Murdock McCabe, formerly an FBI agent, had been shaken by his wife’s death two years earlier. She had been kidnapped, apparently to dissuade him from testifying in a case and was killed in an FBI rescue attempt. Murdock suspects she had been killed intentionally by a fellow agent, and that FBI superiors were involved in a cover-up. Murdock’s abiding cynicism attacked his value system and diminished his capacity to believe in anyone or anything — God or man.
Employed by Veritus International, Murdock investigates the murder of a curious Bavarian monk. He must sift through a fog of improbable circumstances in order to solve the crime. He meets a wealthy Chilean businessman, a baron involved in dark political intrigue, an enigmatic abbot of a monastery, a high official of the Bavarian State Police, a helpful retired philosophy professor from Oregon, a shadowy woman of intrigue who hangs out in a lesbian bar in Munich, a cheeky Russian émigré opportunist in Cypress, and Sasha who has no redeeming character.
“Inside is a body of what had been a man, before a bullet had pierced his heart. When that body had contained a mind, it was the mind of a monk, albeit an unusual one. He had been called Brother Stephen. He is dead because there are people who can no longer suffer him to live. They have great power. And he, like most of us, was incredibly easy to kill.”
“The aliens must know that energy equals mass times the velocity of light squared. I inserted the message into the transceiver with an instruction to repeat it once every sixty seconds for five minutes and then wait thirty minutes for a reply.”
GIL HOWARD is the pen name of Judge G. H. Zitzelsberger. Born in Buffalo, New York, he holds degrees from the University of Buffalo and the Detroit College of Law. He practiced law in Michigan, was elected to the bench, served at every level of trial court in Michigan, and was elected president of the Michigan Municipal Judges Association. Upon retirement as a district judge, he became Executive Director of Kiwanis International, responsible for operations of its worldwide staff. He is a multi-engine, instrument-rated pilot as well as a former teacher of history and English literature.
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