The Devil's Banker [Kindle Edition]
On June 17, 1982 the body of a well dressed man is found hanging under London’s Blackfriars Bridge with no identification, however in his pockets are a brick and $15,000 in various currencies. Murder? Suicide? Inspector ‘Serge Porter’ is called in to investigate the case when it is discovered the hanged man is none other than Roberto Calvi, an Italian banker, chairman and director of Banco Ambrosi More
The story is intermixed in a series of flashbacks of Calvi’s early life up to the age of 17 until shortly before he is murdered. Calvi, in his plush Rome penthouse hurriedly packs his suitcases with money and a gun, preparing to leave. He flies out in the middle of the night on a jet and makes his getaway.
Checking into London’s Chelsea Hotel, he lays on his bed remembering back to 1979 when it all started, when he was at the top of his game and Chicago Archbishop, Paul Marcinkus came into his office, complaining about missing Vatican bank funds that Calvi was handling in offshore banks he had set up. Marcinkus gives Calvi a stern warning to fix the situation or else.
At UK Police Headquarters on June 18, 1982, the day after Calvi’s body was found. Porter comes into Headquarters to meet with the Chief Police Commissioner to discuss sending him on a fact-finding mission to Rome to investigate the Calvi murder, and why he was killed. Much to their surprise, Italian police have already deemed the crime a suicide. The Commissioner has chosen Porter because he’s familiar with Italy and speaks the language.
When Porter arrives at Rome’s airport, he notices men following him. He leaves in a taxi and is tailed by a black car all the way to his hotel, the Intercontinental, atop the famed ‘Spanish Steps’.
Through a series of mishaps including the kidnapping and rape of his wife, along with betrayal of someone he trust, Porter, after rescuing his wife decides to leave Italy, convinced that their lives are in danger. No one can be trusted, he realizes.
Porter and his wife, Alana make a quick getaway heading out of Rome through the rugged mountain roads when another car pulls out trying to run them off the road. Going 100 mph, Porter crashes through a road construction site barrier to avoid a large dump truck in their path. The car careens out of control and swerves over a steep cliff, sailing into the Tiber River, some 200 meters below.
The black car that was following them screeches to a halt and two men get out. One is a policeman, the other a Rome Magistrate. In the Magistrate’s hands is an official file marked, “CALVI”. The Magistrate crosses himself, looking at the wreckage below, then throws the file into the raging Tiber and a watery grave.