A best-selling author finds himself hunted by an assassin. He must discover which one of his former subjects is trying to kill him. His investigation is hampered by a promise of confidentiality -- a factor that prevents him from giving the police vital information that could save his life.
After brushing off two near-miss, drive-by shootings as random violence, author Devin Chandler's world is shattered when his parked car explodes in front of a busy restaurant. He is forced to accept what the police have suspected all along -- someone is trying to kill him. The attempts on his life are believed to be related to one of his four ghostwritten autobiographies. The Phoenix homicide detectives focus on the most obvious, "Inherit The Mob," the life story of Chicago gangster Anthony "The Glassman" Roselli.
Roselli does have a strong motive for wanting Chandler silenced. The problem is, Roselli isn't alone. Devin's other three subjects -- a movie star from a bygone era, an undercover cop, and the current Presidential front-runner -- all have equally compelling reasons.
In each case, Devin pushed his collaborators so hard during the writing of their books that he uncovered a secret too shocking to include. To have done so would have subjected them to scandal and imprisonment.
Complicating matters is that the secrets were revealed under the veil of author/subject confidentiality. Because of this, Devin is professionally restrained from providing the detectives with critical clues. And even if he could talk, he faces the moral dilemma of destroying the lives of three innocent people -- including the next President -- to stop the one trying to kill him.
That's a price he's unwilling to pay.
Although Devin keeps his promise never to betray his subjects' trust, the attempts on his life continue. One of the four apparently can't live with what the author knows.
Devin concludes that his only chance is to solve the mystery himself. Despite the ongoing danger, he must revisit each book -- and each subject -- to determine which unpublished secret is the key.
III. THE CHARACTERS
A. Devin Chandler, forty: Journalist turned non-fiction author now hunted by assassins for an unknown reason. Married to a university professor. The father of a test tube baby son. Uncovered something during one of his previous four books that has made him a marked man.
B. Rebecca Lynn Sheridan, sixty-two: Three-time Academy Award-winning actress who disappeared for twenty years following the violent death of her husband, legendary method actor Mario Hunter. Discovered by Chandler in an open-air restaurant in Thailand. Chandler convinced her to end her self-induced exile and collaborate on a blockbuster book about her life.
Sheridan's secret -- What really happened the night Mario Hunter was allegedly murdered by a crazed fan.
C. John Curry, fifty: Eloquent Tampa, Florida defense attorney turned U.S. Senator turned Presidential front-runner. Career launched after winning a gut-wrenching child abuse case with the help of Chandler, then a local newspaper reporter. Later wrote a trailblazing legal book with Chandler that paved his way into politics. Comfortably ahead in the Presidential polls.
Curry's secret -- The reason he frantically tried to plead his pre-teen client guilty on the eve of the landmark child abuse case.
D. Anthony "The Glassman" Roselli, forty-two: Darkly handsome, fabulously wealthy Chicago savings and loan tycoon who expanded his business empire by accepting his uncle's invitation to join the Mafia. His double life was exposed when, intoxicated with money and power, he made an ill-fated attempt to buy the Chicago Cubs baseball team. Fell in love with an Native America woman in Phoenix who convinced him to turn his back on the Mob. Summoned Chandler to write a book exposing the Mob, a condition of his unique criminal plea bargain.
Roselli's secret -- The circumstances surrounding the mutilation murder of his ex-Notre Dame football star brother, and the drug overdose of his brother's pregnant girlfriend.
E. Penny Downs, aka Penny Worthington, thirty-two: Petite, attractive, quick-thinking California police officer selected to front a wildly successful political sting operation. Went undercover as a bribe-happy lobbyist for the tobacco industry sent to kill a Draconian anti-smoking bill. Nearly lost herself to her dominant undercover alter ego.
Downs' secret -- The indictment-eve suicide of an ambitious state senator caught in the police dragnet.
F. Detectives Gary Jackson and Mark Simpson: Big, burly, seemingly thick Phoenix police homicide detectives assigned to Chandler's case. Constantly squabbling with the closed-mouth author regarding the scope and pace of the investigation.
Read chapter 1 on-line:
Grand Slam Chapter 1