DAYBREAK: a gripping thriller full of suspense (Titan Trilogy Book 3)

BOOK: DAYBREAK: a gripping thriller full of suspense (Titan Trilogy Book 3)
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DAYBREAK

A gripping thriller full of suspense

 

(TITAN TRILOGY BOOK THREE)

 

 

T. J. BREARTON

 

First published 2015

Joffe Books, London

www.joffebooks.com

 

 

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, organizations, places and events are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental. The spelling used is American English except where fidelity to the author’s rendering of accent or dialect supersedes this.

 

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http://www.joffebooks.com/contact/

 

 

©T. J. Brearton

 

TIT
AN TRILOGY: THE STORY SO FAR

BOOK 1: HABIT

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/HABIT-detective-mysteries-thrillers-BREARTON-ebook/dp/B00HRIJVFS/

http://www.amazon.com/HABIT-detective-mysteries-thrillers-BREARTON-ebook/dp/B00HRIJVFS/

 

 

 

Rookie detective Brendan Healy is on his first murder case. A young woman in a remote farmhouse has called 911 on an intruder and is killed. The clues lead Healy to several suspects, but when the victim’s brother opens fire on the cops, the department is ready to close the case. Brendan persists with his own investigation, leading him into the world of human trafficking and an escort service which is used by government officials. Brendan tracks down the suspected killer, who is holding a child hostage. But the case is not yet closed, and another killer must be brought to justice.

 

BOOK 2: SURVIVORS

 

 

http://www.amazon.co.uk/SURVIVORS-crime-thriller-books-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00LF4U578/

http://www.amazon.com/SURVIVORS-crime-thriller-books-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B00LF4U578/

 

The Rebecca Heilshorn case has drawn the attention of the Justice Department, and Agent Jennifer Aiken is going after XList, the escort service. When Brendan, having left the police force, learns about the death of an old friend, he comes out of hiding to investigate. His friend's death was not accidental, but connected to the same black market involving Rebecca. Brendan meets a woman named Sloane, who has secrets which could break the whole thing open. Jennifer Aiken is close to identifying the main force behind the human trafficking racket when she is kidnapped. Brendan is arrested while rescuingJennife
r
.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

TITAN TRILOGY: THE STORY SO FAR

PROLOGUE / SIX MONTHS AGO

CHAPTER ONE / TUESDAY, 8:58 AM

CHAPTER TWO / FIVE MONTHS AGO

CHAPTER THREE / WEDNESDAY, 11:12 AM

CHAPTER FOUR / WEDNESDAY 1:03 PM

CHAPTER FIVE / WEDNESDAY, 2:41 PM

CHAPTER SIX / WEDNESDAY, 3:13 PM

CHAPTER SEVEN / WEDNESDAY, 3:21 PM

CHAPTER EIGHT / WEDNESDAY, 3:21 PM

CHAPTER NINE / WEDNESDAY, 3:50 PM

CHAPTER TEN / WEDNESDAY, 4:09 PM

CHAPTER ELEVEN / THURSDAY, 9:41 AM

CHAPTER TWELVE / THURSDAY, 10:23 AM

CHAPTER THIRTEEN / THURSDAY, 11:11 AM

CHAPTER FOURTEEN / THREE MONTHS AGO

CHAPTER FIFTEEN / THREE MONTHS AGO

CHAPTER SIXTEEN / THURSDAY 2:20 PM

CHAPTER SEVENTEEN / THURSDAY 2:48 PM

CHAPTER EIGHTEEN / THURSDAY, 3:07 PM

CHAPTER NINETEEN / THURSDAY, 3:19 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY / THURSDAY, 3:22 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE / THURSDAY, 3:22 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-TWO / THURSDAY, 3:27 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-THREE / THURSDAY 3:27 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-FOUR / THURSDAY, 3:48 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-FIVE / THURSDAY, 6:07 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-SIX / THURSDAY, 4:12 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-SEVEN / THURSDAY, 6:09 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-EIGHT / THURSDAY, 6:31 PM

