THE PHARM HOUSE
First there was The Pharm House, Finalist in the Medical Thriller category of the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards, where readers met Nicholas Harding and his daughter, Andrea.
Dr. Nicholas Harding’s story involved the pharmaceutical industry and malpractice of epic proportions. This was a modern mystery and whodunit tightly corked in the prescription bottle of greed, murder and corruption and drug-peddling. Mysterious deaths occur, including Nickolas’ mentor. Nick’s career, family and life were threatened.
“If injury has to be done to a man, it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.”
The Pharm House debuted several years ago and did well for a first novel. A re-edited edition (both print and ebook) was re-issued in September 2015.
Now comes the second Harding Family story in the exciting new thriller, The Torch is Passed, that picks up with the Harding family about ten years after the end of The Pharm House. In the sensational new thriller, The Torch is Passed, Andrea Harding has just graduated college and her world is turned upside down when her father, Nicholas Harding, and her uncle, Michael, are shot in a surprising and puzzling attack. As the only family other than her paternal grandmother, it falls to Andrea to not only investigate who would want to kill her father and uncle, but also to oversee Harding Industries.
The youngest Harding soon finds herself surrounded by a bevy of intriguing new friends and helpers after she is also violently attacked. Suspicion is cast on a short list of family friends and colleagues.
Along with her new allies, including an abrasive, but loyal, attorney and an eccentric southerner with more money than God and an intriguing background in international espionage, Andrea urgently seeks answers why anyone would want to kill her entire family— grows up along the way and seeks her revenge.
“We have no eternal allies, and we have no perpetual enemies. Our interests are eternal and perpetual, and those interests it is our duty to follow.”
–Lord Palmerston in his speech to the House of Commons, 1848
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On a cold rainy Saturday night in Manhattan, now an early Sunday morning in January, the $2,000.00 a night suite at the Peninsula Hotel looked like a room whose occupants had gotten more than their money’s worth. Remnants of gourmet meals, short-charred cigars and cigarette butts shared a well-used bar. Ornate Sake cups were scattered throughout the room, large windows looked out over mid-town and it was as close to being a city at sleep as it could ever be.
The meeting was finally ending, business concluded. The participants (most, but not all, middle-aged men) hoped their host had arranged post-meeting entertainment “party girls,” who were routinely scheduled to provide needed relief, but they were severely disappointed. Not that the host didn’t enjoy the company of young women. He just didn’t want to attract any unnecessary attention to his business group.
At last, the men were able to gather their belongings, say their good-byes, put on their heavy overcoats and leave.
The business operations called for the participants to stay at four or five differing hotels around mid-town.
As they departed, some were picked up by limos, others by taxis and a few walked. Large sheets of icy rain continued blowing across the almost empty streets. The wind and rain had slacked, but an umbrella was still required.
One guest had been living in France with his wife and children for nearly five years. While there he acquired a taste for all things French, especially young French women.
He stayed at the Parker Meridian where he had an expensive arrangement with the assistant manager. After he placed a call, he could expect a girl who only spoke French and would be waiting in his suite for his return.
The eager businessman, consumed in his thoughts of the prize awaiting him, envisioned the young woman’s small breasts and firm curved hips. He imagined the musky aroma of a sexually aroused young woman and succeeded in producing a rather large erection.
A bump came from a passerby. It wasn’t so hard as to knock him off balance and there was no verbal “excuse me.” He considered the contact yet another example of American rudeness. It was only after the stranger was several steps away that a noticeable stinging sensation began. At first it seemed to be just a dull pulsation – then more discomfort arose, which quickly transformed into a piercing pain.
Yoshi Mikasi stopped and leaned against a storefront window displaying a springtime picnic scene. The slim razor sharp knife, which had made contact with him, severed a major artery. Yoshi’s hand, now pressed against his abdomen, was covered in blood.
As he slid to the cold and damp pavement, Yoshi’s last conscious sight on Earth was of his own blood running in rivulets down a deserted Manhattan street.
A block away a car started. It drove toward Yoshi while slowing so the driver could see him clearly. By this time, Yoshi’s pupils had started dilating as he rasped his last gulps of air. The driver, now satisfied, accelerated and quickly drove further into the city.
A high-priced French whore waiting in the Chairman of Takada Pharmaceuticals’ suite would only be paid for silence on this night.
If an injury has to be done to a man it should be so severe that his vengeance need not be feared.