Enjoy a sneak peek at the first chapter in the third book in The Body Hunters series.
Brogan’s eyelids cracked open a little after one in the
morning. Through sheer stubbornness he continued to lay there, willing
himself to fall back to sleep. After nearly an hour of watching the
digital digits on his alarm clock mark the passing time, Alistair gave
it up. At the moment sleep wasn’t going to allow him to escape the mess
of his creation.
He forced himself to sit up. He
ran a hand through his tousled grey hair, which stood straight up like
muddy icicles. The space in the king size bed beside him was empty; a
few blond hairs on the pillow the only trace of the high priced call
girl with whom he’d spent part of the evening. Obviously his meter had
run out and she’d gone off in pursuit of the next paying client.
Alistair winced as the soles of his feet touched the frigid bedroom
floor, the wood cut from some rare tree from the Amazon. He slipped
into a pair of handcrafted silk slippers, monogrammed with his
initials. He was considering not even bothering with a shower, until
his own body funk assailed him.
shuffled to the bathroom with its heated tile floors, his worries heavy
on his shoulders. He gazed at his nude form in the bathroom mirror.
He didn’t look too bad for a chap well beyond the half century mark.
His eye sight had been corrected with laser surgery so he no longer
required the grandfatherly glasses he used to wear. His hair was
expertly cut by a stylist known to have clipped the hairs of U.S.
Presidents and heads of state. His fingers pinched his waist, finding
no trace of the love handles that had plagued him for years, his belly
flat and taut like a fashion model half his age. His unforgiving
personal trainer had seen to that and the man’s exorbitant fee had been
money well spent.
A personal shopper made sure
that his walk in closet was overflowing with fine garments and shoes
that befitted a man of his wealth and stature. A fleet of fine
automobiles filled the garage of his mansion, while a handful of
servants waited on his every beck and call. When Alistair talked,
people paid attention. Everywhere he went people knew him and wanted
to be around him. To the outside world Alistair Brogan was the picture
of power and influence, but why did he feel so hollow inside?
Alistair looked at himself in the mirror all he saw was staring back
at him was the face of a con man and a thief. Alistair Brogan, CEO of
Capital Securities Associates or C.S.A. was guilty of running a Ponzi
scheme. He’d duped corporations, charities, middle class workers, and
little old ladies out of billions of dollars. Over the years, he kept
telling himself that he’d go on the straight and narrow and clean up the
mess he’d started, but as the years went by he only got deeper and
deeper in the tar pit of his own making.
Just a few months
ago, Alistair had developed a plan that would allow him to pay off all
his investors back in full. The plan would take time to pay off,
precious time he no longer had. Unfortunately, there was no more sand
in his hour glass and two weeks ago the whole house of cards came
A legion of FBI agents in their
windbreakers descended on C.S.A.’s headquarters in Savannah in search
of a paper trail. The SEC had been investigating him for years and
finally had gathered enough evidence for a warrant. Like buzzards
swooping down on a carcass, the media was all over the story. Cameras
and microphones were shoved into the faces of clueless C.S.A. employees
and Alistair’s equally clueless friends and family.
was exiled from his circle of friends as soon as the news broke. He’d
gone from a VIP to the most hated man in America in mere days. His
victims now paraded outside the gate of his mansion with their torches
and pitchforks, calling for the head of the monster. His former friends
treated him like he was poisonous, avoiding any contact with him.
Alistair felt like he didn’t have an ally in the world.
arraignment was mercifully quick and his hot shot lawyer was able to
get Alistair released on bond and put on house arrest. Thankfully he
was able to avoid wearing one of those awful tethers, since the lawyer
negotiated the surrender of his passports. Alistair was now confined to
his luxurious seven bed room, Savannah, Georgia mansion. With the
house empty since he fired his staff, the mansion was even more like a
prison. Save for the occasional call girl, Alistair was in solitary
confinement with no other human contact.
stood in the shower letting the steaming jets of nearly scalding water
work over his exhausted muscles, Alistair reminisced over his past
transgressions and his pitiful existence.
never been much of a husband or father. He knew now that he was never
worthy of his first wife, his one true love, Cindy Good. She was truly a
saint who’d put up with his lying and cheating for years, but even
saints have their limitations. She’d taken their children and had been
living happily ever after for years.
two was a conniving temptress who was only after his money. She’d
abandoned him as soon as she’d gotten word of the charges against him
and the possibility of losing everything of which she’d grown
The disappointment in his eldest
son’s face whenever he looked at him was enough to kill him. It was a
wonder that Alistair Jr. didn’t change his name to avoid all
association with his fallen father. Luckily he was spared the judgment
of his daughter who lived in Europe with her husband and children. It
was one thing to be a bad father, another to be publicly branded a
How ironic that the one child he could truly
lean on at this time was his problem child, his youngest son Carl, by
his second wife. It was Carl, the former drug addict, who comforted
Alistair with words of wisdom and encouragement. While he was never
charged with anything as serious as running a Ponzi scheme, Carl had
seen the inside of a jail cell on several occasions in his relatively
short life and knew what they were up against.
the ruminations on his children and turning off the punishing spray of
water using the digital touch screen panel, Alistair stepped out of
the glass enclosed shower. The scent of his musky imported body wash
and shampoo lingered on his skin. Donning just his silk bathrobe, he
headed downstairs, taking in the things he’d accumulated over the
As he passed the baby grand piano in the
living room, he reminisced on the items he’d acquired. There was the
antique Persian rug he’d acquired in Morocco, the antique vase from
Malaysia, a collection of hand blown glass ornaments from Italy. These
items he cherished would soon be auctioned to the highest bidder to
cover the losses that his clientele had suffered because of his
schemes. His bank accounts were already frozen and it was only a
matter of time before his property was seized.
breath caught in his throat as if he could feel the walls of justice
closing in on him. His lawyer insisted on pleading not guilty, but
Alistair knew that his days were numbered. He was guilty as sin and he
was going to spend the rest of his earthly existence and part of the
afterlife in a federal prison.
Trying to shake
off the stress, Alistair arrived at the room containing his indoor
pool. The combination of the chlorine and the heated water made the
room hot and the air hard to breathe. Shrugging out of his robe, he
stepped into the warm waters. He swam laps around the pool until his
arms and legs felt like they’d been injected with lead. The dull pain
helped to lower his anxiety level.
“Nice day for a swim, huh?” A masked figure dressed in black emerged from the shadows, a gun gleaming in its hand.
“Wh-who are you?” In near panic, Alistair quickly cinched the robe around his waist.
The intruder never answered, letting the sound of the gunshot speak for
him. A jet of red black blood sprayed like a fountain from Alistair’s
perfectly tanned neck. He fell to his knees, his hands around his own
throat, desperately attempting to stop the bleeding as his life flowed
through his fingers. Alistair’s voice was replaced by thick garbled
static, the blood in his throat nearly gagging him.
dark figure stood less than a foot from Alistair’s crouching form and
pulled the trigger again. Grey matter and blood spatter made a mess of
the white tile. Alistair collapsed in a heap. Death overrode any
modesty as his robe fell open, leaving his naked body fully exposed.
The intruder fired two more rounds into Alistair’s skull before kicking
the dead man into the pool.
A murky red cloud
surrounded Alistair as he floated on top of the water like an overfed
goldfish. Satisfied with their handiwork, the intruder fled the room,
carefully avoiding the blood on the floor.