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Detective in beige trench coat standing in front of a huge shadowed pagoda

  Detective Frank McCord       And The China Blues

           Detective Frank McCord and the China Blues, or Here a China, There a China, Everywhere a China China, by W. Lawrence Nash, is a thrilling detective novel featuring the intrepid Frank McCord. In this pulse-pounding adventure, McCord is unwittingly drawn into the dark and dangerous underworld of the Chinese Tong while the United States of America and the Peoples Republic of China fight for supremacy. Their presidents, Enrique Lagunas and Zhang Jian China, are mano a mano and they trap Frank between them in their struggle for world hegemony. Both presidents mistake him for their would-be assassin and he is targeted for extermination. Rogue agents run wild while Simon, the inscrutable and mysterious puppet master of the Tong contrives to outsmart them all. With twists and turns at every corner and a cast of suspicious characters and seductive femmes fatales, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat as McCord races against time to crack the case. Filled with nail-biting suspense and heart-pounding action, this book is a must-read for fans of crime fiction and detective stories.

        'Abernathy Town was in the rebuilding phase and there was no parking close to the Carrel Street library, given the torn-up cobbles and the brigades of heavy equipment pieces usurping the spaces. I parked on the street, a block south of Carrel, next to an alley which led northward and exited half a block west of beautiful Fran the librarian. I looked forward to seeing her. We were tight at one time and I was sure we still held each other in high regard despite her promises to poison me.
A melange of restaurant slops and condensed September mist trickled out of the alley onto the street, looking for the sea. The cobbles in the center of the alley were worn into a shallow trough by a century of foot traffic and the alley was dark, except for a couple of bare bulbs swinging on wires. Street kids had been at bulb smashing again and just two bulbs remained. I looked forward to Fran’s lecture, but my mind was not on computers. It was on Raisa and her other locations. The suspicions I thought had left me years ago about the empty spots in her past, flooded back to consume me. We had agreed to start from zero five years ago but the fantasies now racing through my mind put a lie to my pledge. I strode into the alley and its sloped sides and oozing detritus made the footing bad.
        Two large craters exploded from the brickwork at my left shoulder and blasted me with stiletto shards and pulverized bits of brick. The hail of fragments peppered my raincoat and impaled the skin of my face as the sound of high-powered rifles reached me and bounced in all directions, ricocheting down the alley. I dived for the ground and with my full weight I rammed my right wrist against a heaved cobble, and something cracked. My business cards bounced from my pocket and landed in the putrid effluent and I watched the ink float to the surface and slick onto my freshly cleaned trench coat. I laid still with the water running inside my pants and tried to place the direction of the shots. I could not do it. The echo was still too strong in my ears. I heard no footsteps. There were two shots but how many shooters. I scrambled to my feet, slipping and sliding up the alley and bolted out the far end into safety and I ran into an arm the size of a telephone pole that flipped me flat on my back. The weight of a huge man drove me down and slammed my head on the cobbles and dazed me. He forced a moist cloth over my face and as I clawed at it the sweet wetness stifled me and his grip was sure and the spinning gases flew me over a meadow through a kaleidoscopic sky blistering my skin with the summer sun and it was so nice to picnic like that and my hands why are they twisting my hands and I can’t hold the sandwich and a stifling nausea took me.
        I awoke in full darkness with a tight throat and a rasp, choking as if my trachea were narrowed. My airway was restricted, and I had difficulty breathing and I could not get up. Bit by bit the tightness in my throat normalized and the night was quiet. I rolled over and I felt the lump of my wallet under me. Nothing was missing from it but it had been handled. I was saturated with filth, front and back, top to bottom. The back of my head was split and my hair was matted with dried blood. I could not return to my apartment safely. Neither could I go to my main office on Isobel Street with the five-foot sign in the window with my name on it. They would be waiting for another crack at me. But why had they not just finished me when I was unconscious. And two shots missing me despite my profile being silhouetted against the lights in the alley. It was senseless but the holes were in the wall and I was a target. I looked at my watch. 11:45. The lecture was long over and once again as in the old days; I had stood Fran up. Fran lived about 10 blocks northeast and I thought I could make it but I was sick and wobbly from the chloroform. It would be after midnight when I arrived and I hoped my begging would pay off. I was a pitiful case.
        The temperature continued to drop and I shivered uncontrollably from the cold and the trauma. Fran’s second story light was out and my showing up was going to be popular. Her buzzer sounded louder than I remembered it and anyone within a mile could hear the conversation. I pushed it again and pushed it again.'

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