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Authors: Andrew Klavan

Werewolf Cop

BOOK: Werewolf Cop
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A Novel


This book is for

Ellen, Faith,

Spencer and John






ots of bodies. Lots of blood. So much disassembled humanity lay strewn from one end of the fourth-floor railroad flat to the other that even the veteran detectives surveyed the puddled gore with chalk-white faces. Even the men and one woman of the Crime Scene Unit refrained from making the kind of ironical remarks they had learned from watching TV cop shows. They went about their business in near silence, literally counting heads to determine just how many souls had been dispatched into the mystery.

One uniform—not a particularly young or callow patrolman, either—was outside in the alley next to the building, vomiting. In between bringing up his breakfast bacon-and-egg sandwich in painful spasms, he was trying to figure out what he was going to say to deflect the ridicule of his fellow officers, which was sure to follow. A female uniform who had been the second officer on the scene—and who
young, and a delicate-looking blonde as well—was sitting alone in a patrol car, crying uncontrollably. She knew there was nothing she could say to stop her colleagues from believing she was a weak girly-girl, prone to hysteria. The fact that department policy would prevent them from saying this out loud only made it worse. Sitting there in the squad-car passenger seat, no longer trying to stop her unstoppable tears, she didn't think she wanted to be a police officer anymore and wondered if she might have a future in the legal profession.

Outside the car window: a forsaken city street. An empty lot, strewn with rubble, to the left. A hollowed brownstone to the right. And in between, the six-story apartment building of grimy white brick that housed the crime scene.

Upstairs, in one blood-washed room after another, the grim forensic work, the terse remarks, the crinkling of plastic bags all continued in an atmosphere of increasing anticipation. A squat balloon-gutted bulldog of a character with the clichéd cop name Muldoon had caught the case and was lead detective for now, but no one expected that to last very long. Muldoon was a good man to have when your typical gang-banger-wannabe made his bones by firing a 9mm slug into the brain of some honor student. But this was not that. This was not an angel-dust-and-buzz-saw family quarrel either, or even a showy act of vengeance on the blacks by the Russians. This was big. Big. This was something outside the purview of your workaday murder-man like Muldoon, something entirely off the local map of his imagination.

This was Big—and Someone was Coming. Everyone in the railroad flat knew it. Maybe it was the FBI, or Homeland Security, or the CIA—but Someone was going to take this case over.

So everyone went about his business and everyone was waiting. Muldoon dutifully dispatched his minions to canvass the neighborhood for didn't-see-nothing lies. The Crime Scene Unit dutifully tagged and bagged the hunks of meat that had lately been some mother's son or daughter. The patrolman in the alley puked and the patrolwoman in the squad car cried. And everyone waited, because everyone knew: This was Big and Someone was Coming.

Sure enough, less than half an hour after Muldoon arrived, a dark blue Crown Victoria pulled in haphazardly among the official cars blocking the street below. Muldoon felt a complex brew of emotions—relief, excitement, resentment, and admiration—as a buzz of murmuring reached his ears:

“It's the Zero boys.”


“The Cowboy and Broadway Joe!”

Moments later, there were footsteps on the stairway and then in the hall—and, finally, into that makeshift charnel house, with casual yet unmistakable authority, walked Agents Martin Goulart and Zach Adams.

They were the two chief detectives of Task Force Zero, and Adams was legendary. The Task Force itself was practically mythic, since no one knew exactly where it had come from or what it was for. Its official name was Extraordinary Crimes—though whether it was a division or bureau or agency was uncertain. The federal Department of Homeland Security had assembled the group six years ago by quietly hiring some of the finest detectives away from some of the biggest police departments in the country. Why they had done this, no one would say. In fact, no one had even admitted E.C. existed—until an emergency called it into action and thrust it into the public eye.

This was three years ago. An angelic, bright-eyed five-year-old girl named Emily Watson had been kidnapped from her bedroom in the little town of Clyde, Ohio. The kidnapper was a flamboyant psychopath named Ray Mima, already wanted for three sadistic killings in Oklahoma. For the next five days, Mima proceeded to taunt the law and tantalize the media by broadcasting his plans for his little hostage on social media. His plans were horrifying, brutal—and irresistibly readable. The country—much of the civilized world—was mesmerized, rigid with suspense, as the days went on and the ugly messages kept appearing on the Internet.

Enter—seemingly out of nowhere—two cinematically mismatched law dogs from something no one had ever heard of called Extraordinary Crimes. Zach Adams was a former Houston homicide detective who spoke with a soft country twang. A tall, slender man in his late thirties, he was the very image of a western hero: blond-haired, blue-eyed, with a lean face that would have been boyish had it not been weathered by the elements. Martin Goulart, on the other hand, was former NYPD and pure Brooklyn, a slick and swarthily handsome man, solidly built and fit, with a full head of jet-black hair and an arrogant smile women fell for.

The two had somehow traced Ray Mima to a hundred-year-old farmhouse, an abandoned wreck standing in noble isolation amid the Flint Hills of Kansas. While backup was racing to the scene, Zach and Goulart entered this quaint piece of decaying Americana on their own. There, on their own, they confronted the kidnapper.

