Boy Toy (Mark Manning Series)
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At the moment, the biggest news is the forthcoming production of a new play by the local community theater group. Two local teenage boys are alternating in the lead role - one is Jason Thrush, a gregarious and somewhat egotistical athlete, and the other is Thad Quatrain. When Jason and Thad have a verbal clash during rehearsal, it is quickly forgotten by almost everyone involved. But when Jason turns up dead on opening night - leaving Thad to take over the lead role - the local gossip turns against Thad. Jason's death is soon proved to be murder and, even though he has not been charged, opinion about town has all but convicted Thad of the crime.
Sure that Thad is innocent, Mark, with the help of his lover and friends, is determined to publicly clear Thad's name. But that means finding out exactly what happened to Jason Thrush on that fatal day and Manning's investigation may place him and his loved ones in mortal danger.
weighing. Thad was dragging the whole show down. Even I could tell that the pacing was off by a mile or two; act one was running many minutes longer than it should have. At last, though, the action arrived at the fight scene, the finale before intermission. Thad’s weeks of rehearsing the precisely choreographed climax were for naught. I could barely watch as he stumbled about the stage with Tommy, who did his best to give the scene a measure of dramatic tension and realism.
insured his son’s life to guarantee the future viability of Thrush Typo-Tech, has now announced the closing of his company; for the few years he has left, he’ll live high off the death benefit. Mica, of course, never made a pretense of lofty motives for her own policy. Right after her brother’s funeral on Saturday, she headed west in her new Mustang, planning to do some condo-shopping in Aspen. She had the gall to tell me last Wednesday that she ‘got lucky, that’s all’—and from her warped
least Jason Thrush will be out of your hair.” Thad’s expression visibly soured at the mention of his costar. Barb told him, “You can help me clean those chanterelles tonight.” “Yeah,” he said, brightening, hoisting his knapsack. “I’m off to the park.” “Uh-uh-uh,” Neil reminded him. “You’ve just eaten. What’s next?” “I know, I know,” said Thad, sounding put-upon but fully accepting the drill. Stepping to the hall that would lead him upstairs to his bathroom, he quoted Neil, “ ‘One must
and detractors? Mulling this, I noticed another car pull into the lot, parking in a nearby space. With the sun glaring on its windows, I couldn’t see who was inside. But then the doors opened and out stepped Frank Gelden and his passenger, Tommy Morales, whose car had broken down. Frank had already spotted me, and he hailed me with a wave and a smile. As I got out of my car, I watched Tommy make his way through the kids in the parking lot. I wondered if he had clearly allied himself with either
justice. That sounds rather vague, I’m sure. Specifically at issue were the terms of Leonard’s contract—after he died.” “He died too young, I know. But how? Was it related to his work?” Her head wobbled. “We don’t really know. He was forty-six; I was forty-five. He took gravely ill with a liver condition that was unbeatable, at least back then. There was talk of a transplant, but the disease progressed too quickly, and Leonard died within a month of the diagnosis. He had a family history of