Rainbow Games, by J. Frank James, is an action packed crime thriller. This is the fourth book in the Lou Malloy Crime Series. It is available for sale on Amazon.
Lou Malloy never expected to hear from his brother Sam Malloy. The only reason he would contact him is if he was in trouble and needed help… Sam had bought a sea food fishing operation in a place called Unalaska, and the acquisition was made under illegitimate means.
While in Unalaska, Lou had been given, as long as he was there, a small job to do by Max Reynolds at Homeland Security. Russia was working to get Alaska back from the United States because there was a possibility that they never paid for it and Malloy and Kelly had to find proof that they did. In addition, there was another shipment of gold sent by the United States to back up the payment fiasco, and that had been lost as well. All these events had taken place between 1868 and 1870 and had been lost in the events that soon shaped Russia’s future with the execution of Nicholas II and his family and the Bolshevik Revolution resulting in a failure to follow up on the transaction’s completion. To make things interesting an heir to the great Mongol leader, Genghis Khan who is called Sala Khan, now wants to restore the lands of eastern Russia to its prominence on the world political stage by starting World War Three. To do this he needs to find a log book that contains program coordinates for a satellite that will render nuclear weapons obsolete throughout the world. Because of Malloy’s skills in the area of finding things, he is enlisted by the Department of Homeland Security to find the missing gold and proof that Alaska was in fact purchased in an arm’s length deal. To do that Malloy and Kelly have to battle a climate of frozen land, the Bering Sea, a crazed old sea captain who only wants money and will do anything to get it, a delusional heir to a Mongol War Lord who puts absolutely no value on life and will stop at nothing, even starting World War Three, if need be to get what he wants, and a Russian criminal who seeks his slice of the deal. But Malloy and Kelly, along with the Crime Bandit team of Crusher, Blue, Jeremy and a host of new additions to the team, strike out aboard a land vehicle known as the Snow Cruiser, part Snow Cat and par tank, to put a stop to what was planned for the world by this Sala Khan. In the process Hilary and Blue are kidnapped and Malloy and his team seek to rescue them from Khan’s mountain fortress only for Malloy to find that his brother, Sam Malloy, is a prisoner as well.
Once inside Khan’s fortress, Crusher, doing only what Crusher can do best, wipes out ninety percent of Khan’s weapons and armament by driving a tank known as a German Panzer VIII Mouse in Khan’s weapons storage area crushing everything in its path. Weighing a hundred and eighty-eight tons, it is the largest tank in the world.
When Khan learns of the damage that Malloy has done to his plans for the world, Khan is furious and decides to take even more drastic steps. He kidnaps Hilary again and threatens to cut off a finger for each day Malloy fails to bring him the log book with the codes he needs. In the meantime, Max Reynolds, with the help of the U.S. Navy has assembled the Seventh Fleet based in Japan to assist on a standby basis. The clock is ticking and Malloy is running out of time. He then comes up with the idea to have Jeremy to wipeout the programs fed into Khan’s satellite thereby rending it useless. Malloy is now bent on vengeance more now than ever and is determined to bring Khan down permanently for Khan has now made things personal.
Looking at me over the top of her cup, Hilary said, “This letter came for you yesterday. It looks personal.”
Taking the envelope from Hilary, the envelope looked to be handmade. The corners were uneven and the flap had been taped shut with masking tape.
“From the envelope’s condition, if I didn’t know they already put him in jail, I would have guessed it was from the Unabomber,” quipped Hilary.
“One way to find out,” I said. “Let’s open it.”
When I did, I got the shock of my life. Hilary probably thought I had lost a family member instead of finding one.
Noticing the look on my face, Hilary sat her cup down.
“Lou, Honey. What’s up?”
“It’s a letter from my brother, Sam.”
“Sam! Who’s Sam?” exclaimed Hilary. “I didn’t know you had a brother.”
“I guess I never told you. Sam left home the day before I did. At the time, he said he was going to California to get into the movie business. After I got out of prison, I had so many things going on Sam sort of slipped my mind.”
“How did he find you, I wonder?”
“Good question,” I said. “I can only guess, but Sam was always clever at finding things.”
Sam’s tone in the letter surprised me.
