Les Cochran Blog

Fiction Author

February 19, 2019
by lescochranblog
0 comments

Today is Your Day to GET EVEN!

Go Ahead – – GET EVEN!

Yes, today is your day to GET EVEN.  Over the past few weeks I’ve been sharing tidbits with you about characters in the storyline.  Based on the feedback I’ve received from several of you, it seems that you’ve enjoyed getting the inside scoop. 

Well. . . if you’ve been planning to order it, NOW is the time!

Kindle version is available for only 99 cents until March 1, at which time it will be listed for $3.99.

What’s It About?

GET EVEN is a crime fiction thriller based upon historical events in the city of Detroit during the early 1980s. More information can be found on my website.

Guru officiondo Scott Burnstein from Detroit says:

Once again, Les Cochran packs quite a punch with his vivid storytelling in another pulse-pounding entry to his Detroit Thorn Birds series. Cochran’s writing crackles from start to finish, painting a colorful, stylized picture of his characters and the gritty world they inhabit. The fast pace, however, doesn’t take away from the depth Cochran uses to develop both his good guys and bad guys, which gives the reader the connection and nuance they need to really want to invest in the taut narrative. The payoff is a doozy.  Another classic by one of America’s most underrated authors.” 

SHARE, SHARE, SHARE

Share this special price with friends and book readers everywhere.

LOL: Tell them not to miss their opportunity to GET EVEN!

DO A REVEIW

Like every author – – – I need reviews for every book I write. I’d be most appreciative if you’d take time to write a quick review and post it on Amazon* and Facebook.  Oh, and on Facebook have a little fun by posting a picture of you holding/reading GET EVEN.  

Heck – – – I wouldn’t mind a bit if you tweeted about it! 

 

  • Contact me if you need guidelines for posting a review on Amazon.

 

February 13, 2019
by lescochranblog
0 comments

Butch Jones Guilty – Citywide Drug Enterprise

Citywide drug enterprises are part of GET EVEN, the third book in my historical crime fiction series about the Detroit Mafia to be released on Februray 19th.  Just a few more days to wait!  In today’s post, I’m sharing more information about the drug gangs usurping control of the city from the mafia. For more information about the series, click here.

Historical Facts

Butch Jones, one of the City’s most menacing drug lords, pleaded guilty to heading a criminal drug enterprise in exchange for a twelve-year sentence in prison. Officials estimate the gang was taking-in close to $8 million a week in heroin sales.  Can you believe that?  It was nearly forty years ago and they were making $8 million a week!

Four Aspiring Drug Kingpins

In the late 70s, four aspiring drug kingpins from the West Side brought their gangs together. They complemented each other well—Raymond “Baby Ray” Peoples, Dwayne “Wonderful Wayne” Davis, Mark “Block” Marshall, and Butch Jones. (Notice they followed the trend set by the mafia in giving each other street names.) Peoples and Davis were hustler types and Jones and Marshall were straight out thugs, heartless street guys with “itchy” trigger fingers.

Young Boys, Inc. (YBI) Created

They formed the Young Boys, Inc (YBI), which became the model for all future drug gangs. It was organized like a Fortune 500 corporation with a highly developed infrastructure, divided into diversified sub-units.

Jones Bullied His Way to Top

Jones, a natural bully, quickly muscled his way to the top of the syndicate and ruled with sheer force. His crew was just as cold hearted; ruthless guys were known to beat their enemies with a baseball bat.

YBI Members Were Fashionistas

Here’s an interesting little tidbit for you.  The YBI were known to show up at a nightclub—50 deep, dressed in matching duds—one day trendy threads, then red Adidas track suits, followed by military fatigues, and in the winter, fur-lined Max Julian hooded jackets.

Hell Broke Loose

Everything ran smoothly until Jones and Peoples discovered they were sleeping with the same woman. All hell broke loose and Peoples and Jones started knocking off each other’s lieutenants—it was like sharks circling when they smell blood in the water!

Selection from GET EVEN

Det. Clark Phillips, my key character in this “Detroit Thorn Bird Defy Mafia” series, heads up the special crime task force that now includes representatives from the FBI and the DEA. Here’s a little of their discussion about the serious issue of drug gangs in Detroit.

“They have three hundred people coordinating thousands of kids, ten-, eleven-, and twelve-year-olds, who were making two grand a week.”

“That’s unbelievable,” Veronica interjected. “How did they come up with that kind of know-how?”

