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Death of a Courier

Death of a Courier

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Death of a Courier

253 pages
3 hours
Jun 26, 2012


To break the mafia, Bolt must face his murderous ex-partner

Narcotics agents aren’t supposed to ride horses. But today John Bolt is tailing a drug courier in Central Park, and in two feet of snow, horseback is the only way to ride. When he hears the pop-pop-pop of a .32 pistol, he knows his man is dead. Bolt charges to the scene, and the gunmen open fire. They kill his horse, and Bolt avenges the animal. As one of the killers bleeds into unconsciousness, he says they were sent by Apache.

Apache. Codename for Paris Whitman, a former top man in Bolt’s department who flipped to the other side. Now a mafia enforcer, Apache is working his way up the mob ladder by targeting his old colleagues. Once, he and Bolt were partners. Now they fight each other in a duel to the death that will determine whether the trickle of drugs into this country stops, or becomes a flood.

Jun 26, 2012

Despre autor

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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Death of a Courier - Marc Olden

Death of a Courier

Narc Series (Book Two)

Marc Olden

A MysteriousPress.com

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

Chapter 16

Chapter 17

Preview: The Death List

Copyright page

Chapter 1


Someone else would have said, Sounds like a wooden stick beating against the pavement.

Not John Bolt, narcotics agent.

He wasn’t close enough to check out the caliber, but he knew what a gun sounded like, and he knew that someone had just pulled the trigger on this one three times.

The narc was sitting on a horse in empty, snow-covered Central Park. It was one of the coldest days of the winter. Shit! he said out loud to no one in particular, then yelled at his horse, Come on, horsie. Move your tan ass!

Digging the heels of his dark brown leather boots into the sides of the black and tan horse, Bolt felt the powerful animal strain, then step forward in the snow, now piled two feet high on the bridle path by bone-chilling winds.

Like frozen razor blades, the brutal February wind sliced through the gray ski mask covering the narc’s face. His eyes watered like those of an old lady watching Ronald Colman dying on the late, late show.

With numbed fingers, he unbuttoned his dark blue pea coat and touched a black leather gloved hand to his shoulder holster with its Colt .45 APC Commander. The handgun was powerful enough to lift a man off his feet and into the air. Bolt left his coat open. His lean body became chilled and began shaking beneath two blue turtleneck sweaters.

Better to be cold and living than cold and dead. That would be the result if he fumbled with buttons while somebody was shooting at him.

In front of the narc there was nothing and nobody. He saw only the beauty of trees and bushes covered with snow, a white sheet hiding the filth of a city dying from a massive overdose of heroin.

Only the prints gouged in the snow by the horse Bolt was following even hinted that anyone else was in the park. That, plus those three shots.

The other rider was a drug courier.

The courier, a short, balding clerk at a South American embassy, was using diplomatic cover to smuggle cocaine into the United States. In the drug world the courier had picked up the nickname Chili Bean, but the files of narcotics agents bore his real name, Jesus Ramirez.

Chili Bean was on horseback this morning. Since it was John Bolt’s job to follow him, the narc had leaped into a saddle, tailing the courier to see if there would be an exchange of drugs and money.

The courier wasn’t the important man. The important man was the connection the rider was on his way to meet. But not even the informant who had tipped D-3 (Department of Dangerous Drugs) to the meeting had been able to come up with that name.

It was one of the coldest days of the year, but Bolt wasn’t shaking just from the weather. That gunfire up ahead would probably mean more shooting in the next few minutes.

In the past two weeks somebody had killed nine drug couriers—three in Los Angeles, two in Chicago, one in Detroit, and three in New York. All of the couriers had been working for the DeTorres drug mob in New York.

In addition to being murdered, the couriers had been ripped off of whatever drugs or money they had been carrying. As far as D-3 was concerned, dead couriers didn’t make a narc’s work easier.

The drugs and the illegal money were still in circulation.

