The Next Best Thing by Wiley Brooks
English | 2019 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 595 KB
The year is 1987 in Malaysia. It’s prime time for young backpackers from around the world to discover the beauties and mysteries of the long-time British colony. It’s hard not to like Joey Jackson. He oozes charm to go with his good looks. Young women are especially taken by him. Right up until he kills them. Ex-CIA officer Mason Ray plans to find him and stop him. For good.
A grieving, angry dad hires Mason to track Joey down. Mason, though, is soon falling apart himself. The ex-CIA officer had committed a horrible act out of revenge years before for the violence death of his fiancé. His barbaric actions didn’t bring his Sylvie back, but it was, as he liked to say, the next best thing. He had killed the “high value target” who ordered the bomb that took her life.
Mason hasn’t thought much about the ugly things he did that day over the years. He did what he had to do and moved on. Something about this case, though, strikes too close to home. He doesn’t see it coming. Images of the innocent lives he took that otherwise beautiful day come rushing back. They jolt him awake most nights and plague his thoughts most days. These problems don’t stop Mason, a first-rate investigator, from doggedly pursuing Joey. Turns out that Joey isn’t even his real name. And he’s far from the young man people think he is.
Joey is a serial killer. All of Joey’s victims are young American women traveling alone in Malaysia. All blonde. All 19 to 22 years old. Joey’s smart. He never kills in the same place twice and he spaces his victims months apart.
One day Joey realizes that his days bedding and killing young women can’t go on forever. Already, he can see small age lines in his face. There will come a time, he is sure, when the young, free-spirited women – girls, really – that his scheme relies on will no longer invite him back to their rooms. Joey decides he needs to do one last big hit that will set him up for life. He had been making enough off the girls’ cash and belongings to live well, but there was no future in it. Joey comes up with a plan to set him up for life. To make it work, he needs to find a slightly older woman with money in the bank back home.
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