Money to Burn

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9780399148910: Money to Burn

The Honorable Paul E. Devine is a Federal District Court judge, his best friend is a fire department paramedic who makes side cash faking arson, the two defendants in his latest case can help him settle an old vendetta, and-if everything goes just right-the four of them will knock over the Federal Reserve vaults for $100 million that will never be missed.

Paulie is a good judge, but what is right and what is legal are two very different things, and watching the gap widen case after case has taken its toll.

When he sees the opportunity to walk away with millions of dollars that are slated to be destroyed by the Fed and to avenge a wrong done to his late wife, he calculates and plans and waits for the right moment before acting. Once he sets the job in motion, he quickly learns that carrying out the perfect crime and getting away with it are two separate matters.

Told in an Irish Catholic tenor indigenous to Chicago, this caper questions the true meaning of justice and probes the criminal mind from the seat of the law. In the end, Paulie must answer a question he has directed toward defendants for years: "Does crime really pay?"

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About the Author:

James Zagel, having served as police chief, prosecutor, and judge, knows the seedy side of his native Chicago and the tarnished gleam of a courtroom all too well. This is his first book.

From Publishers Weekly:

When your average first-time thriller writer explains in explicit detail how to rob the Federal Reserve Bank in Chicago of $100 million in used money about to be destroyed, you might shrug and think of the latest Bruce Willis movie. But when that writer is a Chicago federal district court judge, you should probably sit up and take notice especially if he writes as well as Zagel. "We had carried out the first indisputable overt act.... Crashing a van into an armored car and running away is not an innocent stunt." That cool customer is Judge Paul Devine, who starts to veer off the tracks when his beloved wife dies young, her law career tarnished because of a nasty bureaucrat who heads the Federal Reserve Bank. The fact that Dave Brody, Devine's best friend from childhood, is a dedicated paramedic and firefighter who sets fires to supplement his income helps push the judge over the line into full-tilt criminality. As Devine and his three cohorts (Brody, plus Charity Scott and Trimble Young, a sharply rendered married couple who work as bank guards and also have reasons to hate the bureaucrats) test their complicated robbery plan, Zagel incorporates enough scenes of Devine at work in his courtroom to convince readers that there are more subtle ways to influence and even short-circuit the judicial system than are dreamt of in our darkest Law and Order fantasies.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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James B. Zagel
Published by Putnam Adult (2002)
ISBN 10: 0399148914 ISBN 13: 9780399148910
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