The sultry Cleo Chandler knew it would not be a good day the moment she opened her eyes to the sound of the thundrous pounding on her front door. Throwing open her bedroom window, she was chilled by the two uniformed police officers appearance. Until that moment she had been living the "perfect" suburban life. It was then that her world was forever changed.
In the bucolic setting of Long Island, Peter and Cleo Chandler are caught in a horrifying web of terror and deception. This socially sought after couple, like their neighbors, has been lulled into a false sense of security until a suspicious disaster catapults them into the depths of a sinister underworld.
Innocent people becoming trapped in a nightmarish abyss shapes “Stone Cold: A Novel, Allegiance To a Dead Man”. This riveting page-turner, taps into a reader’s core fears. Quickly, these sophisticated New Yorkers are caught in a web of terror, horror, deception and suspense.
“Peter Chandler appeared to be a man who had everything and in control of it all. But, there was a chink in his armor.” Despite his failings, his wife maintains an unrelenting devotion. This loyalty drags her into a world of dangerous revelations. Her mission inadvertently releases dark demons from the past as well as the present. Once unleashed, they wreak havoc. Enter a diabolical killer, so depraved, that simple murder never satisfies him. He is a man whose insane passion takes him beyond the boundaries of death.
As the story unfolds, we learn about the carefully orchestrated, though ostensibly accidental, meeting of Peter and an older gentleman named Jeffrey Murch. Oddly, Murch seems to know a great deal of intimate details about Peter Chandler’s life. In a manipulating fashion he ingratiates himself to Peter and ultimately earns Peter’s undying trust. A man plagued with a deep, underlying sadness, Peter, is for the first time, genuinely content. At last he has found the rewarding parent/child connection that had been absent from his life. This short lived intense relationship thrusts open the door to extreme peril.
The plot is set against the exciting and international backdrop of Manhattan, Long Island, Cuba and Viet Nam. The conundrum is further complicated by the bumbling efforts of a trio consisting of the Chandler's mystery writer neighbor, Julia; a caring small town detective, (with the eponymous name of Charlie Chan); and Beth, a sexually oriented femme fatale, involved in a clandestine affair with a controversial presidential hopeful. In their efforts to protect and aid the grief stricken Cleo, they often are able to uncover vital clues, but just as frequently they find themselves in situations that would be comical, if they weren’t fraught with blood-chilling horrors.
The symbolic juxtaposition of Che Guevera’s Cuban hide-out and an illicit meeting between a national candidate and the sexy Beth, fuels the fire of Cleo’s mounting suspicions and distrust.
As a result of a single precipitous incident, global security is threatened. International terrorism gains an ominous foothold, and an important historic cartel, which controls a major worldwide industry, will be shattered if The Syndicate’s world is not penetrated and stopped. Can these small town amateurs make the difference?
Following the three sleuths makes the reader poignantly aware that with one tiny misstep the world of the innocent can come crashing down. Cleo pays the price for the mistakes of others, but she is never deterred. She remains faithful to her beliefs, and we, develop a strong sense of loyalty to her.
The clues at times are perplexing, but no matter if the readers can solve the mystery, they must be warned to be prepared for an ‘Alfred Hitchcock’ ending. Buckle up, this is a fast and exciting read.