Paperback $13.99: Amazon
A fatal Central Park stabbing. An underground Zionist cell. The vicious Russian mob.
After an innocent Jewish woman is brutally stabbed in Central Park, private investigator Raja Williams and his partner Vinny Moore head to New York to find out why. The case takes Raja undercover into the Harlem drug scene, and puts Vinny into a Russian strip club in Brighton Beach. Stirring the pot as only Raja and Vinny can do lands them both in danger and into the crosshairs of an international assassin known only as the Spider.
WHAT READERS ARE SAYING
“There is just something so captivating about the characters you can’t help falling in love with them as they take on new cases. Diamonds Never Die is action packed right from the start loaded with mystery and intrigue that captures the imagination and kept me on the edge of my seat til the very end.”
“This is a fast paced mystery in which I absolutely became engulfed. Jack Thompson has a wonderful writing style exhibiting boldness and strength.”
“Raja follows his rules and unravels the mystery despite Russian mobsters, drug dealers, uncut diamond smugglers, human trafficking and lots of action.”
“I positively love this series and always want more at the end of each book. Jack Thompson knows had to spin a great story.”
New York City is the greatest city in the world. New York City is the worst city in the world. Pick your poison. You will find differing opinions among any ten people you ask about the Big Apple. The Big Apple. The experts can’t even agree on who came up with that moniker.
The heart of the city occupies the island of Manhattan—and occupation is the only word to describe the one and a half million people who call it home. Twenty-two square miles with an estimated one and a half trillion dollar yearly GDP.
Put that many people that close together with that much money, and there’s bound to be friction. The never-sleeping sharks of the New York press troll the island waiting for the next body to fall.
The headlines herald the scandalous, heaping indiscriminate muck on the heads of those who dare to rise above the madding crowd. None are exempt, not powerful politicians, religious icons or Wall Street wunderkind. No one escapes, from the hedonists like Mayor Gentleman Jimmy Walker and Governor Eliot Spitzer, to the service providers like the Mayflower Madam and Heidi Fleiss.
The famous make easy targets, from actress Mary Astor’s sizzling (for the time) sexual diaries and Mae West’s Broadway show aptly titled Sex, to Anthony “the wiener” Weiner’s absurd sexting during his run in politics. Plumbing the depths of depravity makes for great news.
The religious have had no sanctuary, from Preacher Beecher, the nineteenth century Protestant minister with a sexual appetite for his congregation’s wives, to Rabbi Bernard Bergman, the proprietor of a chain of nursing homes who was convicted of defrauding the state government of millions in Medicaid funds.
Among the infamous were outright thugs like William M. Tweed of Tammany Hall fame. Others were not as obvious. In a town that is home to mega-banks as well as the New York and NASDAQ stock exchanges, the brightest capitalists profit and their praises are sung right up to the moment their true criminality is exposed. From inside trader Ivan Boesky to Richard Whitney, the VP of the New York Stock Exchange who stole millions for himself, to Bernie Madoff who bilked billions and nearly collapsed whole countries, many have succumbed to the siren call of easy money.
Viewed from outside, the city is Sodom and Gomorrah, the pinnacle of success, or both, depending solely on personal taste. However, for those living in the city, the view becomes much simpler. Opinion of New York City is a matter of direction—those on their way up and those on the slide down to, at best mediocrity and, at worst oblivion.
Despite the press and their piranha appetite for tearing the flesh off anyone who courts success, there are many people who remain under the radar. These are the hard working individuals who fuel the engines of industry. Mary Bloomfeld was one of these people.
“Hello, Mary,” said her uncle Avram, the manager of Goldfarb Diamonds, one of the many diamond exchanges in Manhattan. He had taken Mary under his wing and gotten her a job with the firm right out of accounting school.
“Good morning, Mr. Bloomfeld,” said Mary. It was a daily ritual they started on her first day, when Avram had explained the need for propriety in the office and that calling him Uncle Avie would not do. After punching in, Mary walked straight to her office in the back. Out of sight, out of trouble, was Mary’s life philosophy. She spent most days alone updating and cross-checking inventory and records. She brown-bagged her lunch, partly to save money and partly to preserve her precious anonymity. Although her secret goal was to find a husband, it never occurred to Mary that she would not likely meet him tucked away in the accounting office. Mary was a good Jewish woman who was confident that if she kept her head down, did a good job and went to temple every week God would take care of the rest. So Mary did her work, putting order into the records she knew were vital to the company. Keeping order made her happy. It was all part of God’s plan.
