BOOKS & THINGS
This is the first in a four part series. The setting is the quaint New England town of Maidstone, Massachusetts. The main character Danny returns to his home town after 6 years in the Marines. He thought he left the danger behind him in the desert of Iraq and the mountains of Afghanistan. Asa small town police officer, Danny thought that his biggest bust might be writing speeding tickets. But small towns have big secrets and will do anything the keep things quiet, even murder. Danny's time is running out as the investigation unravels. He better get to the bottom of this before he gets killed.
Lust, Murder, Greed, and a Cover Up in a Small New England Town
By Marc Youngquist
February 9, 2010, was a typically cold night in Maidstone, a small village tucked into one of the valleys of the Berkshire Hills. The air was dry and crisp with a light dusting of new snow covering the ground. Traffic at 2 a.m. had all but stopped. On a Tuesday night everyone would be home in bed—there would be a few restaurant workers finishing up their late shift. Of course, there would be a couple of police officers watching over the town. Except for the occasional drunk driver or maybe a heart attack, not much was going to happen until the town woke up at dawn and things began to come alive.
It could seem boring to some, Danny Gilcrest didn’t mind the quiet. It gave him a chance to catch up on his studies in a few community college courses, so he could move on to a four-year degree. He could do some research in the stock market even though he had very little to invest. This job had turned into a lot more than he had ever imagined. At times it was boring, just not all the time. The pay wasn’t great, though it was okay. The bills were getting paid and there was more than enough for his daily expenses. He could go out any night he liked if he didn’t go nuts and spend like he was one of the New York stock brokers who frequented the town.
IN SPITE OF IT ALL
Is the sequel to book 1. Danny has his number one target and is closing in. Unfortunately things are never what they appear to be on the surface. Everyone lies, suspects, witnesses, victims and unfortunately fellow cops. Danny has to sort through the mess to find the truth. A truth even he finds hard to believe.
Danny came straight up out of bed letting out an animal-like scream. The explosion he heard in his dream was as real as the night he heard the shotgun blast. His roommate rolled out of his bed gasping for air and staring into the darkness where his Danny had just scared the shit out of him.
Danny was trying to catch his breath and slow his heart rate, and after a few seconds, things began to return to normal.
“Sorry,” said Danny. “The shit keeps creeping back. I have no control over these nightmares. I hear the blast, and then I wake up.”
Looking through the darkness, Mike reached for the light. As he flipped the switch, he could clearly see that Danny was dripping wet and his chest was heaving. “Dude, you’ve got to go see someone about these dreams. This is the fourth time you have scared the shit out of me, and I don’t scare easy. I did my time overseas. Once in a while I have my dreams just not every damn night and not with the intensity that you have. Don’t take this the wrong way, but in the morning I am out of here. I can’t take this, and you need help.”
All Danny could manage was, “Sorry.”
Mike thought this was all about Iraq and Afghanistan. No one in the class had heard about the attempted murder in Maidstone, Massachusetts. Danny had his share of close calls in the Marines with twenty-four months in various combat zones. No one knew it was a small town in the Berkshire Hills of Western Massachusetts that gave him nightmares. Being in a quaint country village and almost getting cut in half by a shotgun blast was not what he had expected. The “BOOM” he heard when he hit his head he thought, was from the impact on the pavement only to learn later it was a blast from a shotgun. Who could guess that slipping on black ice getting out of the cruiser would save his life? Lying there on the ground dazed had given the shooter the impression that he had hit his target and that the deed was done. The false sense of security and the relative peacefulness of the mountains hid secrets that no one knew about. The FBI had cautioned Danny not to talk about the situation back home while at the FBI National Academy. Yes, it was in the news, they were controlling what information got out. The FBI did not want any leaked information than they deemed necessary to be made public until they were ready. If word got out about Danny being the target of a mob hit, there would be a lot of questions. Danny was surrounded by several hundred high ranking police officers who were used to getting answers. Danny would be informally and relentlessly interrogated by his classmates. So for the time being, he was to maintain a low profile and not standout, still people were talking. The sound of the reoccurring nightmares had extended beyond his room. The two suitemates who shared the bathroom heard all the noise and the conversations with Mike. That opened the circle of people in the know and was a topic of conversation among the rest of the class. No one wanted a roommate who was having problems. They weren’t afraid of Danny. They just wanted to study and get a decent night sleep without the animal screams in the night. There were some serious squirrels running around in that young man’s head, and he needed to do something about it. The assignment to the FBI National Academy had gotten Danny out of town, just not away from the nightmares.
Guest Speaker, The 143rd In Iraq.
I will be at the Newtown Senior Center sometime in the future to talk about, The 143rd In Iraq. Stop in and say hi..(The date to be determined depending on the quarantine. .
I added some pictures from Saturday, February 22nd when I was presented a Quilt of Valor for my service. A very great honor and a humbling experience.