Gypsy Shadow Publishing . . . Quality e-Books for today; Print books forever . . .

Back to Gypsy Shadow's Homepage


Michael J. Molloy


Michael J. Molloy, Author of The Diamond Man

I am a graduate of St. John’s University and also a member of the Romance Writers of America organization. I have one self-published suspense novel and a WGA-registered screenplay to my credit. I am a father of three children and currently live in Brooklyn, NY.

WEBSITE: http://www.molloyauthor.com
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/AuthorMJM
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/michael.j.molloy.3



New Title(s) from Michael J. Molloy

The Diamond Man by Michael J. Molloy Sadistic Pattern by Michael J. Molloy
ORDER the Print Book of The Diamond Man Today!
ORDER the Print Book of Sadistic Pattern SOON!

 

Click on the thumbnail(s) above to learn more about the book(s) listed.

   





The Diamond Man by Michael J. Molloy












The Diamond Man by Michael J. Molloy




An act of bravery can elevate one to superhero status. But it will not erase a troubled past.

Career minor league baseball announcer Jim Monahan saves an elderly man from potentially drowning. His local media story goes viral on the internet and is snatched up by national television. It catches the eyes and ears of his New York-based agent, who convinces Jim that the courageous act could put him front and center for a major league announcing opening. Yet despite his heroics, Jim still can’t wash away a painful divorce caused by his unfaithful ex-wife, and repair his strained relationship with his wayward daughter, Madison. Jim grows despondent. But then an attractive and kind-hearted woman named Anne Finley walks into his life. She restores Jim's faith in love and aids him in reconnecting with Madison.

                                                                           Excerpt
Word Count: 85363
Pages to Print: 289
File Format: PDF
Price: $5.99


     



Order The Diamond Man in Print (ISBN: 978-1-61950-228-4) Today HERE!



Sadistic Pattern by Michael J. Molloy College professor Roger Lavoie is found not guilty by a jury of crimes he allegedly committed because of reasonable doubt. More than twenty years pass until an eerily similar string of events unfold. Lavoie becomes the prime suspect. Will the police stop him in time before his madness deepens?

                                                                              Excerpt
Word Count: 116200
Pages to Print: 403
File Format: PDF
Price: $5.99
 
     

Sadistic Pattern by Michael J. Molloy Order Sadistic Pattern in Print TODAY! (ISBN: 978-1-61950-275-8)
   
   
   
   
   

Excerpts
The Diamond Man

                                                                  Chapter One

Hours after the late August game and its broadcast, Diamond Jim Monahan maneuvered his Honda Civic through Richmond’s waterlogged streets. The spirits of the play-by-play announcer of the Richmond Flying Squirrels had been flattened like a pancake. After all, the team had kowtowed to the hated rival Bowie Baysox, 6-5—thanks to the play where the visitors’ Lamont McGill uncoiled like a cobra in the top of the ninth inning and jacked the pill until it was a blip off the radar past the left field fence. The loss eliminated the Squirrels from postseason consideration, thus rendering the team’s upcoming season-ending series that weekend in Reading moot. The severe thunderstorm the forecasters had predicted was a fitting end to the evening’s proceedings. Mother Nature was venting her anger as she wept profusely for the saddened city.

The rain, which began shortly before the conclusion of Jim’s post-game radio show, came down in sheets. The upcoming trip to Reading was the farthest thing from Jim’s mind. Making it home through the torrential downpour became a struggle for survival. As fast as the windshield wipers swept away a collection of water, another waterfall soon followed. Jim might as well have been driving blindfolded. He wanted nothing less than to curl up in his bed at his apartment.

Inching along Jennie Scher Road, Jim suddenly noticed the rear lights of another vehicle off the side of the road below street-level. His initial reaction was to press past and head for home. But something peculiar about these rear lights peaked his curiosity. Had a fellow motorist’s vehicle swerved off the slick road into Gillies Creek? Compelled by his own burning desire to know, Jim opted to forego the need to sleep.

“Oh, my God. I wonder if anyone is hurt down there.”