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE / THURSDAY, 8:14 PM

CHAPTER THIRTY / THURSDAY 8:14 PM

CHAPTER THIRTY-ONE / THURSDAY, 11:49 PM

CHAPTER THIRTY-TWO / THURSDAY, 10:33 PM

CHAPTER THIRTY-THREE / FRIDAY 4:13 AM

CHAPTER THIRTY-FOUR / FRIDAY 1:13 AM

CHAPTER THIRTY-FIVE / FRIDAY 4:29 AM

CHAPTER THIRTY-SIX / FRIDAY, 7:34 AM

CHAPTER THIRTY-SEVEN / FRIDAY, 7:44 AM

CHAPTER THIRTY-EIGHT / FRIDAY, 7:52 AM

CHAPTER THIRTY-NINE / FRIDAY, 8:40 AM

CHAPTER FORTY / FRIDAY, 8:40 AM

CHAPTER FORTY-ONE / FRIDAY, 9:17 AM

CHAPTER FORTY-TWO / FRIDAY, 9:21 AM

CHAPTER FORTY-THREE / FRIDAY, 9:19 AM

CHAPTER FORTY-FOUR / FRIDAY, 11:54 PM

CHAPTER FORTY-FIVE / FRIDAY, 11:55 AM

CHAPTER FORTY-SIX / FRIDAY, 4:14 PM

CHAPTER FORTY-SEVEN / SATURDAY 7:28 PM

CHAPTER FORTY-EIGHT / SATURDAY 6:08 AM

CHAPTER FORTY-NINE / SATURDAY, 6:13 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY / SATURDAY, 6:25 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-ONE / SATURDAY, 6:27 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-TWO/ SATURDAY, 6:33 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-THREE / SATURDAY, 6:38 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-FOUR / SATURDAY, 7:14 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-FIVE / SATURDAY, 7:14 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-SIX / SATURDAY, 7:33 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-SEVEN / SUNDAY, 10:42 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-EIGHT / MONDAY, 9:12 AM

CHAPTER FIFTY-NINE / MONDAY, 5:22 PM

EPILOGUE

CHARACTER LIST

Other books by T.J. Brearton

 

DEDICATION

 

 

 

For my wife.

“Tyranny confronts rebellion; each calls forth the other.

It is a double danger.”

– Michel Foucault,
Discipline & Punish

PROLOGUE / SIX MONTHS AGO

She said life with an addict was like living with a time bomb. For some reason this was what Brendan was thinking as he felt the gouge of the knee in his back, the hand clamped over his neck, pressing his face into the ground. You never knew when the addict was going to show up at the back door in the middle of the night reeking of booze, you couldn’t be prepared for when their temper snapped and the poison forked out.

That was what Angie had said, years ago, when they were married.

And while it may have been true, what went unseen was the suffering beneath the defensive actions of the addict. The pain that led up to the breaking point. Because he kept it hidden. He hid it so well sometimes he lost it himself.

Which was the idea.

Cue, routine, reward
. The basic equation of the habit. The formula that these animals in prison, these murderers and thieves on top of him, would never know about. They were mercifully free of introspection, most of them. Running on the three primary drives of the human condition: avoid pain, conserve energy, and pursue pleasure.

It was that last one that had them all hopped-up on neurotransmitters at the moment, the addictive release of peptides from their throbbing, massive prison-inmate glands washing through the cells of their body, washing through the cells of the state penitentiary, sucked up by the furious, deprived eyes of the cons clanging in their cages as they watched the fight taking place in the middle of Motchan Center.

The guards will come any second now. They’ll break up the fight.

Some time ago, back before he’d lost his wife and child, back before nearly completing his own suicide, long before Rebecca Heilshorn was found dead in a farmhouse and was alive and turning tricks as a high-priced escort, Brendan might have believed his own desperate mind. The guards — who hated to be called guards, never call them guards to their faces — would rush in and take these three throbbing thugs piling on top of Brendan and throw them to the corners of the room, and punish them. Prison wasn’t as bad as the rumors, right? It wasn’t like the way it was in the movies; that was sensationalized. Prison was a part of the justice system, and there was oversight and responsible people and the rest was a bunch of hype.

Tell that to the guy shouting in Brendan’s ear, his full weight on Brendan’s back, making it impossible to breathe.
Go ahead and tell him. Before he snaps my spine.

“How’s that feel? Huh? You wanna dance on the blacktop? You little terrorist bitch? Feel good?”

No. It didn’t feel good. It felt like a ton of molten lead had been poured over him and was hardening there, and he would be forever flattened to the ground. The air was crushed out of his lungs. If he could speak, he would tell them what he had already told them, that he wasn’t a terrorist, he wasn’t a traitor to his country; that this was an ugly rumor probably started by someone in the jail who was paid to start it. That the people who put him here wanted him to suffer every kind of torture.

Probably the guards had been instructed to stand down. There was no one coming to help him. For that matter, there was no Seamus Argon to yank him out of the garage, pull him from the cloud of carbon monoxide. No Rudy Colinas to rush in with the State Police and save his life moments before it ended.

In here, he was on his own.

