Tuesday, 20 November 2012

The Fregoli Delusion: A Sneak Peek

The Fregoli Delusion, the third Donaghue and Stainer Crime Novel, is now available in e-book format, and the trade paperback version is working its way through the distribution network to your favorite online bookseller via the Ingram and Baker & Taylor book catalogs, which are available to independent bookstores in most locations. Stop in today and ask them to order your copy!

If you're a fan of the series, you'll be pleased to learn that Hank Donaghue and Karen Stainer are once more back home in Glendale and on the job in the hottest homicide investigation they've faced yet.

Billionaire H.J. Jarrett, president and CEO of a large health care corporation, has been shot to death on a bike path near his mansion in prestigious Granger Park. The good news for Karen is that she has an eyewitness who tells her he saw a man running away from the scene moments after the fatal shot was fired. The bad news for Karen, however, is that the eyewitness suffers from Fregoli syndrome, a rare disorder that makes his testimony useless to her.

While Hank leads their investigation into the top one percent of Glendale's economic and social strata, which include close friends of his own mother, Karen becomes more and more convinced that their eyewitness has been telling the truth all along!
Before you take a look at the sneak peek below, remember that if you'd like to sample the beginning of the novel (or purchase it in whole), you can simply follow one of these links:

The Fregoli Delusion: A Sneak Peek!

In this sneak peek, Karen and Hank have just left Jarrett Tower, where crime scene technicians are gathering forensic evidence related to the victim's business and security arrangements. The scene is under the control of Midtown district Sergeant John Graham, also known as Johnny Go, who had the dubious distinction of being Karen's mentor when she was an up-and-coming uniformed officer.

“Funny story,” Karen said as she floored the accelerator of the unmarked black Crown Victoria Police Interceptor and shot over to the inside northbound lane of Howard Boulevard. “Johnny Go was having a coffee the other day at this little sidewalk place down on Pritchard Street in Little Italy. Across the street he sees one of his guys come out of a shoe store, walking his beat. As he heads up the street, the guy’s firearm suddenly falls off his belt and drops onto the sidewalk behind him. Apparently the holster was one of the swivel types. The swivel broke and the gun fell right out. The guy never even noticed.”

“Good lord,” Hank said.

“I’m just getting started. A little old lady is walking behind him. Short little thing with the long black dress, big black shoes and a black kerchief over her head, big black purse on her arm. Typical Italian grandmother. She bends down, picks up the gun, and starts after the guy with it, holding it out in front of her.”

“Oh, oh.”

“You got it. The guy’s partner comes out of the next store, sees this short person with a black robe and black headdress trotting after his partner, holding out a gun, and he thinks he’s suddenly in the middle of some kind of terrorist action.”


“Now I’m thinking, Johnny’s gonna tell me the partner drew his weapon and shot the old lady dead.” She shook her head. “The guy tackles her from behind, down onto the sidewalk. Bam.”

Hank smiled.

“By this time Johnny Go’s dodging traffic to get across the street. When he gets there the guy’s still lying on top of her, and he’s trying to pull the gun out of her hand. She won’t let go, and she’s yelling, “Is his, is his!”

Hank started to laugh.

“Johnny gets there and pulls them both up. By this time, the first guy’s turned around and walking back, trying to figure out what the hell’s going on. The old lady holds out the gun to him and he stops dead, thinking that whatever it is, it ain’t over. So he reaches for his sidearm and, what do you know, it ain’t there.

“The old lady says, ‘Hey you, you droppa you gun! Take it!’”

Hank looked out the window, laughing.

“So the guy takes his gun and Johnny says to the other guy, ‘Apologize to the lady for knocking her down.’ So the guy apologizes. She hauls off and hits him right in the marbles with her purse.”


“Johnny says to me, ‘Lesson Number One, Stains, be aware of your firearm at all times. Lesson Number Two, make sure your equipment never lets you down. Check it before and after every shift.’ And Lesson Number Three?”

Hank looked at her.

“Never judge by appearances.”


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