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Cicero's Dead
by Patrick H. Moore

Cicero Lamont dealt drugs in massive quantities making huge profits and lots of enemies until one night he was introduced to a steel bumper in a hit-and-run and now he's dead. His daughter, Jade, has also just learned that her mom has committed suicide and now her brother, Richie, is missing. Jade hires Nick Crane to find Richie and to track down whoever murdered their father, but as the old saying goes, 'be careful what you wish for', because 300 million dollars cuts an awful lot of family ties.

Arnold Clipper, vile, cunning and deadly, accompanied by Richie, has been to see Ron Cera, Jade’s former boyfriend. It didn’t go well and shortly after Nick speaks to Ron, his decapitated corpse turns up on Skid Row. James Halladay, the Lamont family lawyer, pays Nick a lot of money to keep his name out of the investigation, only now the cops are pissed and jamming Nick for Ron’s murder.

When it seems like it couldn’t get any worse, several members of Los Muertos, an outlaw motorcycle club, pay Nick a visit at his home. Unfortunately for them, Nick’s close friend, ex Vietnam vet, Bobby Moore, who has been helping him with the investigation, gets the drop on them with bloody consequences.

Reggie Mount lives in a lovely house in the Hollywood Hills. Interestingly, the original owner had an underground labyrinth built, full of ornate rooms and mysterious passageways. Either Reggie or Arnold Clipper has filled the labyrinth with strange art and weird books and a chapel with an altar. Only no one is expecting to find the madness that’s decomposing on that altar.

As the pressure builds and pigs feed on flesh and bones, Nick, Bobby and Jade discover as much about themselves as they do about each other and the horrors that humanity can, and often does, heap upon each other for the most powerful motivator of all -- money.

Who will live and who will die and who will be forever changed by this journey into the dark horror that can hide behind the nicest smile? Read on and find out.
 
 
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