Brendan flexed every muscle in his body. He used his chest and his chin and his knees, and tried to buck the terribly large convict on top of him. It didn’t do any good. The other two cons were working on his shoes; he could feel a tug and one of them — Velcro-fastened — popped off his foot. Then the other. A second later and they were pulling off the bottom half of his green fatigues.

Were they going to rape him? He couldn’t imagine they would do such a thing right here, right in front of the whole block. Even perverted sex acts in prison were usually done with a little more privacy than this. If you were lucky, you got a meal first.

“You like that, cho-mo? Is this what you liked to do to them little kiddies? All you terrorists like them little kiddies . . .”

Brendan tried to speak. His face was mashed into the ground, his pancaked cheek interfering with his speech, but he managed to draw a thin breath as the weight on top of him shifted. “I never hurt a child.” It came out:
I nee-ah hoot a shy
. He realized as he spoke that his mouth was bleeding. A quick flick of the tongue revealed a blank spot in his teeth. One of his molars had been knocked out.

“Yeah,” the convict cooed. “Yeah, you liked that,
inmate
.”

His shoes gone, his pants gone, all that was left was his underwear.

* * *

Baker, one of the newer corrections officers who’d started after Brendan began his time, came jogging into the open area amid the cacophony of hoots and catcalls from the cell soldiers. As he did, two other guards suddenly appeared, as if some invisible force holding them at bay had at last released them.

They pulled the three men from Brendan and got him on his feet. Brendan bent and pulled his pants up, his entire body shaking, but feeling incredible relief. As Baker hauled him away from the scene, Brendan turned and looked back at the aggressors. The inmates watched him go; the guards who had suddenly materialized watched him too, their expressions not much different. Mocking.

“The Deputy Warden wants to see you,” Baker said as he hustled Brendan away.

* * *

“You’ve been here three weeks,” Deputy Warden Grimm said. Grimm was in his sixties and had a face to match his name.

“That’s correct, sir.”

“Came in on November nineteenth.”

“Yes, sir.”

They were in Grimm’s office. The space looked like the inside of a giant locker, with thick paint slabbed on slate-gray walls and an equally gray popcorn ceiling. There were three sets of file cabinets, a coffee percolator that looked a decade old, and a dying fern slumped in the corner. The one window in the room overlooked the Rikers Island complex through bars. The Deputy Warden had Brendan’s file splayed out on his desk in front of him.

Grimm watched Brendan for a moment and then his eyes dropped to the papers in front of him. “You’re in here, still pending trial for first-degree murder.” His eyes rolled up. “Why are the other inmates saying you’re a nonce? Was there a kid involved?”

“I don’t know why they’re saying what they are.”

Grimm gave Brendan a hard look. “I think you do.”

“Sir?”

“I’ve heard about you. You have some story about how the government is messing with you. Drawing out your trial, keeping you here, making you sweat.”

Brendan said nothing.

“I don’t like that,” Grimm said. “I don’t like that at all. That’s what terrorists do, that’s where uprisings come from, everybody going against their government. It’s scumbag shit and I won’t tolerate it. You can be sure of that.”

Brendan didn’t argue. Better to let the man talk, say his piece. He still felt the cold shock of his assault. The convicts of Motchan Center had been shuffling back from jug-up. As the men were filing up the stairs and returning to their cells, one of the aggressors had tapped Brendan on the shoulder and started to talk to him. His name was
Tony Laruso. He was built like a truck, Italian, from the Bronx, and had been a gang member since he was a boy. Brendan had been managing to keep a low profile, though he’d heard the rumors that he was a domestic terrorist; conjecture ranging from how he’d tried to blow up a hospital in Manhattan with babies in the building to how he was an assassin hired to kill a prominent, do-gooder doctor. He’d never found the source of the rumors, and rumors had been all they were, whispers and hard stares and cold shoulders, until Laruso.

Laruso had come in just last week. Brendan had overhead Laruso say to another inmate that he was only in for a short nap. He had been hit with a slew of racketeering charges, a medley of identity theft, fake IDs, passports and credit card fraud. In the cafeteria, he asked Brendan about his offense. Brendan didn’t know everything about jail etiquette, but you certainly didn’t talk openly about your crime, especially if you thought you’d gotten a bad beef, no matter what lies were told about you. So Brendan just said, “It’s complicated,” and Laruso had replied, “I don’t see nothin’ complicated about being a baby-killing fuckin’ terrorist.”

By the time Brendan had noticed that the rest of the cons were entering their cells, and the guards were looking over their shoulders as they disappeared, it was too late to get away, too late to do anything to save himself.

“I haven’t met with my lawyer for a while,” Brendan said to Grimm. “So I’m not updated on my case, sir.”