Clark gave her an agreeable look. “Remember, these kids grew up in households where all the men worked in the auto plants. People talked about the unions and the SOB’s at the top. These guys are no dummies; they picked up on things they heard and made good use of it. Imagine the type of organization you’d need to pull this off.” Clark laughed outright. “Last year the YBI grossed over $400 million.”

New Yorker Frank Bennett’s face went blank. “I can’t imagine that kind of take… I doubt if any of the Five Families in New York City are raking in those kinds of dollars.”

“Share”

Researching and writing a book is fun and very interesting for me.  However, marketing books is a real challenge and one I’m not very good at doing. Any assistance you can provide by sharing my blog and Facebook posts, will give me more time to write.  As a result, I’ll have opportunities to create more stories about the Detroit Thorn Birds and the mafia and you’ll have more to read!  Thanks for forwarding this to friends that like to read crime fiction.

February 8, 2019
by lescochranblog
0 comments

Detroit Drug Gangs Compete with Mafia

GET EVEN – Mafia Works #3

Book number three in my historical fiction series about the Detroit mafia in the 1980s will be released February 19th.  It’s titled GET EVEN: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia.   To give you a heads up, I’m sharing an inside scoop regarding storylines and characters with a need to GET EVEN.  More information on my website.

Drug Gangs Control Inner City

It’s the 1980s and Detroit is hemorrhaging—drug lords control the inner city and the mafia is under attack.  Even though my historical fiction series is about the Detroit mafia, I can’t ignore the presence of the drug gangs during that time.  In fact, many of the drug gangs were so well organized they significantly diminished the mafia’s drug revenue.

Davis Family Gang

As I shared in my blog last week, Earl Walker is working undercover to infiltrate Maserati Rick’s organization, but Maserati Rick isn’t the only drug kingpin.  Det. Clark Phillips and his task force need more information.  He has no choice other than to send Kimberly, a key member of his crime task force, after Ricky Davis, second in command of the Davis Family Gang.  Yes, the Davis Family was real and one of the most aggressive drug gangs in Detroit in the 1980s.

Coaching Kimberly for Undercover Work

Here’s a selection from GET EVEN where Joseph “Pag” Pagnozzi, a Detroit police officer and also a member of the crime task force, is coaching Kimberly on how to attract Ricky Davis’ attention at the jazz club.

“Okay.” Kimberly flipped her hands with a move-on gesture. “Get with it.”

“Oh… well, I had to give you a little background.” Pag gave her a disconcerted look. “After Veronica and Frank met you, they told their higher ups they thought you’d be a perfect undercover agent to infiltrate the Davis gang.”

“Undercover… infiltrate, hold on.” The thought shot a little tremor in her voice. “I’m a Lieutenant in the Child Abuse and Prostitution Section of the Detroit Police Department; I’ve never done anything like that.  You gotta be kidding. I know… these drug leaders would just as soon kill you as look at you. No way, not me.”

“No, Ricky’s not that way — he’s in his mid-twenties — a nice kid at heart.”

“Yeah… sure… and he has a big one he’d love to… you’re crazy, count me out.”

Pag’s voice remained calm. “If you’re going undercover, you have to look and act the part.”

She cast him a questioning eye. “So… what does that mean?”

“You have to have a drink in your hand… Manhattans are fine.”

“And?”

“A blouse buttoned to the top won’t cut it.”

“I don’t understand.” Kimberly covered her cleavage with her hand. “I thought this was a practice run.”

“It is. You have to play the role; he could come in anytime.”

“Now I know… you’re putting me on?”

“No, I’m not putting you on,” he said matter-of-factly.

Glancing around, she paused for a moment. “Okay, then.” She loosened the top button.

“C’mon.” Pag rolled his hand for another one and a second.

She glanced down at her décolletage, partly exposed. “Okay, are you happy now?”

“Fine.” Pag mumbled, “It’s a start.”

“A start?

I Like the Word “Share” – Hope You Do

Researching and writing a book is fun and very interesting for me and other authors.  However, marketing books is a real challenge and one I’m not very good at doing. Any assistance you can provide by sharing my blog and Facebook posts, will give me more time to write.  As a result, I’ll have opportunities to create more stories about the Detroit Thorn Birds and the mafia and you have more to read!  Thanks for any “sharing” you do.

 

February 2, 2019
by lescochranblog
2 Comments

“Maserati Rick” — Detroit Drug Kingpin

GET EVEN, the third book in my historical fiction series about the mafia will be released February 19.  Here’s a sneak peek at one of the storylines. I’m a fiction writer, but Maserati Rick was REAL!  You’ll be surprised.

