Out for kicks on a dull summer night, a few Puerto Rican boys wander Central Park. Drunk, high, and bored they hack at an old oak tree, and they don’t notice the white-haired couple appear behind them. Murmuring in an ancient tongue, the couple attacks the boys to save the oak. By the time the police arrive, two boys have been slashed to death, and their right hands cut from their bodies.
Rupert and Rowena Comfort are druids, keepers of a religion that is older than civilization itself. For thousands of years they have lived in secret in the wilds of England, until the day that five Americans happen on their village and steal the book of shadows—a witch’s tome passed down by the druids for millennia. Rupert and Rowena will kill to save the book, starting with a spell whose recipe calls for the blood from two severed hands.
In the dojo, Manny Decker learned that training, focus, and cold discipline could make a man more dangerous than any weapon. His skill with his fists was useful in the US Marines, and served him even better afterwards, as a cop walking a tough New York beat. Since he became a detective, Decker hasn’t found much use for his hand-to-hand skills, but his mental toughness has proved invaluable as he navigates the narrow line of an Internal Affairs investigator. Keeping an eye on other cops, he has found, means risking his life inside and outside the precinct house.
Decker also knows that a mastery of karate can be used for evil as well as good. Investigating a corrupt security company, Decker finds himself on the trail of a psychopathic killer who can snap a windpipe with one chop of his palm. Only karate can stop him, and when the final confrontation occurs, karate is all Decker will have.
On leave in Tokyo, American GI Robert Sand is shot trying to protect an old man from a quartet of drunk American soldiers. As Sand passes out, the old man springs on his tormenters, beating them senseless with frail, wrinkled fists. He is Master Konuma, keeper of the ancient secrets of the samurai, and Sand is about to become his newest pupil. Over the next seven years, the American learns martial arts, swordplay, and stealth, becoming not just the first black man to ever take the oath of the samurai, but the strongest fighter Konuma has ever trained.
One night, two dozen terrorists ambush the dojo, slaughtering Konuma and his students as the first step in a terrifying assault on world peace. Though he cannot save his sensei, Sand escapes with his life and a gnawing hunger for vengeance. All he has is his sword, but his sword is all he needs.
The Chinese diplomat walks into the revolving door just a step ahead of the grenade. Samurai Robert Sand is too late to save him from the blast, but as the smoke clears he is hot on the grenade-tosser’s heels. In Central Park, Sand disarms the killer and knocks him unconscious. His name is Ivan Vanich, and he is posing as a Soviet operative. His real employer is a power-mad millionaire, who arranged the hit as part of a plot to upend a Russo-Chinese trading contract and seize the profits for himself. The diplomat in the revolving door was only the first to die.
On special orders from an ex-president, Sand races to avert catastrophe. His hunt for answers takes him to a sprawling English castle, where the samurai comes face to face with the man who would let millions die for the sake of gold.
Even the finest samurai occasionally needs to hone his skill. Robert Sand is in Japan, pushing his body to the limit under an aged sensei’s guidance, when he gets the message that practice is over. A French arms dealer named Valbonne has gotten ambitious, and is about to start selling something rather more deadly than a bootlegged Kalashnikov. He is building an atomic bomb.
Valbonne’s prospective buyer is a Japanese man who has never forgiven the United States for killing his family at Nagasaki. To take revenge, he plans to detonate the black market warhead somewhere in New York City. His contract with Valbonne earns him the support of the Frenchman’s mercenary army, and the cunning of a bloodthirsty Native American who’s handy with a hatchet. Unfortunately for them, this is just the kind of fight that Sand’s been training for.
Her name is Rochelle, and she is only fifteen when she disappears. Her father is a secret service agent assigned to ex-president William Baron Clarke, and when he asks for help, Clarke calls the most capable tracker he knows: Robert Sand, the only black man to ever attain the rank of samurai. Sand combs the tenements of New York’s East Village in search of the girl, finally learning what no father ever wants to hear: Rochelle is in the clutches of Pearl, the meanest pimp in town.
Called Pearl because of his exquisite taste in jewelry, he is no ordinary hustler. Kidnapping is his specialty, and the women he snatches for sale overseas are never older than eighteen. He is proud to call his business “white slavery,” but his latest victim may be his last. Robert Sand is coming for him, and all the guns in New York won’t be enough to protect this Pearl from getting scuffed.
One thousand pounds of uncut heroin. Street value: a quarter of a billion dollars. New York’s baddest dealer is a preening hustler named St. James Livingston, and his latest scheme will make the French Connection smuggling operation look small-time. The shipment is coming in through a Cuban diplomatic mission, and when it arrives Livingston won’t just make a fortune. He’ll make history. Only John Bolt stands in his way.
The meanest narcotics agent in the country, Bolt arrests Livingston’s supplier during a South American raid. But cutting off the head won’t kill this snake. Too many junkies are hungry for smack, and too many crooks are desperate for profits. The biggest shipment in history will also be the bloodiest, and Bolt stands to make a killing.
When Robert Sand’s sensei was murdered, William Baron Clarke helped him take revenge. The former president of the United States, Clarke is a rich man who uses his wealth to combat evil around the world. Since they first met, Sand has become his chief enforcer—a killer with samurai skills and American style. Once, Clarke saved Sand. Now it’s time to return the favor.
A fringe militia called the Inquisition kidnaps Clarke’s daughter, a brilliant college student. Their leader goes by the name Dessalines, and his cruelty is exceeded only by his madness. Before he executes his prisoners, Dessalines always stages a drumhead trial. Sand has three days before the verdict comes in—time enough to perform some executions of his own.
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.