The way the world heard the story that evening, Zach and Ray Mima stumbled on each other in a narrow hallway. Zach shouted a warning. Mima opened fire at him with a monstrous hunting handgun. The big weapon's kick sent the kidnapper's arm flying and a .50 cal missile went screaming past Zach's ear. Whereupon Zach, steady as steel, put three 9mm slugs in a tight group in the center of the psycho's chest and sent him promptly to hell.

What happened next: one of a dozen local cops, just pulling up outside, saw the two feds exiting the building and snapped their picture with his handheld. The photo showed Zach holstering his weapon as he strode from the farmhouse with Goulart right behind him, cradling little Emily—miraculously unhurt—in his arms. The image flashed around the world—the picturesque farmhouse, the rescued child, the two grim cops—a Texas Cowboy and a Broadway Joe—a happy ending. It became iconic.

And for a day or two, the media wanted to know: what was Extraordinary Crimes exactly? When had it been established, and why? What department was it in? Who was it responsible to? What was its brief? The answers were so vague, the proper authority who could even give an answer was so hard to find, that one TV commentator dubbed the group Task Force Zero, a federal law agency that didn't exist. The name stuck.

Then some new event that was more or less newsworthy happened and everyone forgot the whole business. Except other law officers. Especially in the major cities. Where every now and again, the Cowboy and Broadway Joe—or two other similarly mismatched but expert detectives—would show up and take a case over for no reason anyone could pinpoint.

So yes, there were mixed feelings in the cop-like heart of Muldoon when Zach and Goulart arrived on the blood-drenched scene. Muldoon, forty-six years old and only a couple of years away from possible retirement, was not as ambitious as he used to be. He would have liked to take the lead on what was going to be a high-profile case; but if he was going to lose the spot to the feds, well, it wasn't so bad to lose it to the Zero boys, who tended to remain invisible and let the local law take the credit. Plus Zach Adams was a celebrity hero with an unmatched reputation. He was said to be modest, relaxed, soft-spoken, hardworking, honest, and a great detective. It would be something for Muldoon just to be able to say he had worked with the Cowboy.

“Marco Paz,” he told the two agents as they approached. As they all shook hands, he gestured with his head to the carnage around the room. “Sometimes called MP. He owns this building. This is his apartment. And he's one of the vics. A major-league fence. All the truck-jackers use him. Used him. High-level burglars. The mob. Just about everybody got him to sell their stuff, launder their money, whatever. He had a good rep. Played fair. Discreet. No muscle, no gunplay. Just an honest criminal peddler, basically.”

Zach and Goulart nodded. They stood silently shoulder to shoulder near the center of the living room. Hands in their pants pockets, they surveyed the slaughter with practiced eyes. After a moment, Muldoon saw them exchange a knowing look. This made the detective want to add something, to show that he was knowledgeable too.

He said: “They didn't use a buzz saw, I don't think. Russians and Cubans go in for that shit. This looks more like an axe or something. . . .”

“A sword—longswords,” said Broadway Martin Goulart—and the woman from the ME's office, on her knees beside a torso near the far wall of the living room, glanced up and nodded.

“Looks like the handiwork of the BLK,” Zach explained in his soft drawl. And Muldoon appreciated this: information sharing; including him in the case; none of the usual federal bullying. “They like to use these old-fashioned longswords. It's like their calling card.”

“The BLK.” Muldoon shook his head. He'd never heard of them.

Goulart said: “The Brüderlichkeit—the brotherhood.”

“German mob originally,” said Zach, ambling away casually toward the far wall.

“German and Russian,” Goulart went on. “They had their beginnings in the Russian gulags after World War II. Nazis guarded by Communists, right? They all turned out to be natural pals once they stopped talking politics. Natural killers and black marketeers, the lot of them. They got along famously.”

Muldoon nodded as if it was all clear to him, which . . . no.

Zach, meanwhile, squatted down next to the ME's woman and the bloody torso she was working in the corner. “Hi,” he said. “Name's Zach.”

She glanced up from her work. “Molly.” She was a petite, coffee-colored woman. She smiled, but only briefly. Her smile—and her figure, hidden under the baggy ME windbreaker—were her best features, and she worked hard not to deploy them while on the job. Especially to guys she found attractive. Which she definitely found Zach Adams.

“Hi, Molly. How many bodies we looking at here?” he asked her.

“Five, I'm guessing,” she said. “There are five heads, anyway. That's what I'm counting so far.”

“Marco Paz and . . . who else? His family? His crew? What do you think?”

She wagged her head, uncertain. “Some family. But some crew too, that's my guess. Definitely Paz and probably his woman and then a teenager, who was maybe their son. Then two other guys, both strapped—holsters, no guns. The guns gone. They were probably crew.”

“Thank you kindly, Molly,” said Zach. He stood.

Molly allowed herself a glance down the back of him as he strolled into the next room over. He had good manners too, she thought.

After a while, Goulart came up next to him. “Tell me nobody in the building heard this going down,” he muttered out of the corner of his mouth.

The two stood shoulder to shoulder again while a CSU guy and another ME tech worked the blood-stained room behind them.

“Right. Or that no one saw a whole dadgummed army of bad-men with longswords parade into the building,” said Zach.

Goulart's head went up and down once with noiseless laughter.

BOOK: Werewolf Cop
2.9Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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