Stephen Nicholson is a full-time correction officer at the volatile Boston House.  He also has an interesting side job: private investigation.  William Barnes, a multi-millionaire from Hoosac Mills, hires Stephen to investigate the cold case murder of his daughter, Laiken.  Stephen is hired on the premise he may know the perpetrator.  He and some of his friends were Laiken’s former love interests.   She was a party girl—last seen alive leaving a Halloween frat party at Taconic State College in western Massachusetts.  With Barnes’ political influence, Stephen is paired with Hoosac Mills police detective Melanie Leary. At the Boston House, Stephen becomes engrossed in a personal struggle where he must free a neighborhood co-worker from the throes of prison corruption.  He thinks he solves the problem, but forgets that prison is a most unforgiving and relentless place. Stephen burns the candle at both ends—and soon personal friends emerge as murder suspects.  Stephen and Melanie link the Laiken Barnes case with unsolved murders from 1991 and 1995.  A task force is formed.  A name is given to the psychopath who kills every four years: the Olympian.  The year is 1999 and the Olympian knows he is being pursued.  Instead of flight, he plots.  Stephen and Melanie must push it to the limit—even jeopardizing their growing relationship—to prevent the Olympian from succeeding in his crowning achievement: kill number four.             

Read an introductory overview

Hanover Street in the North End is a tourist trap. It’s the main thoroughfare that cuts through Boston’s oldest residential neighborhood. Notwithstanding the influx of new Boston blood, the neighborhood is still quite rich in Italian culture. Parking is bad all the time, and even worse when out-of-state plates congest the streets while staring at road atlases.

Stephen got lucky. He slipped his black Jeep into a tiny spot just as an old guy from New Jersey sped away.   Waiting on the curb was Josef Kieler. Josef looked like a poster boy for middle-aged dads. He wore khaki pants, brown penny loafers, and a button down shirt that was probably ordered from an L.L. Bean catalogue. He was a tad less than six feet with a non-descript face. Perhaps he weighed one hundred ninety pounds.  Josef looked American—not handsome, not ugly. His second best characteristic was a thick head of manageable brown hair.  read more...

Meet Detective Melanie Leary

Detective Melanie Leary was stunning.  Only she didn’t know it.  It took Stephen about thirty seconds to reach that conclusion.  Melanie was his age, about thirty.  Her shiny hair was dark—and long.  He assumed it was long because she pinned it in the back.  She had high cheekbones that were lightly sprinkled with freckles. Stephen guessed her to be a first or second generation Irish-American.  He tried not to spy at her physique through the office window.  He was unsuccessful. Melanie was about five-six and weighed somewhere in the one hundred twenty-five pound range.  Solid.  She wore no wedding ring.

Stephen waited and watched from a wooden bench in the police station lobby.  He presumed the beautiful woman pacing the floor and talking on the portable phone was Melanie.  They’d yet to meet, but a clue, by way of a nameplate with Detective Melanie Leary inscribed on it, was affixed to the open door.  The woman believed to be Melanie Leary bent over to retrieve paperwork from a filing cabinet.  Stephen again tried not to stare but couldn’t help himself.  read more...

Get a
“Taste of Prison”

Page 10 of the Inmate Guidebook listed all conduct violations.  Rule #32 was clearly defined: “Horseplay is not permitted at any time.  Horseplay shall be defined as rough, boisterous physical contact between two or more inmates.”  The problem with horseplay was its frequency; besides, it was a misdemeanor infraction inmates typically have overturned at disciplinary hearing sessions.  Thus, horseplay was seldom enforced.

Mickey O’Sullivan wasn’t comfortable enforcing any violation.  It was one of his many deficiencies as a correction officer.  The white guys at the end of the unit were engaged in horseplay—no, they were all-out roughhousing.  Grappling, throws, and punches to the chest were clearly visible.  The inmates laughed; they were having their own version of WWF Smackdown.  read more...

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