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  • (Posted June 7, 2018)

    Deep Trouble with the Deep State

     

    "Roger here. I've got a problem. Going to need your help. Immediately."

    Jack scrutinized Roger’s text. Generally, the shoe was on the other foot—Jack seeking out Roger’s help. And when Jack reached out, Roger always came through.

    Henry recognized his friend’s distant glare.

    Something big’s up, Henry thought. I’d say this meeting is finished.

    “Excuse me for a minute,” Jack said as he stood. “I’ve got to take care of this.”

    By the time his thumb had triggered the call, Jack knew that he would be flying someplace within the hour. … He just didn’t know to where. Nor did he have any inclination as to why his services would be required.

    “What’s up?” Jack asked as Roger picked up.

    “What the hell are you doing in South Dakota?” Roger barked. “I thought you’d be sitting on the pier smoking a Havana and nursing a JD. Whataya got going in …Deadwood?”

    “A job. I’m running down some leads on a murder. One that took place in Newberry almost a century ago.”

    “Newberry," Roger said. “That's up by where you live. Right? In the UP. ... Look, Jack, you know I wouldn’t be rattling your cage if I weren’t in a bind.”

    “Of course. How can I help?”

    “Can anyone at your end listen in on our conversation?”

    “I’m just now approaching my truck. No one’s around. We’re good.”

    Jack knew that unless another person were physically within earshot, his conversation with Roger would remain private. That was because Roger had earlier installed an app on Jack’s phone that would scramble both ends of the conversation with 64-bit encryption.

    “Something up with Allison?” Jack asked.

    Because Roger was permanently attached to former first lady Allison Fulbright’s secret service detail, it was only logical for Jack to deduce that Roger’s dilemma would most likely involve his charge, especially since in the past Allison always seemed to challenge both Roger and Jack in the most unconventional of fashions.

    “You know,” Roger replied, “I really can’t answer that question. She might be involved. I just can’t say for sure. But, at this point, I can truthfully say that I have no reason to suspect that she is. … The whole matter, however, is much broader than Allison and her personal aspirations.”

    Both Jack and Roger were well aware of Allison’s obsessive desire to go back to the White House—this time as president, rather than first lady.

    “How about Bob?” Jack asked. “Is he involved?”

    The Bob Jack was referring to was Bob Fulbright—the former president, and Allison’s quasi-estranged husband.”

    “No,” Roger said. “About that I’m quite certain. In fact, Bob is my informant. He laid the whole matter out for me. At least as much as he was at liberty to talk about.”

    “The whole matter,” Jack repeated. “Just what is this matter that you’re so concerned about? It sounds a bit ominous.”

    “Bob recently became aware that there is a credible plot to assassinate the President of the United States.”

    “Bob told you that?” Jack asked.

    Jack knew the former president well. In fact, during the early years of the Fulbright Presidency he had worked very closely with then President Fulbright. Back then, whenever circumstances presented the president with a particularly unpleasant situation, he would regularly turn to Jack to fix it. So, if Bob Fulbright concluded that there did actually exist a real threat of a presidential assassination, Jack would be the first to consider it credible.

    “Shit,” Jack groused. “If both Bob and you think this is happening, then I’m sure there has to be something to it. … But, isn’t this a job for the FBI? Or the Secret Service? Why would you guys think that I could help you out when you’ve got all these special agents at your disposal? We’re talking about a presidential assassination. Right?”

    “That’s just it, Jack,” Roger said speaking slowly. “The Deep State is the problem. They’re behind it.”

    Jack was shocked. He just sat silently in his Tahoe pondering Roger’s words.

    Finally, he spoke.

    “You can’t be serious! The FBI and the Secret Service!? You’re thinking that they are both involved?”

    “Bob laid it out pretty clearly to me. He wants to talk to you as well. He has contacts deep within those agencies, and he told me that the threat is totally credible. In fact, he’s scared shitless about it. I’ve never seen him like this. … You know how he is. Always in control. On top of every situation. … But, that’s not the case this time.”

