The Devil's Banker
by Gary Van Haas
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 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 one other than Roberto Calvi, an Italian banker, chairman and director of Banco Ambrosiano.
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 he hurriedly packs his suitcases with money and a gun, preparing to leave. He flies out in the middle of the night on a private jet making 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. Arriving at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, Porter 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’.
The story cuts back to 1979 when Archbishop Marcinkus is called to The Vatican and being questioned by a group of Cardinals who want to know why Vatican money and Mafia funds are being laundered through offshore banks set up by Roberto Calvi. Marcinkus assures them all’s fine and the Cardinals turn a blind eye as long as the Vatican isn’t openly implicated.
About The Author:-
GARY VAN HAAS
Gary Van Haas is a graduate of UCLA School of Journalism, who married his Greek wife and has spent the last twenty years living in Greece working as an Associate Production Coordinator, Stunt director, and Production Advisor for films being made in Greece. He is also a published novelist and has been a feature travel writer for the International Herald Tribune, Time, Newsweek, Odyssey, Conde Nast and Travel Magazine
Mr. Van Haas is the author of THE IKON, which is a lively Greek island thriller set on Mykonos, and has recently completed another sequel thriller to his ‘Garth Hanson’ action adventure series called, MALABAR RUN, set in Goa, India, and also has a new book soon to be released called, IN SEARCH OF ANCIENT GREECE, which is said to be one of the most comprehensive and compelling travel-historical works completed to date.
Gary will eventually use his past film production experience and talented hand at directing, as Gary’s unique story telling abilities give him special insight into the film making process.