An Extended Description

The air was charged.

Jason shook his head. “I don’t understand. What’s this all about?”

Jason could sense his father’s mind racing. More secrets, he thought. Jason hated secrets. Their eyes met and for a moment Jason thought he saw fear. Was it his father’s fear or his own terror reflected in the older man’s eyes?

Lloyd handed Jason a laptop in a bright pink case.

“What’s this for?” Jason said, examining the device.

“It’s Charlene’s. Put it in the safe in the computer room until I return.” Suddenly Lloyd hugged Jason, long and hard. “Protect your brother and the machine at all costs! I’m counting on you.” Then his father let go, climbed into his truck and drove off down the street.

Jason entered the house in a fog. His gut told him that something was terribly wrong, but the more he focused on what it could be the further he got from an answer. He kicked off his shoes and socks, pulled off his sweat-drenched tee-shirt, threw it over a chair, and stepped into the kitchen.

The room was packed. Years ago, his father had shoved their old refrigerator, stove and microwave into a corner to leave space for his desk, computer system, bookshelves, filing cabinet and safe. Jason placed the laptop on the table amid a pile of his father’s open books. The refrigerator switched on with a familiar hum. Jason felt safe here. He breathed a little easier and his mind cleared. He was making too much of his father’s odd behavior. Lloyd was only taking a romantic weekend with that woman. There was nothing more to worry about. Everything would be back to normal when he returned in a couple of days.

The kitchen walls were plastered with old computer designs. He had a copy of every sketch his father had ever drawn. There was so much love etched into the drawings’ black lines. He remembered the years of cuddling deep into his father’s lap as his dad shared every aspect of his plans for his hologram machine.

***

Jason Tanner’s life has always been different from the ordinary citizen’s. It started when he was an infant and his parents were only teenagers. A computer science prodigy, Lloyd attended MIT but left a pariah in the eyes of the school’s dean—but a computer physics genius in the eyes of his primary investor. Then his theories and ideas created a holographic machine and their world shrunk as contact with the outside world became less and less frequent. A computer prodigy now himself, Jason is about to learn that the world never waits for you if you have the ability to change it: it will come for you.

Detective Bruce Durante has been handed the case of the Comfort Killer, a serial killer so named because he appears to abduct terminally ill patients before returning their corpses to their families in refrigerated coffins. When he picks up the trail, it leads straight to the home of Lloyd Tanner.

Jason has been living life through the world of Lloyd’s invention and wishing he could carry on a relationship with Boston, the beautiful girl next door. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, he is brought back to reality in a hurry.  He is forced to destroy all of the planted evidence—and finds he is being targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. But the secrets of his father’s invention run deep and Jason, his brother Isaac,Boston, the Comfort Killer, and Detective Durante hurtle towards one another on a deadly collision course that leaves everyone’s life hanging in the balance.

 

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