Blog Tour – Duality by K. J. McGillick (Extract)

Welcome to Dark Reads stop on the Blog Tour for Duality by K. J. McGillick. Many thanks to Rachel’s Random Resources for inviting me to take part.

About The Book

Just when you think you’ve figured it all out, you’ll learn how wrong you’ve been.

What started out as a normal art restoration project for Melinda Martin soon took on a life of its own. Could this unusual painting actually be a Botticelli masterpiece thought to have perished as part of Savonarola’s Bonfire of the Vanities? Had Melinda’s friend, Lara, a well-known art picker inadvertently acquired stolen art; art that might have ties to the occult and worth millions? Did a bad business decision endanger everyone who touched this potential treasure?

When the painting disappears and both women are found dead, the police think it’s an open and shut case. The husband – it’s always the husband. He had means, motive, and opportunity, and acted strangely cold after the fact.  

Is it a case of mistaken identity? Does a secret relationship put Mr. Martin in the crosshairs of an assassin sent to retrieve the painting? Or is he really a sociopath forger with mysterious ties to the Vatican?

Two sides of the same coin. Completely alike. Completely different.

  • Paperback: 286 pages
  • Publisher: Independently published (28 July 2019)
  • ISBN-10: 1085939774
  • ISBN-13: 978-1085939775

Get a copy via Amazon

Extract

“Come, come; I’m anxious for you to meet my art consultant, Francesca. I have just finished telling her the story of Tomaso, that scoundrel, who tried to sell me the fake art and how I wound up with a fantastic bargain thanks to you. I moved the paintings to your room while you are here so you can enjoy them,” he said, his excitement contagious.

It had been quite a while ago that Marley Bennington and Tomaso had tried to pull one over on Marco, and now, where were they both? Behind bars where they belonged. And the fake art they wanted to sell him turned out to be the original, swapped at the last minute. Yes, he did quite well in that transaction.

“Here, have a seat while I get Francesca,” he said and pointed to a cream-colored leather couch that was large enough to hold twenty people.

Mr. Martin migrated to the large pane glass window that overlooked a well-manicured lawn. The garden, a bit unruly, hosted red, orange, and yellow flowers, each variety in a different stage of blooming.

“Are you okay?” I asked Mr. Martin. “You look uncomfortable and lost in thought.”

Mmm,” was his only response.

I heard laughter and chatter from my right side and then the click-clack of a woman’s heels striking the marble tile. The woman spoke in rapid-fire Italian to Marco, and he laughed at what she said. I could envision the smile on her face as she spoke, although I had yet to see her. The click-clack stopped; the chatter ceased. Everything stilled, there was no movement. It was as if suddenly every molecule of air in the room had been sucked out by some massive force, leaving us to struggle for breath. The eerie feeling placed me on alert. Mr. Martin turned in what only could be described as slow motion; or was it my brain trying to comprehend what was happening. His eyes made contact with Francesca, and in a split second, the world around me caught up and accelerated. She suddenly charged at Mr. Martin. The ear-piercing shrill she let out was quickly followed by words hurled at him in bursts of Italian, so loud, it vibrated around the room.

Sei un fottuto bastardo. Come ti permetti di mostrare la tua faccia?” she screeched; her arms extended in front of her ready for attack.

Mr. Martin stood stone-still, either from shock or primitive instinct. He, like me, probably recognized that fottuto and bastardo meant he was in serious trouble with this woman.

She was quick; I had to give her that. In the blink of an eye, her hands made contact with his chest, and from the sheer force of her anger, they both fell to the floor. Mr. Martin struggled with her and made every effort to push off the crazed woman. But she continued to pummel him until she was pried away from him by Marcello. Truth be told, I thought he would have needed reinforcements to accomplish that feat.

While Marcello lifted her off of Mr. Martin, her fingers persisted in a claw-like position, her nails ready to rake across his skin. Or, for that matter, anyone’s skin who got in her way at that point. She struggled to free herself from Marcello’s grip, but he held firm.

“Abbastanza! Enough!” Marco bellowed and clapped his hands. “What the hell is wrong with you, Francesca? Are you crazy? Stop this insanity immediately!” “Crazy? Me? What is that man doing in your house? He should be dead. He is my mortal enemy, can’t you see? I spent nearly a year in jail because of his lies and treachery. I lost everything because of him. Why is he breathing and not in a body bag with a bullet in his head?” she yelled. Her face was turning red, and she struggled for breath, so Marcello loosened his grip slightly. But not enough that she was free to have another go at Mr. Martin.

Marco hurried over to Mr. Martin, who looked like a turtle on his back, his arms flailing as he tried to turn over and push himself up. He shooed Marco away. Once on his feet, he quickly checked himself for injuries, smoothed his jacket, and moved to the other side of the room. I was too stunned to move, so I remained in my place.

“Madame, I can assure you I have never met you before. And can further state that I have never been a part of any scheme that led to your incarceration,” Mr. Martin insisted.

“Giuseppe Balestruccio! I would know the man who stole five million dollars from me. You are the man who altered a painting and then left me to pay for your crime. You lowlife pezzo di spazzatura, how dare you show your face to me,” she ranted.

About the Author

K. J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right?

As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing.

Follow K. J. McGillick on her Website

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