A Communist Bloc spy turns up dead from a heart attack, putting Erskine and Colby on the trail of an espionage ring. The group's target is four scientists. The spies plan to exert enough pressure on one of them to gain access to a top secret project. Erskine goes undercover as a security official at the institute where the scientists work.
Michael Riley has been running numbers while working on his brother's truck. He intends to cash out and go off with his girlfriend. But he's now a fugitive from the law after the FBI gets a tip about the numbers running. Riley is also on the hit list of the Cosa Nostra, which wants to shut Riley up permanently. Erskine and Colby lead the FBI's manhunt for Riley, trying to get to the young man before the Cosa Nostra does.
John Evans is on the run after killing another ex-con who told him about a family in Pennsylvania who supposedly keeps a great deal of money at home. The fugitive ends up in the company of Jess Orkin, a 14-year-old runaway. Evans manipulates Jess; the boy breaks into a farmhouse and steals food and medical supplies while Evans tries to recover from a gunshot wound. Erskine and Colby are on the trail of the runaways. They hope to get to Jess before Evans commits his next crime -- which almost certainly will result in fatalities if he succeeds.
A Cosa Nostra "fixer" is hit in Newark for bungling an attempted bribe. But the killing is witnessed by a teenage girl. She narrowly escapes but left behind her yearbook. Erskine goes undercover in Florida to gather evidence against the Mafia official who ordered the murder. Meanwhile, the Cosa Nostra "high commission" orders that the girl be liquidated. If Erskine falters in his assignment, the good is as good as dead.
Erskine and Colby investigate the theft by a spy ring of a material important to the U.S. space program. The operative who committed the theft, Ralph Stuart, was wounded. Bleeding, Stuart seeks refuge at the home of an old Army buddy, who had been a medic.
Howard Converse, deep in gambling debt and with a wife in an iron lung, has embezzled $250,000 from the bank where he works. He flees as bank examiners begin their review of the bank's books. Erskine and Colby lead the FBI's search for the fugitive bank officer. Meanwhile, Converse is in danger for his life. Part of his getaway plan calls for riding with an ex-con and his child bride. The ex-con learns who his passenger is -- and he intends to kill Converse and keep the money for himself.
Vincent Gray, just before being released from prison, is given the kiss of death from La Cosa Nostra. Erskine sees an opportunity for a breakthrough in the bureau's ongoing war with the Mafia. If the FBI can pressure Gray successfully, it can gather information to put away Mafia officials. Meanwhile, La Cosa Nostra intends to make good on the kiss of death that Gray has received.
In Pennsylvania, two of three bank robbers are slain and the haul is stolen. The third robber is taken into custody and admits he was part of the robbery but isn't able to provide Erskine many details. Meanwhile, George Wilson and James Reed, who killed the robbers, have traveled to northern California, intending to pull another job. A third man, who set up the killing of the banker robbers, tries to flee the country but is captured by Erskine and Colby. At the same time, Wilson, who has gotten a job at a winery in California, has fallen in love with Lisa, who runs ...
A major jewel collection has been stolen in New York by a group of thieves who had detailed knowledge of the security precautions used to safeguard the collection. But the caper goes awry when one of the men is photographed leaving the upscale jewelry store where the robbery took place. Erskine will risk his life to bring the thieves to justice.
A former Nazi with the nickname "the Butcher" surfaces in New York. One of his former victims tries unsuccessfully to kill him. Erskine and Colby are on the man's trail but soon encounter more, including Dryden, a wealthy man who is financing neo-Nazi groups in the U.S. The Nazi, meanwhile, is able to blend in with those he hates the most, making it especially difficult for the FBI men to catch him.
Glen Parmenter is a brilliant KGB spy operating in the U.S. He has one flaw: he's deaf and relies on lip reading to understand what people are saying. Erskine goes undercover to smash the spy ring Parmenter is operating. Erskine's undercover identity also has a flaw: the make-believe identity has a deep secret that would attract spies to blackmail him. The question is whether Erskine's cover identity will hold up long enough to complete his assignment alive.
Daniel Sayres, son of a war hero, pretends to be an Air Force officer to seduce well-to-do women into marrying him for their money. One such scam has gone badly, with the new bride confronting Sayers only hours after they were married. In a rage, he kills her and the case attracts the interest of the FBI. Sayers is forced to seek a new target. Erskine and Colby begin to put the pieces together. The question is whether they can solve the puzzle in time to prevent another death.
Three people - two men and a woman - prey on soldiers. The woman, Joyce Carr, entices a sergeant to marry her while one of the men kill him. The new widow then cashes in on the sergeant's insurance. Erskine and Colby are sent to oversee the case. In the interim, the two men unsuccessfully try to rob a bank. Now, they plan to lure another soldier to his doom for the insurance.
