Verdict: Author Mark Gilleo delights in his new thriller “Terminal Secret,” a murder mystery as fast-paced as his character introductions, which lead to an awe-inspiring plot filled with intense suspense and stupefying conclusions.
Revenge is a dish best served cold. For a person who is sick in every sense of the word–this is their modus operandi. And when there’s a ton of loot involved (the so-called “root of all evil”) and your life happens to be hanging in the balance, some people would do just about anything to make bank, even if it costs another person’s life. So goes the motivation behind a murder for hire scheme in Mark Gilleo’s suspense thriller TERMINAL SECRET.
It’s up to two detectives and a shrewd private investigator to crack the murder mysteries that unfold in Gilleo’s endlessly engrossing novel. Two separate cases are set against the backdrop of the reputed murder capital that is Washington, D.C., once known for its elevated crime rate given the nationwide crack epidemic a quarter of a century ago. In the first, an older seasoned detective, Earl Wallace, teams up with Detective Emily Fields, a 30ish brainy and beautiful rookie, to investigate a conundrum involving the possible link between a young, promising attorney with the United States Environmental Protection Agency who was gunned down on her doorstep, and a woman who drove her car into a canal that same morning.
Meanwhile, the slick, hard-bodied attorney turned private investigator Dan Lord is hired by a congressman’s trophy wife to help her locate the killer of her once-estranged former flame–an ex-Army vet who is a disabled drug addict, lush, and the father of their only son. Danger ensues when the embattled Lord traverses the Washington Metropolitan area doling out big bills to people in exchange for the truth and needed clues. Many of the characters come from broken families and rough pasts, prompting, for instance, protagonists Lord and Detective Fields into their do-gooder professions. Gilleo deftly weaves in characters with seemingly run-of-the-mill jobs, which guides Lord to extraordinary leads – all resulting from the dirty deeds of a particular drug lord.
TERMINAL SECRET brings to light the reality of life’s hard-hitting curveballs and is an ode to the triumph of righteousness amid the unforgiving harshness of real life on some of its meanest streets.
~Lianna Albrizio for IndieReader