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A Thriller Novel Featuring Political Motives

Flip through pages of suspense in my mystery/thriller novel featuring a little bit of science almost-but-not-quite-fiction. Sundown: Engineering Gives the Devil a Sunburn is now complete at 117,000 words. The novel was published by Covenant Books in November, 2017, with paperback and eBook formats currently available at Amazon, iBooks, Nook, and soon at your local bookstore.

Synopsis in one sentence

In 2057, when the world is starved of oil and the whole globe is in the grip of the World Council, NYCPD detective Nick Garvey has his plate murderously full, contending with: the assassination of the Vice President and four Secret Service agents; the vicious power struggle between President Lenora Allison and the Supreme Leader of the World Council, Jason Beck; the off-duty avenging of the brutalization of his estranged daughter by her live-in thug; the kidnapping of his granddaughter when he gets too close to the truth about Jason Beck’s world-domination dirty tricks; and his confrontation with President Lenora Allison which leads to their joint setup in front of a firing squad; but other than that…


FULL Synopsis --> Sundown: engineering gives the devil a sunburn

Statue of Liberty

"In the year 2057, oil is scarce, policing in New York City has been farmed out to neighborhood groups, and all authority emanates from the World Council, a shadowy international group whose sole mission is to consolidate power. NYPD Detective Nick Garvey, a veteran of the force who has watched his precinct shrink in manpower and resources, is assigned a troubling case after the body of the Vice President of the United States, along with those of four Secret Service agents, is found on the steps of City Hall.

Nick begins his investigation by contacting his former partner, Gerry Martin, now an employee of the World Council. Nick has a hunch that said international government body had a hand in the vice president's assassination, but he doesn't get much from Gerry, whose tight-lipped response leaves Nick with more questions than answers. In fact, the deeper Nick investigates, the deeper the mystery goes. He learns that a famous geneticist, presumed dead, is alive and well and tending to a rooftop garden in Manhattan. He discovers an old metal box, with an eagle embossed on it that contains damning information about Jason Beck, the supreme director of the World Council. And he learns too late that Gerry, among others, was actually working for the other side, in this case, the good guys, before he was gunned down.

Likewise, the Secret Service has been infiltrated by a crooked captain, but President Lenora Allison, for her part, has penetrated the World Council, the very organization bent on destroying her presidency. Nick has no choice but to negotiate this labyrinth, all the while protecting those he loves. When he gets too close to the truth, his granddaughter is kidnapped by a thug who goes by the name of El Camino, a moniker lost on most of his contemporaries, considering the streets are all but empty of cars now that oil and other natural resources are in such short supply.

Nick is helped in the tracking down of his granddaughter by a sixteen-year-old kidnapper of infants who is mending his ways, courtesy of Nick and the young man's take-no-nonsense grandmother. The tracking effort is also helped by an even younger boy, eleven, son of a neighborhood leader who is black. When that leader is killed, his son, grief-stricken, eventually elects to adopt Nick.

At the center of everything is the grid, an overhead energy-delivery system that promises to harvest energy from the sun and restore a degree of independence to Manhattan. Or so Nick thinks. But the lighting ceremony, scheduled in just two days and purportedly President Allison's baby, ultimately proves a mere distraction. The powers that be are quarreling over more than one technological marvel in one decaying city; they're fighting for control, and how the US and other countries will move forward in an uncertain future.

Arrayed against Nick are Jason Beck, the World Council's supreme director and a man who relishes every opportunity to play people against each other; Duane Evers, Jason's right-hand man and someone who's actually playing his own long game; and Bert Freed, a wheelchair-bound computer and surveillance expert whose affinity for cameras and high-tech gadgetry is surpassed only by his unbridled sadism.

By the time Nick realizes the scope of his investigation, it's too late to turn back. For the safety of his family, for the good of his city, and for the men and women who serve alongside him in the woefully understaffed NYPD, Nick has no choice but to peer beneath the grid and uncover the truth."