A high-profile murder of a Wall Street executive in Westchester pits three people against the criminal underbelly of Manhattan nightlife. The key players are two ex-cops turned private investigators—Kevin Whitehouse, whose sharpest tool is his keen analytical mind, and David Allerton, a former Special Forces operative—and Margaret Alexander, Kevin’s lover. In their search for a killer, they are forced to travel to the edge of sanity and morality, while stumbling onto their own confusing secrets as well. The Cover of Darkness is a gritty noir saga that untangles a web of deceit in the course of tracking down a brutal murderer.
Barbara: What do you think you’re really bad at?
Gregory: I am absolutely horrible at social settings. I find human interaction harder and harder as I get older. I was a very jovial person at one time in my life but after the tragedy at 9/11 of which I was a part of, I developed a debilitating condition called Social Anxiety where I am most comfortable alone and in silence. My friends drag me out of my very comfortable and cocoon-like apartment to socialize with others, and this I fail at miserably. When they bring people around to introduce them to me I shut down, mutter replies, turn my attention elsewhere, and quickly ignore them because I can’t stand the scrutiny. I am undergoing treatment for my disorder, but until there’s some form of breakthrough, I am pretty confident in saying that I’m really bad at social situations.
Barbara: Is your life anything like it was two years ago?
Gregory: Absolutely not. Two years ago I was in the shelter system, being homeless for two years before that and living in the streets. But I struggled, got into the shelter system, worked my way to an apartment in the city and now I am self-sufficient and free to write my books. Hopefully this is a first step of many to move my life forward. I am a true believer in making one’s path better and brighter as best as one can. This can only be done with blood, sweat and tears. I’ve given up all three, and I still do on a daily basis. My live isn’t anything like it was two years ago, and if I can help it, it’ll be nothing like it is two years from now.
Barbara: Have you ever had an imaginary friend?
Gregory: Yes, although I don’t remember him well. My parents used to tell me this story of my invisible friend named Tom and how we used to play in the yard around a beaten up old washing machine, or chase each other around trees and fences. I have glimpses of these things, but I don’t really remember much about Tom or what he was like, his personality, his likes or dislikes, although what I do recollect is fun with him. He brought me joy.
Barbara: Do you have any phobias?
Gregory: Two. Fear of heights and fear of bugs. I feel uncomfortable before opened windows or on rooftops with low parapets. I don’t like being far off the ground, like in skyscrapers or planes, although I will do both if need be. Further, I find bugs distasteful and I dread looking at them. It takes a great deal of effort from me to kill one, especially a cockroach.
Barbara: Tell us about your latest release.
Gregory: My latest release chronicles the story of three people, Kevin Whitehouse, a man who is off the New York Police force because of suffering from a nervous breakdown after a terrific car accident. Through his psychiatrist he is paired with another officer that is off the force on disability, David Allerton, and together they decide to become private detectives. But they are relied upon by a police captain to solve a murder in Westchester that is a little too hot for the local police force. Kevin has a keen, analytical mind and can take apart clues and shine a light in dark areas. David is more of a field agent who takes Kevin’s hunches to the streets and ferrets out the guilty parties. Kevin also has a girlfriend, the third person in the triangle, Margaret Alexander who aids Kevin in his investigatory talent, giving him a sound board to bounce his ideas off of, and a different insight on matters. Between the three of them they delve into the murder of a Wall Street executive, entering the glitzy nightlife of the city, and its dark denizens to find the killer.
Gregory Delaurentis spent his adult life roaming from job to job, working for Lockheed in California, various law firms in New York, and financial firms on Wall Street. Throughout this period of time, he was writing—unceasingly—finally producing a large body of work, albeit unrecognized and unpublished . . . until now. Cover of Darkness is the first in a series of upcoming books that include Edge of Darkness, Pale of Darkness and Cries of Darkness. These novels follow the lives of three individuals who do battle bringing criminals to justice, while they struggle to understand the complex relationships that exist among themselves. This intriguing trio has absorbed the attention of Mr. Delaurentis for the past year and a half, so much so he decided to self-publish their stories to bring them to a wider audience. [AUTHOR’S DISCLAIMER: These are works of fiction. Name, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used factitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.]
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The pool area was wide and reflected the sun on this hot summer day. It was edged with white marble so polished that it looked like pearl. Deck chairs lined the sides of the long pool, which was two lengths more than Olympic-sized. Outside the deck area was the carpeted lawn of the vast backyard, dappled with sun.
Hugh Osterman walked along the side of the pool wearing a heavy terry cloth robe and sandals. In his right hand, he held a martini glass. He ran his left hand through his sandy sun-streaked hair as he looked over his shoulder at the man following him.
“What’s going on? I don’t get it,” Osterman said, stopping at the end of the pool where the flotation chairs were kept.
“They said no,” the man replied. Considering the backdrop, he was incongruously dressed in a dark suit and tie.
“They said no . . . just like that?”
Osterman sat his drink down on the marble surface, and pushed a flotation chair into the deep end of the pool, sending it out and away. Then he peeled off the robe and dove smoothly into the water, emerging next to the floating chair.
“You go back and tell them that we aren’t pleased,” Osterman said sternly, pulling himself up and into the seat of the chair. “You tell them that Hugh Osterman wants to know what’s holding things up—what the problem is.”
The suit just stood at the edge of the pool, opening his jacket against the heat of the day. Osterman paddled to the side, and reached out and retrieved his martini glass. “I take it you have nothing to say about this?” he persisted, despite the other man’s silence.
The suit shook his head.
“Well, what are you waiting for?” Osterman said as he tipped the glass up to his lips. Suddenly, the bottom of the stem shattered. Osterman gurgled as he dropped the glass, blood bubbling from his mouth, an open tear in his neck. He jolted upright in the chair as the suit closed the distance between them, his Colt .38 Super still trained on its victim, its silencer smoldering.
Osterman slowly sat back as the suit pumped more rounds into Osterman’s bare, well-defined chest—the hot shells of his pistol ejecting out and striking the surface of the water, settling to the bottom. His life ended as his body tumbled from the floating chair, his blood a widening crimson slick roughly in the area where his body slipped through.
The suit popped his clip, slipped in a new one, and headed for the sprawling house.
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