Money to Burn by James B. Zagel

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The Honorable Paul E. Devine is a Federal District Court judge, his best friend is a fire department paramedic who makes side cash faking arson, the two defendants in his latest case can help him settle an old vendetta, and-if everything goes just right-the four of them will knock over the Federal Reserve vaults for $100 million that will never be missed.

Paulie is a good judge, but what is right and what is legal are two very different things, and watching the gap widen case after case has taken its toll.

When he sees the opportunity to walk away with millions of dollars that are slated to be destroyed by the Fed and to avenge a wrong done to his late wife, he calculates and plans and waits for the right moment before acting. Once he sets the job in motion, he quickly learns that carrying out the perfect crime and getting away with it are two separate matters.

Told in an Irish Catholic tenor indigenous to Chicago, this caper questions the true meaning of justice and probes the criminal mind from the seat of the law. In the end, Paulie must answer a question he has directed toward defendants for years: "Does crime really pay?"

About James B. Zagel

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James Zagel, having served as police chief, prosecutor, and judge, knows the seedy side of his native Chicago and the tarnished gleam of a courtroom all too well. This is his first book.
Published July 1, 2002 by Putnam Adult. 384 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Chastity Scott comes next: she's a guard at the Fed, and Paulie senses in this resourceful former army officer the kind of resolution against which panic will beat its wings fruitlessly.

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