Friday, September 02, 2016


    Patricia Duffy is the foremost female heroine in my latest thriller, Presence of Malice. Many readers have asked how someone as nice as Patricia ended up working for such a prick as Dr. Gerald Gannery, and moreover, why she stayed.

    Such things happen gradually. To a wide-eyed college student still several months away from graduating from business school, it seemed like a dream job come true, at first. Not only was one of New York's most prominent plastic surgeons and purported philanthropists willing to hire her as his business manager before she graduated, but he would pay all of her student loans and buy back the mortgage her parents had put on the family ranch to pay for it. When, after a year beyond graduation, Gannery never did get around to signing the mortgage back over to her parents, well it seemed ungrateful and rude to press him on it. So she waited, hoping he would remember his promise himself.

    The job itself never quite seemed to rise to the level of Business Manager, either. While she was given free reign over his schedule and appointments, many of which were for consultations but none of which were ever for the actual surgery itself, he remained quite secretive about the practice's books and investments. It wasn't for some time that she realized he wasn't being cautious, he had no intention of sharing the books or other aspects of the business with her, and her job quickly devolved into little more than Secretary, though she preferred Executive Assistant.

    Patricia was raised on Midwest Judaeo-Christian values, to respect authority and one's elders, to show gratitude to benefactors, to be humble and never boorish or overbearing. When Gannery expressed dissatisfaction with her performance, she strove to do better. When dissatisfaction became disdain, and disdain gradually gave way to outright disrespect, still she tried to work harder to please him. By the time things had progressed to full-blown abuse, she wasn't in a position to recognize it right away. Her focus still remained doing a better job to please her boss.

    So what finally gave her the spine to rebel? It was a combination of factors really. His most recent tirade when she failed to book a socially advantageous lunch date for him led directly into his public humiliation of her on national cable television. That left her in just the right resentful mood when she spotted Gregory, Jet Gatling's paraplegic brother, hacking into her employer's computer. Suddenly, lashing out, getting back at Gerald Gannery was all she wanted to do.

    Read the exciting Presence of Malice and see how she does it!

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