Sharky's Machine

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Ballantine Books, 1995 - Fiction - 479 pages
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Italy, 1944: A squad of American soldiers on a dangerous secret mission is ambushed and slaughtered . . . and a fortune in gold vanishes.
Hong Kong, 1959: An aging American colonel, haunted by his wartime past, is brutally murdered in a luxurious brothel.
Atlanta, 1975: The last survivor of the fatal World War II ambush in Italy is executed at point blank range in a parking lot.
Blowing away a crazed, gun-wielding drug dealer on a crowded city bus gets police detective Sharky bounced from the narc squad into the dreaded dregs of the department--vice. That's where he stumbles on a high-priced call girl and her pimp who are fleecing rich johns in an even higher-priced blackmail scam. Together with his "machine" of hard-bitten vice squad veterans, Sharky closes in for a big sting. He doesn't count on falling for Domino, his alluring target. Or falling into the middle of the murderous design she's a part of--involving a hot presidential candidate, the shadowy multimillionaire who's backing him, and the ice-cold assassin they're using to wipe out the past . . . before it blows their future to hell.
"Every chapter crackles with sex, violence, and corruption."
--The Washington Post
"Fast-paced, attention-holding, hard-hitting."
--Chicago Tribune
"A slam-bang ending that should shock the most jaded thriller reader."
--The Associated Press

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About the author (1995)

William Francis Diehl was born in Jamaica, New York on December 4, 1924. During World War II, he served as a ball turret gunner on a B-24 Liberator where he flew 24 missions over Germany. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Flying Cross, Purple Heart, and Air Medal with three Oak Leaf Clusters. He received a B.A. in creative writing and history from the University of Missouri-Columbia in 1949. He began his writing career in 1949 at the Atlanta Journal-Constitution where he served as a writer, photojournalist and editor. Additionally, he worked as a freelance photographer and an actor. His articles have appeared in Esquire, Life, Look, and New York. He started writing his first novel, Sharky's Machine, while serving as a juror. The novel was published in 1978 and was later made into a movie. His other works include Chameleon, Hooligans, The Horse, Show of Evil, Reign in Hell, and Eureka. His novel, Primal Fear, also became a movie. He died of aortic embolism on November 24, 2006. His last work, Seven Ways to Die, was completed by Kenneth Atchity and published in 2012.

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