“I did meet a nice girl, though.”

“Don’t tell me that.”




“What about Nina?”

“If Shelby isn’t asking about you, Nina is.”

-- Advertisement --

“Nina’s worried, too?”

“Yes, she is.”

“That’s nice.”

“You think so?”

“It’s nice to know people care.”

“McKenzie—oh, never mind.”

“Bobby, I need a favor.”

“I figured.”

“Remember that woman, about four years ago, she worked for the New York Times—she did the story about crime in the Twin Cities.”

“Yeah, the reporter, back when we had all those killings, the one with the big—”

“Glasses. She wore glasses.”

“I remember those, too.”

“What was her name?”

“Rose, Rosemary, Roseanne …”

“Roseanne Esmae.”

“No. Esjay. Roseanne Esjay.”

“She’s the one who labeled Minneapolis ‘Murderopolis.’”

“What about her?”

“Nothing. I was just trying to remember her name.”

“That’s the only reason you called?”

“Well, you could do me another favor.”


“Look up the phone number of the New York Times.”

I bought a fifteen-minute phone card at the drugstore and wasted six of them first trying to get through to Roseanne Esjay and then reminding her who I was.

“The St. Paul cop with the goofy name, I remember now. How’s your cute friend?”

“My married cute friend?”

“Yeah, him.”

“He’s good.”

I was surprised that Esjay was in the office on a Sunday morning and told her so.

“Trust me,” she said. “It wasn’t my idea. So, what can I do for you?”

“I’m looking for information.”

“About what?”

“Some big fat slob named Frank Russo might’ve been a capo in the Bonanno family. My take is that he’s hiding from Angelo Granata. I don’t know why.”

“Are you still with the St. Paul cops?”


“Are you with the FBI now, or some other …”

“Not at all. Why do you ask?”

“I’m trying to figure out what you have to do with Frank Russo.”

“I’m looking for him.”

“So is most of the New York Mafia. Why do you want him?”

“Are we on the record?”

“Hell, yes, we’re on the record. McKenzie, why are you looking for Frank Russo?”

“If we’re on the record, I can’t tell you.”

“C’mon …”


“All right—look, off the record, then.”

“Russo murdered a friend of mine.”

“In Minnesota? Frank Russo’s in Minnesota?”



“I don’t know. The FBI is hiding him.”

“The FBI is hiding—they must have turned him. They’re using Russo to get to Granata.”

“That’s my understanding, too.”

“Oh, man, this is great.”

“I wouldn’t go so far as to say that.”

“In Minnesota, you say. I’ll be damned. McKenzie, you need to go on the record. You need to—”

“Roseanne, Roseanne …”


“Roseanne, I don’t care what you write, as long as you don’t mention my name or why I’m looking for Russo. Is that a deal?”

“What do I get in exchange?”

“You get the name of the special agent who’s holding Russo’s hand.”

“That’s a deal.”

“Just tell me, first—why is Granata looking for Russo?”

“It’s complicated.”

I glanced at my watch. I still had a few minutes left on my phone card.

“I have time,” I said.

“Granata became acting boss of the Bonanno family when they busted Joseph Massino. He’s very good at what he does. Very disciplined. Under him the Bonannos have become the strongest of the five Mafia families. Frank Russo was one of Granata’s most dependable and ruthless capos. He wanted to use the Bonanno muscle to force the other families into a kind of European Union, five independent families but all of them under a single leadership umbrella—Granata’s umbrella. From a strictly business standpoint, it wasn’t a bad idea, only Russo’s plan probably would have led to all-out war, and Granata wouldn’t go along with it. Russo decided to take over the family and impose his union anyway. He tried to hit Granata. He missed. Now a hundred and fifty Bonanno soldiers are searching for him, plus God knows how many freelancers.”

“That’s not complicated at all,” I told Roseanne.

“It is if Russo cut a deal with the FBI. You say he’s in Minnesota?”

“He was the last time I saw him.”

“You saw him?”

“I stood about two yards away from him.”


“Last Friday afternoon. The day before he killed my friend.”

“He killed your friend, but the FBI’s still protecting him?”

-- Advertisement --