Forever Young

by Henry Hack

Category: Mystery - winner

Forever Young

Detectives Danny Boyland and Virgil “Spider” Webb investigate the shooting death of a motorist on the parkway. They quickly solve the case when the shooter, Kevin Kernan, claims he shot at a squirrel in his backyard and must have accidentally killed the motorist, Jonathan Holmgren. Although the ballistic evidence doesn’t match up with Kernan’s story, the detectives’ bosses close the case and Kernan pleads guilty to negligent homicide and gets 18 months in prison.

A few weeks later, FBI Agent Mike Havlek shows up at the Nassau Homicide Squad and tells Danny and Spider that Holmgren was actually Jerry Harrison, a witness in the protection program (Witsec). And he was not the first, but the fourth such witness to be murdered. Havlek, a serial killer expert, requests their assistance and they team up to
investigate the case. Not only do they have to find out who is killing the witnesses, but why they were targeted and, most critically, who in the US Marshal’s service is providing their secret locations.

Their investigation leads to Stephen Konopka, the master document maker for the Marshal’s service, but before they can accumulate evidence against him, several more murders of witnesses occur, and they discover they all had one thing in common -- they all testified against their bosses who had been charged with embezzling large amounts of money from their firms. When the investigators finally arrest Konopka, he refuses to talk. However, by analyzing the Witsec database, they identify six more likely targets and provide around-the-clock protection for them.

The chief hit man, Richard Mangan, assigns five more killers to hit the six witnesses’ homes simultaneously, and after the shootings are foiled, Mangan is arrested and confesses. He names Bradley Monaghan, the underboss of the Las Vegas mob, as the man who hired him. Monaghan is arrested and tells an unbelievable story. His boss, the mob’s leader is Jordan Bigelow who, despite being 75 years old, looks to be only 45. He says Bigelow belongs to the Summerlin Institute, a research facility on Long Island devoted to longevity studies, and that Bigelow is there now for his quarterly, three day treatments.

Danny and Spider visit Summerlin, but the receptionist, Vicky Bennet, refuses to confirm any membership information, or the fact that Bigelow is, or is not, present. Upon returning to the squad they receive a call from Mike Havlek informing them that he, and they, have been pulled off the case and the investigation is considered closed. It seems the Summerlin Institute has a powerful influence in the highest levels of government.

Despite this, Danny and Spider visit Vicki Bennet at her home and convince her to tell them what she knows. She admits that Bigelow checked in to Summerlin, but apparently never left. As the detectives leave Bennet’s apartment, they are kidnapped and brought to an unknown location. A mysterious man, calling himself “Phil,” warns them off the case and hints at their deaths if they do not back off. However, he assures them that the Group controlling Summerlin are the good guys, and to prove his and their power, he will have them both transferred to different squads in distant parts of the city.

The transfers occur, and two years pass by with Danny and Spider keeping the kidnapping to themselves. Suddenly, both are transferred back to Nassau Homicide and their curiosity leads them to a drive up to Summerlin only to find it shuttered and for sale.

Three more years pass and a news story appears about the death of a prominent US senator who Danny and Spider knew was a member of Summerlin. His death is followed by others, and they all appear to be dying of extreme old age. Mike Havlek’s wife, Allison, is a prize winning reporter and privy to the investigation. She wants to pursue the case even though Mike’s files have been sealed by the FBI. Danny warns her off, at least for a while, and when he and Spider are once again “visited” by Phil they are told two things: the elixir of life has morphed into the liquid of death, and Allison and everyone else with knowledge of Summerlin must remain silent under penalty of death.

Allison finally backs off after a visit by Danny and Spider who tell of their kidnapping and the seriousness of the Group’s threats. Phil had also told them that two factions were fighting for control of the Group, the ones who wanted all mankind to benefit from their longevity discovery, and those who wanted it for their own power – and it was anybody’s guess which side would win. As the weeks pass by, no more “Dracula” deaths appear in the papers. It seems the Group has solved its problem and rejuvenated their magic potion.

Danny and Spider can now only wait and are forced to put Summerlin on the back burner as they plunge back into what they were born to do – solve murders.

Henry Hack
www.henryhack.com 

Biography

Until recently I was a lifelong New Yorker, born and raised in Queens. Attended New York City public schools and graduated from Brooklyn Technical High School. I have a Bachelor’s in Chemistry from Adelphi University and a Master’s in Criminal Justice from Long Island University. I currently reside in coastal North Carolina with my wife, Lorraine.

My twenty-two years of service in the Nassau County, NY Police Department included fourteen years in the Detective Division, ten of which were in the Scientific Investigation Bureau. I was qualified as an expert witness in several forensic fields including blood, narcotics and trace evidence, and was the Bureau’s commanding officer for three years. I also commanded the Eighth Patrol Precinct in Levittown for four years.

After leaving the police department I joined the security department at Cablevision Systems Corporation on Long Island for sixteen years in the positions of Security Manager, Corporate Director of Investigations and Vice President of Security, addressing issues of cable piracy and internal matters. I now devote myself full time to fiction writing, particularly mysteries and thrillers, trusting my public and private law enforcement experiences will provide inspiration for many interesting novels.

Danny Boyland Novels

Danny Boy (Salvo Press, 2009) Cases Closed (Dog Ear Publishing, 2012) Mommy, Mommy (CreateSpace, 2013) Forever Young (CreateSpace, 2017) 

Harry Cassidy Novels

Cassidy’s Corner (Salvo Press, 2013) The Last Crusade (CreateSpace, 2014) The Romen Society (CreateSpace, 2015) Election Day (Outskirts Press, 2016)

Collection

Portraits in Blue (CreateSpace, 2015)