“Guy probably came to his senses and left.” Again, Grimm fixed Brendan with a look that suggested Brendan was more than just a burden, an unpleasant part of the Deputy Warden’s job, but a brush with complete filth. “Listen to me. I looked at your jacket. You copped to the whole thing.”

“Yes, sir.”

Grimm exhaled in frustration, sat back and rubbed his face for a moment, regarding Brendan with that same dull hatred.

“It’s not good what happened to you today, is it?”

Brendan looked back, unblinking. “No.”

“I didn’t think so; I didn’t take you for a puff tart. You’re an educated man, with a background in law enforcement. So you can appreciate when I tell you that this jail complex has an annual operating budget of eight hundred and seventy-five million. Holy shit, yeah? I’ve got a staff of nine thousand officers and fourteen hundred civilians to control an inmate population of thirteen thousand. Know how much we spend on each inmate annually?”

Brendan shook his head. He suddenly felt very far away from everything, as alone and adrift as the first night the cell door had slammed shut.

“One hundred and seventy thousand dollars. That’s right. Per inmate. Each year. A lot of people to be responsible for, and at quite a cost, don’t you think?” Grimm was in the habit of asking rhetorical questions. “Not only that, but we’ve got inmates serving sentences for up to one year, guys like Laruso, the one who was on top of you in the commons. We’ve got many men here pending transfer to another facility. And we’ve got men like you, awaiting trial, not granted bail by the judge. You’re just sitting here, your trial gummed up in bureaucratic bullshit. Costing me money, and your beef is going to take its sweet time getting to trial. You know what? You piss me off, Healy.”

Brendan felt a quick jolt in his stomach. He’d been keyed-up since the attack, the adrenaline still squeezing his heart, but with Grimm’s comment about being pissed off, he went from feeling tense and racy to a kind of nervous excited. The guards were being manipulated by the Deputy Warden. He suddenly felt sure that even if Grimm were getting pressure from outside the prison to make Brendan’s life hard — with Staryles behind it — something in Grimm’s demeanor read like he had his own demons pursuing him. Something other than the weight thrown by the CSS. Brendan felt the first small ray of hope, a dangerous thing to have in a place like Rikers.

Grimm was watching him. “You know, used to be that only the most hardened and dangerous criminals got sent up. But these days we got pansy first-time offenders doing mandatory terms . . . and with so many incarcerated in general — Jesus, over 1.6 million in the US — normally they luck out without encountering real violence. But Rikers is an older institution, not phased out yet, lot of traffic, lots of flux. It’s the northeast Chain Gang. I want you to remember that, Healy.”

His last sentence seemed to hang in the small room, as if inviting Brendan to challenge it.

Brendan nodded, and licked his dry lips. He was thirsty. His body was sore, his lower back aching from having Laruso on top of him, breathing into his ear.
You like that, cho-mo? Is this what you liked to do to them little kiddies?

“You gotta get cleaned up,” Grimm said with an air of distaste. “Anyone from the outside, your lawyer, that Kendall detective from your beef, you tell them you slipped in the shower. Something. But what you’re not going to say is what happened to you this afternoon. Are we clear?”

“We’re clear.”

Grimm continued to clock him, hunting for any signs of bullshit. He was staring at Brendan so directly that Brendan started to feel self-conscious. The man’s lips parted. He took a breath. His eyes were cold, calculating. “As a former cop, you know how tough it is . . .”

The pause at the end of Grimm’s statement demanded an affirmation.

“Yes.”

“You know that you’re around the criminal element so much of your life. It can mess with you. It can change you, right? It changes most people.”

Brendan nodded. Something was happening, something was coming.

“You’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. You have to survive.” Grimm tapped the side of his head. Brendan noticed the man’s hands were like paws, the knuckles swollen, the fingers thick and calloused. “I’ve been part of the New York Department of Corrections for twenty-seven years. Heard it all. You, Healy, you’re going to stop this bullshit about how you got a bad break, about how some ridiculous conspiracy got you where you are. You hear me? The only thing that got you where you are is you. Your actions. That’s all you have. Action.”

Grimm tented his large fingers on the desk in front of him, and struck a sage pose, as if he were the chaplain and not the disciplinary officer and had just dispensed some wisdom. He turned and gazed out the barred window. He was silent for so long that Brendan started to think that there was no pitch, no opportunity or ray of hope, he’d been mistaken, this was just some sordid display of power, some pointless sermon. Then Grimm’s head slowly swiveled back, and his gaze bored back in.

BOOK: DAYBREAK: a gripping thriller full of suspense (Titan Trilogy Book 3)
4.34Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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