If You Love #Medical #Mystery, You’ll Love This Series by @LinWilder #amreading #POTLReads


Fragrance Shed by a Violet

Title: The Fragrance Shed By A Violet: Murder in the Medical Center 2nd edition

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Mystery

Publisher: Wyatt Mackenzie Imprint

Book Blurb:

Why did a Houston district attorney decide to involve the state in an area of the law that it has historically treated as sacrosanct: that of medical decision-making? Why did the DA decide to charge McCall with murder rather than criminal negligence in a civil court? Author Lin Weeks Wilder continues Dr. Lindsey McCall’s story in the new book, “The Fragrance Shed By A Violet Cover: Murder in The Medical Center”.

In a city where the Texas Medical Center reigns as one of the top employers in Houston, housing over three thousand medical researchers making the news with new pharmaceutical discoveries almost daily, why did twelve Houstonians unanimously decide to convict Dr. McCall for intentional murder following her trial?”

These are the questions that lead investigative reporter Kate Townsend to write a Pulitzer Prize winning series called Murder in the Texas Medical Center. Haunted by the knowledge that her new-found fame has been purchased at too high a price; Kate is sure that McCall is not guilty.

Texas Governor Greg Bell hires former homicide detective and criminal defense attorney Rich Jansen to fix the escalating problems at the Huntsville Prisons recently inflamed by a lawsuit against infamous inmate Dr. Lindsey McCall. Dr. McCall is an internationally acclaimed cardiologist, researcher, and a 2002 nominee for the Nobel Prize for Medicine. When Jansen’s skills quickly result in the resignation of an incompetent prison medical director, he realizes that this strange saga is just beginning.

Mark Twain wrote that forgiveness was the fragrance shed by a violet upon the heel of the boot that has crushed it. This medical mystery weaves together the lives of two sisters, Lindsey, and Paula, with those of strangers as each cope with loss, betrayal, jealousy, and the exquisitely painful journey to forgiveness.

Excerpt:

Prologue

She lay listening to the unfamiliar night sounds: the pacing of other sleepless prisoners, the occasional echo of a heavy-footed guard making his rounds. Mostly though, she waited for the terror of the dream to subside, for the iron bands around her heart to loosen, and for the awful pressure on her chest to lighten so that she could breathe. And she waited for her heart to climb back down into her chest and out of her throat.

The dream was a familiar one. It had begun four years before following the sudden death of a fifty-two-year-old man whose heart she had catheterized. Dr. Lindsey McCall had surgical hands—a reference to the skill and dexterity that she brought to the Cardiac Catheterization Laboratory at the University of Houston General Hospital. A colleague had made the comment during rounds one day during her cardiology fellowship at Houston General, and it had stuck.

There had been no reason for his death. Nate Morrison was a healthy senior executive with Southwest Oil, one of the largest oil conglomerates in the world. During his annual physical, Morrison had been referred to Houston General for a work up based on nonspecific changes in his cardiac diagnostic tests.

Upon reviewing his tests, Lindsey had suspected that the man’s coronaries might be clean—free of coronary artery disease. She was well aware of the numbers. Of the sixty thousand cardiac catheterizations performed each year in the United States, over 30 percent revealed clean coronaries: absence of plaque in the vessels supplying the heart with oxygenated blood. And the procedure was not benign. Complications of cardiac catheterization were not uncommon and ranged from mild hematoma to death. In twelve years, Lindsey had done over five hundred cardiac catheterizations and over three hundred angioplasties. She had never lost a patient.

But close to 75 percent of the revenue of her department was due to referrals from doctors practicing in Texas and the Houston metropolitan area; the physicians at Southwest Oil referred hundreds of patients to Houston General per year, usually for an angioplasty or cardiac cath. Furthermore, McCall was well acquainted with the financial realities of her profession—turning down lucrative procedures like cardiac catheterizations was not smart.

For some reason she could no longer recall, she, rather than one of the cath lab nurses, had gone to see this man the night before the procedure. While she had been reviewing the potential complications with her patient and obtaining his informed consent, Morrison had asked with a wink, “Just how many patients have you lost in your twelve-year career, Dr. McCall?”