For narcs, the murders presented new problems—who was killing the couriers? Why? It was to find these answers that John Bolt and his horse were freezing their tails off on this frozen, sunny February morning.

Keeping his eyes fixed on the ground ahead, the narc followed the trail in the snow made by Chili Bean’s horse. Much as he was in a hurry to check out those three shots, six years as a narc had given Bolt street instincts. Right now those instincts were telling him that Chili Bean was lying in the snow and not complaining about the cold at all.

Dead men rarely bitch about anything.

Lifting his hoofs high, Bolt’s horse stepped through the snow with a grace the narc would have appreciated had he been home watching it on television. Sitting on a horse was something he had done only four times in his life, and if he survived today, he wasn’t planning to do it again anytime soon.

The cold wind attacked the narc, lashing his face and body with the eternal ruthlessness of nature. His teeth chattered, clicking like a telegraph key, sending curses to the man who had assigned him to follow the Colombian, and sending curses to himself for being dumb enough to say, Yeah, I’ll go out in the snow with the weather report reading like a hockey score, three to four degrees, and tail this dude.

There’s a horse’s ass around here, thought Bolt, that doesn’t have four legs.

Shit! he muttered under his breath, which was turning to steam as soon as it came through the ski mask. Even the horse was breathing out white steam. The weather was as cold and hard as a diamond.

Rounding a turn near a small bridge, Bolt saw them.

Four men, bundled and wrapped against the cold, two of them wearing sunglasses against the harsh glare of the sun on the white snow.

These two were crouched over Chili Bean’s body. They had pulled his overcoat off and were searching casually as if there were no hurry at all. They weren’t expecting anyone in the park on a day like today. Except the man they had just shot to death.

The other pair of hoods was standing and watching the search, moving in place to keep warm. Each held a gun in one gloved fist.

Whatever they were looking for wasn’t on the body. One of the two kneeling men stood up and pointed to Chili Bean’s horse, which was standing nearby, reins hanging down, breath visible in white spurts.

That’s when the killers saw John Bolt

And began shooting at him.

Putting his right hand to his mouth, Bolt dug his teeth into the fingertips of his black leather glove, pulled it off, and spat it into the snow. With a quick, precise motion, the narc pulled his Colt .45 APC Commander down and clear from his shoulder holster. But before he could pull the trigger, everything went wrong.

Two bullets from the killers’ guns tore into the neck of Bolt’s horse, and the bleeding animal went crazy with pain and fear. With blood pouring down his tan and black neck into the snow, the wounded horse reared and turned in a half circle, putting the narc’s back to the four men.

They fired again. Bolt couldn’t see a thing. One of their shots hit the horse in his right hind leg.

Quickly dropping his front hoofs to the snow, the pain-crazed, bleeding horse threw his back legs up in the air, giving Bolt no time to jump off or to shoot back. Problems one and two, thought the narc, holding on to the reins with one hand, gripping his gun with the other, and digging his booted heels into the terrified animal’s side.

Avoid getting shot and killed. And avoid getting thrown, stomped on, and killed.

At the moment all the narc could do was grip the terrified horse with one hand and both legs and say, Shit! over and over again.

The horse’s pain-crazed movements sent his blood out in spurts, leaving jagged red streaks on the white snow.

Blood from the horse was all over the narc, leaving dark wet stains on his pea coat and his brown woolen pants. Some of the animal’s blood had poured down Bolt’s left arm—a wet, warm trail of red from wrist to armpit.

Then a break for the narc, a small one.

The horse turned, and Bolt was facing the four men. Two of them were on one knee, their guns moving from left to right as they waited for the panic-stricken horse to stand still long enough to let them kill a second time that morning.

The second the horse turned to face the killers, Bolt fired twice. The roar of his .45 cut off the hearing in his own right ear for seconds. Hell, that was the least of his worries.

The narc saw one of the kneeling men go down hard and fast, rolling over twice in the snow from the powerful impact of the .45. Before Bolt had another chance to fire, the horse reared up on its hind legs, in panic again, this time from the explosive sound of the narc’s .45.

