Genre: YA noir
Word Count: 78,000
In The Dark Knight meets The Sopranos, rivaling teen vigilantes, Gwen Kane and Silas Snow, team up to trap the puppet master behind a string of violent murders before Gwen’s framed father walks death row.
It’s strange growing up in a city full of madmen. You start to think you’re one of them, all darkness, deceit and revenge. Instead of presenting me with my coveted Lego set on my eighth birthday, my mafia mother extracted me from our lavishly decorated Uptown townhouse and deposited me in the city slums just to get me out of her hair for awhile. Within those contorted alleys, I plotted the hostile takedown of her criminal empire with an assortment of Home Alone inspired roguery. Needless to say, the rebellion never happened.
Now, ten years later, I’m out of the slums but still on the streets. I still plot coup d’etats. Only now by shooting a pistol instead of dropping paint cans on the villain’s face. I prowl through the concrete maze with the buildings’ blood-red bricks emanating a foul odor of rot, sweat and grime. And the evil creeps up on me, like a slithering snake winding its way up my leg and into my heart. Everything the depravity touches, it consumes.
It’s a dark and quiet night in Towton City, an eerie shift from the usual cacophony of chaos. A thick cloud of smoke puffs into the January sky from the power station stacks and obscures the moon from view. I lurk in the shadowed doorframe of an abandoned storefront and watch the Downtown windows blink out one by one until there is nothing left, until there is only me. Me and a plethora of blackmailers, stalkers and murderers, but if I have my way, they’ll be one fewer in number after tonight.
Mr. Boddy is found in the Ballroom lying in the center of the room. There are no wounds. A faint blush marks his neck. A tie clip is precisely three steps away from the body, and a hospital bill two steps farther