His quick-grinned response to her answer had been, “Well then, let’s you and I make sure that I’m not the first, deal?”

Lindsey could picture that conversation as if it had happened a moment ago. Fourteen hours later, he was dead.

As she had done hundreds of times before upon awakening from the dream, Lindsey lay there second-guessing herself— asking all the questions that had been asked by his family, by the morbidity and mortality committee at the hospital, and by her chairman of medicine. The final diagnosis had been sudden death due to a massive left ventricular infarct most likely from coronary spasm. Neither his family nor the hospital held her responsible. There had never been even the suggestion of negligence on her part.

Her technique had been flawless. She had been calm and confident throughout the two-hour procedure, explaining what she was doing to her patient and laughing at his quick-witted responses. Lindsey had completed the injection of dye into the man’s left anterior coronary artery, and after satisfying herself that it, too, was free of plaque and had almost completely extracted the catheter from his coronary in preparation to end the procedure was when she heard the startled cry of her technician.

“Lindsey, he’s fibrillating, he’s fibrillating!”

For just a second, her gaze met that of her lead tech, Ben, who responded to her unspoken question. “He’s been in sinus rhythm for the whole exam—there was never any arrhythmia, not even a PVC!”

Ben was referring to premature ventricular contractions that are frequently harbingers of serious cardiac arrhythmias. Lindsey trusted this guy implicitly; they had worked together for over ten years. If Ben said there had been no warning of this potentially fatal arrhythmia, she believed him. So she and her staff went to work, certain that in just a few minutes, they would get control and be back to the routine work of winding down the procedure.

But they couldn’t.

They had worked for over three hours, along with six members of the hospital’s on-call code team who had responded to the emergency in the Cath lab. They were never able to restore a normal cardiac rhythm, despite massive amounts of antiarrhythmic and other emergency drugs along with numerous attempts at electrical defibrillation.

That was the last time she had accepted a patient for catheterization.

The chairman of Medicine at Houston General had spent hours with Lindsey over that first year following the death of this patient trying, in futile attempts, to help her forgive herself. He had known her since she had been accepted into the cardiology fellowship almost fifteen years earlier and had followed the young woman’s career at first with interest and later with excitement.

Dr. Simon Bayer was known to many as the cardiologists’ cardiologist. He too had been excellent in diagnostics, research, and in education. Author of several textbooks and principal investigator of countless experimental drug protocols, Dr. Bayer was internationally admired and respected. But in close to forty years as chairman of Internal Medicine at Houston General, Dr. Bayer had never before seen the talent exhibited by this young physician.

Early in her fellowship, Lindsey had talked with Dr. Bayer about her preliminary doctoral work with alteration of the molecule for digitalis. At that time, he had listened politely. Lindsey remembered sensing that her chairman believed she was chasing windmills—the drug had been around forever after all.

For centuries, physicians have treated heart failure with digitalis. Its effect on strengthening a failing left ventricle—the main pump of the four-chambered heart—remains unparalleled. But the drug has serious systemic side effects ranging from mild to potentially fatal depending on dosage and frequency. Lindsey had become interested in the drug in high school when her mother had been diagnosed with idiopathic cardiomyopathy— heart failure of unknown origin—at the age of forty-three.

Cardiomyopathies are a strange and almost-universally-fatal type of heart failure. Thought to be caused by a virus, the actual mechanism of disease is poorly understood. But the course of the disease is all too well known: increasing heart failure and incapacitation over time and death if not treated with heart transplantation. Despite living fifty miles from the premiere transplant center if the world, the Texas Medical Center in Houston, Lindsey’s mother would not consider transplantation. That she lived for close to thirty years without surgical intervention was considered a minor miracle by her physicians. Then, as now, digitalis was the drug of choice for heart failure, and so the balancing act of dosaging began—sufficient medication to keep the heart out of failure but not so much as to cause severe nausea and vomiting and toxicity to the heart.

Before her illness, Lindsey’s mom had been physically active with many outside interests and lots of friends. Although she had never worked outside her home, she had been active in volunteer and church work. The disease completely changed her personality; Ann became incapable of focusing on much other than her symptoms and the acute anxiety brought about by the facts of her disease and incapacitation.