Drugs Hit Detroit Big Time

As the drug wars ravished Detroit, in the 80s, “Maserati Rick” emerged as the Eastside drug lord, controlling local cocaine and heroin trade.  His real name was Richard Carter, however nicknames were an important part of life in the city’s underbelly and Richard used his drug income to buy a Maserati – – thus came the name “Maserati Rick.”

Detroit Mafia Expert

Detroit mafia expert, Scott Burnstein, noted Maserati Rick was part of “a seemingly-endless parade of eye-catching press clippings and rampant, reckless bloodshed.”

From the Pages of GET EVEN

In my last blog post, I introduced you to Earl Walker,a member of the crime task force.  He’s been assigned to go undercover work his way into Maserati Rick’s network.  Here’s a preview of one episode where Det. Clark Phillips is prepping Earl for his new assignment.  

Earl Walker’s Charge—Penetrate “Maserati Rick’s” Organization

Clark tossed a large brown envelope on the table in front of Earl. “The FBI has created a totally new identity for you — driver’s license, Cadillac Plant ID, credit cards, the whole shebang — for Clarence Tidwell, with your age and birth date.”

“Well, at least I got something of mine out of it,” he jested. 

“There’s five hundred bucks in there and address for the closest Goodwill and Salvation Army stores for your new duds — head to toe — don’t miss a thing.”

Earl laughed. “Guess you mean no Gucci shoes.”

“Not unless you earn them. You have to get in tight with Maserati Rick.

Earl Meets Rick

Seeing a powder-blue Mercedes Benz pull up, Earl’s eyes opened wide. A Mercedes Benz… that can’t be. He watched the flashy dressed man, with gold chains and diamond medallions hanging from his neck, slide out from behind the steering wheel and head for the front door.

Richard “Maserati” Carter opened the door and stepped toward Earl, spinning every chrome stool as he passed by. He extended his gold ring-filled hand, “Clarence Tidwell, I presume.”

Earl aka Clarence, stood and grabbed his hand firmly. “Yes, sir.”

“Where in the hell did you find those clothes?”

Clarence gave him a sheepish grin. “Goodwill and…”

Maserati cut him off. “I’ll tell you one thing, if you’re going to work for me, I’ll take you down to The Broadway so you can dress in proper attire.”

“Yes, sir.”

Glancing at him one more time, Maserati’s mouth quivered. “Your shoes look like shit.”

“I’ve been laid off for six months. It was either eat or be without a sheet.”

You Can “GET EVEN” on February 19th

GET EVEN: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia will be available on February 19th.  Online book retail sites have pre-order option available NOW!   

 

January 22, 2019
by lescochranblog
0 comments

Det. Phillips’ Assistant Goes Undercover

Inside Scoop

As promised, I’m sharing an inside scoop each week before the release of GET EVEN, the third novel in my historical fiction series about the Detroit mafia in 1970s and 80s.  GET EVEN: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia will be released February 19.

Detroit Demise

Detroit, one of the most progressive cities in the country in the 1960’s, literally collapsed after the riots. The books I’m writing reflect upon the troubled years that followed.  I try to share historical events to you via newspaper articles.  My key character Clark Phillips, a young detective in the Detroit police department, is fictional. However, the Chief of Police, William Hart, is real.  Clark is appointed by the chief to head a new crime task force that will focus on taking back control of the city from the mafia.

Mafia Works

Many authors number their book series as Book 1, Book 2, and so on.  I chose the phrase “Mafia Works;” GET EVEN is Mafia Works #3. If you like to read series, be sure to get SAX CLUB and BLIND PIG (http://bit.ly/MafiaWorks1-2), the first two books in this series. In addition to members of the special task force, Clark’s buddies are impacted by the mafia and get involved in the efforts to stop their control.  And, of course as many author’s like to say – “my writing gets better with each book.” Obviously, that means I think this one is the best.  I hope you agree. Even if you don’t, please let me what you think.

Earl Walker

Earl Walker Goes Undercover

Earl Walker is one of the members of the special task force I created to tie the real events together in my “Mafia Works” novels.  He and Clark had grown up together on the Southwest side of Detroit and were basketball teammates at Western High School. Earl led the team in scoring and returned to Detroit to join the police force after college. Eventually, he became Clark’s assistant. Earl was busy following up on a tip that a Pistons’ player was point-shaving, due to his debt to the mafia, when Clark had to change his assignment to an extremely dangerous one.  (Note: Many years ago, I taught high school and coached basketball at Western High School – – so I had to make it part of the story.)

