“Nothing so completely baffles one who is full of trick and duplicity himself,
than straightforward and simple integrity in another.”
--Charles Caleb Colton
He placed the industrial metal box containing his display device in the back of his black Mercedes SUV and thought about how proud he was of being a German. Oh, yes. Only Germans have the ingenuity to develop such a product. His current partner was a stupid man who insisted on playing by the rules.
He knew now he hadn’t actually needed his old partner’s theory; that of deviating the radar’s rays into space by using Kirlian photography, resulting in virtually nothing being seen on the radar screen. After stealing the theory and prototype, he had taken it in a completely different direction. The principle behind his invisibility technology was unique. When the composite material he’d developed was combined in a liquefied form and applied to the fuselage of a fighter jet it would make the jet completely disappear off radar. He’d perfected what had originally been an experiment by Nazi scientists on a military U-boat during WWII. During the trials, two technicians had actually disappeared and the scientists who’d conducted the experiment were murdered during a raid in 1945.
It had been six months since he’d sent all the employees in the company machine shop home and had conducted his final trial. He’d combined powder forms of green polymer, titanium, Inconel, copper, magnesium, and platinum, and one additional material that he’d discovered quite by accident. That element, which wasn’t even listed on the periodic table yet, he referred to as Hcirnieh. Without this material, the experiment would have been a useless waste of time...
He then slowly turned the knob backward to decrease the voltage until the coils and the rod appeared again. Perfection.
A horseback rider takes her routine trail in the woods and, suddenly, her horse doesn't want to proceed... She backs away and ties the horse to a tree before she walks back to discover...a body...
But not just any body. The partner of an old friend of Jack's. And the police already knew that he had been overheard threatening to kill the man!
Why? Because the partner was in the process of selling an invention that would make millions. Jack's friend did not want to attempt to sell it yet...and, in any event, selling to an outside country could be considered treasonous by the U.S. Government!
Heirich Hines was not a good man. He was brilliant, yet was willing to steal from others to get what he wanted. Even in negotiating with Vance McGruder to become partners in perfecting a new, amazing product, he had required that he retain all rights, while McGruder would just provide the money! As any egotistical sociopath, he was willing to take anything he wanted, including raping his housekeeper...
McGruder hires Jack Ludefance to discover who murdered his partner--the man he was accused of killing him. And the police were looking no further. Travel across the world with Jack as he has been unable to solve the problem, and just accidentally sees that an International Air Show was soon to start--a week-long event. It combined a major trade exhibition for aerospace and defense industries. What better place to go than where he could learn what was happening in relation to the newest improve-ments for air travel. Jack's tingling feelings had arrived!
During this book, Jack's emotional world is rocky as he is having trouble with a woman to whom he was looking toward a life with...and dealing with the somewhat sudden death of his father. In fact, one of the fascinating characteristics of Ludefance is his personal sense of integrity, a moral standard that allows just about anything to get to the bottom of a case, while being open to work with the police and others who deal with the legal system in a much more controlled fashion. In fact, this book ends with Jack in a major ethical issue which he alone can never solve. But in that acknowledgment he documents everything he knows or surmises...and ships it off to a close friend in Defense, who knows exactly how to deal with the situation... Then moves on, allowing others to do what they do best...
This book is one of the more exciting. At the same time, a reason that Jack Ludefance has become my No. 1 PI main character, is because Kaya places Ludefance in an entirely different type of situation in each book. The books are complex from discovering the whodunit, but having a wide variety of settings, unique characters, and, indeed, learning for the readers as we dive into each case with Jack!
Ludefance faces a new case, hired by, now, a dead woman...
Lies a Great Crime
--Honore de Balzac
On this particular late July Friday night, I was among the throng of diners sitting outside on the patio, enjoying a cooler than usual summer evening. After my dinner of barbecued ribs, baked beans, and Cole slaw, I settled my bill, moved to the patio bar and ordered a Samuel Adams. As I was taking a gulp from the large glass mug, I noticed a woman walk up to the stool next to me and sit down heavily. I glanced over, never missing an opportunity to check out a beautiful woman.
