The self-named “Dragony” is a shadowy organization that may be behind the bombing of downtown Ironton, N.J. It also might be the reason that several of its suspected members keep dying. So who are they and what are they up to? (And what’s with the bread knife?)
Detective Frank Nagler makes a list:
Nagler wrote the word “Dragony” at the top center of the white board.
So, who are you guys? And why are you all in Ironton at this exact moment?
What’d you forget to do, or is the question what are you planning to do, as if blowing up downtown was not enough.
McCarroll, Nagler wrote.
Said he was. Acts like the boss, but I doubt it.
Depends on what state and year, records said.
Odd role; not at top of chain of command, but not a foot soldier. Facilitator. But of what?
Street punk, drug dealer. Bread knife victim.
“Trainee,” Nagler said.
Who was his boss who signed the fake passport?
Of course, Tallem was also a victim of a bread knife.
Does that make Tallem a traitor?
Well, he is dead.
“BLT,” from Dancer’s notes. Boonton Lieutenant Dan Thomson.
Foot soldier, for sure..
How many are there?
BL, from the notes.
T1 and T2, the Green twins, James and Rachel.
Drug stoolies in that raid fifteen years ago.
Everyone said they were dead. At least Dancer did.
Taylor Mangot II.
From a distance. Ink stained, not blood stained.
Taylor Mangot I.
Nagler pondered. More blood than ink.
The four dead in that warehouse 15 years ago.
Sacrificed. Fake IDs.
Someone on the roofs of downtown. On the other end of Tallem’s phone call.
Nagler wrote, “Roof guy.”
He stared at his list.
Dancer, he wrote.
Knows too much. Sudden reappearance. The scribbled notes recalled. Death and destruction.
Felt less bad about writing that name than he thought he would.
So, if Dancer, then Carlton Dixon.
Maybe his taking the rap for the drug deal was not what it seemed.
But, that one felt like a leap.
Still, if Carlton Dixon, then Mahala Dixon.
Schemer. Scared for some reason.
Then, if Taylor Mangot I, then Jock Newton, old iron mine knock-around.
If Jock Newton, then Howard Newton. Kept it in the family.
And Gabriel Richman, and Chris Foley. Howie Newton’s sidekicks.
Really? Why not?
Who else? McSally, mentioned by Dan Thomson. Confused with McCarroll? Descriptions didn’t match.
So who’s McSally?
“Friend’s list?” asked Maria Ramirez, as she leaned in the doorframe, then joined Nagler at the board.
“Anyone else?” he asked. “Could be a reach.”
“That reporter, Adam Kalinsky,” she said.
“He drove a ‘67 Barracuda. Those were his plates on the Impala stashed at Dubin Place.”
Nagler closed one eye, tipped his head and let out a long whistled breath. “Try anything. Okay.”
He wrote, “Adam Kalinsky.”
“And if Kalinsky, then Saul Rosen. His Impala was wearing Kalinsky’s license plates.”
“Yes, it was!”
Nagler added Saul Rosen to the list. Whoever he was.
What reviewers say about the Frank Nagler Mysteries:
The Red Hand:
Reviewed in the United States on April 10, 2021
I very much enjoyed The Red Hand. The story kept me engaged and there were plenty of thrills with lots of twists and turns. It was chilling and in many places twisted. The character dialogue was exquisite and made me relate to the characters. Well done.
Reviewed in the United States on April 3, 2021
I read many mystery stories. This one is among the best I have ever read. The last 3 chapters were amazing. I was always with the hunger to read the next chapter.
The Weight of Living:
Reviewed in the United States on March 16, 2021
Raced through this one. Nice cover too. Good job.
Will be looking out for more from this author.
Reviewed in the United States on March 2, 2021
I normally don’t gravitate to dark thrillers but a few stand out to me and a few are worth it. The Weight of Living is ominous in tone but the characters are compelling and the plot is well-developed. If you are a fan of The Girl in the Ice, then you will enjoy this mystery.