“What does he want, besides money?” asked Hilary. “Here, I’ll read it and you tell me,
‘Dear Lou, I guess you have to be surprised to hear from me after all these years. I made it to California, as I said I would, but Hollywood was not for me. People in California give a whole new meaning to living in the fast lane. You are not going to believe this, but I own and operate a fishing operation in Northern Alaska in a place called Unalaska. However, it sounds bigger than it really is.
‘I owe you an apology for not getting in touch with you sooner, but I honestly didn’t have a clue on how to find you. I knew you had gotten out of prison, but the Federal Bureau of Prisons wouldn’t give me the time of day.
‘Anyway, Henry Lowe’s daughter, Angie, is out here with me and sends her regards…’
“Well I’ll be,” said Hilary. “Isn’t Henry Lowe one of the gang members you were hanging around with when you became involved with that casino deal?”
“It is,” I said. “I wonder how Angie found Sam.”
“Is that all he said in the letter?”
“No, there is more, but I can’t read it anymore. Here, you read it to me.”
“Why can’t you read it?”
“I’m getting tired of reading out loud.”
Reaching across the porch, I handed the letter to Hilary to finish reading it.
‘By the way, she doesn’t care about the money.’
“That’s good news,” said Hilary.
“Are you going to read it or paraphrase it?”
‘She knew her dad was heading for trouble when he left her and her mother. At the time, Angie lived in California and went to school for accounting. She runs my office here. That’s how we met. She was looking for a job and answered an ad I put in the L.A. Times. Small world.’
“You can say that again,” said Hilary.
‘Anyway, now to get to the real reason for my letter.’
“About damn time.”
“Hilary, just read the letter.”
“Okay, okay. Keep your shirt on.”
‘I don’t know if you have been following any of the news lately about what has been happening here in Alaska, but it seems the Russians are trying to make a case that they are entitled to get Alaska back and there are some people in Alaska who want it to happen. One in particular is a gang that wants to take over my business. I heard that you were in some sort of recovery business, kind of like a soldier of fortune.’
“To say the least,” said Hilary. “If he only knew.”
“Okay, let’s make sure he doesn’t,” I said.
‘I need someone to help me fight off these people. A month ago we started having trouble with things happening to the boats. Lines got cut. Nets slashed and things like that. Two weeks ago someone took a shot at me while I was heading out of Dutch Harbor in one of the boats. ‘I realize I probably don’t have the right to ask, but I don’t have anywhere else to go on this.
‘The local police are just a couple of Eskimos with shotguns. They are good with the locals when they drink too much liquor, but this stuff is way beyond their pay grade.
‘If you decide to come, call me, and leave a message that you are coming. Delta has a direct flight to Anchorage. From there, you take a bus (we don’t have cabs up here to speak of) to the Talkeetna State Airport. Ask the ground service there for Ronnie Willis. He runs a charter service and he will have instructions to fly you and whoever you bring with you to the Island.
‘I know you don’t like to travel alone.’
“Since when did that happen?” asked Hilary.
“Never,” I said. “I haven’t seen Sam in eighteen years so I have no idea what he’s talking about.”
‘When you arrive, just ask someone in town to direct you to the Sea Moon Fleet. That’s me. My phone number is eight six seven-two two one-TUNA. Your brother and only blood relative, Sam Malloy
P.S. Sorry about Susan. I miss her too.’
After Hilary finished reading the letter, neither of us said anything for a few minutes. At first I thought it was a joke, but then who would write a letter like that and post mark it from the Aleutian Islands?
“Are you going to go?” asked Hilary.
“I don’t know. It’s like I said, I haven’t seen or talked to Sam in eighteen years. I don’t even think I could recognize him if I saw him.”
“He must be a real bleeding heart. He waited until the end of his letter to mention the death of your sister and then it was a, ‘by the way’ affair.”
“Sam never was a person to show a lot of emotion. He would have made a great assassin.”
“How do you know he isn’t one now?” Hilary asked.
“I don’t, but if he was, I would suspect he could solve his own problems.”
“I never have been to Alaska,” said Hilary.
“You want to go?” I asked.
“What about the cats?”
“What about them? No one takes care of them now. They pretty much do what they want around here anyway. Besides, Bowler has Mojo eating out of his hand.”
“As long as Mojo doesn’t eat the hand that feeds him, we probably are free to go,” I said. “There is just one thing I want you to know,” I said.
“I never have been to Alaska either.”