Only thirteen at the time, Lindsey handled the virtual loss of her mother through intense study: of the heart, of her mother’s disease, and of the drugs that manage heart failure, specifically digitalis. This intellectual response to loss, crisis, and fear worked exceedingly well for the young girl and would become her major response to trauma throughout her life.

At the age of seven, Lindsey had decided that she would be a cardiologist and a research scientist; the acute onset of Ann McCall’s illness served to augment and crystallize Lindsey’s ambition. Throughout her junior and senior high school years, the young girl persuaded her chemistry and biology teachers to support her determination to alter the digitalis molecule in ways that would optimize its inotropic or strengthening effects on the heart, while mitigating its toxic effects.

Recognizing and respecting his daughter’s ambition, Tom McCall, Lindsey’s father, a NASA test pilot, made certain that Lindsey received the best of what the Clear Lake Texas schools offered in their advanced science courses. Therefore, Lindsey received quality tutors throughout the six years of junior and senior high school. Lindsey McCall’s cardiac models were entered at each science fair and, without fail, received first prize.

****

Now fully awake, Lindsey considered the irony of her current circumstances. She almost laughed out loud in the dark at herself—at least the terror of this dream was familiar and lay buried in her past; her real nightmare was no dream, no mere memory. And she could feel the fear uncoil, stretch, and begin to take her over once again. Closing her eyes, she began to pray:

Let nothing dismay thee.

All things pass.

God never changes.

Patience acquires all that is strived for.

She who has God finds that she lacks nothing.

God alone suffices.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Fragrance-Shed-Violet-Murder-Medical/dp/1942545177/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1477058516&sr=8-3&keywords=lin+wilder

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-fragrance-shed-by-a-violet-lin-wilder/1122746192?ean=9781942545170

Google Play https://books.google.com/books?id=XCnGCgAAQBAJ&pg=PP4&lpg=PP4&dq=lin+wilder+books&source=bl&ots=47iaR5C0Ng&sig=TOk3ay_grsz5gbk3_Y_Uc5EpjYU&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiTltayiOzPAhXIy1QKHU15CIM4FBDoAQgwMAA

Lin Wilder

Author Biography:

Lin Weeks Wilder has published dozens of articles, wrote a textbook, and has written four self-help books. Lin has written three medical thrillers situated in Houston, Texas where Lin worked for over 23 years—The Fragrance Shed by a Violet, the sequel Do You Solemnly Swear? and the third in her series, A Price for Genius. The story of the return to faith, Finding the Narrow Road was an unplanned surprise.

In her free time, Lin Wilder enjoys hiking, listening to beautiful music, gardening and last but certainly not least, reading. Lin is married to a former Marine and psychologist with 25 years of experience counseling ex- combat veterans. They reside in Nevada with their two dogs.

Social Media Links:

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lincwilder

Twitter https://twitter.com/LinWilder

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7944373.Lin_Wilder

LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/linwilder

About Me https://about.me/lin.wilder

Amazon Author Page http://www.amazon.com/Dr.-Lin-Wilder/e/B007L380OM

solemnly cover

Title: Do You Solemnly Swear? A Nation of Law-The Dark Side

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Legal Thriller

Publisher: Wyatt Mackenzie Imprint

Book Blurb:

What if your former girlfriend decides to use her 6-year-old daughter to punish you for breaking up with her?

How do you prove that you are innocent of the worst case of sexual perversion against a child?

Is it possible to refute the lies of a beautiful, seemingly innocent, little girl?

When Gabe McAllister decorated former Marine and respected Texas State Trooper, walked out of his condo in west Houston on a Tuesday morning to head to a meeting of the newly formed task force of the DEA, Texas State Police, and Border Patrol, he found five Houston cops waiting to collar him for the rape of 6-year-old Annie Bridges.

His next several days and weeks are a blur as he realizes belatedly that he has no chance against his diminutive accuser, his implicit trust in the fairness of the justice system shattered, McAllister lands in the Huntsville prison, sentenced to 3 counts of 20 to life sentences.

