Joseph Anthony

Selected Works

Fact-based fiction
This true story is about a simple man convicted of a murder he did not commit.
Fairy Tales traditionally start with “Once upon a time” whereas just about all police stories begin with “And this is no sh*t….” and this compilation of stories of a cop’s life in the City of Baltimore is no sh*t!
Fiction
Wealth, sex, international intrigue and revenge permeate this book filled with exciting and memorable characters.
Quincy Peters loses his home but then rises to power and influence in the Nation’s Capital.

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An Ordinary Man

Excerpt


The Congressional leaders, Elliott Schwartzhof and Julius Douglass, sat facing each other across the booth table in a small and very discreet restaurant in Georgetown. Their aides hovered nearby, just out of earshot, but positioned to discourage anyone else from approaching them or listening in. Neither man mentioned the morning’s lead article in the Herald-Tribune although like the proverbial elephant in the corner of the room, both were aware of its existence.

“Is Janice Axelrod joining us today?” asked, Douglass.

“No – she’s tied up with something or other. No loss…frankly, I cannot stand the woman or that sanctimonious idiot Robert Drew at Treasury. Anyway, what have you found out about Quincy Peters? I’m sure your people have been very busy.”

“They have, and they found nada…absolutely nothing. What about your people?”

“Likewise, nothing. I even had a word with Jenkins at the Department of Justice and he, after prattling on about confidentiality and tax records being sacrosanct, came up empty too. Even leaning on the IRS gave him nothing. As he said, without a Social Security number, finding him is almost impossible.”

“Yeah, that’s what I got back from the military. Quincy Peters never served, not even in the Coast Guard or the National Guard, and we cannot find any trace of him at any of the bigger colleges and certainly nothing from any business school anywhere.”

“This is crazy – everyone has a Social Security number, even immigrants, at least the legal ones do.”

“Not this guy. As far as anyone can tell, he doesn’t exist,” said Douglass flatly. “The only person we could come up with that had a similar name was a guy called Quince Peterson who is 85 years old and lives in East Hogsbreath, North Dakota or some such place.”

“Where? Oh never mind,” responded Schwartzhof. “Hey, just what sort of name is Quincy, or Quince for that matter?”

“From what I can gather, the quince is some sort of fruit that is related to both the apple and pear. Apparently it is one of the earliest known fruits and has been around for over 4,000 years. My staff tells me that quince trees are native to the Caucasus and Iran and was once known as the ‘Pear of Cydonia’ and that their fruit are possibly what were known as the ‘golden apples’ of Greek mythology.”

“Wait, did you say Iran?” Seeing a nod of assent, Schwartzhof continued, “Do you think there’s some sort of Iranian connection here?”

“I doubt it. If there is one, no-one can find it. He certainly doesn’t look as though he’s from that part of the world.”

“Still and all, I wonder how someone like this guy can simply appear out of nowhere and have such a massive impact. Even the Limeys are listening to him.”

“Go figure,” muttered Douglass.

The two men sipped on their drinks for a few beats and then Schwartzhof ventured, “Could he be a plant?”

“It’s possible, but I doubt it.”

“Why?”

“I agree that it’s always possible but I did hear that the Internet, the air waves and every telephone line between here and every major capital city throughout the world is almost crashing from the number of messages going backwards and forwards, and they are all about this man Peters according to the NSA. But there is one odd thing though, only the Brits seem to have taken their time over getting back to London about him…and, let’s face it, he was invited to their embassy last night.”

“Which, I assume, was arranged in order for him to meet that Broadbent guy. So, maybe the Limeys set this up? But how did they get to know him?”

“I have no idea but if they did set it up, which is possible, why would they have done so? If he is one of theirs, why stage such an elaborate and very public meeting at a run-of-the-mill embassy reception. Pretty elaborate as I say, unless they wanted us and everyone else to assume that he is not one of theirs.”

