Casey Moreton Hit and Run: A Thriller

ISBN 13: 9780743456593

Hit and Run: A Thriller

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9780743456593: Hit and Run: A Thriller
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Steven Adler had the world at his feet. A junior at Harvard, he had far surpassed the hopes and dreams of his working-class Oklahoma family. But all of that ends one foggy night while driving to Boston from New York when his best friend, Nick Calevetti -- the golden child of one of America's richest families -- commits a gruesome crime and maliciously points the finger at Steven.

Allan Adler knows his son, and he knows he's innocent. Bereft of the money that could get Steven effective legal counsel, he embarks upon a desperate mission to save his son from a murder conviction -- an odyssey that will thrust him into the highest echelons of Washington politics. His weapon of choice: blackmail. Twenty years ago, Allan had been the chauffeur for a Pentagon official named Getty Fairfield and had been privy to Fairfield's affair with a sexy Russian spy. Now, as Fairfield becomes the president's choice for chief justice of the Supreme Court, Allan is determined to leverage his knowledge of the past to save his son's future.

But other forces are at work -- specifically, two giant software corporations whose monopoly trial has come before the Supreme Court. And as they bribe, steal, murder, and manipulate their way into influencing the chief justice vacancy, Allan finds himself caught in a cross fire that could cost him much more than he'd bargained for.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Casey Moreton lives with his wife, Kari, in Rogers, Arkansas. This is his first novel.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Chapter One

Everything was fine until 3:00 A.M., Monday. They had encountered surprisingly little traffic on the drive from New York, most likely because of the storm that had assaulted much of the East Coast that evening. The rain had mostly tapered off by midnight, leaving in its place occasional patchy fog. Nick Calevetti was at the wheel of Steven Adler's 1967 Ford Mustang, his lead foot hurtling them along at ninety miles an hour. Steven had fallen asleep, his head against the window, exhausted after two days of Nick's whirlwind tour of Manhattan. With the road to themselves, they would be in Boston in less than an hour. They were making good time.

The fog worsened. For long stretches Nick could hardly see the road at all. The headlights weren't much help. But he never let off the gas. If they had his Porsche, he thought with a grin, he'd be doing 110, easy, fog or no fog. Steven's old Mustang could move, but nothing like the Porsche.

The Mustang entered a fog bank and the road disappeared -- no white lines, no nothing. Nick pursed his lips and held the wheel steady. He could have been driving off the edge of the earth and not known it. The fog was like a wall. He glanced at the speedometer and then accelerated, fearless. There was just a quick flash of color from out of nowhere, and something slammed into the front of the car, thumping first against the hood, then smashing into the windshield on the passenger side, reducing it to a web of a million sparkling diamonds. The impact was sudden and solid, sending an abrupt shudder through the car. Nick grabbed at the wheel with both hands, jerking it wildly. Tires squealing, the car crossed two lanes of traffic. Again, Nick jerked the wheel and again overcompensated. This reaction was so drastic, given the speed of the car, that the driver-side tires actually lifted off the ground for a moment, and the car nearly flipped.

Steven was thrown against the dash. He hadn't had even a split-second to react, to brace himself with his hands, and his head was forced into the windshield.

Partially out of reflex and partially out of desperation, Nick blindly thrust a foot at the brake pedal, but there was no traction on the wet asphalt. The car went into a full spin. It careened helplessly, skimming across the glasslike asphalt surface. Its momentum carried it nearly seventy feet down the interstate before it began to gradually slow, finally gaining some purchase on some loose gravel on the shoulder. The rear end swung around in a wide arc. When the car finally skidded to a full stop, it rocked on its springs for a few seconds, then settled. It sat at an angle, facing back in the direction from which it had traveled. Its rear driver-side tire was hanging off the shoulder onto wet grass, just two feet shy of a steep embankment.

Lightning flashed in the distance, muted by drifting ribbons of fog.

Steven had been tossed back, falling between the bucket seats, arms flailing, head snapping back as he screamed. Nick's entire upper body had been pressed against the steering wheel, then thrown back into his seat with tremendous force. He still gripped the wheel, an unconscious reflex. His eyes were wide with horror.

When at last all movement had ceased, they remained perfectly still, afraid to move, afraid to breathe.

Steven moaned.

There was blood everywhere. Nick glanced between the seats.

"Steven?"

Another moan.

"Man...you okay?" Nick had spatters of blood on his hands. Blood on the steering wheel. On the dash. He glanced all around. There was even a blood pattern on the ceiling of the car. Nick started trembling. He held his hands out in front of his face. Steven's legs were twisted about. Nick turned in his seat and put a hand on Steven's thigh.

"Steven!" Nick called out. It was dark in the backseat. Nick fumbled with the knobs and switches along the dash, groping for the dome light control. The dim light blinked on. There was more blood than he had imagined. His heart raced.

Nick threw open his door and fumbled to push the seat forward. His fingers were slick and clumsy. The mechanism that controlled the seat was stubborn, and it took him nearly half a minute to finally spring the seat forward so that he could access the backseat and get to Steven. He ducked his head, leaning inside. He braced himself on his knees. Steven had his arms crossed over his face. The pained moans were more frequent now, and longer. Nick's hands were trembling uncontrollably. His throat ached where the steering wheel had caught him under the chin. It was hard to swallow. There was also noticeable pain along the contour of his collarbone. But he had to ignore all of that, at least for the moment.

"Steven!"

Steven managed to unravel his legs. He raised his hands, and Nick got a better look at the damage. Steven's forehead was opened up. His face was covered in blood. "I'm...all right," Steven managed to say in barely a whisper. "I'm all right."