But the bullet in the horse’s right hind leg had weakened it, and the pitiful animal’s weight was now too much. The horse was on its hind legs for only seconds before it sat down in the snow. Bolt slid out of the saddle and off the horse, landing on his own ass and damn glad of it by now.

How he’d managed to hold on to his gun during all of this, he didn’t know. But he had. Call it an instinct for survival in the world of illicit drugs, where being dead took up all your time.

Instinct took over again. As soon as he hit the chilling snow, Bolt rolled to his left. A fraction of a second later the horse fell in the same direction, missing the narc by a thin foot and a half.

The narc rolled again, facedown in the snow. Coming up on one knee, he fought his own panic as he realized he couldn’t see.

Snow covered his ski mask. Worse, it covered both his eyes.

Quickly, Bolt ripped the mask off and wiped it across his face. His right eye cleared in time to see one of the killers moving wide to step around Bolt’s bleeding, dying horse.

Wearing sunglasses, an orange scarf wrapped around his neck and the lower part of his face, the killer stepped slowly in the snow. He half slipped, one arm stiffening to break the fall that almost came.

Bolt wanted to live. Able to see out of just his right eye, his right knee in the snow, his left knee raised, the narc brought his .45 up and, gripping it with both hands, shot the killer through his orange scarf.

The killer’s head disappeared in a splash of red liquid that was his own blood, and his body left the ground leaping backward, hands flopping in a grotesque wave of goodbye before leaving this life.

He landed on his back in the drifts. Like the dead courier and the other dead killer, this one would lie in the snow and not complain.

Quickly scooping the snow from his left eye, Bolt crawled closer to his dying horse, trying to keep the animal between him and where he hoped the other two killers were.


Two shots came from Bolt’s left, from behind some small trees and bushes weighed down with snow. The bullets ripped into the dying horse. The animal lifted his head from the snow, snorted, then lay back in his own blood again.

The narc wasn’t sure why, but suddenly he was pissed at the men who had shot his horse. It was a hell of a time to feel sympathy for anything, but Bolt couldn’t help it. It came on him just like that, from nowhere and for no reason.

It was Bolt’s job to get shot at. But the goddam horse was another matter. It was dying and didn’t know why. Suddenly the cold didn’t bother the narc anymore. Gritting his teeth, his lips pressed together, he wanted to kill.

Blood lust, maybe. Bolt wanted to blow those guys away. Lying flat on his stomach, he lifted up his head, then raised himself to a crouch, peering over his horse’s body toward the small trees from which the last shots had come.

He saw a small movement behind the snow-covered bushes and trees. Snow slid from branches. The narc didn’t hesitate. His .45 roared once, then roared again as Bolt fired into the bushes, sending snow spraying wide and high.

Oh, God, Jesus, God! screamed a voice from behind the bushes.

Yeah, thought Bolt. He felt better. A whole lot better.

One more left. Where was that bastard?

The answer was in front of him. The fourth killer was on Chili Bean’s horse and riding away, the horse high-stepping in the snow. Bolt hesitated. Maybe he could get a shot off, but chances were he’d hit the horse, not the rider.

As far as the narc was concerned, there had been enough dead horses for one day. There would be no more. Crouching on one knee, Bolt watched horse and rider disappear under the small bridge and out of his sight.

Turning to the small clump of snow-covered trees and bushes, Bolt said, Crawl out of there. Now!

Help me, I can’t move, said a voice.

Smiling to himself, Bolt said, That’s your problem. If I’ve got to come in and get you, I’m coming in shooting.


The narc waited. Then he saw branches shake and snow slide off and down to the ground. A man, sunglasses dangling from one ear, wearing a brown fur coat that looked as if it had been peeled off a grizzly bear, crawled out and fell facedown.

Lifting his snow-covered face, the man reached a hand out toward Bolt and said, Help me, help me.

