Journalist Matt Connelly, a Miami reporter, returns home from Afghanistan eager to resume his once successful writing career. He soon learns that a powerful PR firm is manufacturing news and feeding this propaganda to an unsuspecting public. Reporters who don’t go along are being intimidated, tortured – or worse. This firm will stop at nothing to maintain the “spin” – including murder. Matt Conn More
A THUNDERING EXPLOSION ripped through the night. Matt Connelly’s heart jumped and then began racing. He pressed his back and arms against the wall, bracing himself, as he looked down one end of the alley and then the other. Dust filled the air, obscuring anything farther than a few feet in front of him. He began to choke and waved his hand in front of his face, trying to clear the air. The crescent-shaped moon he had seen just moments before perched above the building across the alley was now only vaguely visible through clouds of dust.
There was another huge blast, and the building behind him shuddered violently against his back. Matt leaned forward and pushed himself off with the toes of his boots, propelling himself away from the structure. He landed face down in a pool of putrid water. The liquid assaulted his eyes and nose.
He pushed himself up, gagging and spitting, just as a third explosion tore through the air. The ground trembled beneath him as the reverberating undertow of the explosion rolled past. Chunks of plaster and small rocks rained down from the sky, pounding his body and the ground around him. He covered his head with his hands and arms. Without support, he fell back into the water.
He held his breath as he braced himself against the assault on his body. The objects falling from the sky continued to pummel him, purposefully pushing him deeper and deeper. A searing pain tore through his left shoulder. He tensed but couldn’t move. His eyes burned. His lungs were on fire.
Matt uncovered his head and, reaching forward, pushed his head and torso up. He gasped for air and then, breathing deeply, filled his lungs. The fog before him slowly began to clear. The water beneath him began to settle. In it, Matt saw the reflection of flames licking the sky. He vaguely registered a cacophony of sounds around him. With his arms beneath him, supporting his upper body, he started to twist around. His shoulder screamed in protest. The weight on the back of his legs and lower back grew heavier, pushing him down farther and farther into the filth.
The terrible screams and cries from those in the rubble behind him were the last sounds Matt heard before he fell into the murky abyss of unconsciousness.
Two Months Later
THE HOT AIR GREETED Matt with a wet and familiar kiss as he strode off the plane and onto the main concourse of Miami International Airport. The blinding South Florida sun streamed through the large windows lining one wall of the newly renovated terminal. As he made his way through the busy terminal, Matt used his right arm to gingerly swing his carry-on bag over his shoulder.
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