But let me warn you right up front. I'm not suave enough to get a woman out of her clothes just by smiling at her. If that's what you're after, Ian's Bond has got you covered. I'm not smooth enough to pull off most of these capers without having to fire a shot. There are guys out there good enough, like Spade and Marlowe, but that's not me either. And I'm not one of those guys that's so damn tough that even when he gets his ass kicked you just know-you know-he's gonna be back to finish off the bastards that did it. If that's what you're after, then nobody-but nobody-drops the hammer, like Hammer.
I'm the guy that has to get in there and get his hands dirty-filthy. The one that has to bust his ass and use everything he can to come out of it alive. It ain't always pretty, but I get the job done. And don't worry, I'm going to give you a little something in return, because I can promise you one thing-you'll be laughing on the first page-in the first paragraph. If you're not, then put it down and never pick it up again. Oh-and have a couple of aspirin handy, because my fights are so damn brutal that just reading about them is going to make your ribs hurt. You've been warned. Don't come crying to me about it later.Now, where was I?
It was the year 2229, and the world was still recovering from the Planetary Civil war, which ended just a few years earlier. We'd made computers and androids so smart that it was time to ask ourselves the big questions-are they life forms? The answer was yes-but it didn't come so easy-enter the war. But that's another story. The war was over, and I was one guy that sure wasn't going to miss it. The economy was booming around the galaxy and the future looked bright, at least for most of us. As a soldier returning to my hometown of Seattle, Washington, and with a shiny badge that said, Special Agent Thomas Morelli, I found myself running a small satellite office right in my own neighborhood with my lifelong friends, Eddie Shannon, and Champ, the most cantankerous, ornery android to ever roll off the assembly line. Our beat was on level one, hundreds of stories beneath the glittering lights of the skyscrapers that reach to the heavens.
On a day that started off like any other, I got my ass kicked by some local gangsters on my way to the office. But my day picked up as Eddie and I were hired by a neighborhood friend, Lisa Riker, to locate her father, Paul. He was a worker at one of the nearby dock warehouses, and he'd vanished a week earlier without a trace. An after-hours stroll by the warehouse landed us in a fire-fight as we tried to dig up Paul's location. The only clue lead us to suspect the involvement of one of the most dangerous criminal organizations in history-The Black Hand. That's right, the same gang that assassinated Archduke Ferdinand and started World War One. Now they were back, centuries later. But this time it was different—this was my town—and they just stuck their hand in the wrong cookie jar.
If you want to know more, you can either read my book, or come look me up in downtown Seattle. I know a great place where you can buy me a beer.-Thomas J. Morelli