Special Assignment

Here’s a preview from GET EVEN, as Clark breaks the news to Earl:

Clark took his time trying to avoid the inevitable. “I read, again, the report from Kimberly, Frank, and Pag on the Curry Brothers…it’s fine. But if we’re ever gonna get the goods on them, more of the same won’t cut it. We need firsthand evidence.”Sensing the forthcoming assignment, Earl leaned back in the chair and stared at the muraled ceiling.

Rubbing his hands together, nervously, Clark spoke slowly. “I hate to put it this way… since you’re the only black person on our team…”

“I know,” Earl cut him off, relieving the pressure from Clark. “I need to go undercover… Can I do one more (game)? I planned to take J. J. tonight.”

 J. J. was one of Nicole Weathersoon’s boys, who just loved Earl and so did Nicole—they were a perfect couple. So it was not going to be an easy time for the two of them, maybe seeing each other every six or eight weeks at a remote site arranged by the FBI. Earl’s assignment would be even more difficult. He had to become entrusted by Richard Carter, better known as Maserati Rick, a drug kingpin from the Eastside who was known to be raking in over a million dollars a week! 

Next Week:

Maserati Rick will be the subject for the inside scoop.  Note to readers: Rick was real.

 

 

 

January 15, 2019
by lescochranblog
0 comments

GET EVEN – Next Crime Fiction Novel Released Soon

On February 19, the third book in my crime fiction series about the Detroit mafia will be released.  Once again, Detective Clark Phillips is working to end the mafia’s control of the city.  His job is overwhelming, not to mention dangerous, as he leads his specially appointed task force in GET EVEN: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia.

Detroit: 1982

The story takes place in 1982. Heroin has hit Detroit—money is king; there’s no loyalty—everyone wants to get even!

Drug Kingpins

Drug kingpins are fighting each other and the mafia for control of the inner city. Clark and his team of FBI agents and the finest members of the police force are called upon to assist DEA agents, while at the same time trying to solve a series of unexplained mob assassinations.

Twists and Turns

There’s a large number of twists and turns as many characters hold grudges and feel they need to GET EVEN. You may be surprised about who’s doing what to whom.

Familiar Faces

Of course, many of the characters in GET EVEN are the same as in SAX CLUB and BLIND PIG. Remember Clark’s personal friends? Carlos, owner of several used car dealerships, Renzo, a local remodeling contractor, Earl, a high school basket teammate and a member of the Detroit police force, Ted, an apartment building owner, and, Father Dom, a retired Catholic high school principal. These friends, along with their spouses and significant others make up the core of the Detroit Thorn Birds. You don’t want to miss how they cleverly defy the mafia.

More Behind the Scenes Info Coming Your Way

Since the release date for GET EVEN is set for February 19th, I have time to share a few of the plots and characters with you.  I promise not to give away the story, but I’ll post a blog each week between now and then.  Here’s a sneak peek at some of what I’ll be sharing.

  • Earl Goes Undercover
  • Kimberly (Crime Task Force) Targets Rick
  • Street Boss Blackie Giardini Needs a Mistress
  • Mob Boss Jake Nicolette Has Plans for Clark

 

Share

Feel free to forward these posts to friends or book club members who like to read crime fiction.

 

 

June 8, 2018
by lescochranblog
0 comments

BOOK REVIEWS – – What Do You Think?

BOOK REVIEWS – – Readers Want to Know What You Think

Most readers select books based upon recommendations from friends.  Or, they read the reviews left by others.  Generally, if there are no reviews (or very few) many readers surmise the book may not be very good.  So, they move on to another selection.

Authors Need Book Reviews

Reviews are an important marketing tool for all authors, including yours truly. Well-known authors, like James Patterson or Lee Childs, get hundreds of reviews for every book they write.  Unknown authors like myself have to work hard to get reviews.

A Little Help From My Friends and Fans

Since you willingly receive my blogs, and hopefully, have read my latest—BLIND PIG: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia, I need your assistance.  Would you write a review?

For those of you who have never written a review before, I’ve prepared a brief guideline you can follow.  And, don’t worry, you can create a faux name (i.e., BookAddict, ReallyRead) to submit the review if you prefer not to use your name.

Guidelines for Placing a Review on Amazon

The following guidelines are for placing a review on Amazon, however, the process is very similar for all online book retail sites.

