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.
A U.S. diplomat commits suicide rather than continue to be blackmailed by an Eastern Bloc country. The diplomat's death brings the FBI into the case. The bureau has intelligence that the target of the spy ring is a State Department position paper detailing the U.S. response to a variety of scenarios in the Middle East. Erskine goes undercover and recruits a former woman spy for East Germany to help him. But the case is fraught with uncertainty, including whether Erskine's cover will hold up.
An FBI agent is killed while attempting to arrest a fugitive, Collins, in St. Louis. Erskine and Colby oversee a bureau manhunt. Collins has teamed up with another criminal, Wilson. It was Wilson who killed the FBI agent. The bloodthirsty Wilson will not let Collins and his girlfriend separate from him. For Collins and his girlfriend, the choices are few.
Erskine and Colby are on the trail of swindler Robert Charles Pollard. One man is dead, a banker who had embezzled after being taken in by one of Pollard's schemes. Now, Pollard is targeting a bank run by Kate, a former flame. Pressure increases on Pollard after a confederate dies from a fall while fleeing from the law. The question is whether the bureau can catch up to Pollard before he completes another swindle.
Terry Shelton fakes being kidnapped to extort money from his rich oilman father, Gar. What Terry doesn't know is his girlfriend plans to have him kidnapped for real. She's really involved with criminal Harvey George Windsor. Gar Shelton, headstrong and independent, decides to get his son back without help from Erskine and the FBI. Instead of freeing Terry, the father is captured also. Now, Erskine and Colby must rescue two hostages before time runs out.
Steven Harber, in debt with a pregnant wife, is also on the jury for the federal trial of a Cosa Nostra leader in San Diego. Harber takes a $5,000 bribe while at work at a filling station, with the promise of another $5,000 after the trial. But a co-worker witnesses the bribe take place. After the trial ends with the jury deadlocked, the co-worker puts the squeeze on Harber. Harber already feels guilty. Harber himself calls the U.S. Attorney hinting about jury tampering. Erskine and Colby enter the case, determined to find if a bribe took place. Before the case is ...
A man is convicted of murder but is adamant of his innocence. His brother, who is already strapped for money financing the convicted man's legal bills, tries an outrageous bluff. The brother plans to blackmail the star witness of the trial. The idea is to convince authorities the witness was the real killer. The witness, an owner of a shipyard, has his own ideas. He hires a hit man. Erskine and Colby are drawn into the case when the wife of the witness reports an extortion letter to the FBI. The question is whether the agents can solve the case before anyone else ...
Hazlett, a member of the Cosa Nostra and under a death sentence by the criminal organization, is desperate. He hijacks an older plane headed to Jacksonville, Florida. The FBI, led by Erskine and Colby, races to find Hazlett's daughter, who is likely being sought by the Cosa Nostra to use as a lever against her father. Onboard the flight, Hazlett shoots a passenger trying to stop the hijacking. Meanwhile, a Cosa Nostra hitman is sent to kill Hazlett, no matter what.
A surfer is killed on the Southern California coast after stumbling onto a meeting of Soviet spies. The killing plunges the FBI, led by Erskine and Colby, into a complex case involving a top-secret government project. Before the bureau can resolve the case, a web of intrigue, adultery and another murder will be spun.
An armed robbery in Newark goes bad: one of the gang has been killed and a policeman serious wounded. The participants in the robbery scatter. The leader heads to Seattle, where his brother is an executive at a successful shipping business. The executive agrees to give his brother one last chance, unaware of the Newark robbery. Erskine and Colby are on the trail of the gang members. The question is whether they can complete the chase before the gang's leader masterminds yet another robbery -- this one involving his brother's own business.
Nate Phelps, a former professional football player, has robbed a bank in Bakersfield, California, and killed a man. Phelps' accomplice is caught but Phelps remains at large and heads to Los Angeles, where he grew up. Erskine and Colby, already on the West Coast, take charge of the investigation. Phelps tries to flee out of the country but finds himself at odds not only with the law but with criminals who seek the $50,000 Phelps has taken from the bank.
A young woman is killed on U.S. government property. The M.O. is identical to an earlier crime -- except a man was arrested and convicted of that crime. Erskine and Colby investigate whether the wrong man -- the "scapegoat" of the title -- was convicted in the earlier death.
A salesman for a major jewelry firm suffers a heart attack after his briefcase is stolen along with the $180,000 worth of uncut gems it contains. He is the fourth salesman for the firm to be robbed in recent months. Erskine begins to suspect that an inside man in the firm is telling the robbers who to hit, and he finds that a health club is the common link between the victims and the thieves.
A two-person confidence team preys on well-to-do elderly people. Irene Galloway is a nurse, whose sunny manner brings people out of their shell, making them willing to confide in her. Carl S. Beaumont then conducts a robbery, knowing precisely what items to seek and where to find them. Erskine and Colby are on the case after Beaumont has taken a rare-coin collection. Now, Irene has been hired as a nurse for Mrs. Whitker, who has a large amount of cash that Beaumont wants.
An escaped federal prisoner abducts his son from the boy's foster parents. The boy has acute leukemia and will die within a month's time without proper medical attention. The escaped prisoner is an accomplished check forger but can be dangerous when cornered. Erskine and Colby follow a trail from New York state to New York City to Chicago and finally to Texas.
When an Eastern Bloc operative turns up dead near Portland, Oregon, Erskine and Colby are put on the trail of an espionage ring. The FBI agents will crisscross the country in search of its agents. An antique doll is being used to store film copies of a top secret defense project. The question is whether the bureau can act fast enough before the secret information is shipped abroad.
The Cosa Nostra has devised a scheme to gain leverage on stock brokers, who will then steal shares of companies. In turn, the shares will be laundered by using them as collateral to obtain loans at major banks. Erskine and Colby will lead an investigation that will take them to Chicago, San Francisco and Los Angeles.