Parking his Civic in a safe spot, Jim cautiously made his way down the incline. The rain continued to pelt him unmercifully, a thousand needles stinging his face. He wasn’t the least bit concerned about getting drenched. Someone was in dire need of assistance, and that was all that mattered.

He stopped in his tracks when he saw the vehicle, a late model Ford Explorer sport utility vehicle, its front wheels almost totally submerged in the rising waters of the creek. The rest of the vehicle would soon fall in. If someone were still alive in the Explorer, he’d have to act fast.

The driving rain made it difficult for him to see. Through squinted eyes, Jim noticed a figure in the driver’s seat. He tapped the window with his knuckles to get the attention of the individual, but there was no response. He tried to open the driver’s side door, but soon discovered it was locked. There was only one thing left to do: he had to break the window.

Time was critical; he frantically looked around for a sizable rock. He spotted one the size of a football and hoisted it. But before he struck the window, Jim yelled, “Hey in there! I’m going to smash the window! See if you can move away or at least turn your head away!”

The shadowy figure nodded and moved his head to the side.

With adrenalin pumping throughout his body, Jim heaved the heavy stone. The impact cracked the glass in the pattern of a spider’s web. Jim hit again and again, before the window shattered and he could reach inside to unlock the door. The third attempt was the charm.

He extended his left arm through the narrow middle opening of the broken pane. As he did, he nicked his forearm on one of the jagged edges. Ouch! He winced in pain, but pressed on in search of the button. Five seconds later he fingered what he believed was the door lock. When he pressed it, a sudden click sounded. Relief enveloped him, but the task was far from over.

After delicately pulling out his arm to avoid another cut, Jim opened the door from the outside. Just then he heard an eerie noise from the SUV, signaling it was another step closer to being totally submerged. The clock was ticking.

Jim focused on the object of the task: an elderly man, incoherent save for a few moans. The man slowly moved his head side to side. His wailing grew louder, almost ear-splitting.

“Hey, mister!” Jim yelled. “C’mon! You’ve got to get of here! This truck’s about to fall into the creek!”

“I can’t move,” the man groaned. “I think I broke my leg.”

“You can’t stay here! I’ve got to get you out!”

“No! No! Leave me alone! I’ll be all right.”

“Like hell you will!”

Jim quickly released the man’s seatbelt. The baseball announcer was about to position his arms around the back and behind the knees of the man when he heard another creak. The vehicle was yet another inch closer to slipping into the waterway.

Water rapidly filled the floor of the vehicle. There was no room for error. Jim instructed the old man to grab him around the neck. Jim fought to lift the man out. After he succeeded in doing so, he struggled up the embankment with the man in his arms. He managed to go only six steps before he heard a very loud sound behind him. He turned his head and saw the Ford Explorer sinking completely into the creek. Seconds later, only the top of the vehicle stood above the water. Diamond Jim Monahan had saved the old man’s life—but there was no time for celebration. Jim continued to transport the old man until both of them managed to reach street-level.

The announcer safely guided the injured man into the backseat of his Civic. Seconds were precious. Despite the teeming rain, he used his cell phone to contact 911 and request an ambulance. When he was finished on the phone, he noticed the old man reaching for him with his right hand. Jim clasped it as a handshake, as if he were greeting an old friend. Still writhing in pain, the old man looked at Jim through tired but grateful eyes.

“Thank you,” the man quietly told Jim.

Jim smiled softly in reply. He shut the door so that the man would be out of the torrential downpour, got into the driver’s seat and closed the door behind him to shelter himself from the rain. His clothes were soaked, but Jim wanted only to relax all of his taut muscles and be swallowed up by the bucket seat. The wait was now on for the emergency vehicle’s arrival.
Back to The Diamond Man
 
Sadistic Pattern

Prologue

The bearded man was sweating bullets. He could feel every muscle in his body tighten. His throat was constricting as he asked the gentleman sitting next to him if he could drink the water in the other man’s glass. The second man gave his blessing to do so.

