It is Always Time to Read Warren Adler...
But somehow this book caught my attention at this time...
“Beat his ass.”
She looked at him archly. He did not reflect the win. “So why so grim?”
“Damn meeting with those relatives,” he muttered. The hostage problem was becoming a constant irritation, but he was managing it as he dealt with most problems. He had the ability to tuck things away in compartments, close their doors. Only this door refused to stay shut.
“Just be a good soldier,” she said.
“That’s the problem. A soldier fights.” He slipped into a T-shirt and pulled it over his chest with an angry gesture. Then he slid into his pants and pulled his belt tight around his waist. “They’re looking for it,” he said.
“Maybe Harkins is right after all. Hell, he brags about his covert assets. Why not go in and secretly whack ’em. Nice clean surgery.” He stepped into his shoes. “All this crap about violence begetting violence. Morality bullshit.” “Hate to think of what you might dub immorality,” she said with a lilt, hoping to calm him.
“Point is, we let them get away with it, no one’s safe. Especially us.” He turned to study her face.
“You think we’re really safe and snug in this place with all those Secret Service guys climbing in our soup?” He waved his arms. “And those cement barricades and walk-through detectors. A determined bastard would find a way.”
Alluding to that possibility genuinely alarmed her. She turned from his gaze, deliberately hiding her fear from him. Under the circumstances, she had tried to follow a routine as normal as possible. But the idea of danger was never far from her thoughts.
When Paul was a senator and they lived on Capitol Hill, he had bought her a little silver-plated .22-caliber pistol, which she had kept in a drawer next to her bed. She was alone a great deal and, although she detested the idea of it, she had not removed the gun from the house. Just in case, he had said.
God forbid, she had thought. But she had kept it in its place. Worse, she had brought the pistol with her to the White House, where it had remained in the drawer next to her side of the bed, hardly a weapon to match the Secret Service battery of Uzi machine guns that surrounded them.
“Times like this you almost wish you could be a dictator,” Paul said as he pulled up the knot of his tie. She knew he was trying to prepare himself mentally.
“So what would you do differently?” she asked.
“I’d blast the hell out of everyone that aids and abets these bastards. Government, clans, financial supporters, families. Everyone.”
She remained silent, letting him vent himself. “Nixon wasn’t so dumb,” he mumbled.
“Remember the Watergate tapes. He used to wish he were like the Mafia. They know how to get things done.”
He kissed her perfunctorily on the forehead and stormed out of the room.
The President was frustrated--more hostages had been captured and held by this group or that. Always considered fanatic terrorists. Would it never stop? This time, however, by accident, a woman and child had been captured, when the intended target didn't show up and trouble began. The terrorists were pulling back but the woman and child, who had gone into the building's bathroom, was coming back out. They were grabbed and swiftly taken away.
Thereafter, to protect their prize, they would drag the mother and child from place to place, sometimes even into vacant buildings, where they would be tied up and sat along the walls. The young boy was afraid, of course, but his mother knew something--she knew her family would not allow them to be hurt and would work immediately to free them. She spoke calmly to her son, ensuring him as best she could, though she, too, was afraid of what might happen in the meantime...
“I got good news and bad news,” he began. His eyes surveyed the faces around the table. He did not sit down, knowing that he was about to impart something momentous. He waited to create the perfect sense of drama.
“Mafiosa,” he said, pausing for a long moment. “The man who has the President is Salvatore Padronelli, better known as the Padre, probably the most important don in this country. Second generation. A racket network of powerful proportions. The other three are his top capos, loyal to the death. One of them, the Canary, is a known murderer and hit man. The other, the Prune, has a rap sheet as long as your arm. The young one is Benjy Mustoni, known as the Kid, an ambitious enforcer. This caterer, poor bastard, was, as they say, given a deal he couldn’t refuse.”
“What the hell do they want?” “They want Maria and Joseph Michaels, the Padre’s only daughter and grandson.”
Maria and Joseph Michaels had been waiting for her husband when she was captured. But he had no power or ability to get her back--just as the familities of other hostages that were taken would be, without help from powerful people...
The President's staff had already been in negotiations, but nothing thus far had helped. Everybody knew the US policy: the government policy of never negotiating with terrorists, never giving in to their demands. But that response was never satisfactory to relatives of the victims. The President had hated meeting with the families. They knew...and they knew he knew...that doing nothing was not an acceptable answer...
They found that out when that message was given to Maria and Joseph Michaels father. Padre Salvatore Patronelli, the most important don in America...
Because the leader of the Mafia was not willing to accept that America could do nothing. And he would ensure himself that he got his family back! By taking the President of America hostage and forcing action!
Sounds impossible, right? Well, not with Warren Adler's version of what the Mafia Don would do to save his family... It involved wearing explosives and walking right into a gala event sponsored by the President and his wife...
If you have read award-winning author Warren Adler before, you know already that what he writes is always unique, totally engrossing, and true-to-life. I enjoyed watching as the Mafia walks all over the Secret Service as they capture and then force the President and his wife into their living quarters, where they establish themselves for a visit, however long that would take! It was the President's wife that stole the show, in my opinion!
I highly recommend you take a break from the chaos happening in reality, and enjoy how things get done--Mafia style! Concerned about politics? Maybe even a must-read for you... it will lift you into an alternative fictional world that is a great place to be to watch the action! And good things do happen!
Warren Adler is best known for The War of the Roses, his masterpiece fictionalization of a macabre divorce turned into the Golden Globe and BAFTA nominated dark comedy hit starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. In addition to the success of the stage adaptation of his iconic novel on the perils of divorce, Adler has optioned and sold film rights to more than a dozen of his novels and short stories to Hollywood and major television networks. Random Hearts (starring Harrison Ford and Kristen Scott Thomas), The Sunset Gang (starring Jerry Stiller, Uta Hagen, Harold Gould and Doris Roberts), Private Lies, Funny Boys, Madeline's Miracles, Trans-Siberian Express and his Fiona Fitzgerald mystery series are only a few titles that have forever left Adler's mark on contemporary American authorship from page to stage to screen. Learn more about Warren Adler at www.warrenadler.com.