Cygnet - TCPI 8
This is the eighth book in the TCPI Series.
Tracy: I went undercover in the Cygnet program to find a blackmailer. Now I’ve been hired by the program to be Mallory’s bodyguard and to find out who wanted her kept sedated...I’m trying to solve the murder of the blackmailer...(just for something to do)...To top the whole frigging mess off, I’ve discovered that I myself, am a latent alcoholic. More
This is the eighth book in the TCPI Series,
Tracy and her crew are racing her partner, Lee Brooks, and she has brought her father along. It is the first time he has ever ridden with her on a sailboat. Tracy is in her element aboard a sailboat, especially if it is hers. She becomes saltier, more demanding, and tougher then she ever is ashore.
Once the race is over, the friendly bantering begins, with her father getting an earful about his Captain Bligh daughter. This continues until they are on the dock.
There is a hubbub, a growing din of many chattering people moving towards them. A very famous western singer is in the center of the mob. As they draw closer, the singer's roadie frees her from the crowd, and with the aid of some security people, manages to get the mob, including the Paparazzi back off the dock.
Shelly Summers, the singer, hails Tracy by name, then hugs Tracy's Father. Shelly has been Tracy's bff since their Sophomore year at RFK High School in Santa Monica.
She has flown to the Bay Area specifically to see Tracy. Shelly is being blackmailed. She recently was an inpatient at the exclusive Cygnet Program, a twenty-one day substance abuse hospital and campus in Southern California.
Tracy enters the program a couple of days later, going undercover by being committed to the detox ward by her pseudo husband, a local PI. She has gotten herself intentionally drunk for the occasion.
While in Detox, she discovers a fourteen year old girl, who is completely messed up with drugs. The girl can't seem to get rid of the stupor she came into Detox with. One minute she's getting better, the next she has "fallen" back into her hole.
Once Tracy has emerged from Detox, she agrees to take part in the program, figuring she would only be there long enough to find the blackmailer. She is also getting suspicious about the girl's condition, and something happens that confirms that the girl isn't getting the same detoxing that Tracy had.
Tracy manages to steal the used that was used on the girl and has her ersatz husband get it checked immediately. The tox lab results come back via Lloyd the next day, and show a high degree of sedatives and a small amount of cocaine in the tube.
Tracy presents her findings to the resident doctor, demanding to know why the teen is being kept sedated. The sedation is a complete shock to the MD, as he nor anyone else ordered anything for the girl except Narcan in the beginning and Vitamin B shots thereafter.
The girl is ordered released from Detox STAT, and assigned to Tracy's room. Tracy is hired to be her bodyguard.
The blackmailer's body is discovered in the game room at 2:00 AM.
Tracy says: "I came into the program as an undercover job, to simply find and identify a blackmailer. Something that should be an ordinary-enough case for a P.I..
Since that time, I’ve been hired by the owners of the Cygnet Program to be Mallory’s bodyguard and to find out who ordered her kept sedated. I’m now trying to solve the murder of the blackmailer just for something to do. To top the whole frigging mess off, I’ve discovered that I myself, am a latent alcoholic."
Chief Cunningham and Greg Phillips back up Tracy in the program. Mallory joins the group. Tracy sends Lloyd to find a connection between the nurse who sedated Mallory and Mallory's sister. One is made.
Through her logic, expressing disbelief that a homicide occurs at the same time as attempted murder, and major-league extortion going on for months in a population of twenty five people, Tracy makes a connection between the nurse and the blackmailer and Mallory's sister.
When Tracy leaves the program, Mallory is riding alongside, as Tracy has agreed to become the teen's Guardian. The plotting and planning that her sister tried backfires completely. And Tracy and Greg are engaged to be married.
Over twenty-five years ago, the author was in such a program. He draws on his successful experience for this work of fiction.