His hand was trembling as perspiration continued to run from the pores of his skin. The bearded man took measured, small sips, but he was desperate in his intake, and it seemed if a full pitcher of ice water were in front of him, he’d guzzle it down. Conserving his consumption with the limited amount of water before him was prudent. He reached for the knot in his necktie and began to loosen it in order to unbutton the top of his white dress shirt.

Opposite the man sat a smartly dressed woman. She was behind a long desk, similar to the one where the bearded man and his water angel had stationed themselves. Thanks to an abundant amount of hairspray, the dyed dark red strands of her hair held together in place as if they were molded in plastic. Caked-on makeup failed to camouflage her age, the dead giveaway being the thick reading glasses she was wearing to peruse the sheaves of paper before her. Her appearance was authoritative as she continued to gloss over page after page.

In front of them all was an elevated wooden structure that dominated the room, with intricate and ornate designs carved along the top. Behind it, sitting like a queen was a black-robed woman, whose silvery blonde hairstyle could have allowed her to pass as a sister to the other woman. She was busy scribbling down a few esoteric notes, much like a finals contestant on Jeopardy.

Sitting in front of the structure was a young, plain-looking woman wearing a dowdy ensemble. She was positioned in front of a device that looked slightly bigger than a desk phone and had various levers laid out in an arrangement perfectly understood by the woman, but not by a layman.

A formidable, tall man, without a trace of hair atop his head, walked into the room from a side door. He wore a neatly pressed white shirt, adorned with a gold metal badge over his left breast and a patch in the form of a shield sewn on his upper right sleeve. Black pants, with shoes and socks to match, completed his ensemble. The man possessed a holstered firearm on his right hip, an indication that he was someone to be reckoned with.

Marching behind were thirteen individuals of mixed race, ethnicity, age and gender—a harmonious hodgepodge of humanity. Each person in cadence assumed his or her pre-assigned chair. Once all were settled, the bald man orated.

“All parties are present, Your Honor. All jurors are assembled, including the lone alternate.”

“Very well,” the silvery blonde woman responded matter-of-factly in her role as judge. Gathering a few sheets of paper from in front of her, she addressed the jury.

“Mister Foreman, has the jury reached a verdict?”

A man with thinning white hair rose from the group. He seemed better suited to play checkers with friends at a senior home with his red-and-black plaid flannel shirt and khaki trousers. But the man was wise in his years, no doubt the reason he’d been elected as the spokesman. He cleared his throat for all to hear.

“Yes, we have, Your Honor,” the foreman replied.

“What say you?”

“In the case of the People of Rhode Island versus Roger Lavoie of murder in the first degree of Darren Haber, we find the defendant not guilty.”

A hush of astonishment silenced the room. The bearded man, Roger Lavoie, closed his eyes and released a great sigh of relief. He leaned back in his chair as the burden of such an enormous crime was lifted off his shoulders. The man sitting next to him, attorney Vance Beckwith, slapped his meaty right hand on Roger’s left shoulder in a show of victory. Roger thanked his hired suit for exonerating him.

At the other table, assistant district attorney Claire Torelli pounded the oak top with a thud that resounded throughout the room. If one were next to her, one could detect the mumbling of an expletive from her mouth. Behind closed doors, Claire had told associates and friends alike that the case was airtight. Apparently the jurors didn’t get the message.

A woman from the back of the gallery bolted up from her seat upon hearing the verdict. She screamed, “No! You fucking murderer! You killed my brother!” The twenties-something woman then turned to the members of the jury with tears streaming down her face. “How could you! How could you let him get away with this?” Judge Sylvia McCormack banged her gavel several times.

“That’s enough, Mrs. Doyle! I will not tolerate such behavior in my courtroom!” Judge McCormack motioned for a few of the court officers to physically remove the distraught young woman. Chloe Haber-Doyle continued to kick and scream as she was manhandled by the guards. When she was safely escorted out of the courtroom, Judge McCormack gestured for the foreman to continue.

“In the case of the People of Rhode Island versus Roger Lavoie of aggravated assault, harassment and torment of Margaret Lavoie, we find the defendant not guilty.”

