(Descriptive version)Lee Harms, investigator-for-hire, is on the cusp of an on-and-off-again love affair with confidante and astrologer Celeste when fate serves up a witch's brew of trouble.Start with a broth of sexual intrigue, toss in a troubled redhead, stir in two kilos of cocaine, dissolve a few pages from a psychiatrist's notebook, and bring to a boil the fury of a crime family whose son dies in a midnight bacchanal. Money ignites the fire under this cauldron, but sex, violence and the darker forces of human nature keep it bubbling.As dangerous as it gets, Harms must rely on his own wits to out-maneuver crack-crazed thugs, libidinous porn stars, and a deranged young woman with a troubled past. But when criminals kidnap his own ten-year-old daughter, he plunges into their underworld to rescue her from harm's way.(Narrative version)Lee Harms is an ex-cop who's traded financial security and office politics for the tenuous existence of a freelance investigator. He's divorced and paying child support for a 10-year-old daughter whose affections he must earn, which isn't easy when his ex-wife bad-mouths him every time he's late on support payments. So when he gets a lucrative offer to trace a runaway girl, an assignment he generally declines, he goes after her with all the enthusiasm he can muster.Political hopeful Doctor Reynolds has already paid $50K to suppress a videotape of his daughter in a lesbian porn flick; now there's a second demand for $250K and promise of worse revelations to come. He wants her found and put on the next plane to England where she'll go into rehab and put her life back together before she ruins his.As Harms learns, she's been living quite a life already - shoplifting, drug abuse, pornography, and maybe even prostitution. Everywhere he looks, he encounters the human archetypes of moral depravity, and every one of them warns him to drop the case before it gets too hot for him to handle. As stubborn as he is cash-strapped, he eventually locates the daughter at a party thrown by her current lover, a Honduran drug dealer. Although Harms extricates her, things get nasty in the chaos - the drug dealer winds up dead, and a large stash of his cocaine goes missing.All of a sudden, Harms is in the cross-hairs of a death squad whose sole purpose is to find him and the girl, and kill them both to avenge the dealer's death. When Harms turns out to be too elusive and tough to dispense with, the Hondurans attack his cop buddy and kidnap Harms' own daughter to force his surrender. Meanwhile, someone has also killed his client Doctor Reynolds, jeopardizing the whole case, and throwing suspicion on him.Overcoming huge odds, even as violence endangers everyone near and dear to him, Harms must use all his ingenuity to outwit a vicious drug gang, identify the unknown blackmailer and prove himself innocent of murder.(80,500 words)
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September 05, 2011
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