    “I can see why,” Jack said. “If one of his spooks spelled this out to him, then someone must think that he’s sympathetic. Otherwise, he would not have been approached. So, if it gets back to whoever is heading this thing up, that Bob is not all in, then he’ll have to be neutralized as well.”

    “Exactly how he sees it.”

    “Assuming that this is a legitimate threat, do you or Bob have any idea how … or when it’s to be carried out?”

    “Yes to both.”

    Jack paused for a moment while he digested his friend’s words. Recognizing Jack’s consternation, Roger did not interrupt the silence. Finally, Jack spoke.

    “Let me see if I’ve got this right. You know who it is that's cooking up this plot. And you know both where and how they intend to pull it off. Is that about right?”

    “Pretty much,” Roger confirmed. “We know who the main players are. Maybe not the specific assets who will be in the field. But we know the ones who are behind it. And we know where and when it’s going to happen.”

    “Then it seems pretty simple to me. … Look, all you’d have to do is pull the president out of that particular situation. If you know it to be that dangerous. … Or dramatically up the protection.”

    “That’s the rub. The location chosen for the hit is Singapore. Next week.”

    “Holy shit! The summit?”

    “Exactly. … That means we can’t pull POTUS out, we can’t change venues—”

    “And,” Jack interrupted, “there’s absolutely nothing you can do provide adequate protection over there. Nothing.”

    “That’s the dilemma. … The plan is to make it look like it’s the work of the NOKOs.”

    “What are they going to use?” Jack asked, somewhat in jest. “Are they going to drop a mortar round on him?”

    “Better than that. They’re going to use a black-market cruise missile.”

    “That’s a lot of firepower to take out one man. Why not something more discrete? Like maybe a .50 cal?”

    “They want it to look like a NOKO coups d’etat. With POTUS as collateral.”

    “How the hell do you protect against something like that?” Jack asked. “It’d be impossible. It’s like putting your head inside a crock’s mouth—you’re going to get it ripped off. … Best way out would be to use a sacrificial double. It’d be messy, but POTUS would survive.”

    “We suggested that. But POTUS would have none of it. This summit is too important to him. He sees himself as a cross between Winston Churchill and Mahatma Gandhi—if you can imagine that.”

    “Then POTUS knows about it?”

    “Not exactly. Bob explained to him the security nightmare this meeting presented for the Secret Service. But he’s too stubborn to walk away from the talks. … Even though that seems to us like the only sensible thing to do, the President will have none of it.”

    “How is it that these players approached Bob in the first place? What was that all about?”

    “They knew that Bob did not like POTUS, and thought that he might be willing to step into the vacuum the assassination will create.”

    “That doesn’t make sense. What about the Vice President.”

    “The plan is to impeach him. Apparently they’ve got some serious dirt and are just waiting until the most propitious time to drop that bomb. They believe that Bob’s popularity, his gravitas, that Bob stepping up would provide them the cover they will need until they can get someone of their liking installed.”

    “Maybe I’ve not read the Constitution lately,” Jack quipped, “but I don’t think that this is how the founders intended transitions to take place.”

    “Hell, all they want to do is get through this without a full-blown revolution.”

    “And Bob is playing along?”

    “What do you think? These spooks have the power to screw you over six ways from Sunday. If they even suspect that he is not all in, Bob’s a dead man.”

    Jack did not immediately respond. Instead he just leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes.

    I’m not likely to survive this job, he reasoned. If I succeed, or if I fail, I’m probably going to die. … And I’m sure Roger and Bob fully appreciate what’s at stake. The Deep State can’t let any of us live.

    “Is there any way to thwart it from the inside?” Jack finally asked. “Can a deal be struck with these actors?”

