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Enjoy an exclusive excerpt:
Will their unlikely alliance be enough to return Matt's beloved hometown to its halcyon days? And will he find the faith he needs to rebuild his crumbling marriage?
William O’Neil joined the military after high school, had a taste of battle, learned he was good at it. So good that private opportunity followed, a high-paid job chasing people good at screwing up the world. Heʼd also become a storyteller, and rendered his adventures more like a journalist than a mercenary.
Tears fell from the canopy in the Somali jungle, hot condensation that turned the jungle floor into a steaming cauldron. Monkeys chattered and beautiful birds cawed at the endless shower. Mud-hut villages outside Kandahar were cold and quiet—no noisy animals there, just listless, desperate people waiting to die. Winds in the desolate Peshawar mountains howled, blew relentlessly, angry and cruel, the only thing alive.
His strong jaw twitched, a tic Conley suddenly remembered. It was less pronounced now, barely perceptible.
“I’m back, Matt. Came home three months ago and heard Victor Rodriguez was looking for someone to run the Tap.”
“And not many applicants. I had the inside track. He and my dad were friends.”
“Two unlikely companions.”
“Knew each other from St. Amby’s. Holy Name Society.”
“Really? Rodriguez was a parishioner?”
“A very dedicated member of the Church of Saint Ambrose.”
“Any idea who murdered him?”
“No, but I know who does. The Paladin.”
“Paladin’s a place—a social club.”
“You mean like the Elks or the Hibernians?” Conley asked.
William took another long slug from his drink and wore a brown mustache before his tongue wiped it away.
“No. More social.”
“I don’t get it.”
Sage glanced at William. He took a deep breath into his long, wide torso.
“Kinky stuff, Matt. You try my wife and I’ll try yours.”
Sage pulled stitches through his eyebrow, hands moving so fast they fluttered. Conley was embarrassed that she had to hear this, hoped she was too occupied to be listening.
“William, Victor Rodriguez was a married man. He took his wife to sex parties?”
“He took me,” Sage said. She’d spoken for the first time, in a confident, detached voice that didn’t interfere with her handiwork. “Victor took me to those parties.”
About the Author:
His five novels and dozens of short stories, most of them richly-layered mysteries, take place in New England. Mike and his wife Jean live in Florida with their three sons.
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