Cornered: Alan Brenham
Imagine being in a locked room with the only thing facing you were blank walls and four corners. Within each corner you envision the face of someone including yourself that has been placed in an inescapable position that no matter how hard any tries cannot be escaped. In one corner Matt Brady sits and thinks about an incident and a case that cost a life. Guilt, remorse and regret cannot and will not bring back the victim of a violent crime. Facing in another corner are several people that render their services in order to fulfill orders. These orders are not your typical food, clothing or even commodities that people need. These orders that are filled are for women that would serve a purpose for their handlers once they are placed under their care, or shall I say drug induced stupors, raped and victimized into submission. These people are the ones that kidnap the women, bring them to the handler who then gets paid and watches them taken away. In a third corner is the person so cruel and heinous that his job is to deal with extraneous people, help when things get tense and make sure that everyone does their part. But, there is someone in charge and another person running the show whose backs when push comes to shove just might be against that last corner at the far end of the left side of this room. Cornered: Alan Brenham: Which one is yours? How far would you go to have a lucrative business? How far would you go to prevent a spouse from milking you dry? How far would you go for money, greed and power? How far would you take your power and positions and use it to extrapolate information in order to kidnap women, or even to solve a case.
Matt Brady is a prominent detective working on the case of 7 missing women. One by one they are methodically and carefully taken even in broad daylight. Witnesses are sketchy about what they see yet no one really sees anything of any substance or value. No ransom demands, no DNA, no clues at all but yet there seven women are missing. Where are they and why were they taken turns out to be the work of someone that is running a human trafficking organization. Clients put in an order and they are filled as this one person has a database of their own that allows them to find the right person, physical appearance, age and race.
Burt Smith is a sleaze and works for this person running the ring. Burt has more problems than just finding the mark and making sure she is not hurt. Burt has an ex-wife that wants more support for his two kids and is trying to get more and he aims to find a way to rid himself of the problem. Jill Evans is a veterinarian assistant and the next person taken. Their first mistake as the doctor she works for places herself right in the thick of things when she realizes that she is missing.
As Detective Matt Brady delves further into the disappearances of the missing young women, we learn more about Temple, Texas and wonder why the operations was centered there. Facing many obstacles including the Chief, stating that if clues and evidence does not come to light and a break of suspect arrested, the FBI would take over the case. But, Matt is vigilant and refuses to give in. With detectives questioning witnesses, informants and finding a homeless man that might hold the key, sometimes people right in front of you are often shielded from your view and villains can hide in plain sight.
Cassandra Evans and Matt Brady have been dating and their relationship seems to be on the line. Claiming that she had a conference to go to and could not keep her date with Matt, he inadvertently decides to call her and what happens will not only change his feelings for her but also starts a chain of events that will spiral out of control. What do you do when another man answers the phone? Do you hang up or do you wait for the party you are calling?
Tracy Rogers is a vet and Matt seems attracted to this young doctor. But, someone wants her out of the way and will stop at nothing to eliminate her. As bodies begin to turn up and clues to those behind the kidnappings come to light someone is working hard to eliminate anyone that might stand in the way of the operation. Assisted with help from FBI Special Agent Steve Casani, working to find the first five women that were taken, with nothing to go on, nothing in the data bases, no DNA and relatively no clues will Matt find out whose behind this before it’s too late and more women are missing?
Breaking rules comes easy to him if it means solving a case. Sharing information with someone not on the force is against regulations. Trusting someone that is close to him and whose help he enlists proves dangerous. Added in someone wants him eliminated and there is one man determined to make sure that happens. A hired hit man is enlisted to work with those in charge of the kidnapping making sure everyone stays on task, does not betray them or go rogue. Many make bad choices as we meet Alice a hairdresser caught in the crossfire and having no choice but to work with the kidnappers. Forced to do the hair and makeup for the women that were taken, Alice will lose more than her beauty shop if she betrays those in charge. Burt Smith finds himself cornered and in a precarious position as he tries to worm his way out of killing his wife, ordering someone named Chiles to intervene for him and finds himself backed into a corner when questioned by Matt. Using his real life experiences as a lawyer and understanding law enforcement and how investigations are run, author Alan Brenham keeps readers in suspense, wondering how all the links will fit together and how Matt Brady will deal with the ultimate betrayal.
Tracy and Matt begin to get close but someone is following them at a distance. Without even realizing it she has been chosen as number 8 and the force or leader behind the ring will stop at nothing, including killing Matt, to make sure she is next and the handler gets what he wants and paid for. But, an incident in Matt’s home would do more that alert Tracy to the dangers of dating someone like Matt. Fear, danger and an intruder enters his home, attacks both him and Tracy and the end result will change things for both of them. Just what happens and who is behind it you won’t believe. Greed, power, revenge, hate and jealousy are all issues brought to light in this thriller. The author takes readers into the mind of a deranged person whose goal is strictly money, strong arm as many as this person can, take advantage of a friendship and hopefully dupe the person into thinking she/he is sorry.
As you hear the voices of the individuals that are involved you learn more about the mentality of each one. Chiles, Weaver, Smith and those that are in charge will make your bones chill and make you wonder just what kind of a sick person does what they do and for what reasons. As Brady divorces himself from Cassandra as she lies, cheats and does everything possible to get back in his life, readers will learn just how far her deceptions go, how vindictive she is when the final scene explodes, lives are in danger and a killer is on the loose.
Peter McNally is a man of many faces and dangerous. When both Brady and someone else face this deadly killer, which one will survive? Who is behind the kidnappings and why? A final scene that will make your heart race and your blood pressure rise as one man threatens the lives of so many and someone needs to take him down. Who wins? Who dies? What about the seven kidnapped women? Will they be found or will they forever remain Cornered within the confines of the drug induced minds and the rooms they are locked in? Matt Brady, Cassandra Evans, Peter McNally and the kidnappers: Who remains Cornered and whose corner will opens a door that sets them free?
Fran Lewis: Reviewer