  1. Go to Amazon.com and type in the title of the book you read.  Example: Blind Pig by Les Cochran
  2. Click on the gold review stars, then click “See Reviews”
  3. When you get to the page showing reviews submitted by others, click on “Write a Review.”
  4. Click on the number of stars you would like to give the book. After you do this, a box will appear for you to type in your review.
  5. If you bought the book directly from me rather than through Amazon, please state that fact in the beginning.  Example: I bought an autographed copy of Blind Pig directly from the author.
  6. The length of your review can be 2-4 sentences (or more, if you wish); identify what you liked best such as storyline, a specific character(s), history of the city. You might mention that you liked the continuation of the story from the first book in the series, or that you are looking forward to the next one. FYI: First in the Detroit Mafia series is SAX CLUB, second is BLIND PIG and third, to be released Fall of 2018 is GET EVEN.
  7. If you prefer not to use your name on your review, you can create a reviewer’s name. Look for the place on the upper right where it states your public name.  Click on “Change,” then make up a name.  Don’t be afraid to be clever here .

A Review for Any of My Books Is Appreciated

If you haven’t read BLIND PIG, I hope you will.  However, your review of any of my books would be helpful.  It’s NEVER too late to write a review.  Just in case you want to do, so here is a list of my books:

  • Signature Affair: Love, Lies and Liaisons
  • Costly Affair: Love, Lies and Liaisons
  • Presidential Affair: Love, Lies and Liaisons
  • Sax Club: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia
  • Blind Pig: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia
  • Get Even: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia (Sorry, you have to wait, it’ll be released later this year)

Tell Others, Spread the Word

I’m pleased so many of you are interested in my work, and hope you’ll continue to tell others who like to read.  Sharing my blogs and Facebook posts with your friends really helps. Or, send them to my website.

Cheers to Readers Everywhere!

May 24, 2018
by lescochranblog
2 Comments

Promoting Book Sales – – While in My High Chair

Hi Friends and Fans,

I just announced my “Summer Book Tour.”  What? Were you thinking I just sit behind my desk writing novels on my laptop all day?  Well, I love doing that, but it doesn’t sell books.  Yes, I know social media marketing is the way to go – – and we do plenty of that.  However, talking face-to-face with readers is a lot more fun and very inspiring. And, it leads to book sales.

Art Festivals

My “Summer Book Tour” is my participation in local Art Festivals to create book sales. There are plenty of them in the Asheville, NC area and since I am new here, it’s a great way to get to know people.  Now, here is a little tidbit I’ll share.  To be admitted to most of the events, I had to make a case that writing novels is an art.  In the past, authors had not been considered “artists.”  Really.

Tent and More

 We use a 10’ x 10’ tent for displaying my books and other sales paraphernalia. The banner at the top of the page is new and seems to attract readers interested in the Mafia, Detroit, historical fiction and crime thriller.

What’s a Blind Pig?  

Since BLIND PIG is my most recent release, we float a large helium filled pig balloon above the tent.  We’ve enhanced the pig balloon with sunglasses and pose the question “What’s a Blind Pig?” You won’t believe some of the answers we get. That little gimmick creates a great opportunity for sharing a bit about BLIND PIG: Detroit In Thorn Birds Defy Mafia which often leads to more book sales.

My High Chair

In the title of this blog, I mentioned selling books from my high chair.  Did that get your attention? It’s what I really do. Most festival days are long, so I sit in a tall director’s chair.  It sure makes talking with festival-attendees easier than if I was sitting lower.  I raise my table, too, so readers don’t have to bend over to view my books or sign up for my blog.  These “raising” techniques make it very comfortable to connect with readers as they approach my booth.  We’ve had many fun conversations as we meet new people.

I Still Need Your Help

Marketing books is a very time-consuming job for authors.  As part of my “Friends & Fans” group, there are a couple of ways in which you can help.

  • Tell other readers – – they won’t read my books if they don’t know about them.
  • Encourage book clubs to read them. Brag that you know the author and he will Skype or Google Hang with them.
  • Write a review and post it on Amazon or other book sites. I’ve prepared guidelines to use if you’ve never done this before (coming in the next blog.)
  • Make a suggestion – – let me hear your thoughts for making readers aware of my books.

March 31, 2018
by lescochranblog
1 Comment

It’s BLIND PIG Day – Time for Mafia Crime Thriller!

YES – today is BLIND PIG day!  It’s the official release of my new mafia crime thriller BLIND PIG: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia.

I’m calling it “Mafia Works #2,” as it’s the second book in my Detroit Mafia vs Thorn Birds series.  For book description go to:  Les Cochran 

What’s a Blind Pig?

Do you know what a blind pig is?  No? 