Before crack, there was cocaine. In 1972, New Yorkers bought more powdered cocaine than heroin, and they paid dearly for it. Pimps, rock stars, UN delegates, and high school students all turned on with snow. Some used casually, and some threw their lives away for its fleeting high. The drug’s devotees showed their allegiance with a golden coke spoon necklace—a sign of the wealth required to maintain a habit when the drug sold for as much as seventy-five dollars a hit. They used it to party, to work, and to have sex. They snorted it, shot it, and rubbed it on their gums. And more and more, they killed and died for the sake of the priceless white powder.
In this staggering exposé, Marc Olden gets to the heart of New York’s cocaine underworld, painting an exhaustive picture of the drug’s effects on society—from the highest highs to the lowest lows.
Ever since he took the vows of the samurai, Robert Sand has been ready to die. But now, for the first time in his life, he has a reason to live. Her name is Ann, and he sits beside her, awaiting takeoff for Geneva, when terrorists seize the plane. Holding guns on the passengers and crew, they douse the cabin in liquor and light a fire that will burn until it reaches the gas tanks. The terrorists flee as smoke fills the plane, but one lingers—a Japanese killer with a vendetta against the black samurai. He puts two bullets in Ann’s back, and even Sand’s lightning reflexes are not fast enough to save her.
The Sword of Allah, the most feared terrorist organization on the planet, planned the attack. Its next operation threatens to turn the Cold War up to a boil, but they made one foolish mistake. Robert Sand is angry, and will have his revenge.
Though useless in battle, the emperor’s katana is a beautiful weapon. Cast from solid gold, this 1,200-year-old blade was thought to be lost until Master Konuma, teacher of samurais, presents it as a gift to the people of Japan. Soon after, he is savagely murdered, leaving his American student, Robert Sand, to avenge his death. The sensei is gone, but the sword remains as a symbol of his generosity—until the day the katana vanishes.
A madman snatches the treasure from the Metropolitan Museum, wanting the katana at his side as he makes a bid for world domination. Now it’s Sand’s turn to steal it back, and destroy the monster who dishonored his sensei’s memory. The katana is too valuable to use in a fight, but for its sake much blood will flow.
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.
Black magic orgies. Human sacrifices. Necrophilia. These are just a few of Augustus Janicot’s special skills. This charismatic sadist has built a formidable following, convincing politicians across Europe that his voodoo ritual can win them office. When they consent to his bloody rites, he films them, and uses the footage for blackmail. On the verge of obtaining unlimited power, the Warlock is about to make a fatal mistake.
Janicot’s next target is in Vietnam, and for Robert Sand, this is too close to home. An American trained in the ways of the samurai, Sand fears for the safety of Toki Jakata, the granddaughter of his late samurai master and the only woman he has ever loved. Sand has never been able to win Toki’s heart, but he will do anything to keep Janicot from pulling it out of her chest.
The Delgado cocaine operation is more than a business. It’s an empire, supplied by a direct line to the coca plants of South America. Delgado’s soldiers are not common hoods, but a cadre of teenage boys chosen for their loyalty—and beauty. But now one of his lovers has failed him, allowing crack narcotics agent John Bolt to build a case against the kingpin. Delgado will handle his legal defense the same way he rules his evil empire: with murder.
There are nine names on the list Delgado gives the killer. Eight are witnesses against him, whose deaths will assure Delgado’s freedom. The ninth is Bolt’s, who will die for turning Delgado’s boy. But Bolt serves justice as ruthlessly as Delgado serves evil, and the dealer will find this narc has a kill list of his own.
In a dank Chinatown gymnasium, a dragon prepares for the parade. As the teenagers inside the monster practice its ungainly walk, four Sun Eagles surround them and open fire. Trapped inside the dragon, the small-timers never have a chance. For the crime of stealing Sun Eagle heroin, they die on the gymnasium floor.
The hit puts the Sun Eagles at the top of the Chinatown heap, in position to strike the bargain that will make them rich. Sick of sitting on the sidelines in New York’s drug skirmishes, a mafia capo buys $4 million in Sun Eagle smack to use as a war chest in the bloodiest campaign the city’s streets have ever seen. Standing in his way is narcotics agent John Bolt, a one-man army who can match any dragon, Chinese or otherwise.
His name is Mr. Church. He is a drug kingpin whose empire stretches across six cities in the Northeast. And he is about to die. A rival dealer hires a gang of corrupt cops to end Church’s reign—not just to get him out of the way, but to get ahold of his list. This small notebook holds the names of the couriers, suppliers, and crooked politicians who make the international drug trade run smoothly. The hit comes off, but the list vanishes. Whoever finds it will become one of the richest criminals in the country—assuming he lives to collect his first payment.
Refereeing the melee is John Bolt, a narcotics agent with a hair trigger and a moral compass that’s pointing him right at the heart of this war. Finding the list could mean the biggest bust of his career, and he doesn’t mind killing to get his hands on it.
In Madison, Wisconsin, a dairy farmer drops dead of a heart attack. A few days later, a small-town citizen in Iowa is killed in a three-car pile-up. Few men know the connection between these deaths, and only one is willing to talk to Harker, an investigative reporter with sources on the inside of every agency in Washington. His source at the CIA is named Trotman, and he knows things that men cannot discuss in the light of day. The two dead men were CIA agents, defectors from Communist states living under assumed names. Trotman tells Harker not out of civic duty, but because the reporter will be one of the next to die.
Getting the story of this terrifying conspiracy down in print is Harker’s only chance for survival. He must work quickly to stay alive, but that’s no problem. Reporters like Harker love deadlines.