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Published by: 82 Mercer Publishing
Release Date: November 05, 2020
Pages: 319
ISBN13: 978-0-7330913-6-7



Master Chef Michael Rogan owns a world-renowned restaurant, is married to his college sweetheart, and has a daughter beginning college. His life is as picturesque as their mountaintop retreat overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge.

That was until Frederick Dalton, an old Army buddy turned Warden at San Quentin, drifts in from the past with an odd request. He will release Michael’s estranged father—serving time on Death Row for the murder of his wife 30 years ago—in exchange for one small favor. Michael declines.

Then, Michael’s life is again disrupted when his estranged brother Scott arrives unexpectedly looking for a job. Michael reluctantly agrees and things soon head sideways.

Scott is found dead in the restaurant’s freezer, with a knife in his chest. Police want to believe Michael when he claims he was leaving town, but the facts say otherwise.

Charged with murder, and facing his father’s same confinement, Michael must confront his worst nightmare, find the killer who set him up, and choose how far he will go to regain his freedom.

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Michael whimpered in the dark, his shifting voice sputtered half-cries as he tried to man up. That was something his father had always told him. Man up now, or you never will, the voice echoed in his head. Touching his cheek, he could feel it had already begun to swell—the heat under the skin simmered like the hatred in his heart. He caught himself breathing much too heavily, because he was getting lightheaded much too quickly.

What have I done so wrong


On the other side of the door, another dish shatters into pieces—followed by another terrifying scream. His mother sounded as though she were being beaten within an inch of her life. Because she likely was.

A warm trickle with the taste of copper crept into his mouth. He wiped his nose with the sleeve of his shirt and instinctively looked down, expecting to see bright red. But that was impossible because there were no lights in the tiny space. Nothing but woolen coats that smelled of tobacco and moth balls, boots soaked with the fragrance of earth, spent rags with the smell of grease, and slickers that stuck to his back because of rising heat in the confined space.


Mom? Did he knock you down?

His heart began to race, and with the worse he could imagine, he began to panic. Instantly, that panic bubbled into rage, and without a care of what happened next, his fury exploded into a scream. It was a blood-curdling scream that rose from the bottom of who he was—as if suppressed for years. Because it had been. And he was tired of it.

His eyes were squeezed shut so tightly, he imagined seeing light behind his lids, as he continued screaming.

“Shut the hell up in there, or I’ll give you something to yell about!”

But Michael didn’t stop screaming. 
Instead, he ignored the pulsating pain in his ribcage, sucked in the biggest breath possible, and released a scream so horrifying he frightened himself...

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