Carlos the Ant


Book 4 of the Michael Gresham Series

Carlos has a sick daughter and needs money. He's also an upstanding citizen who pays his taxes, puts in his forty hours, doesn't drink and carouse, and loves his wife. Still…he has nowhere else to turn. So Carlos gets money the old-fashioned way—he robs banks. The money comes pouring in but then a new man joins the crew and everything tumbles downhill. Criminal charges for armed robbery are brought against Carlos in several states and he needs a heavy hitter to defend him.

Carlos calls Michael Gresham for help and the lawyer comes to his aid. But it is going to be the meanest case of Michael's career, as the prosecutor is a woman who means to jab the death needle in Carlos' arm and watch him die. And she has the legal chops to do just that. But she has problems of her own–legal problems, big ones.

Full of bank robberies and courtroom action, this novel is sure to satisfy even the most ardent Michael Gresham fan as the trial lawyer walks into a courtroom where the toughest district attorney and the guiltiest client on the West Coast await him.


Read an Excerpt

If you're ever running from the cops, there is a golden rule: do not–don't–board a commercial aircraft. If you do, you will get made. You might say, “But I've got fake ID; they won't know.” Don't believe it for a second. Look at your driver’s license. That’s you. Know who else has that picture? TSA and the NSA have pictures of each and every licensed driver. Any ID you show the airlines or the TSA checkpoints will be processed by facial recognition software and your real identity immediately established.

I took my own advice and rode the train from San Diego to Chicago. Along the way I saw deserts, Rocky Mountains, prairie land, and cornfields stretching from horizon to horizon. Most of the way I slept, except for one stretch a couple of hours west of Chicago where we stopped and a bounty-hunter/detective type got on board and took the seat across from me. He was wearing black jeans, Roper's, and a black leather jacket over a T-shirt . His eye caught mine and he nodded. Then he turned to hand his ticket to the conductor and that's when I got a peek of a big black gun up under his arm. It was time for me to reconsider things. I got up as if going to the bathroom and left my Chicago Tribune in my seat. “I'm not finished reading it,” I said to the man in black.

He didn't look up at me but he said, “Check.”

Instead of stopping at the bathroom at the back of the car, I went out into the walkway and into the car behind. Four more times I repeated this and then I locked myself in the bathroom and refused to come out. Repeated knocks and complaints finally shamed me into showing my face and an anxious-looking trio of passengers stared daggers at me as I found a seat further back yet. Now my back was turned to the way I had come and I was scrunched down in my seat, my head barely showing above. Even so, I knew the guy could find me any minute and I knew he was probably looking even then.

But who was he? Had someone spotted me on the train and made a call? But how would that even work? I had participated in the First Commercial robbery while wearing a mask. Nobody saw my face, I mean nobody. So how would the authorities even know who to look for?

Unless Phaeton had turned me in. Phaeton was the late-comer to my crew that hit the First Commercial Bank. I didn’t know him at all and it turned out he was trigger happy. He gunned down a customer in the bank and we all had to make a run for it. So, who else would turn on me but Phaeton? That son of a bitch! Of course that's what happened. He turned state's evidence in return for immunity. Why would he do that? Because he knows I'm going to eventually catch up and kill him. He did it to save himself from me. So now I could safely assume that every law enforcement agency in the country had my picture out to every road cop and undercover dick within the first hour.

It was time to disappear.

We pulled into Chicago to see the long, covered arrivals and departures tunnel, and I went right just beyond the sliding doors and headed up the small incline to the men's room. I quickly ducked inside and went down to the far stall and locked myself inside. Then I sweated profusely for the next fifteen minutes while I ignored guys knocking on my stall and cursing as they moved on.

Then I came out into the station. Up two flights of escalators and I was looking at street side. Outside it was just past nine p.m. A long line of taxis was stationed curbside waiting for someone like me to come along. I jumped in the backseat of the next vacancy and told the driver to lose anyone who followed us at the next right turn. I passed a hundred-dollar bill over the seat to confirm my request. He floored it at the next right–turning right on a red–and we shot down to the end of the cross-street, bucked across three lanes on our left, and hung a left at the next corner on a stale yellow. Then we timed the next four lights and zipped through, driving aimlessly for the next half hour.

Finally, the driver said, “You want Hyatt?”

Feeling freed of any followers, I happily answered, “The Hyatt is perfect.”