t have to be pinpoint accurate. Close enough was good enough.

Spinning blades reflecting the bright sunlight drowned out the shotgun’s roar. In the fraction of a second before the blast reached the man with long blond hair, the narc saw his mouth drop into a shocked Oh and the man stiffened, trying to pull his body back, and get his other hand to the rifle.

He didn’t make it.

The shotgun blast turned him into bloody rags, ripping his bleeding body from the opened door, peppering the metal where he was with sudden black holes, blowing out windows in front of and behind the opened door.

The man’s dead body thumped to the smoking rooftop fifteen feet from John Bolt, who was now on his feet, face twisted with hate. Kill somebody. That’s what I want. That’s all I want.

He fired again, just as the helicopter peeled off to the side and pulled up and away with incredible speed.

He pulled the trigger a third time, the shotgun’s roar drowning out his own scream of anger and frustration. On the smoking rooftop, under a burning sun coming down on his head like a hammer, the narc stood with his legs apart, shotgun now held loosely in one hand, eyes squinting behind blue sunglasses, hating that retreating helicopter more than he had hated anything in a long time.

Both blasts missed and he knew it. But the first one hadn’t and there was evil joy in knowing that.

Turning his back on the dead man who’d fallen from the helicopter, Bolt ran to Walters, stepping over bloody bodies between him and his brother agent. There was still smoke but no fire now. Bricks had been gouged loose from the wall, and the quick grenade fire had scorched part of the red brickwall a deep black.

Some of the roof had been torn loose, revealing wooden beams under the asphalt and rubber. Dead men, dying men, all of them bleeding, were spaced out on the smoking roof as though posing for a war poster. Bolt’s mind wasn’t on Matteo DiPalma now, but he was sure of one thing: DiPalma was dead or so close to it it didn’t matter any more.

Bolt’s mind was on Walters, his brother agent and friend.

Walters, sunglasses dangling from one ear, hair covering much of his face, sat at the base of the scorched brick wall, both hands on his lap as though resting, head slumped down on a blood-covered chest

Bolt crouched, smoke and the smell of charred flesh stinging his nostrils, heart beating. His hand touched the dead agent’s shoulder. Oh, God, Jesus God. Couldn’t get here any faster, old buddy. Couldn’t do it Jesus, I couldn’t. You got to believe me.

The narc stayed crouched, eyes blinded by tears and smoke, not seeing the dead and dying now, not seeing the genuine Los Angeles Police helicopter floating toward him, high and small in the sky.

Sounds drifted at him, too. Men in pain whispering and weeping behind him, a harsh, metallic voice mixed with static squawking at him from the hand radio lying on the other side of the smoking roof top. John Bolt saw nothing, heard nothing. He was numbed with grief from the horror of a sunny day he would never forget as long as he lived.


GET THE JEW ON the phone. No, not now. When we finish talkin’. He’s probably bangin’ the shit outta some colored gal right now, whatcha wanna bet, huh? Richie Roses grinned, shoving a piece of Italian bread red with lasagna sauce into his wide, yellow-toothed mouth. He was in a restaurant kitchen on Manhattan’s Mulberry Street. Two men watched him eat and talk.

Richie Roses, born Rico Vincenzo Aldo Rosetti, loved food. He also loved doing business while he ate. It was one way of showing people you were in charge, a man of respect. You took your pleasure when you felt like it and you made money at the same time.

To hell with anybody who didn’t like it.

Tom Thumb said, You sure about that? About Crane, I mean. Tom Thumb, born Tomassio Tumallino, was one of the few people in the Rosetti Mafia family who could question the capo’s decisions.

Yeah, I’m sure. Richie Roses smiled, showing half-chewed food. He was going to let the Jew know who was boss. Every time he ordered Crane around, Crane got the

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