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“…believing they can solve the case if they can discover what else the victims had in common other than the way they were murdered.”
Over the past two months, four men have been murdered in their Houston homes. Each victim was killed on a Sunday evening, and in each case nothing apparently was stolen, and inexplicably, different guns were used in the four murders. The police have no witnesses and no suspects. Rhett Sanders, owner of a local marketing research firm, is visited by the parents of the latest victim who plead with him to investigate their son’s murder. Their son participated in a recent survey conducted by Rhett’s firm, and they had read the publicity Rhett had received for using his research to solve murders in the past. Rhett had promised to give up being an amateur detective, but the despair in the faces of the grieving parents, along with his desire to do the right thing, motivate him to get involved. He and his girlfriend, Toni, and his best friend, Chris Beck, undertake an investigation, believing they can solve the case if they can discover what else the victims had in common other than the way they were murdered. Their heart-stopping investigation takes them to the small town of Schulenburg, and along the way some unexpected twists present grave threats to the well-meaning amateur detectives.

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Chapter 1

Ken Worley, Jr., was watching the Dallas Cowboys play the New Orleans Saints on television when his doorbell rang. Even though he didn’t know who was at his door, he wasn’t concerned at all about his visitor.

He was relaxed and in high spirits. It had been the most gratifying weekend in a long time for Ken. He’d had a fun golf game with his friends at River Ridge Saturday morning.

Last night, he had gone to Blanco’s where he met Lisa, who resembled a 25-year-old Ellen Barkin. They had danced several times—the last time cheek-to-cheek—and before she left, she gave him her telephone number. Things were definitely looking up in that department.

For the past three hours, Ken had been thinking about buying a new plasma television or maybe taking a trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. He’d been there once, and the surf fishing had been the best he’d ever experienced. He considered buying his mom and dad that Alaskan cruise for Christmas they’d talked about for years but had never done.

He rose quickly from the couch, turned down the television using the remote, and went to the door.

“Are you Ken Worley?” The young man was carrying a briefcase and was dressed in jeans, loafers, and a Def Leppard T-shirt. He was well under six feet tall, skinny and pale, with beady blue eyes. His smile was forced.

“That’s me. You got some paperwork for me to sign?” Ken Worley, Jr., couldn’t hide his enthusiasm.

“Yes, sir, I do.” The young man appeared nervous and asked, “Do you have a pen? I left mine in the car.”

Ken Worley said, “Come on in. I have one in the kitchen.”

He turned his back on the young man and walked into the kitchen. He opened the drawer next to the refrigerator and retrieved a pen.

When he returned to his living room, the young man was standing next to the front door, which was now closed.

In his hand was a large pistol.

On the barrel of the gun was a silencer.

The gun was pointing directly at Ken Worley, Jr.

The phony smile had disappeared.

Five minutes later, the young man in the Def Leppard T-shirt was gone.

Also gone were the hopes for a new plasma television, a fishing trip to the Outer Banks, and the Alaskan cruise for the dead man’s parents. And Ken Worley, Jr., would never get a chance to even telephone Lisa.

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