with Chris Curle
A novel by Don Farmer with Chris Curle
The Near Future
Atlanta is about to host the Olympics for a second time, a rare but not unheard of turn of events. Hopes and tensions are running high, but a dramatic crime steals the headlines just days before the games begin. A Hollywood film star is thrown off a forty-sixth floor balcony and is impaled on the tower mast of a TV news live truck. News crews on hand to cover a pre-Olympics gala capture the gruesome scene live.
The dead actor was the fiancé of Bren Forrest, the much-admired creator and owner of Global News Service, America’s leading all news TV network.
Police suspect the killing was a desperate move to intimidate Ms. Forrest, who is fighting a takeover effort by Ian Phelps, a cunning and corrupt British TV network owner. He wants to add GNS to his own media empire.
When these media giants collide, people die. As Phelps kills, Bren Forrest plots revenge for her fiancé’s death and will do or pay anything to get it.
Police investigators scramble to stop the carnage while the cops’ top brass struggles with damage control, dreading the possibility that the department’s only legacy would be The Great Atlanta Impalement.
Phelps eludes Atlanta police and escapes in a private jet to Marco Island on Florida’s southwest gulf coast.
An ambitious, African-American Atlanta TV reporter and her live-in lover, an Irish-American police detective, hook up and team up to get the story and catch the killer. The chase leads them from the power towers of Atlanta and London to the deadly swamps near Marco Island.
Media unleash an orgy of coverage, sometimes ugly and always hilarious. Bizarre behavior flourishes among some of the many TV news people who battle for scoops and scandals. It’s a free-for-all struggle for air time, face time, prime time.
The search for murder suspect Phelps centers on Marco Island, where he often goes to keep an eye on his Caribbean drug smuggling and money laundering operations.
As authorities close in, he rushes to a small airport at the edge of the Everglades, where his private plane awaits, but police and reporters on stakeout spot him before he can get on and take off.
In panic, Phelps bolts toward a dense mangrove forest, ignoring shouts to stop or be shot. He stumbles and splashes into a swamp just off the runway.
It is full of hungry crocodiles.