In the sequel to The Fragrance Shed By A Violet, Lin Wilder embroils characters in another complex web of dysfunctional family, deceit, revenge and the politics of courtrooms. Pulitzer Prize reporter Kate Townsend’s front page story for her newspaper, The Houston Tribune, about a juror–the foreman of McAllister’s jury–stepping forward to speak about the case and her concern about why McAllister was not granted a retrial galvanizes Houstonians once again: Had a Houston jury convicted another innocent person?

Dr. Lindsey McCall, former inmate at Huntsville and now Medical Director at the Prisons and Rich Jansen, Chief Warden at the prisons are faced with the all-too-familiar question of just how involved should they get as Townsend begins to dig into the background of little Annie Bridges and her mother. When Townsend reveals the details of her new investigative series: A Nation of Law: The Dark Side, Jansen is more than intrigued.

Excerpt:

August 9, 2013 Huntsville Prison, Huntsville Texas

The more laws, the less justice.

Cicero

CHAPTER ONE

The grin on Dr. Lindsey McCall’s face was so wide that it nearly split her face in two as she gazed around the Huntsville Prison Emergency Treatment Center with an unusual sense of pride. She who had taken no satisfaction from her creation of a drug which had revolutionized the treatment of heart failure felt an irrepressible joy every time she glanced through the huge plate glass windows of her office at the gleaming technology arrayed in the diagnostic room on her left and the state of the art eight bed patient care area which dominated the Center. The place had been completely transformed from the infirmary she had worked in as an inmate. The peeling and dingy walls, the 1950 style open patient care area and the warren of small and fairly useless offices had been gutted and in their stead was a level one trauma and emergency treatment center rivaled only by those of the Texas Medical Center, sixty miles south of the prison.

Seventy miles north of Houston on Interstate 45 is Huntsville, Texas. Also called Prison City, Huntsville is home to seven prisons boasting about seventy five thousand prisoners. Long known for its tough stance on crime, the state of Texas proudly boasts of a criminal justice system second to none. With a total of 122 prisons and accommodations for close to 30,000 prisoners, Texas ranks first in the United States and second only to Russia in its capacity for prisoners.

Lindsey had only one demand upon assuming the position of Medical Director at the Huntsville Prison System: A total renovation of the infirmary serving the over ten thousand prisoners in the seven facilities comprising the system. Governor Greg Bell had laughed as he signed the executive order granting Dr. Lindsey McCall permission to renovate the infirmary.

“I’d have to be a damn fool to refuse you, Dr. McCall”, dark brown eyes dancing and eyebrow raised,” I wonder how many other Governors ever had the chance to grant a five million dollar renovation for which the state would pay nothing.”

Winking at the cameras covering the ceremony, Bell answered his question by circling his thumb and forefinger, ”Nada, not a one, I can guarantee you that.”

Because of the family inheritance she had received upon the deaths of her mother and sister, Lindsey McCall had been a wealthy woman but with the proceeds rolling in from the sale of Digipro, Lindsey had become a millionaire many times over and could easily afford the now five million dollar renovation from the trust fund she had established with the help of Hank Reardon, CEO of Andrews, Sacks and Levine, the pharmaceutical company which had funded her research and now manufactured the drug.

Lindsey had spared no expense during the renovation. She had prevailed on the wisdom of former colleagues, trauma surgeons at the Houston Medical Center where she had been one of the leading Cardiologists in the country and had followed their advice, expensive though it had been; she regretted not one cent.

Taking a huge, shaky breath which caught in her throat and feeling the tell- tale sting in her eyes, Lindsey whispered, “Thank You, thank You thank You” in awe, wonder and gratitude at the happiness she had never before known was possible and wondered if her Dad could look down from the heavens he had once soared in to see his smiling daughter and know the totality of her joy. She hoped so.

Shaking her head in exasperation at this unfamiliar incarnation of herself, Lindsey laughed softly, checked her watch and muttered, “Give it up, McCall, you’ve run out of time.” Realizing that the stacks of forms, paperwork and charts awaiting her review would require a couple of hours to complete, Lindsey calculated that she’d have just enough time to go home, take Max for a quick run and then shower and change. Today was her first wedding anniversary and her husband and boss, Rich Jansen, Chief Warden at the Huntsville Prison, had made reservations at one of the finer restaurants in Houston, Perry’s, to celebrate; but as Lindsey was packing her brief case to leave, she heard Monica, the chief emergency center nurse and now one of her best friends, yelling for her.

