Two: Mind Games and Murder (Path of Deception and Betrayal, Book 2) by K. J. McGillick
ABOUT THE BOOK
Her husband wants her locked away in a psychiatric facility. His business partner wants her dead.
Trust. Who do we place our trust in every day? Family members, friends and people who we turn to for help, doctors. But what if the doctor you placed your trust in had secrets? Dark secrets. So many secrets.
Isabella Armond is an ordinary Parisian woman with a comfortable life — until a shocking discovery shatters her perfect world. As her husband’s behavior becomes increasingly unstable, Isabella slowly realizes all the signs point to the fact he is not who he appears to be. Is he a respected Cardio-thoracic surgeon with a thriving Paris medical practice helping people? Or is he leading a double life which involves the international trafficking of black market organs? Greed, blood money, and psychopath are the terms she learns are associated with a man she thought she knew.
Forced to delve deeper into her husband’s secret life, she makes discoveries that will make her question everything she believed forcing her to face an impossible decision. She is desperate to uncover the truth, but once you know something, it can’t be unknown. The more she learns, the more she wishes she knew nothing at all.
When the sun dims, your second self shall disappear. Consequences not of her making were nipping at her heels. Tick. Tock.
“I want her dead. Make it happen,” Avigad stated. His thick lips enveloped the rim of the fine china cup. Her death was not a suggestion. It was an order to be carried out without question. An assassination. I was a surgeon but his chosen assassin for this death. “I don’t care what method you employ. Get it done.”
I sat back against the black tufted leather of the booth and studied the man. Olive skin, empty green eyes, light-brown hair. Avigad was not an imposing man in stature, and he wasn’t educated in the academic sense. A man of great conviction but with no conscience. His mother was from Jewish descent, and his father Palestinian. Avigad spoke with the perfect clipped British accent of a refined landed gentry from the 18th century. His command of Arabic was rivaled by none. He was as comfortable in a yarmulke as he was a kufi.
I’d been Avigad’s surgeon a bit over two years ago when he needed emergency stents placed in his coronary arteries. He had suffered a heart attack and I was on call duty and saved his life. Our physician-patient relationship led to a friendship, and then a business offer. He procured organs and I agreed to transplant them.
Over two years, Avigad had helped me amass almost half a billion dollars. Illegally earned, but all mine. He acquired the money to launder. And once laundered, opened the door to investing it in places I would have never had access. For that, I owed him a debt.
The only thing he asked in return was when he needed a surgeon to perform an organ removal surgery, I would be ready to leave at once. No questions about my assignment were allowed, and I understood and accepted his stipulations. No questions about where the surgery would be performed. A fake passport was always provided to protect my identity. To procure a steady flow of organs he scoured every hellhole on earth and made promises he could never keep. His share was far greater than mine, but as he often reminded me, without him I wouldn’t have the surgeries to perform and money would not magically find its way to my bank.
I was in it solely for the money. The only mistake I’d ever made was mixing some Albanians’ money with mine in a questionable investment that went bad. They wanted a two hundred percent return on their money, I promised twenty percent. We now were in a dispute and negotiations were not an option, but more importantly, I wanted to wear my wealth like a coat that no one could misinterpret. As a child, my clothes were torn and dirty. I was forced to wear them to school because I had nothing else. My mother was too drunk to care, and the bullies smelled my fear. I didn’t worry about tattered clothes or bullies any longer.
The organ removals were becoming a logistical issue. Countries had been scrutinized morally and ethically, forcing government agencies to develop regulations regarding the donation or sale of an organ consensually or otherwise. The human rights issues that had surfaced were bad for business. I thought foolishly that Avigad kept time, place, and the other people involved secret for my protection, to have plausible deniability if questioned. In reality, he was compartmentalizing his cells of people. His demands, at times, proved challenging, but the payment I received drove me to make it happen. Until now.
My income as a surgeon was adequate. I worked hard to maintain a practice that kept me in demand. The money never seemed enough for the luxury I wanted. I lived on the third floor of a luxury nine-bedroom apartment home, in the heart of Paris. My building was so close to the Eiffel Tower that we could almost touch the hourly twinkling lights at night.
My second stream of business was an art gallery I shared with Isabella, my wife. As Avigad became a silent business partner over the last two years, the gallery had sold its fair share of forgeries. I couldn’t complain because it lined our pockets with millions of dollars. My success was obvious. I had a thriving practice, beautiful home, and gallery that was by appointment only.
Book 2 of the Path of Deception and Betrayal series can be read as a standalone and carries on with a more intense art-theft-funding-terrorism theme adding in yet another unsavory theme of black market organ trafficking.
Dread crept up my spine, as if ice had been applied to it. I hated Russia, and more than the concept of Russia, I hated the soulless eyes of its inhabitants that reflected back in mine.
Adrien Armond’s patient-partnership with the dangerous Avigad Adad is becoming too volatile. Avigad procures organs while Adrien transplants them and since Adrien put all of their assets (illegal and all) in his wife, Isabella’s name, she must be dealt with so he can stay in control. But Avigad has other plans.
I was moved from my room to a secured area in the hospital, with law enforcement at my door. What had I done to bring this upon myself? Absolutely nothing. Could I do anything to change what was happening around me? Possibly.
Isabella’s life is in danger. Her narcissistic husband, Adrien, is drugging her to the point of brain damage and is trying to get her committed. Therefore, she is working with an undercover counterterrorist agent, Ben “Jaager” Johenson, her best friend, Chloe, and private investigator, Richard Dupont, hoping to clear her name of Adrien’s self-serving and frightening scheme of making her the fall guy for his despicable deeds. On top of i all, she has already lost her mother and sister as part of a savage multi-city terrorist bombing in Paris and the city and economy are in turmoil. What more could possibly happen?
The reader is thrown full bore into an unsettling and explosive situation that doesn’t slow down until the disturbing ending. Ms. McGillick uses her experience and skills as an attorney and international traveler to immerse the reader into a dark and unsavory world full of injustice and murder. A must-read for lovers of psychological thrillers.
Thank you to Ms. McGillick for giving me the opportunity to read this book with no expectation of a positive review.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorkers do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.
As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field, she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.
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