Bolt watched at the man’s snow-covered face without moving. Instead, he remained crouched behind his dying horse and yelled to the man, I’m coming over. If I see a gun in your hand, or if I even find one on you, I’m going to press this forty-five against your skull and pull the trigger. And you, buddy boy, will end up with the worst case of split personality anybody ever had.

Reaching inside his fur coat the man took out a .32 and tossed it a few feet from him.

My, my, Bolt said. Then, louder, Spread your arms wide, and lie facedown.

Jesus, what kind of a cop are you? screamed the man in the fur coat I’m hurtin’. Man, I’m hurtin’.

I’m a live cop, said the narc. Facedown. Right now.

I can’t. I’ll suffocate. Oh, Christ, my leg. My leg!

Then on your back, arms wide. I’m losing patience.

Lifting up his snow-covered face to stare at Bolt, the man flopped over on his back and winced. The bullet from Bolt’s .45 had made a mess of the man’s right leg; it would never be the same again. Blood and snow everywhere, thought Bolt. It’s enough to scare the shit out of the muggers.

Walking over to the man in the fur coat, Bolt looked down at his weak face. White, male, trying to grow a mustache and beard. Young, too, no more than twenty-five, and going around killing people for a living.

My leg, man, my leg, screamed the killer.

It’s your ass from here on in, said Bolt as he grabbed the man’s lapels and turned him over on his stomach. Before the man could do more than yell at the pain, the narc cuffed both hands behind his back, then rolled the man over again.

Don’t go anywhere, said the narc, turning and walking back to his horse. Looking down at the animal, its sides heaving in a desperate effort to breathe, Bolt felt a sadness he didn’t feel often for people.

Softly, the narc said, No other way, old buddy. There’s just no other way. Sorry. Lifting his .45, the narc pointed it at the horse, whose huge brown eyes were glazed with pain and fast-approaching death.

Bolt pulled the trigger twice, ending the horse’s agony.

Walking back to the handcuffed killer bleeding in the snow, the narc looked down at him and said, How did you know I was a cop?

The pain was getting worse, and the killer was close to passing out. Maybe that’s why he got more courageous.

You shoot too good, said the killer in a weakened voice. He was quiet, then he added, But you ain’t good enough to stop him. Not him, man. No way.

Bolt held his breath. He knew he was close to some important information. Leaning close to the killer’s thin face, Bolt said, Who?

Smiling at the narc, the killer said, Apache, and passed out.


Bolt drew his coat around himself and dropped his head on his chest. He knew who Apache was, and he knew that the killing had just begun.

Apache was a black man named Paris Whitman, a former top agent for D-3, who had vowed to kill seven narcs.

John Bolt, once his partner, was one of the seven agents Whitman was out to slaughter.

Paris Whitman, alias Apache, wasn’t kidding.

He had already killed one agent and Bolt knew him well enough to know he’d go after the others.

Especially after John Bolt.

Chapter 2

JOHN BOLT FINISHED TALKING into the tape recorder, then swiveled the dark green leather chair to face Sam Rand, the tough little man who ran D-3 in New York.

There were ten D-3 regional setups covering all fifty states. Nine of the operations accounted for forty-nine states. There was a D-3 branch office in at least one major city in each state.

New York was the exception. It was Action City, the place where the most drugs were sold and the most drug crimes committed.

That’s why more narcotics agents are assigned here than to any other seven states combined.

In New York, Sam Rand, only 5 feet 6 1/2 inches tall, ran the department. There wasn’t a bigger narc to be found anywhere. Being small meant he had to be tougher, meaner, and smarter than a lot of people. He was.

At forty-six he was still a hard ass, but younger men with long hair and hip ways were needed in the field. Sam wanted more than a desk job, however, and he let Craven know it.

Craven, who ran the entire department from its headquarters in Washington, D.C., reported only to the President of the United States. He liked tough little Sam. So he gave him the hottest drug spot in America—New York, where the action never

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