Lindsey raced down the hall separating the administrative offices from the main clinic in time to see Monica and Luke Preston, her favorite guard at the prison transferring a severely injured man to one of the beds in the monitored section of the clinic. Monica did not stop her systematic

emergency procedures to look at Lindsey but the nurse was muttering under her breath with a most unpleasant scowl on her face. If this were any of the other nurses, Lindsey might have figured that she was simply angry at the late interruption of a quiet Friday afternoon but Lindsey knew better. Something was bugging Monica big time but they had no time to talk, this guy was unconscious, most likely in shock either from the extensive trauma or internal bleeding and looked as if he was barely moving his chest to breathe.

While Monica applied electrodes so that they could monitor his cardiac rhythm, oxygen saturation, blood pressure and respiratory rate, Lindsey tried to find a vein to start an intravenous drip. Failing, she grabbed the cut-down set the ever efficient Monica had placed on a tray beside Lindsey, tore it open and quickly made a small incision on his forearm; within seconds, she had threaded a large bore catheter into his brachial vein and started a drip of dextrose and saline. The man’s face was unrecognizable; he had been beaten so badly that all Lindsey could make out were the vague outlines of mouth, nose and eyes. McCall’s gaze rapidly traversed the man as her hands gently palpated his abdomen and chest, looking for abdominal injuries, bleeding or broken ribs. He was in shock-the reason she had not been able to start an intravenous line; the question was why. Grabbing the portable X-Ray machine out of the corner of the room, Lindsey waited until the guard and Monica had cleared the room, threw on the lead apron that hung there and took several flat plate films of his chest and abdomen.

While Monica was calling in Jake, a paramedic always looking for overtime; Lindsey walked rapidly into the X-Ray room and clipped the films to the fluorescent wall readers.

“Jake can be here in thirty minutes, Lindsey,” Monica said, glancing at her watch, “that should give you enough time to get home, change and still meet Rich on time.”

“Ok Monica; thanks, this guy will need someone to watch over him pretty carefully but I don’t see anything that looks worrisome on these films….” McCall stood and scanned the three films for the third time to make certain that she’d not missed anything on the X-Rays. She scanned the new patient’s monitor readings from through the window between his cubicle and the diagnostic room.

“His vital signs have stabilized and his oxygenation saturation is up,” frowning, McCall looked over at the nurse, “Funny, I was pretty sure that he had a flail chest but clearly I was wrong, he’s pinked up and looks pretty good aside from a completely smashed face.”

Sighing impatiently, Monica mumbled something that sounded like, “Like this guy’s worth all this”? And then more clearly, “Lindsey, come on, you need to go or you’ll be super late.”

Turning to look at the normally pleasant dark features now rearranged in a fierce scowl, Lindsey asked, “Monica, what on earth has got into you? I’ve never seen you act this way toward one of our patients.”

She was rewarded with a disdainful glare, “Are you telling me, Dr. Lindsey McCall, that you don’t know who this guy is?”

Staring at her boss and shaking her head the rigid features began to relax and soften into the attractive face of the Monica Bradbury that Lindsey had come to know and love when she had been an inmate here at Huntsville only two years before.

Incredulous, Monica stared at Lindsey’s bemused expression as she breathed, “Girl, you really need to get your head out of your books, this guy is Gabriel McAllister,” and watched Lindsey expectantly.

McCall shrugged as she turned back to watch McAllister’s monitor though the glass window of the X-Ray room and felt Monica’s hand grasp her shoulder as she hissed, “He’s the guy who raped that five year old little girl, it’s been all over the news all summer, Lindsey…….If there is one criminal that I detest, it’s a pedophile,” Monica added shaking her head in disgust.

Still watching her new patient, Lindsey recalled Rich calling out to her on an evening late last week to come and watch the local television news. Her husband knew that she was cramming for her emergency medicine boards which she was scheduled to take in just over a month; rarely did he interrupt her so she knew it wasn’t a trivial issue. Lindsey had sighed deeply as she closed a massive textbook on emergency medicine and joined Rich in their bedroom to watch the late “breaking news” report.