A woman who recently had a miscarriage takes a baby left in the front seat of a car. She intends to raise the child as her own and her husband can't talk her out of it. The husband, desperate for money, decides to seek ransom from the father, a newspaper publisher. Erskine and Colby, after their investigation gets underway, learn of an additional complication. There is an outbreak of the plague in the city where the kidnapping has taken place. The kidnapped child has been infected.
Erskine is directing an investigation involving art forgeries of Frank Stocker, a Los Angeles-based chieftain of La Cosa Nostra. The investigation takes a sudden turn when the curator of a Houston museum turns up dead. Stocker is seeking the approval of the Mafia's High Commission to expand his operation, which involves producing forgeries of paintings and selling them to museums, foundations and other buyers. The weak link in Stocker's plans is Christopher Simes, a talented but erratic artist who is painting the forgeries. The High Commission approves of Stocker's ...
An heir to a plastics fortune is kidnapped. There are pools of blood at the crime scene. Was it from the victim or one of the kidnappers? Either way, the development complicates Erskine's investigation.
A wounded British mercenary dies trying to get into the U.S. Embassy in Paris. In his possession is a newspaper clipping with a picture of French ballet dancer Danielle Chabrol. She is engaged in a May-Demcember romance with retired (and widowed) U.S. diplomat Eric Reverson. Erskine and Colby take up the investigation in Hawaii, where Reverson lives. It turns out that Reverson's neighbor, Jim Kellogg, is running an espionage operation and Danielle is supposed to gain access to information and programs Reverson was involved with at the U.S. State Department. ...
The dictator of a South American country enters into a contract with the Cosa Nostra to kidnap a dissident who publishes an opposition newspaper out of Chicago. The dissident's publication is a rallying point for the country's opposition. Erskine and Colby initially don't get cooperation from the dissident, a proud, smart man who thinks he has taken enough precautions. But the Cosa Nostra's point man in the operation is prepared to squeeze those closest to the dissident to achieve his aims.
Frank Welles, one the FBI's Ten Most Wanted List for five years, shoots a U.S. Border Patrol Guard as he enters California from Mexico. Welles also is the target of a contract by La Cosa Nostra. Erskine and Colby are dispatched to bring Welles to justice. But the case is more complicated than it seems. For the FBI, it's a maze. Even after Welles has been apprehended, Erskine and Colby attempt to discover the details of something Welles was planning to do. Welles intended to avenge the death of the 16-year-old daughter of a friend. An innocent man's life hangs in the ...
Erskine and Colby lead an FBI raid that seizes illegal gambling equipment being shipped by Arnold Toby, a New York organized crime boss. But that's just the start of the complicated case. Toby's attorney, Richard Bender, gets Toby freed on bail. The arrest is covered in newspapers. Dennis Holland reads of the arrest. His son was arrested and executed years earlier; Bender had declined to represent the son and Holland has held a grudge ever since. Holland manipulates one of his employees, Pete Zacharias, into typing up a death threat and to handle a handgun. Holland ...
Erskine is acting as bodyguard for Maria Sandoval, cousin of a Latin American dictator, to Washington. Once there, she will testify before a Congressional committee how her cousin, and the leader of her country, is affiliated with Communists. The FBI investigator doesn't know that one of the passengers on the flight of a small aircraft is an operative of Maria's country. His orders are to prevent her from testifying at all costs. The small plane is forced to crash land. The question is who will survival the ordeal and who won't.
A retired law professor is murdered after warning the Bureau that La Cosa Nostra is gaining a toehold in large housing development. His death brings Erskine into the case. The dead man was Erskine's law school professor, who had encouraged Erskine to join the FBI. Three people saw the killer leave the law professor's home but decided not to go to the police. They think they're safe but a Cosa Nostra kingpin orders they be found and eliminated.
An Indian tribe in Arizona is divided about a planned smelting project. William Rockhill is a young Indian deeply opposed to the project and sets fire to equipment to be used in a survey. A friend of his, an Indian attorney, tried to stop Rockhill. The two men fight and the lawyer is killed. The lawyer is also the son-in-law of the tribe's chief. The situation is becoming explosive. Erskine and Colby are dispatched to resolve the case before the situation turns more tragic.
In Miami, two mobs that are part of La Cosa Nostra are in conflict. Terry and James Cober, two brothers, have taken over a numbers racket started by their father, who has been retired for three weeks. Frank Lanner has been attempting to take it over. The Cobers decide to send a message to Lanner by exploding a bomb in Lanner's garage. The intent was to issue a warning but one of Lanner's bodyguards is paralyzed. Lanner strikes back by having James Cober hit. Now family patriarch Ignatius Cober wants revenge. Erskine and Colby lead the FBI's investigation, intended to ...
A high-ranking executive of a Los Angeles bank is running a loan shark operation on the side. His son-in-law is a famous former football player and U.S. military veteran. The bank executive is using the son-in-law to attract servicemen to the loan shark operation. Erskine dispatches Colby to go undercover as a serviceman with a bad credit rating who needs money.