    “I don’t think so. And anyone who might move forward with that notion … Bob and I are pretty sure they would meet with an unpleasant end. In fact, that’s already been tried, and it ended badly. The would-be broker’s tongue was cut off and mailed to his ex-wife’s apartment. It sent a very clear message.”

    “So,” Jack said. “Just how do you boys expect me to fix this? I’ve grown rather fond of my tongue … and every other part of my anatomy.”

    (Jack Handler, a fictional character, is a retired Chicago homicide detective who now works as a private security contractor. Operating out of his condo on Sugar Island (located in the St. Mary’s River between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Canada), Jack frequently finds himself traveling all over the world at the behest of his sometimes shady, but always powerful, clientele. Henry, whose real Native American name is Chuchip Kalyesveh, is Jack’s best friend and right-hand man.)

    * * *

    This chapter was excerpted from Michael Carrier’s upcoming book, From Deep State to Deadwood—Jack’s Oft-Derailed Journey Back to Newberry (due out in April, 2019). It is the thirteenth book in his Jack Handler saga (Greenwich Village Ink, Publisher). Michael Carrier (MA, New York University) worked as a private security contractor for over a quarter of a century. You can see all of his hardboiled thriller books at www.greenwichvillageink.com.


 
   
(Posted May 10, 2018)
 
Michael Carrier's "Jack's Justice Series" (As of June 2017)  
Ghosts of Cherry Street (and The Cumberbatch Oubliette)
( 2016)
Assault on Sugar Island - Suicide by Jihad
( 2016)
Dogfight
( 2017)
Murders at Whitefish Point
( 2017)
 
     
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Michael Carrier's "Getting to Know Jack Series"
 
Jack and the
New York
Death Mask
(Jan. 2013)
Murder on
Sugar Island
(Aug. 2013)
Superior
Peril
(Nov. 2013)
Superior
Intrigue
(Aug. 2014)
 
 
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    Sugar Island
Girl, Missing in Paris

(Aug. 2014)
Wealthy Street
Murders

(June 2014)
Murders in
Strangmoor
Bog

(June 2015)
   
    New Jack Handler Series
"Jack's Justice"
 
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  Meet the Jack Handler cast!
 

Click here to read what people are saying about Michael Carrier's latest books.

 - --Mario are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By Katie--Mario are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in a good thriller, and it kept me guessing to the very end. Fantastic read with an awesome detective duo. By KatieWhat people are saying about this book: This review is from: Murder on Sugar Island: Kill or die quickly on this mysterious northern island (Getting to Know Jack) (Paperback). Move over James Patterson and David Baldacci ...Michael Carrier is the newest great suspense author!!! Murder on Sugar Island is an intense thrill ride!! Michael Carrier's character Jack Handler is a retired Chicago detective who keeps finding himself suspenseful situations....I seriously couldn't put this book down!!! Definitely a must read for those who enjoy David Baldacci, James Patterson and Michael Connelly. Being a Michigander, I loved that this book is based in the UP. When is the next Jack book coming out? –by Mario on August 19. Finally there is a new author who will challenge the likes of Michael Connelly and David Baldacci. In this latest mystery, Sugar Island (in Michigan’s beautiful Upper Peninsula) is used as a fitting backdrop to the wild action. It is a fast-paced thriller that you won’t want to put down until the final page. —Island Book. Murder on Sugar Island is a fast paced mystery full of twists and turns. If you like James Patterson, you'll enjoy Michael Carrier's second novel in the Getting to Know Jack series. This riveting thriller will keep you turning pages all the way to the shocking end. —Cascade Writer's Group. A good read. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and kept coming back to it whenever I had the free time. The characters were really good. Connelly and Baldacci should approve—by Dave on August 10, 2013. If you like James Patterson and Michael Connelly, you'll love Michael Carrier. Carrier has proven that he can hang with the best of them (seriously- we're talking Patterson and Connelly) with his newest book. It has all of the great, edge-of-your-seat action and suspense that you'd expect in