Do you have a friend from Detroit or one who lives in Michigan?

Ask them; they’ll know the answer.  I’ll give you a hint – – a blind pig ignited the 1967 riots in Detroit.

Book Review by Detroit Mafia Guru

In this blog post I’m including a review prepared by a Detroit Mafia Guru that will definitely generate interest in reading the book.

(Click on the image to enlarge view.)

Your Assistance Needed

As a subscriber to my blog, I hope you will help me in two ways:

  1. Purchase a copy to read or give away  Go to: BLIND PIG
  2. Spread the news – forward this blog to everyone you know that likes to read  – especially crime thrillers!

Special Thanks Scott Burnstein

A special thanks goes to Scott Burnstein.  I anointed him the “Detroit Mafia Guru,” as he has written and researched Detroit crime history for many years.  His books are listed below his review.  He also issues the Gangster Report.  So much to see and hear – you’ll get hooked.  Check it out here:  Gangster 

Got Connections?

If you have ideas, suggestion, or recommendations for people or groups to contact to share the news about BLIND PIG and my Detroit Mafia series, please email to me.  I need all the connections I can get as marketing is the most difficult thing an author has to do.

Cheers to readers everywhere!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

March 4, 2018
by lescochranblog
0 comments

SAX CLUB a Mafia Crime Thriller Uses FBI to Narrow the Line Between Fact and Fiction

Friends and Fans,

This recent Press Release for SAX CLUB, a crime thriller, appeared online at ABC, CBS, NBC, CNN, Fox and many others media networks.

Historical crime fiction is just that: Historical… crime… fiction.  “As an author of an historical crime thriller, it’s imperative I convey a real sense of the times.  Nothing is better than going to the original source,” commented author Les Cochran.  

FBI Agent

In writing SAX CLUB: Detroit Thorn Birds Defy Mafia, he conferred with Oscar Westerfield, the Supervisory Special Agent for the Detroit Division of the FBI during the period fictionalized in SAX CLUB.   For complete book description, go to author’s website. 

The retired FBI agent played a significant role in ensuring accuracy for Cochran’s work of historical crime thriller.  He helped bring SAX CLUB alive by narrowing the line between fact and fiction.  “Not only did Oscar review the manuscript to ensure its authenticity, he made many valuable literary contributions during hours of interviews.”

FBI Code Words

By Westerfield sharing actual code words used by the FBI, Cochran was able to describe several events using ‘real-to-life’ terms. In some cases, the addition is only a term or phrase, but it adds reality to the story. The use of T-3 is a good example in the following text from SAX CLUB of a discussion between an FBI Agent and a member of the Special Task Force.

“I’ll check with my ‘T-3s’ to see who knows what.”

“‘T-3s,’ what are they?” Kimberly asked.

Will smiled to himself, knowing someone would ask. “It’s part of the code we use to categorize our informants. A ‘T-3’ is the highest rating; it stands for top echelon. It means the informant is very good and highly reliable. Usually they’ve provided accurate information for several years.”

Coffee Shop That Doesn’t Serve Coffee

Another funny episode included from the Westerfield interviews illustrates Cochran’s goal to narrow the line between fact and fiction. In real time, when Jimmy Hoffa came up missing, the FBI had one active bug in a Mafia-run Detroit establishment—referred to as the “coffee shop that didn’t serve coffee.” When a real event like this is fictionalized in this crime fiction thriller, the time comes alive; the reader is there—it’s 1975!   

The mob hangout was a coffee shop on Saint Antoine Street in Greektown.  A Mafia lieutenant, Dominic ‘Fats’ Corrado, held court there with his cronies. Westerfield pointed out, “Everyone up to the White House was interested in what we might hear. They figured everyone in the mafia ranks would be talking about Hoffa. The FBI techies had placed a bug in the electrical receptacle behind the fridge.”

Bugging and Re-Bugging

As the room filled, Westerfield recalled, the mafia guys started opening the refrigerator door for drinks. It kicked on and the agents couldn’t hear a thing.

“We have the most sophisticated equipment in the world and the damn refrigerator drowns out the conversations.”

The next night the tech agents went back in and disabled the compressor, figuring that’d buy a day or two so they could collect good information.  Evidently someone must have noticed the fridge wasn’t working in the early morning, so by the time the guys started pouring in they had installed a new refrigerator. “We heard nothing,” said Westerfield.

The SAX CLUB crime fiction novel is packed with examples like these; readers are there—in the room—with FBI agents and Mafia kingpins!   Don’t miss out!