“Look, if he is a plant, which seems at least possible, then it’s unlikely that the Frogs, Krauts or Israelis planted him and I think we can rule out the Russians, Chinese and probably that whole bunch of Arabs and Iranians.” Silent for a moment, Schwartzhof continued slowly, “The guy speaks like an American but with a faint British accent, which is odd to say the least. There is no recorded evidence that he even exists and, as of now, we don’t even know where he lives.”

“I thought he’s staying with Grant Anderson.”

“Yes he is or so I’m told, but where does he really live when not at Anderson’s place? And, for that matter, why is he staying there? With his sort of money and financial resources, he could get a suite at any hotel on the Eastern Seaboard. Nah, something doesn’t add up and what’s the connection with Anderson? After all, he did speak on Grant’s behalf when he was in hospital with that heart attack.”

“Yes he did, didn’t he?” said Douglass before continuing, “Okay, let’s leave aside whether he’s a plant, which I find hard to believe and even harder to come up with a motive for doing so, what have we got?”

“Well, what we’ve got,” replied Schwartzhof, “is a bona fide financial genius with no party affiliations, certainly not the Democrats anyway, which is a relief. So, if we assume that he is not a foreign plant and that he really is an American, maybe we should get him on board with Gimbel. If we can emphasize that Harry is strong on the economy, as demonstrated by his close association with Quincy Peters, it can only help his election chances. Let’s face it, the American people are more worried about jobs, keeping their homes and not losing their savings than they ever will be about al Quaida or what’s happening with the rag heads over there. Anyway, if we can put Quincy alongside Harry, that’ll convince the voters that Gimbel is the man for them, has their interests at heart and that sort of thing, which will get him elected. In fact, didn’t that damn reporter suggest something like that in the Herald-Tribune this morning?”

“Yes she did – I’m still thinking about her comments. Anyway, if you’re right and we can put Gimbel forward as the man who’s going to save the country, you could be right about him getting elected. Frankly, I don’t think Harrison Gimbel gives a flying fuck about anything other than his dick, where it’s been, and where it’s going - he certainly doesn’t give a damn about the economy. If he does get elected, I’ve got a feeling that he’s going to make Kennedy and Clinton look like amateurs.”

“So? If he gets into office, we’ll control him…you know, feed him the odd hooker from time to time to keep him distracted and we’ll take over.”

“Sounds like a plan to me. Okay, let’s order…I’m getting hungry.”


Grant Anderson, looking considerably better and well rested, climbed into the back of the limousine and waited as Melinda settled herself beside him. He leaned forward and snapped, “Take us home Jackman, I want to get as far away as possible from this damn hospital.”

As Jackman engaged the transmission and started to pull out onto the street, Melinda again decided that her husband of so many years was still an overbearing lout. He was not grateful in the least for, or even aware of, the fact that the careful medical care he had received might have saved his life let alone be aware that she, Melinda, might have been worried about him.

“I saw the news this morning on TV and the Herald-Tribune,” he said abruptly, breaking the slightly uncomfortable silence. “How did Quincy and Raymond get to go to that embassy reception last night…who invited them? And what the hell were they doing there, for that matter?”

“I’m not sure dear,” murmured Melinda, unconsciously emphasizing “dear” with an ironic inflexion.

After glancing at her curiously, Grant continued, “Perhaps not, which is perfectly normal for you, isn’t it…dear?”, the endearment added in his usual caustic tone. “Well, I’ll just have to wait and talk to Raymond and Quincy to find out what’s happening, won’t I?” and he lapsed back into silence.

As they drove, Grant reflected on what he had just read and heard about on the TV news. Were the Republications seriously considering having Quincy Peters on the ticket with Harrison Gimbel? The man knew a lot about finance, no question there, but what did he know about politics? As far as he could tell, Quincy seemed to have no opinion about anything except the stock market and getting anything out of him was worse than pulling teeth. Hell, the man could not even maintain eye contact with anyone for more than a second or two, so how could he succeed as a politician?