Amazon Kindle and Print editions: In the Shadow of Stone
Also by Rob Kaufman on obooko:
As Jack Fontaine’s sister, Dana, lies dying in a cold hospital room, she pleads with him to fulfill her final wish: keep the DVD she’s made for her only daughter, Jenna, safe and give it to her in ten years, on her eighteenth birthday. “The DVD is for Jenna’s eyes only. No matter what, she should be the only one to see it,” Dana says, closing her eyes for the last time. Pushing aside their recent conflicts and her disapproval of his “lifestyle,” Jack agrees without hesitation.
At Dana’s funeral, Jack learns from his boss and mentor, David Macrae, that his position as vice president of Boston’s second largest advertising agency, J&M, is in jeopardy. Jack’s secret relationship with his top copywriter, Marc Whittaker, has been discovered by the stringent, homophobic head of Human Resources Mary Mulligan and she’s determined to have the Board of Directors fire Jack immediately for inappropriate behavior. Unsure who to trust, Jack breaks off his relationship with Marc and begins the fight of his life on his own.
This sets off a series of events that turns Jack’s perfect life upside down. Unbeknownst to Jack, the DVD that Dana had left for Jenna is viewed by others. On the DVD, Dana shows Jenna the spot within the stone wall behind their house where she’s hidden $250,000. By the time Jack discovers the DVD has been watched, the money has been stolen and he must find a way to get it back so he can fulfill Dana’s wish.
Throughout the story, the reader, like Jack, is kept in suspense – never knowing who has stolen the money, who is telling the truth and who to trust. Is it Cory – the suave and cunning executive recruiter who placed Marc at J&M with the sole intention of getting Jack fired? Is it Todd – a J&M employee and Cory’s trusted accomplice? Or could it be Marc – Jack’s secret lover who is constantly but unsuccessfully fighting his inner demons and desperately looking for love and acceptance while sabotaging himself at every turn?
As the rollercoaster of emotional situations start to take their toll, Jack almost gives in to the pressure and wonders if he’s as strong a person as he needs to be. Can he persevere through these deaths, betrayals, and thefts and somehow hold onto the possibility of trust and love for another? Deep down he knows it is only after he recovers the money and accepts life’s hard truths existing outside his small, carefully controlled universe, can he truly start to rebuild his life.
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