Today I’m pleased to feature an exciting new release from author Michael Stephenson: The Man on the Roof. Read on for more information and an extract from the book!
Someone has been creeping in the dark while the others sleep, and they’ve done terrible, terrible things.
“There was a man on your roof,” claims curmudgeonly lane-hermit Herbert McKinney. Then, he initiates an unprovoked fight with a local punk. Drama escalates when that punk’s dead body is found hanging at mid-street one August morning—a boastful killer messaging their next prey. All fingers point to Herbert as the culprit. Soon, the five couples he calls neighbors come under suspicion, too. When detectives divine blackmail as the motive, eyes cross to find who hides the most shameful secret. Husband versus wife, friend versus friend, the shiny suburban veneer of innocence has been forever tarnished. As hidden deviousness boils from their pores, there lurks a thief, a pill addict and a sadist—secrets worth killing for.
Now, as the man on the roof helps guide justice and watches devious neighbors slip in and out of sleepy houses, confusion and questions persist. Who dies next? What have they learned? Who is becoming a monster? Who already is one? And just how many secrets can a small group of multi-ethnic Ohioans have? Only one cemented truth exists: the killer will kill again.
[Extract: The Man on the Roof]
The shortest interview of them all, Jordan and Chante had no recorded run-in with Zach ever. Their house wasn’t egged, preliminary research showed they had no criminal history, no drug use, no errands he ran for them and no child he might have touched. Their spotless record was made even more bizarre by how they acted.
“Nice house,” Lambert said. Theirs was the third biggest on the entire street, eclipsed only by the Haggertys’ and the Walters’.
Before giving an answer, their heads swiveled like mechanized swing gates—slow and deliberate—toward each other. Who would answer? And why did Jordan seem not to fully open his eyes, his lids stuck forever in Droopy-the-dog mode.
Their heads clicking back to the detectives as they sat in the dining room, Jordan started to take the lead when Chante interrupted.
“Thank—oh! Sorry,” Chante said, feeling the cut of his eyes on her.
“Thank you,” Jordan finished.
“What do you do for work, Mr. Fletcher?” Lambert asked. All her focus on the couple, she gave no mind to Fitz’s gaze at Chante.
“You can afford this type of house on that money? Must do pretty well for yourself.”
“Very good handyman.”
“And what do you do for a living, Mrs. Fletcher?”
A smirking Jordan answered for her, “That’s easy: she lives off me.”
Chante cut her eyes at Jordan, then looked away to give no reaction.
“Anyway, did you know Zach Landon?” Cady asked.
“No,” Chante answered for the both of them.
“Did you ever interact with him?”
“No,” came from Jordan.
“How well do you know your neighbors’ children, how often do you interact with them?” Cady asked.
“Oh, I don’t touch their kids,” Jordan said before quickly correcting, “The subject, I mean. I don’t touch on the subject of their kids.”
“But you do touch them?” Cady asked.
Jordan chuckled alone. He caught a glimpse of Chante, then cleared his throat and returned to the seriousness of the subject and answered, “Of course not.”
“Where were you the night of the murder?”
“Home. Sleep,” Jordan said.
“And you, Mrs. Fle—”
“I said we were sleep,” Jordan said.
“Hm? So did you find anything out of the ordinary that night?”
“How could we, if we were sleep?” Jordan asked.
“Even better question, if both of you were too deep in sleep to know what was going on at night, how do either of you know if the other was actually asleep?”
Circle logic. A proverbial cat in a box. How did anyone ever know what went on as they slept? Jordan smirked. I wonder if I could take her if I needed to.
Lambert smirked back. Don’t even try it.
“Do you know of any reason why Zach Landon would want to blackmail you?”
“No, not that I can really think of. But we did make a… tape once,” Chante said.
Braidey finally spoke, the skin between his brows bunching as he got serious, “Tape? What kinda tape?”
“Of the personal, sorted variety,” Chante said. Jordan didn’t bother correcting her. She needn’t correcting.
A young, married couple taping themselves? Kinky but not revolutionary. Jordan wet his lips as he kept his eyes on Lambert.
“Well, we’ll be in touch,” Lambert said.
[About the Author]
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, Michael cultivated his love for storytelling on a steady diet of film and TV, embracing the art across all genres and mediums. He believes that to tell a story is the greatest gift that humanity has ever received and hopes to connect through words both written and filmed. A thoughtful suburbanite, he enjoys writing in every genre and platform. Covering a wide range of subjects, ethnicities, socioeconomic classes, and ideals, his writing runs the gamut from silly and lighthearted to thought-provoking and sensual to horrifying and captivating. Offering everything from sci-fi to romance, he wishes to supply the reader with an indelible experience.
Privately, he seeks to accomplish great things with his writing in both popular culture and more niche genres. He hopes to soon write for film again, as he had briefly before, and aspires to write the screenplay for the film adaptation of Captain Planet as he loves the environment.
Pre-order The Man on the Roof on Amazon, and follow Michael Stephenson on Twitter: @filmbooksbball
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