"Dude...your head!" Nick said.

"I know, I feel it. At least it's still attached."

The meat of the forehead was split open, a gash about two inches wide. His nose was bleeding as well.

"Can you move your neck?"

Steven coughed, a thick, throaty cough. "Not sure. Think so."

"Can you get up?"

"Haven't tried. Everything hurts."

Nick piled himself into the backseat, getting an arm around Steven's shoulders. "Careful, man. Let's get you sitting up at least."

Steven got into an upright sitting position without complication. There were numerous aches and pains, and lots of blood, but everything appeared to function normally. With the possible exception of his nose, nothing seemed to be broken. The gash in his forehead felt like a piece of hot metal. He gently probed all around it with a fingertip, hoping it didn't look as bad as it felt.

Nick was trying to catch his breath. He had been fueled by adrenaline for the past few minutes and he couldn't get himself to settle down. It felt like he'd taken a shot to the throat by a work boot. But he could breathe fine. His voice sounded a little hoarse but not too bad. His neck was stiffening, and that would likely worsen in the coming hours.

"What happened?" Steven said finally, leaning up slightly, massaging the back of his head.

"Man...I just..." Nick shook his head. "Everything's a blur, man."

"Was there another car?"

The fog had dissipated somewhat, and visibility had now increased to maybe a hundred feet. But it was still dark out, the light of the moon shrouded by weather conditions, and all the talking and sudden heavy breathing had fogged the windows even more. Nick raised his head and glanced around. Events had transpired so quickly and dramatically that his mind had become focused solely on survival and thankfulness that both he and Steven were alive. "Another car?"

"Who hit us?"

From where they sat, Nick couldn't see anything beyond the obscured glass. He shook his head. "We hit fog, man. That's what I remember. It was like somebody turned out the lights, and then...I don't know."

Steven glanced at his friend. Then he looked over the seats toward the dash and the windshield. "That my blood?"

Nick nodded. "All yours, as far as I can tell."

Steven, still overwhelmed at the sight of the car's upholstery lacquered by his own life-giving blood, noticed the damage to the windshield. "My head tagged the windshield. I wasn't belted in."

"Me neither."

"Serves us right."

"Whatever."

"Look at that. The glass is destroyed." Steven shook his head slowly in awe. "How did I not shatter my skull?"

Nick didn't respond.

"Looks like somebody went at it with a Louisville Slugger!" He glanced back at Nick. "You're telling me my head did that, and I'm still sitting here alive, with a scratch above my eyes, talking to you? No way."

The car engine had died. They sat in silence for a long moment.

"Where are we?" Steven asked.

"On I-90. About an hour outside Boston."

"Slide out," Steven said. "I want to get a look at the car."

The early morning air of late spring was cool. Steven shivered.

The passenger-side headlight was smashed so all that remained was a shark's mouth of glass teeth framing the inside of the metal cavity. The glass shards glowed in the light of the remaining headlamp. The quarter-panel had come loose and was nowhere in sight. The grille was busted, half -- maybe more -- gone, chunks of plastic here and there on the ground and along the edge of the bumper. The hood had taken a shot. The front edge had curled under, and the top had a severe dip, like a three-hundred-pound man had repeatedly parked his rump there. And then there was the windshield, bubbled inward and sagging. Steven leaned forward slightly, extending a hand, gently probing a finger at the glass. Moonlight refracted off the countless individual fragments.

"Something hit us," Steven said. They were standing shoulder to shoulder, their silhouettes set aglow by the lone functioning headlight.

Nick stood still, staring at the damaged Mustang. He didn't blink for a long time.

Steven crouched down in front of the busted headlight, leaning in close for a better look. Then he shook his head, and stood. "Too dark. I've got a flashlight in the trunk." He pulled his key from the ignition and rounded the rear of the car, quickly popping the trunk lid. He returned carrying an inexpensive plastic flashlight, unscrewing one end to make sure it had batteries. He tested it, shining the light in his face.

Nick watched him work, his mind on rewind, desperately thinking back, backpedaling through the past ten minutes, trying to remember what had happened, hoping to get a mental fix on what they had collided with.

Nick had his hands buried in his armpits, standing safely away from the traffic lanes. The sounds of the collision still rang in his ears. He could still see the flash of color, still feel the impact, still feel the unexpected shock of it. He stood with one foot on wet grass, one foot on the...

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Book Description Atria Books, United States, 2006. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Steven Adler had the world at his feet. A junior at Harvard, he had far surpassed the hopes and dreams of his working-class Oklahoma family. But all of that ends one foggy night while driving to Boston from New York when his best friend, Nick Calevetti -- the golden child of one of America's richest families -- commits a gruesome crime and maliciously points the finger at Steven. Allan Adler knows his son, and he knows he's innocent. Bereft of the money that could get Steven effective legal counsel, he embarks upon a desperate mission to save his son from a murder conviction -- an odyssey that will thrust him into the highest echelons of Washington politics. His weapon of choice: blackmail. Twenty years ago, Allan had been the chauffeur for a Pentagon official named Getty Fairfield and had been privy to Fairfield's affair with a sexy Russian spy. Now, as Fairfield becomes the president's choice for chief justice of the Supreme Court, Allan is determined to leverage his knowledge of the past to save his son's future. But other forces are at work -- specifically, two giant software corporations whose monopoly trial has come before the Supreme Court. And as they bribe, steal, murder, and manipulate their way into influencing the chief justice vacancy, Allan finds himself caught in a cross fire that could cost him much more than he'd bargained for. Seller Inventory # AAV9780743456593

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