Claire flung her arms into the air as if looking for divine intervention. She then glared at the jury and shook her head in disgust. Unlike Chloe, Claire had more emotional restraint. But that was due in part to her use of proper protocol and comportment as a professional. But she was just as livid as Chloe on both counts.

Meanwhile, Roger and Vance were glad-handing each other at evading the second charge. His ordeal with the courts was over.

But there was yet another woman who sat in the gallery. She was fairly attractive, her age falling somewhere between that of Chloe and Roger. When the second verdict was announced, she tilted her head upward. Her emotionless countenance didn’t change, except for the slight rise of her eyebrows. Siobhan O’Mara then closed her eyes and folded her hands on her lap. She sat there unwavering while learning that her tormented sister Margaret was going to be taking up space in a mental institution for doctors and psychiatrists to find a way to restore her sanity. Unlike the frantic Chloe, Siobhan calmly rose from her seat and exited through the rear of the courtroom. One of the guards politely opened a door facilitating her egress. Siobhan didn’t speak. She simply nodded at him as a token of her appreciation at the ability to leave without touching the doors.

“This case has now ended,” Judge McCormack affirmed. “The defendant is free to leave. The state thanks the jury for their services.” And with one swift bang of the gavel, the lead court officer instructed everyone present to stand as the adjudicator retreated to her chambers with her entourage. Claire quickly gathered the papers on her desk and proceeded to march after Judge McCormack, perhaps to vent her own disgust privately, not only on how the verdict was reached, but also on the allowed elements that may have swayed the jurors’ decision.

Roger and Vance engaged in another exchange of hearty handshakes.

“Thanks, Vance. You were brilliant!”

“That and the fact that Torelli didn’t have all her ducks lined up.”

“Please have your office bill me for whatever I still owe you.”

As Vance nodded in consent, stuffing papers into his attaché case, Roger looked back at the departing members of the gallery. He was keenly interested in one particular individual. His eyes darted back and forth as if watching a heated tennis match, but the object of his search appeared to have already left. Roger sighed briefly and shrugged his shoulders.

Vance had finished packing up his gear. He grabbed Roger by the arm and advised his client to walk with him as they left the courthouse. “There’s an army of newspaper, radio and TV journalists out there, Roger, including CNN. You’ll want me by your side to dodge the barrage of questions you’re going to face.”

Roger wasn’t going to question his lawyer; the legal beagle’s advice made a heck of a lot of sense. Both men headed toward a private side door. But before he was about to exit, Roger took one more glance at the back of the courtroom. Now only the officers and two or three other people remained. But not the one Roger sought. Frustrated but unbowed, Roger vacated the scene.

Chapter 1

Roger Lavoie sprang up from his bed. The look of fright was etched upon his face.

“I did not kill Darren Haber!” Roger shouted while sitting up.

Roger continued to tremble. It had been twenty years since the trial, but the ordeal continued to haunt him like a menacing specter. His heart was racing and his gasps of terror were almost in step with his pulmonary beat. Finally his wife Beth woke out of her sleep after the commotion Roger had created. She turned on the light atop an adjacent nightstand. Beth had to snap Lavoie out of it or she feared she would need to call 911 to prevent a heart attack.

“Roger! Roger!”

Beth’s cries finally reached Roger, as the fifty-eight-year-old Lavoie came to his senses. He suddenly looked around his bedroom as though he didn’t recognize it. With fear still written across his face, Roger turned to Beth. It took him a few seconds, but he was finally able to identify her, even without his glasses.

“I,” Roger spurted, “I’m sorry, Beth. I . . . I must have had a terrible nightmare. I’m sorry if I disturbed you.”

When she attempted to comfort Roger, Beth noticed that his pajama top was soaked, presumably from perspiration. She quickly removed her arms and began to question her husband on the reason for his excessive sweating.

“I remember about a month ago you had a similar bad dream,” Beth said. “You almost threw me off the bed.”