For some reason, my mind went into full alert. In a mere second, I took in the basic facts. She couldn’t have been more than five-foot tall, slender, with pale skin, symmetrical face, petite nose, dark eyes, and raven black hair. I couldn’t discern whether she was Asian or not. It seemed to me that she might have had surgery on her eyes to hide her ancestry. She was dressed simply, but eloquently in a blue blouse, white pants which were rolled up to her knees, and a white lightweight sweater. There were diamond earrings in her earlobes, and a gold ring on her wedding finger along with a large diamond engagement ring. Her hands were delicate with long, slender fingers, and her fingernails were perfectly manicured indicating to me that she has never done a day’s work; all adding up in my mind to a woman of class and wealth. She looked over at me with pleading eyes and discretely pushed a brown envelope she was carrying towards my hand. “Can you help me, Mr. Ludef…?” Before she could finish saying my name, she slipped off the stool and onto the floor.
Everything began to happen in rapid fire. The bartender rushed around the bar, knelt down, and placed his fingers on the woman’s neck to try and find a pulse. He looked up at me, shaking his head. A second before calling 911, I folded and slipped the brown envelope into the inside pocket of my sweat-jacket. I dialed, gave the police my name, location, brief pertinent facts, and then took a picture of the woman with my cell phone.
As the other diners realized the seriousness of what had just happened, the shouting and screaming began and parents tried to shield their children from the dead woman sprawled on the wooden deck. It seemed only minutes to me, staring down from his six-foot-four, slender frame. He was cleanshaven, with a broad face and a wide nose that had been broken in his youth, and his hands were perpetually calloused. His Scandinavian heritage was reflected in his sandy brown hair. He was a man who found it difficult to say he was sorry, or even to say thank you; partially his way of camouflaging his true feelings. Above all he was a man of character.
How did I know all this? Lawson and I had served together in the navy for a good number of years, lost contact for a few more, then reunited after I’d moved to Santa Rosaria.
“Look, Deputy Lawson. I had nothing to do with all this. I was just having a beer and minding my own business until this woman sat down next to me and said, ‘Can you help me, Mr. Ludef…’ She didn’t even finish the sentence. The next thing I know she’s laying on the deck. I don’t know who she is or why she sought me out.”
“Seems I’ve heard this story before. You have a nasty reputation of people dying around you.”
“You know better. That comes with the occupation.”
"And, you know the drill. Don’t leave town until we get to the bottom of this.”
Jack certainly wasn't prepared for working for a dead person! On the other hand, she had sought him out, handed him $20,000 for his fee. Additionally,
Among the other items were birth certificates for two boys, a marriage certificate, and copies of off-shore Cayman Island bank account numbers. The last item I pulled was a photo that almost made me vomit. In the picture was an Asian girl whose throat had been slashed and a heavy-set man standing over her body, his back to the camera.
She hadn't even had to say anything, really. Including a picture of a man standing over a body of a girl with a slashed throat, said more than anything she could have told him...
Jack didn't really have a choice. His code of conduct had been ingrained early in his life. He would seek out the murderer of the girl...and try to figure out exactly what had happened...
And what he found was a rich man who took whatever he wanted and cared nothing about the results of his actions! The name of the woman who died was Lillian Holler, the wife of Jonathan, an export-import company owner... It was also easy to assume that Jonathan just might have been the man in the picture with the murdered woman that was in the envelope Lillian had handed to Jack.
Going into the investigation, Jack was soon making arrangements to talk to someone who had known Mrs. Holler. She was a high-priced prostitute, but Jack was willing to pay the $2,000 for a night, even if he planned to talk more than do what she was selling. Only, the tables were turned on Jack and he was drugged and quickly in a room talking with Jonathan Holler himself.
And the one thing he remembered, even after he'd been beaten and left for dead in the swamps, was that, Holler was not really the boss! And he had warned that Ludefance didn't realize exactly who he was dealing with!
I'm in the midst of rereading this last book, all of which I had read earlier during the time I was not able physically to create my reviews... But, when Ben (Behcet Kaya) contacted me to read his latest... I was so excited by it, that I went back to reread all of the books in the series which had not been reviewed, so far. Tomorrow, watch for my Exclusive reveal of Murder in Buckhead! Coming this Summer!
That will be my last post here at Book Reader's Heaven for awhile. I'm set for hip replacement surgery on the 18th. So, until the doctors and physical therapists know more, I won't know whether I'll be out of the hospital quickly, or into rehab...again...
So, once again, I'm seeking good thoughts and prayers from all of you and I'll keep you posted at Facebook on what's happening with me... Take care and God Bless!