Today was different. Today she was failing. Order would not come. No matter how many times she redid the figures and reweighed and recounted the inventory, the totals would not add up. She redoubled her efforts, checking figures and weighing diamonds. It had to be a simple oversight. Her uncle must have transferred money to one of the accounts where she had no access, or a shipment was not yet logged. She went to see him but he was standing with a man in an expensive suit showing him diamonds. The hard fast rule in the store was never to interrupt Mr. Bloomfeld when he was with a customer. After ten minutes, the man was still inspecting diamonds and didn’t appear close to making a decision. Mary returned to her office.
When the day neared an end, for the first time Mary’s ledger would not balance. She looked up at the yellow sunflower clock she had mounted on the wall next to her desk. Seventeen minutes past five. Her uncle was a stickler about paying no overtime and insisted she punch out by five thirty.
With thirteen minutes left to make things right, Mary had to find the error fast. Necessity being the mother of invention, she did something she had never done before. She decided to get creative. There had to be an explanation, an entry somewhere that would bring back the order she craved. She just needed to find it. However, only her uncle had access to the main accounting program. Once she had seen him enter his password on her computer, but at the time she had made an effort to forget it. If she could recall it now, perhaps she could find the missing transaction and finish reconciling her accounts. She remembered it was his wife’s name and their wedding anniversary. The name, year and month came to her easily. She had a good memory, especially for numbers. For some reason she couldn’t get the day. She tried the tenth, and the computer flashed “invalid password” in taunting red letters on the screen. She punched in the twentieth, but got the same result. She would get only one more try before the system locked her out. Deciding to split the difference she held her breath and retyped the password. After the longest pause the screen changed to a menu of options. She was in. Two more keystrokes brought up the main accounting program. She stopped typing and wrinkled her brow. There were three more accounts in the file than she expected as well as a database, and nothing was clearly labeled. It was a chaos of information that she could never resolve—not in the eight minutes that remained of her day.
Mary looked up at the clock and made a second creative decision. She would copy the relevant files and take them home with her, staying up all night if she had to until she reconciled the accounts. She would do it off the clock, on her own time. It was the least she could do. Her uncle expected the books to balance, and that’s what he would get. Once the numbers were reconciled, she could easily update the files first thing in the morning. Uncle Avie would never need to know.
She dug her key chain out of her purse. It was a silver Star of David her mother had given her when she graduated as a CPA. The chain held three keys, a tiny push button flashlight and what looked like a slim Piezo cigarette lighter. She plugged her flash drive into the computer and looked up at the clock. Five twenty-six. She would have to hurry. With no time to sort through files, she chose “select all” and pressed “download.” Three minutes later the download finished. She shut off her computer, threw her key chain into her purse and ran out of the office and down the hall skidding to a stop in front of the antique time clock that hung on the wall. She shoved in her time card and pulled it out. Five thirty on the nose.
“Good night, Mr. Bloomfeld,” said Mary, as she passed her uncle’s office.
“Have a good evening, Mary,” said Avram.
Mary took the subway to the other side of Central Park, returning to the street level only two blocks from her home. The apartment her uncle had arranged for her was less than half a mile from the diamond exchange, but Mary didn’t like crossing the park after work.
Once in the comfort of her own home, it didn’t take long to find the error. Her uncle had transferred funds and forgotten to enter the amount in her account. There was a small discrepancy in the inventory, but only a half dozen stones that were probably with the jeweler being cut and fitted into settings. She would verify that with her uncle in the morning. For now, the books were balanced, order was restored and Mary slept peacefully through the night.
While walking to the subway entrance the next morning Mary remembered the birthday card she had purchased. Tuesday was her cousin Raphi’s sixteenth birthday and her mother had insisted she mail him a card. Mary continued another two blocks past the subway until she spotted a mailbox. After putting her purse on top, she pulled out the envelope and pen. She hurriedly scribbled an address and sealed the card inside, dropping the envelope into the mail slot. Seeing that she was now across from the entrance to Central Park, Mary decided it would be faster to walk to work.
It was a sunny and clear day, and the azaleas were already in bloom. A pair of fit young women jogged toward her on the path, reminding Mary of the diet she was planning to start. The women nodded as they passed by. A hundred feet farther a man in a Yankee’s baseball cap approached slowly on foot. The bill of his cap was pulled too low for Mary to see his face. She instinctively pulled her keys from her purse, fumbling to arrange them between her fingers as a weapon the way her self-defense teacher had instructed. The man walked steadily past, never even looking at her. Mary breathed a sigh of relief.
When a hand firmly grasped Mary’s shoulder she turned, too startled to speak.
“Are you Mary Bloomfeld?” said the man who had just passed her.
Mary could only nod.
The man’s hand came out of his pocket and Mary saw a flash of steel. Her grip tightened on the keys but she never had the chance to use them. His arm pumped swiftly and deliberately forward three times. Mary’s eyes flashed with pain and shock and then began to fade. The man deftly removed her purse from her shoulder and as Mary slowly slumped to the ground, he was already walking away.
Paperback $13.99: Amazon