Glenn Muller and I were co-members of a small online critique group, Club Agatha For Mystery/Crime Writers. We read chapters from each other’s books and gave support as we perfected our novels. Since then, he’s self-published his book, Torque, and is doing great. I’m happy to introduce you to Glenn and his book.
Summary of Torque:
After nine years on the road, driving instructor Chas Fenn knows how to avoid accidental death – it’s the intentional kind that gives him trouble.
The intentional kind is the seductive Brittany Reis who plans to carve a niche in the street drug trade with a new hallucinogen. When her lab technician suddenly dies, Reis is forced to partner with an aging con man who sees the opportunity as a last chance for a big payoff.
There is dishonour among thieves, and the formula is misdirected to Fenn who’s main ambitions are to win at darts, and get a raise. And maybe get laid. Now, with Reis and her thugs hot on his tail, Fenn’s life takes a dangerous detour where the normal rules no longer apply.
In the background are Detective Inspector Evan Lareault, Sergeant Frank Bloomfield, and Coroner Dr. Dennis Collier. Their investigations of a fatal overdose, two homicides, and a fraudulent funeral home appear unrelated until Fenn discovers a family connection to the formula, and turns from hunted to hunter.
Excerpt from Torque:
[Setup] This is the beginning of chapter 5 (of 55) and introduces the con man mentioned in the synopsis. I’ll let the reader guess whom he meets.
The Stockport Lounge was busier than normal for a Wednesday. Fall’s crisp calling card had arrived and the office crowd was feeling cozy. Located on the mezzanine of Hanlon Place, a hybrid of office tower and luxury hotel, the bar’s hospitality beckoned to those who disembarked soundless elevators opposite the rain-specked brass and glass street exit.
Chatter ebbed and flowed around small round tables, cresting occasionally into laughter then receding to choppy conversation. Over bobbing heads, new arrivals caught the eye of the bartender. He nodded while slicing limes for the ever popular Mai Tai and Daiquiri. He couldn’t see the TV but listened, as he worked, to the news anchor’s summary.
“The Bank of Canada is forecasting yet another rise in interest rates, and the body of a second youth has been discovered in Hamilton. More details in a moment.”
The station switched to a commercial and the barman changed the channel. Stark reality was not good for the tip jar.
“You don’t mind?” he said, indicating the large screen to the only patron who might have an interest in it.
The heavyset man on the barstool shook his head.
The Stockport Lounge wasn’t exactly Stanislaw Svoljsak’s kind of place. Next to a beer at home he preferred a street corner tavern where the drinks were cheap and the patrons talked about hockey or fight clubs. The two-for-one cocktail hour was okay, though. He raised his glass and drained the amber dregs of a double scotch.
“Another one, Sir?”
Svoljsak assented, and armed with the plastic miniature spear sat hunched over the drink like an Inuit at a seal hole. He reached into his jacket and pulled out a hundred-dollar bill. On the side with the goose, written in fine blue marker, was the name of the lounge and the date and time he was expected. It was a novel way to get his attention, though a mere C-note wouldn’t keep it for much longer. Now twenty minutes past the allotted time his patience was already evaporating with the alcohol.
He took a sip and stole a glance at the segmented mirror behind the bar. The view was obscured by the bottles in front so he hitched around on his stool and casually panned the room. Most of the suits and skirts were there on his arrival. A mixed group in a large booth appeared to be fanning the flames of an office romance between two of their co-workers.
His scan had just about reached its unobtrusive limit when he caught the pale sheen of white flesh in silk stockings. He took a quick mental snapshot then turned back to the bar as if he hadn’t noticed.
That woman hadn’t been sitting there when he’d arrived. Nor had she entered after he’d found a stool at the bar, he could see the doorway and wouldn’t have missed legs like that coming in. She must have followed him from the lobby. That could just be a matter of timing, but in Svoljsak’s line of work timing was important.
There was a motion beside him, a hint of perfume, then a flash of silk-clad thighs being crossed on the next stool over.
“Thank you for coming, Mr. Svoljsak. I’m sorry for the delay, but one can never be too careful.”
About The Author:
TORQUE was inspired by the twelve years Glenn spent as a driving instructor, and influenced by the social group of muscle car owners and racers he knew at that time. While the darker characters and situations in the book are pure products of imagination, the police procedurals were culled from Glenn’s experience as a witness for a murder trial.
Other writing credits include book reviews for Astronomy Magazine, a specialized sports-column for a local newspaper, and articles and presentations for amateur astronomy clubs and conventions.
Universal link for more information: http://home.primus.ca/~gmuller/torque.htm