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When a mother-and-son research team gets too close to the grizzly truth, one of them must die. But which? With the cold blooded murderer still on the loose, Mark sets out to avenge his mother’s death. But how will he recognize the killer? And when? What will he do to help bring him to justice? And who can he turn to for help once the police declare the case “cold” and close the books on it?
Living in a Caribbean Island paradise, Mark celebrates his twenty-first birthday while facing an uphill battle compounded by a deadbeat Private-Eye father who abandoned him twenty years earlier, a well-meaning but bungling director of marine mammal studies, an international espionage plot centered on the island of St. Lucia, an unrequited love, an aggressive and beautiful young soucouyant, a murderous underground black-magic cult, and a pod of rambunctious dolphins. The results are anything but Flipper in this multicultural tale based upon a true story.
This is the warm and touching yet harrowing and riveting story of a young man’s dedicated love for his slain mother and his ongoing struggle to accept his absentee if well-meaning father. And–let’s be honest–the sister he never knew he had before finding out that he never really did! It’s the tale of eternal life, unfolding in an action-packed universe filled with nonstop suspense, torrid romance, and Caribbean-style supernatural intrigue–a gritty look into another life, another world, and a unique reality where only the last wild orchid grows.
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When Hymie Stiehl, one of Chicago’s most notorious raconteurs, learns that pal Jungle Jim Alavera has disappeared, he knows what he has to do. Realizing that Alavera is still alive but in growing danger, Stiehl fakes his own death only to reemerge in drag to try to locate his ball-playing compadre. After Stiehl’s “snitch,” Jimmy the Mole, tracks Alavera to a small brownstone in New Town, Hymie and his college-professor sidekick decide to pay the jock a surprise visit. But when the two walk into a ransacked apartment with the water still warm in the bathtub, Stiehl realizes things are getting serious.
Sending his sidekick to interview a college coed with unholy ties to the underground, Stiehl runs down an informant before rejoining the kid. There, he learns the girl has confessed to having an affair with ballplayer Alavera while dating the college president. Hymie points out that she omitted one small detail from her confession–that she was also dating mobster Sammy the Bull Romano. When Alavera shows up unexpectedly, vowing to protect the woman he loves, Stiehl reminds him he won’t have to: “The Mob already has you dead and buried.” Not for fooling around with Bull’s girl, Stiehl adds, but for failing to throw the 2016 All Star Game, costing Romano a cool million in bets.
In a showdown in Bull’s penthouse suite, all hell breaks loose as the cops learn that Sammy has been killed after buying college prez Alexis and a dirty city alderman one-way tickets to the morgue. They arrest the philandering girlfriend, followed by Alavera, and finally Stiehl’s sidekick before Stiehl steps in to set the record straight and reveal to the D.A. who the real murderer is–and why.
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Here are all the whimsical, haunting, riveting, and erotically charged tales you’d expect from a lifetime spent growing up in the Windy City. When master storyteller D. J. Herda left Chicago in the late Seventies, he took a big part of Chicago with him. Now, he has unleashed some of his most memorable tales in all their wild-and-wooly, sexually charged, hit-and-hit-harder glory. These are the hauntingly vivid stories that run the gamut from Crime and Punishment to Humor, Pathos, Spirituality, and Coming-of-Age in the Windy City.
Among the tales of intrigue included in this volume are these eye-popping delights.
“The Tenants” When an officer of the law investigates a series of disappearances all centered around one main suspect, he’s convinced she’s as clever and diabolic a murderess as he’s ever seen. Until she convinces him otherwise, after which he sets out to prove both himself, and her, wrong.
“The Fisherman” A look at just how badly things can go when a young man leaves his comfortable home to go smelt fishing with his gung-ho, war-hero, new father-in-law one raw, rainy, Saturday morning–and just why he’s not likely to do so again.
“Double Jeopardy” When a young bank executive joins a new firm and gets promoted to mortgages and personal loans, he finds his new landlady the perfect customer–as old, doddering, and doting as anyone he’s ever seen. Not to mention trustworthy. But his foolproof trap backfires as she turns the tables on him before he manages at the last moment to wiggle free from the trap.
“The Great Man” A young man in the glory years of his youth discovers that his grandfather, whom he always considered a great man, was nothing of the sort. He’s crushed–until he meets one of his grandfather’s sexually alluring legacies and realizes he’d been right after all. Jim Blasdell really was a great man.
“The Union” They meet at the university’s Rathskeller and immediately fall in love–he with her angelic face and demonic body and she, with his apparently unlimited funds and innate gullibility. But when she goes to tighten the noose, he adroitly dances out of reach and turns the tables on her. Until she turns them right back on him.
“Trapped” A young building contractor and part-time author moves to the suburbs where he meets all the right people, including the really wrong ones. Poised to make a killing in real estate, he soon discovers others are just as poised to stop him. After beating back false criminal charges, he’s finally in the clear, but his own gullibility enables his best “friends” and business associates to ensnare him in a noose he constructed by himself–from which there is no escape. Or is there?