Pure Evil
Pure Evil
Perfect Bound Softcover
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Matt Kinler’s world is turned upside down in one telephone call. When the former FBI agent answers the call, he learns an informant from his FBI days is in trouble. The caller claims to be the informant’s daughter. Matt knows of no such daughter. How could he? The man dropped out of sight over twenty years ago. He responds out of loyalty, but he has no idea where the informant lives or what name he has assumed.

There are only two men who would want to hunt Jesse Lopez down and kill him: a drug cartel member and his twin brother, but they are locked up for terms the prosecutor described to news reporters as “virtual life sentences.”

When Matt goes to his former employer for help, he is met with indifference and suspicion. Left on his own, he discovers he must weave his way through a minefield of obstacles created by the bizarre actions of an over-zealous federal prosecutor.

But, a killer and the prosecutor are not his only concern. Anna Kinler has other ideas on how her husband should use his time. Matt scrambles to juggle Anna’s “pro bono” work with his efforts to save Jesse, but can he? This fast-paced story will give you the answer with a thrilling mix of mystery, suspense, and humor.

Finally, Stark turned to face Matt, with his back against the window and his arms folded across his barrel chest. “For a long time,” Stark said, “every law enforcement agency around wanted a piece of Juan Salazar-Peña. He’s operated out of Tijuana beyond our reach. Your guy handed him to us—drugs, guns, prostitution, and murder. One of the biggest racketeering cases we’ve had since I’ve been in this office.” He took a step and leaned down over the desk. “And now your guy wants to bolt and run.” Stark shook his head and sat down in his chair. “Did he say why?” “He believes he did his job—everything we asked him to do. Said he can’t get on the stand. Can’t look ’em in the eye and testify. They’d kill him for sure.” “Either way—given a chance—they’ll try! If Salazar gets him, we’ll find him in a ditch without a head, like the others.” “I think down deep, he knows that.” Matt said. “It’s a no-brainer. He’ll need protection. Dad’s dead, sister’s killed, and his twin brother’s headed for prison.” Stark paused, then asked, “Does he have a plan?” “Didn’t say. All he said was he’d disappear.” “What’s he mean, ‘disappear’?” “I don’t know. Don’t think he knows, either.” Stark held his hands on the desk and stared at Matt. “The task force attorney wants his testimony. He’s even considering an arrest to hold him for the trial.” “That’d go over well: Thanks for putting it on the line for us. You’re now under arrest.” “Don’t let your personal investment cloud the issue. These are legal tactics to ensure a conviction. This informant is one part.” Matt leaned forward in his chair. “Don’t we consider what he wants, make sure he’s prepared for what’ll happen?” “No! He’s a means to an end. Martin Brewer could offer him immunity—put him into witness protection. Salazar is a big deal. US attorney wants him bad.” “He told me the witness program is not for him.” Stark leaned back in his chair. “Boss thinks you’ve let yourself get too close.” Matt sat back and shook his head. “That’s not fair. For a year, I—he’s done everything for us. He took a huge risk and we have a moral obligation to consider his needs.” “Obligation? We own him, Matt!” Stark rocked forward, put his glasses down and rubbed his eyes. “Wait at your desk. I’ll get a place and time, and you will tell him to meet with me and Brewer.” “He won’t be happy.” “I don’t care about happy! Just do it!” Matt stood and walked out of his supervisor’s office. Maybe the boss was right, he thought for a split second. No…no way. The informant had risked his life. Not once did he balk, until now. Such loyalty required Matt to respond in kind. To do otherwise would be against his nature. Agents were pressured to recruit informants, but he’d received little training. Matt did, however, recall one principle learned as a new agent: the FBI takes care of its own. Now, after this experience, he wondered if he had been misinformed. He sighed as he entered the room where he had a desk. There were rows of desks arranged across the middle of the room. He took the aisle along the wall to his assigned work place. The large open room provided office space for fifty other agents. The scene was a sea of gray metal furniture populated by agents. He arrived in the back where he worked, sat down, and glanced out across the desks he could see from his chair. Some agents talked on telephones, some read documents, and others participated in hushed conversations. After a few moments, Matt took off his glasses and turned to his partner, Dan Horne, who was seated at the desk beside his. “Dan, after I meet with my informant, I’m going home. Cover for me?” Dan nodded and asked, “You okay?” “Not really.” Matt leaned toward Horne to prevent eavesdropping. “Jesse won’t testify and the boss thinks I’m a traitor.” Horne frowned but said nothing. “Stark and the task force attorney want to meet with him and persuade him to testify. They think I won’t—or can’t.” “You invited?” “No, and Jesse may refuse.” “Yeah, I can understand. But it’ll probably be a good move for you.” “How so?” “If he says yes, everyone wins. If he says no, you’re vindicated because they couldn’t sell him, either.” The telephone on his desk rang and Matt answered. “Agent Kinler. Tomorrow? 10:00 a.m. at Coldwater Canyon Park. Yes, sir, I’ll tell him.” Matt hung up as he made a note for himself. “Marching orders?” Matt nodded as he made a quick call to arrange a meet. Then he stood and slipped into his sport coat. “Thanks for listening and your thoughts too.” Horne smiled and waved Matt on his way. In the parking lot, Matt took a detour to avoid other agents who were returning to the office. With neither the time nor mood for casual conversation, he hurried to his government-issued car and took the 405 north across the valley. He left the freeway at a Granada Hills exit and turned west. A few minutes later, he drove into the neighborhood they used as a place to meet. Jesse Lopez was in an old Ford Ranger. Matt pulled over to the curb and parked behind the small pickup.

John Lawe lives on the eastern edge of Oregon’s Willamette Valley with his wife. During his career as a criminal investigator he has worked fraud, kidnapping, extortion, and murder cases. He draws on his past experience to create thrilling crime stories infused with mystery, suspense, and a measure of humor.


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