Mind Games and Murder
Her husband wants her locked away in a psychiatric facility. His business partner wants her dead.
Trust. Who do we place our trust in every day? Family members, friends and people who we turn to for help, doctors. But what if the doctor you placed your trust in had secrets? Dark secrets. So many secrets.
Isabella Armond is an ordinary Parisian woman with a comfortable life — until a shocking discovery shatters her perfect world. As her husband’s behavior becomes increasingly unstable, Isabella slowly realizes all the signs point to the fact he is not who he appears to be. Is he a respected Cardio-thoracic surgeon with a thriving Paris medical practice helping people? Or is he leading a double life which involves the international trafficking of black market organs? Greed, blood money, and psychopath are the terms she learns are associated with a man she thought she knew.
Forced to delve deeper into her husband’s secret life, she makes discoveries that will make her question everything she believed forcing her to face an impossible decision. She is desperate to uncover the truth, but once you know something, it can’t be unknown. The more she learns, the more she wishes she knew nothing at all.
When the sun dims, your second self shall disappear. Consequences not of her making were nipping at her heels. Tick. Tock.
“Moving on to why you’re there. What’s your impression of Isabella Armond?” Levi asked. I could hear the creak of the old springs in his chair as he leaned back. I worried, as I always did, someday he would tip too far in that chair, falling backward in a horrific crash. That wouldn’t be a pretty sight.
“Haven’t formed one yet,” I honestly replied. “I’ve watched her for the last week. All I can say is that physically she is a dead ringer for Charlize Theron. Easy on the eyes, takes the train as well as uses her car, so no pretentious use of a driver unlike her husband. On the surface you’d never know she was worth over a hundred million.”
“What’s the plan?” he asked, rapidly clicking his pen. The incessant clicking was more annoying over the phone than in person, if that was even possible.
“She’s coming over tomorrow to look at the layout of the place and make some suggestions. I’m impressed that our front end was able to get my credentials in place so quickly. Seriously though, that Facebook friend who intimated I was a frequent member of a private sex club that serviced any and all kinks? A bit much even for liberated Netherland people. Maybe it will help. I didn’t expect to be so thoroughly vetted. Especially because I’m supposedly paying in cash. There’s no doubt that the life of Ben Jaager is being overly processed somewhere.” This was a concern that went with being a counterterrorism agent. Our job carried a risk we all understood.
“She’s smart and deadly. Right now, her gallery is at the epicenter of this operation. The Americans have unequivocally traced the connection of White to Roselov, and Roselov to her gallery. Once the high-dollar fakes reach Roselov, he distributes some to the Middle East, such as Abu Dhabi and Dubai. We believe she disburses the rest throughout Europe. Drugs, guns, and art are the tools of terrorists, and she is obviously in bed with them. We need to shut this down,” he said, as if I needed reminding.
“Okay. I’ve got everything in place, and I’ll chat with Jill as soon as I have something,” I assured him. Our conversation had run its course, and I had work to do.
I placed my phone on silent and vibrate. Picking up the file for Isabella Armond from my desk, I wondered if she was a deadly spider like Roselov. Or a praying mantis like White? Did she fit the profile of a person adept at money laundering? On the yes side, she had heavily invested in real estate to clean her money. She had purchased her new gallery with cash at the outset—a very bold move. Arrogant and brazen, some would say, but she seemed to cover her tracks well, with paperwork and financials that had to be fabricated. Why the French hadn’t investigated her by now was beyond me. She was a new gallery owner, but they seemed more interested in the tax they would mine from her sales and purchases than the untraceable funds available to her.
Add to that, the recent purchase of her apartment raised alarm bells to us. Four hundred twenty square meters; nine rooms, three bathrooms, and a cellar. What did two people need with that much space at such a steep price?
It was clear in my mind she had offshore accounts that we’d been unable to tap into, despite the new banking laws. Criminals always found loopholes, and it appeared some banks remained complicit.
The husband appeared to be a successful surgeon. He kept his nose to the grindstone and had a network of well-connected colleagues. Realistically, millions of dollars weren’t coming from his work as a physician and lecturer, pointing us back to Isabella and her gallery. She had to be providing the funding and laundering. Taking her down and seeing her rot in prison was a mission for me. Cutting off funding for terrorist activity, whether in Europe, the US, or the Middle East, meant more lives were safe.
Thank you, J. McGillick and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
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? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.
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