The Brethren: A Novel
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They call themselves the Brethren: three disgraced former judges doing time in a Florida federal prison. One was sent up for tax evasion. Another, for skimming bingo profits. The third for a career-ending drunken joyride. Meeting daily in the prison law library, taking exercise walks in their boxer shorts, these judges-turned-felons can reminisce about old court cases, dispense a little jailhouse justice, and contemplate where their lives went wrong. Or they can use their time in prison to get very rich—very fast.
And so they sit, sprawled in the prison library, furiously writing letters, fine-tuning a wickedly brilliant extortion scam—while events outside their prison walls begin to erupt. A bizarre presidential election is holding the nation in its grips, and a powerful government figure is pulling some very hidden strings. For the Brethren, the timing couldn’t be better. Because they’ve just found the perfect victim.
looks tired. Ease up on her. She’s going to make a wonderful First Lady.” “Yes sir.” Teddy was at the door. “No more surprises, Lake.” “No sir.” Teddy opened the door and rolled himself away. By late November, they had settled in Monte Carlo, primarily because of its beauty and warm weather, but also because so much English was spoken there. And there were casinos, a must for Spicer. Neither Beech nor Yarber could tell if he was winning or losing, but he was certainly enjoying himself. His
Roy fancies himself a really Big Man.” “Nice guy, huh?” “I hate him. I hope I never see his face again.” Abner slid the third Bloody Mary across the counter and said, “Looks like you’re on the right track, pal. Cheers.”
years, after law school, he’d been a light social drinker, nothing serious. Certainly not a habit. Once when the kids were small, his wife took them to Italy for two weeks. Beech was left alone, which suited him fine. For some reason he could never determine, or remember, he turned to bourbon. Lots of it, and he never stopped. The bourbon became important. He kept it in his study and sneaked it late at night. They had separate beds so he seldom got caught. The trip to Yellowstone had been a
file Beech pulled out the first two letters. The one from December 11 read: Dear Ricky: Hello. My name is Al Konyers. I’m in my fifties. I like jazz, old movies, Humphrey Bogart, and I like to read biographies. I don’t smoke and don’t like people who do. Fun is Chinese take-out, a little wine, a black-and-white western with a good friend. Drop me a line. Al Konyers It was typewritten on plain white paper, the way most of them were at first. Fear was stamped between every line—fear of
it?” Wes asked. “There has to be a crooked lawyer on the outside to shuttle mail. And Ricky needs someone to direct the money and do a little investigative work.” “You’re not cops, are you?” Trevor asked. “No. We’re private thugs,” Chap said. “Because if you’re cops then I’m not sure I wanna talk anymore.” “We’re not cops, okay.” Trevor was breathing and thinking again, the breathing going much faster than the thinking, but his training kicked in. “I think I’ll record this,” he said. “Just