Preying on the Innocent

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2012-05-02
  • Publisher: Textstream
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How do you deal with a mother whose behavior fits the label sociopath? What are the chances you'll follow in her footsteps? Those are the questions that haunt Maggie Egan on the day she meets Rocco DeCullo-in a psychiatrist's office. In spite of Rocco's struggle with social anxiety, they rapidly cultivate a friendship that plunges them into the middle of a double murder. A teenage son came home to find the beaten and butchered bodies of his parents. Maggie knows the victims as former friends of her parents. Rocco knows the son. As their connections to the murders multiply, danger threatens. When a third murder occurs, Maggie's mother becomes a person of interest. Her father is the prime suspect. As Maggie works to clear her father, Evanston police work feverishly to make sense of the few clues they have. With the assistance of Maggie, Rocco, and ABC TV investigative reporter Sandra Anderson, they add pieces to the puzzle, but will they find a solution? And will they find the answer soon enough? As each day goes by, a sea of contamination spreads, lives are ruined, and human leeches continue to prey on the innocent.


Murder and Mayhem At 7:30 on a balmy summer evening three masked figures in a black Jaguar circled a residential block in the north end of Evanston, Illinois. Below a baseball cap the slanted eyes and brows of the driver's mask lent an East Asian appearance. The two men in the back seat were dressed in Ninja black with their hands gloved and their feet covered with black slippers. They looked out the rear windows, alert and silent. It was a Sunday close to sundown, and the neighborhood was quiet. A few sprinklers were running on front lawns but, other than that, nothing—just calm, stagnant air. "Go down the alley," uttered one of the men in the back seat. The driver approached the corner and turned right and then right again down the alley that backed modest homes. Driving slowly, they took in the surroundings, cautiously looking for people barbequing or kids playing in yards. The driver slowed when they reached the house they were targeting. The two in the back seat stared, planning their entry. What they didn't notice was Mr. Harold, down on his knees, hidden by a wheelbarrow, and picking weeds from his garden. But, his house was four houses to the right and would not allow him a view of their entry or exit. "Ready," said the man on the right. "Let's do it." He told the driver to return to this exact spot in fifteen minutes. "Got it," the driver replied. The two men, dressed in black, long sleeved shirts tucked into black sweats, exited the car and shut their doors so quietly that even the driver couldn't hear them close. They opened a six-foot tall wooden gate to the yard. "This way," said the first man. "My hands are sweating in these gloves," his twin whispered. They crept along a row of bushes that bordered the left fence, which led to the garage. Inside the home Dan Reid Sr. was seated at the kitchen table, which was covered by a yellow and white checkerboard tablecloth. He drank iced coffee while his wife, Carol, unloaded the dishwasher. She turned to her husband and asked, "What time is he coming?" "Eight-thirty," he said. "Where are the kids?" "Danny is at Romans, and Jeanne is on a sleepover at the Johnson's." "I thought we made it clear that we didn't want him hanging around Romans," said Dan. Irritation strained his voice. "As usual, he was hostile, and trying to keep him from going just makes it worse. He's pretty tight with your brother, and since Charlie is a partner in Romans, I think Danny always has free passes." "And Jeanne—how did you get her to agree to a sleepover? She hates sleepovers!" "I told her we had important business not meant for children." "Good work." Carol, anxious about the pending confrontation, stopped what she was doing and sat across the table from Dan. "We're in full agreement on this, right?" "Absolutely," her husband replied confidently. He looked straight into her tired eyes. "I'm done with Charlie. He's jeopardizing my practice, and I have no intention of going to jail for my brother's misjudgments." Carol rose from the table and took a few steps toward the dishwasher, then turned her head, facing her husband. "No backing down?"

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