Moscow's Organized Crime Bureau chief Dimitri Danilov once more teams up with William Cowley, head of the FBI's Russian desk, when they attempt to thwart the creation of a global unification of Russian, American and Italian mafias. The investigation becomes political, reaching right into the White House, when the FBI agent nephew of the House Speaker is blown up in a car bombing. Then it becomes personal when it's proved the Russian capo was responsible for the murder of Danilov's lover. With double cross after double cross, the mobs stay contemptuously ahead of a pursuit that goes back and forth from American to Moscow to Rome. They're on the verge of gaining control of international crime when Danilov springs the Triple Cross.
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Thomas Dunne Books
March 09, 2004
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Excerpt from Triple Cross by Brian Freemantle
Each timber balk was fashioned into a perfect X, spread-eagling the man lashed to it at the wrist and ankle. Sacrificial nails had additionally been driven through the men's hands, and they were gagged by leather strips. Each was naked. As the frame of the next man was dragged from where the others were, he fouled himself. All their bladders had voided and two had vomited through the leather, smearing themselves. Everywhere stank.
Igor Gavrilovich Orlov stood patiently, oblivious to the smell, waiting for the new cross to be positioned in the stronger light in the center of the room, so that those to follow could see everything that was going to happen. He was wearing a long, chest-high butcher's apron, the green reinforced rubber red with gore. The already bloodstained boots, more red than green, were rubber, too, coming up beyond his knees. He was using a short-bladed knife razored on both edges but rounded where the pointed tip should have been, stained by the torture of the previous victim.
As Orlov approached, the trussed man threw himself violently left and right and tried to scream but couldn't. Orlov was careless cutting away the gag, gashing the man's face.
"No... please no... anything... no..." The voice was a scream, hysterical.
"There's no one to hear you. Only us, in here," said Orlov. His voice was quiet, conversational, his long angular face expressionless. "So let's talk."
"Who actually did it?"
The man jerked his head sideways to the first victim, still strapped to the crossed spars. He had been emasculated and was eyeless. There were no ears and his teeth had been extracted, as had his tongue. He was dead.
"Nikita Yaklovich... it was him!"
"He said it was you." Orlov moved before the other man could jerk away, slicing open his left cheek for the teeth to show.