Jul 7, 2013

QK Top 16: Adult Thriller

Entry Nickname: Like-Minded Individuals
Title: The Secret Society Of Like-Minded Individuals
Word Count: 82,000
Genre: Adult Thriller


Leon Garber has his reasons for ridding the world of abusive people. Justifiable homicide is a risky business, but someone needs to take out the trash.  
Opportunity comes knocking from Like-Minded Individuals, Inc., a global company fulfilling the needs of people like Leon. LMI’s clientele are provided with new identities, security, and even lists of potential “projects.” But let’s not call it “serial killing.” Such a nasty business. For uncouth serial killers, it’s a good deal. For Leon, it’s a dream come true.  

But sometimes a killer business idea is simply…killer.
LMI’s put a target on Leon’s back. He has no idea why. Forced to defend his territory in Kansas, Leon clashes with other Like-Minded Individuals: The Good Samaritan Killer, The Mad Doctor, and Donnie and Marie—a little bit country, a little bit rock ‘n roll, a whole lotta’ killing.

LMI, the police, sanctioned hit-men, and a vicious psychopath are after him. Heads are chopped, dropped and swapped as Leon fights for his life and freedom. But nothing will keep Leon from finishing his current project. Nothing. Not even the chance to fall in love with the woman at his day-time job.
With nowhere else to turn, Leon enlists (unwillingly, natch) The Denver Decapitator, his nemesis, to storm LMI headquarters for answers. Or die trying.

First 250 words:

When LMI, Inc. contacts you, you damn well better respond. Since Leon relocated to Kansas, he hadn’t received one message. It’s not like LMI sent out birthday greetings. But when his LMI sanctioned cell phone buzzed the night before, he was forced to do something he loathed – visit the mall during the holidays.

Mandatory meeting at Barton Mall for SX-6209. Be on the bench in front of Dottie’s Dogs tomorrow at noon. No indication what the meeting regarded. With six months left on his Kansas shift, it couldn’t be about a transfer.

As Leon sat on the bench, the hair prickled at the back of his neck. He recognized the warning sign—his survival instincts sending him a "beware text.”

Experience, another old friend, taught him to always scope out a rendezvous. Mentally silencing the endless loop of Santa Baby that blared from the loudspeakers, he kept his eyes open for details that didn't belong.  It’s the little things that kept one out of prison, and alive.

On this unseasonably warm Monday, he’d donned a sports jacket, tie, and light tan khakis. Nothing that said “I kill people who need to die.” The mall was sweltering, though, and he was ready to shed the jacket. The damn sunlight beaming in through the windows didn’t help matters.

Christmas shoppers brushed by one another, focused on the next big sale. A woman, pushing a stroller, collapsed next to Leon on the bench. Doubtful she was a Like-Minded Individual.  However, after several encounters with fellow LMI clientele, Leon never discounted anyone.

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