Jack Carter's Law (The Jack Carter Trilogy)
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With an Introduction by Max Allan Collins
The author of Get Carter returns to his greatest invention, a smooth-operating hardcase named Jack Carter, who is about to burn a city down in order to silence an informant
London. The late 1960s. It's Christmastime and Jack Carter is the top man in a crime syndicate headed by two brothers, Gerald and Les Fletcher. He’s also a worried man. The fact that he’s sleeping with Gerald’s wife, Audrey, and that they plan on someday running away together with a lot of the brothers’ money, doesn’t have Jack concerned. Instead it’s an informant—one of his own men—that has him losing sleep. The grass has enough knowledge about the firm to not only bring down Gerald and Les but Jack as well. Jack doesn’t like his name in the mouth of that sort.
In Jack Carter’s Law Ted Lewis returned to the character that launched his career and once again delivered a hardboiled masterpiece. Jack Carter is the ideal tour guide to a bygone London underworld. In his quest to dismantle the opposition, he peels back the veneer of English society and offers a hard look at a gritty world of pool halls, strip clubs and the red lights of Soho nightlife.
What you doing at the Garage?” “I haven’t time to tell you all about that. Just try and get hold of those two fairies, will you?” I put the phone down and get up and go over to Mrs. Abbott again. There’s no more time left for fucking about. “Right,” I say to her. “You’re going to tell me all I want to know. The reason you’re going to tell me is because if you don’t I’m going to start by seeing off your Charlie. Now I’ve already seen off one mug this morning so your Charlie’s going to make no
then she shivers, just once, the whole length of her body. So now that’s sorted out I get off the chaise longue and go through into the dining part and pour another drink and sit down by the telephone and unbutton my jacket and light another cigarette. She stays out of sight on the chaise longue and there is a heavy silence which goes perfectly with the gloom of the wet afternoon light that is drifting in through the tall windows. The silence and the tone of the room begin to give me the creeps
the part of Upper Street where the turnoff for the Fountain of Youth is. I drive past the establishment and then down to the end of the street and then I back into an alley between the end house and the corner tobacconist. I switch off the engine and look at my watch. Even with Lesley’s little incident it’s only taken us twenty minutes and Audrey won’t have told Peter where to meet me yet so I say to Lesley, “We’re going to get out of the car now and we’re going to cross the road and walk along
being?” she says. I tap the bridge of my nose with my forefinger. “All you have to know is that you’re here with me,” I tell her. “Yes, here I am,” she says, looking out at the slow-falling snow. “Here I am, sitting next to Jack Carter, the Fletchers’ organiser.” “Well, at least you know that much,” I tell her. “Still, in Grimsby you get in practice early, so I’m told.” “I even had a copper as a boyfriend in those days,” she says. “Hardly worth leaving home for then, was it? I mean, it’s
the door. I ring the bell a third time and while I’m doing that I hear footsteps as someone down below turns in from the street. The footsteps stop and I take my finger off the bell and grab Mallory by the arm and shove him away from the door and up onto the next flight of stairs. I take my shooter from its holster and listen for the footsteps to start again. When they do they’re very soft, very slow, and I listen to whoever it is stop when they’re far enough up the stairs to see that there’s no