Series: Jeff Trask Crime Drama #5
Published by Gate Keeper Press on November 8th 2017
Genres: Crime Drama
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With an evenly-divided United States Senate, the stakes are high for the nation's political power brokers. The leader of one party decides to change the numbers by arranging the elimination of one of the other party's senators. As the death sends shock waves through the nation's capital, federal prosecutor Jeff Trask and a team of FBI agents and police officers must solve not only the senator's homicide, but the murder of one witness and the attempted murder of another. Further complicating their efforts is the fact that the trial of the killer must take place in the political swamp of Washington, D.C. As Trask and his team investigate the deaths and prepare for the trial of the century, the nation's political fate hangs in the balance.
I love when a series goes back to the basics of what made it great. Like Law & Order, this series gives us the best of both worlds as you follow the story from investigation to conclusion. The court drama was compelling, and the danger from up high felt palpable.
I was engrossed by this story from beginning to end. As I have mentioned before, when an author doesn’t hesitate to kill off main characters, a story like this takes you on the edge of your seat and keeps you in a state of excitment and anxiety.
While prior stories focused on dangerous drug lords and gang crimes, this one shines a spotlight on the more dangerous “criminals” in our legistative system. These men are more dangerous because they legally hold all the power and proving guilt is nearly impossible.
As the balance of power in Washington D.C. changes hands, even Jeff Trask is effected when a new the new administration names a new head of the Justice Department. So far Jeff is keeping his position as Senior Litigation Counsel, but when a death occurs that might be political in nature, Jeff isn’t sure whether his new boss will have his back.
A Senator is dead in what might simply be a run of the mill car accident, until the investigation starts to uncover that Senator Sherwin “Digger” Graves was drugged before his fatal drive home. Was this a personal vendetta or a conspiracy to tilt the balance of power? The Senate is currently split 50/50 and the Senator’s death leaves an opening which could change everything if a Democratic replacement is sent from his home state.
Possible loose-ends are turning up dead and one man steps forward to point the finger at the current Senate Minority Leader, a man who has held a position of power in D.C. for decades. Can Jeff and his team go after one of the most powerful men in Washington with accusations of murder and conspiracy and make it stick? And will Jeff have the support of the new administration when politics and whose side of the line you stand on are very much a part of the problem?
This case is a hot potato and delves into life in Washington D.C. It points out the difficulties for the Department of Justice created every time the government changes hands. How the fat cats in the legislature get richer on selling themselves to the lobbiests. It also points out how difficult it is to hold these powerful men accountable for their actions when they make themselves to be above the law.
Tensions are high in this story as the quickest way out of this prosecution is to remove the witnesses against the Senator, even if they have to get that information out of Jeff and his team by force.
I couldn’t put it down. The story kept me intrigued, anxious and very much pissed off in what can only be seen as failings in our legislative system.
I’ve got to get home and clean up. The office is almost empty now. I’m just as much of a sitting duck here if I’m alone. They know where I work as well as where I live.
He considered taking The Metro–his usual mode of transporation home–but immediately rejected that option.
It’s too long a walk from the station to the apartment, too open, too many alleys, and too much cover for a shooter. It’s also my habit, which they’ll know.
He went to the busiest street exit for his building, hoping to find safety in the number of potential witnesses outside. He stepped out onto the sidewalk and hailed a taxi. The ride cost him ten times what he would have spent for the subway fare, but it took him straight to the door of the LaCrosse Apartments at the intersection of 15 Street and Rhode Island Avenue, N.W. He paid the driver inside the cab, made sure there was nobody waiting on the sidewalk near the building, and bolted from the taxi, sprinting to the entrance doorway.
He was alone on the elevator, and felt a sense of dred as the door opened on his floor. He heard multiple voices in the hallway–a man and a woman–and after a glance to either side, convinced himself that it was safe enough to walk the hallway to his door. He smiled at the couple as he passed them, but could not help glancing back at them over his shoulder. They could be working as a team; the flirting could be a cover. I don’t know who to look for; they could send anyone. Samantha probably never knew what hit her.
He reached the door to his apartment and unlocked it. He hesitated before locking it behind him.
Someone could be here already. I’ll do a sweep of the place first, and then grab a shower and some fresh clothes. I could call in sick tomorrow; maybe get out of town for a while.
He did not own a gun, but he was a recreational softball player, and he did have an aluminum bat in the closet beside the door. It was one of those expensive, souped-up jobs, guaranteed to generate maximum force and to turn warning-track fly balls into home runs. He grabbed it and–ready to swing–went through the four rooms, checking every closet and set of drapes to make sure the apartment was empty.
He came out of hs bedroom back into the living room, and he realized that he had neglected to lock the door to the hallway. As he approached the door, he thought he heard something on the other side. He risked a glance through the security peephole.
A guy with a Bluetooth on his ear. I’ve seen him before. Where? Where was it?
He reached for deadbolt to lock the door, but saw that the knob was already turning.
The Momument! He was the guy at the momument when I met with Sam! The jerk who kept talking. He must have seen me come in!
The staffer took a quiet step behind the door and grabbed his bat with both hands.
I’ve got just one chance.