Kate Townsend was being interviewed by the CBS news about her headline story in the Houston Tribune earlier that day. Ever on the prowl for a good story, the Pulitzer winning reporter was commenting on a Houston juror who had recently pled guilty of juror tampering. According to Kate, the juror had sat on the jury selected for Gabriel Macalister’s jury and been concerned about the lack of evidence proving that Macalister had raped and sodomized the child. Because two of the state’s medical witnesses had stated the presence of an intact hymen in the vagina of the little girl, this juror had researched the possibility of vaginal intercourse occurring in a child with an intact hymen on her computer at home after the first day of the trial. Once she learned that an intact hymen did not preclude sexual activity, she reluctantly found the defendant guilty of three counts of rape along with the eleven other jurors.

Subsequent to the juror learning from a friend that she was expected to make her decision about the guilt or innocence of the defendant based solely on what she heard in the courtroom, the woman wrote a letter disclosing what she had done and why to the Judge who had heard the case. The unnamed juror wrote that she would have found the defendant not guilty had she made her decision based solely on the case as presented by the state in the courtroom; asserting that there was only scant physical evidence of abuse found in the child and that her decision to find Macalister guilty was based solely on the accusations of the child.

The interview ended with the famous reporter commenting on what she called, “a worrisome trend” in divorce and break-ups between couples involving a small child. In more than 50% of custody dispute cases, there were allegations of sexual abuse by the father or live-in boyfriend. Somberly, Kate regarded her Houston audience as she declared, “In upwards of 35% of these cases, the accusations were later proved to be false.”

Both Kate and Rich had stared at one another as they listened, wide-eyed, to their good friend Kate Townsend ignite yet another incendiary explosive device in the halls of Huntsville Prison.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Solemnly-Swear-Nation-Dark-Side/dp/1942545185

GooglePlay https://books.google.com/books?id=D2WECgAAQBAJ&pg=PP1&lpg=PP1&dq=do+you+solemnly+swear+a+nation+of+law+the+dark+side&source=bl&ots=x7j6vwQyGe&sig=GzVTFSvyDJeiCS62UzcJMLeanNY&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwj5lrjAsuzPAhWM0FQKHbkeDEsQ6AEINjAE

Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/do-you-solemnly-swear-a-nation-of-law-the-dark-side-lin-wilder/1122558546?ean=9781942545187

Lybrary http://www.lybrary.com/do-you-solemnly-swear-a-nation-of-law-the-dark-side-p-788445.html

apriceforgenius-cover-300ppi

Title: A Price for Genius

Author: Lin Wilder

Genre: Medical Mystery

Publisher: Wyatt Mackenzie Imprint

Book Blurb:

Dr. Lindsey McCall’s worst fears are realized. Not only have both drugs been stolen but two women have been kidnapped- one maybe dead. Lindsey had known Liisa Reardon’s new drug was alchemy, only this time, the end product actually more precious than gold.

The desperate call from Hank Reardon in Switzerland came late at night causing too many questions. And no answers. Could Lindsey and Rich Jansen uncover who was behind the crimes? It was an inside job-could they figure out who had sold out the Reardons? All in time to save Reardon’s daughter and her chief tech Ariana? Were they risking their lives as well?

The evil words smolder in her mind, the contents of the letter delivered to Hank Reardon

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.
  • We’ll know if you or the FBI. We’ll and we’ll kill her instantly.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

Excerpt:

PROLOGUE

 Lausanne, Switzerland

Suddenly regaining consciousness, Rich Jansen attempted to stand, then instantly regretted the movement. The pain began at the base of his head and exploded in successive and increasingly intense waves of agony, forcing him to close his eyes, hang his head and wait motionless. Remaining on his hands and knees for a minute then two for the pain to subside, for the nausea to fade, Jansen risked opening his eyes. Squinting at the bright light, he very slowly and carefully moved his head from right to left.

So far so good. Linoleum floor, shiny black and white. That noise what is that sound? Aw no, don’t tell me, please God…

The memories flooded back as Rich raised himself up enough to crouch, knowing better than to immediately stand up. Gingerly reaching behind his head with his right hand, he winced when his fingers probed a large wet and sore swelling at the back of his head. Slowly he stood, swaying a bit while the vast room spun about him.