Roger’s head was still reeling. He didn’t know what to make of it himself. He was both worried and embarrassed by this latest episode. He rose from his side of the bed and headed to the bedroom window. He looked out at the quiet street below. The Pawtucket, Rhode Island, suburb of Central Falls was silent on this chilly autumn evening.

Beth was growing concerned over her husband’s actions. She immediately got up and approached Roger from behind, gently placing her hands over Roger’s broad shoulders. She wanted so to allay his fears and nightmares.

“Maybe you ought to see that psychoanalyst Francine MacKenzie suggested last week,” Beth began. “What was his name? Oh, I know. It was Dr. Mort Sonnenstein.”

Roger gave his wife a hard look. He couldn’t believe Beth would suggest he see a shrink. And he couldn’t believe she would actually heed the recommendation of that flighty Francine. Roger would only say that he would give it some thought.

The bearded university professor walked out of the room and proceeded down the short hall to the bathroom. He opened the medicine cabinet and reached for a bottle of low-dose aspirin. Expending a little energy to open the confounded vial, Roger plopped a pill into the palm of his left hand. He dropped the aspirin into his mouth and then filled a paper cup with water from the sink to wash down the medicine. After swallowing the pill, Roger then took a long look at himself in the medicine cabinet mirror. He still had visions of the nightmare that woke him up etched in his brain. Roger closed his eyes as to make the remnants of the frightening dream go away, but when he eventually opened them, he could still see the disturbing images that caused him to yell in his sleep.

Roger spent just a minute looking at himself, but for Beth it seemed like an eternity. She became concerned over the well-being of her husband, and so she walked to the bathroom to join him. She could see that Roger was oblivious to her presence. He continued to stare into the mirror. Beth came up from behind and hugged Roger, pressing the side of her face against the top of Roger’s back to show she cared for him. Finally Roger came to realize that Beth was there and acknowledged her by gently stroking one of her hands. He then turned to face his wife. Beth was smiling at him. But a closer look into her eyes and it appeared that Beth was about to cry.

“Roger,” Beth began pleading, “why don’t you seek out Sonnenstein’s help?”

“What good is it?” Roger countered. “Do you think I really need to discuss my personal life with some . . . some stranger?”

“Oh, come now, you make it sound as though Sonnenstein is some sort of degenerate. God forbid, Roger, but if you suddenly became severely ill or even badly injured in an accident, you’d wind up seeing a doctor in the emergency ward. You’d have never met the doctor before, yet you would have confidence he was going to help you. Seeing Sonnenstein isn’t all that different. He could help you get over these nightmares you’ve been having. Maybe there’s something embedded in your subconscious that needs to be brought to the forefront. That’s where Sonnenstein comes in.”

Roger finally conceded and confirmed that he would make an appointment to visit Dr. Sonnenstein. He realized that Beth didn’t bring up specifically what Roger had shouted, otherwise she would have wanted to know who Darren Haber was and why Roger stressed that he didn’t murder him. Instead, Roger had to create a clever diversion for his wife. He brought up his son Mark and mentioned that he hoped Mark could teach at the same university he did, although in a different field of study. Beth was fully aware of this and assured Roger that Mark would be fine regardless of where he taught, once again pressing for him to get the help he needed to calm his anxiety. Roger offered a smile and patted Beth’s right hand to assure her he would. Beth was satisfied with his affirmative gesture, so she smiled in return and proceeded back to the bedroom.

Beth was about to exit the bathroom completely, but she sensed that Roger was not trailing her. When she turned back toward her husband, who was still hunched over the sink, Beth asked Roger to come with her.

“I’ll be right there, dear,” Roger told her.

Beth smiled at Roger’s response, but there was still that small element of doubt etched across her face that Roger’s answer didn’t dispel. Beth didn’t see the need to beat a dead horse any further, so she left the bathroom.

Knowing he was alone, Roger studied his image in the medicine cabinet mirror. I almost slipped, he thought to himself. The ugly past that Roger didn’t want to dredge up was relentless.
Back to Sadistic Pattern
 
 
top