Whatever they hit me with carried a hell of a wallop.

The phone call from Reardon had happened last night? Or was it yesterday? The minute he hung up the phone, Rich had called the airport to secure a seat on the next flight to Zurich. Sixteen hours later, he had arrived at the animal research labs in the corporate offices of Andrews, Sacks, and Levine, one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, located in Lausanne Switzerland.

The elfin Ariana had been showing him where the test mice were kept when everything went black. Looking around for her Jansen saw only a few spots of blood and some scuff marks. He saw mice scrabbling all over the lab; for whatever reasons, whoever broke in decided to free hundreds of mice and Ariana was nowhere to be seen.

The letter…where is the letter?

Jansen reached into the pockets of his sports jacket, the copy of the one he’d had on since leaving San Luis Obispo, California and breathed a sigh of relief when his right hand pulled out the single page. A page now bloodied from his head wound.

Hello Mr. Reardon,

By the time you get this letter, it will be too late. We’ll already have her.

Here are the steps you must not take:

  • Do not call the cops.
  • Do not contact the FBI
  • Tell no one.

We’ll know if you contact the police or the FBI. We’ll know and we’ll kill her instantly. But we are civilized businesspeople; this is all about business after all. Do nothing at all until you hear from us. And you will hear from us, Mr. Reardon.

You must know Sir, there is a price for genius. We trust you will pay it if you want to see your daughter alive.

In the other pocket of his jacket, Jansen found his cell. He hit her number.

Please pick up, please pick up.

Heart hammering as he counted the rings, Jansen’s knees nearly buckled with relief when his wife answered her phone. “Lindsey, where are you?”

“Neither. I’m at the track, I was just starting a run with Max.” Lindsey stopped still. She could hear the tension in her husband’s voice.

“Honey, I need to you to get here as soon as you can find someone to take care of Max and get a flight out to Zurich. We’ll pick you up at the airport.”

“What’s happened Rich, what is going on?”

“ Someone clubbed me while Ari was showing me around the lab. When I woke up, Ariana was missing and hundreds of mice were running around loose. Ari and I must have surprised whoever has decided to steal Liisa’s research. Hank is…well, you can imagine how he is.” Grabbing a nearby chair to steady himself, “There’s a letter from Liisa’s kidnappers. We need you to figure out how we meet their demands, we don’t have a lot of time.”

“Are you okay?” Lindsey was on her phone searching for flights out of San Francisco to Zurich  as she waited for his answer.

Rich swayed from another wave of dizziness and nausea, gulped and replied, “Other than a mega lump on the back of my skull, yeah, I’m fine.. Whoever it was just wanted me out of commission for a few minutes. Ari and I must have interrupted whoever it was.”

Rich surveyed the disarray in the lab. Cages were overturned and he could hear the squeals of mice and the scrabbling of their feet on the tiled floor. That had been the noise he had heard when he was coming to. He was way too old for this crap and knew just who he’d call once he ended the call with his wife.

“I can get there faster from San Francisco. I’m calling Kate to make sure it would be okay to bring Max to their house. I’ll aim to be in Zurich by tomorrow at this time, will call you when I know the time I’ll get in. Be careful Rich, please.” But there was only dead air.

“Hey, McAllister, Rich Jansen here. Are you and Baron still roaming free around the country?

“Yo, Rich!” Rich could hear the smile in Gabe’s voice.

“Are you still looking to work for Zach and me?”

“You mean like as a private investigator?”

“Probably more than just investigation Gabe.”

“What do you mean?”

“Gabe, this could get dicey. Two women have been kidnapped, Reardon has a note threatening that they’ll kill his head of research at his pharmaceutical company Andrews, Sacks, and Levine if he brings in the police or the feds. She also happens to be his daughter. And I’ve been attacked within my first hour here.” Scanning the space once again, hoping that Ariana would materialize, Jansen added, “And it looks as if they grabbed the head of the animal research labs too. She was showing me around when we were suddenly assaulted. She is nowhere to be found.

Buy Links:

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Price-Genius-Dr-Lin-Wilder/dp/1942545681/ref=cm_wl_huc_item#productPromotions

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