Andrea Harding is a recent college graduate looking forward to attending Duke Law School when her world is turned upside down by the shooting of her father, Nicholas, and uncle, Michael, in a surprising and puzzling attack. They are the only family she has, aside from her paternal grandmother Dorothy, so when her uncle dies from the attack and her father lays comatose in ICU, it falls to Andrea to t only investigate who would want to kill her father and uncle, but also to oversee Harding Industries, the family company. When her father's longtime attorney and one of a handful of family friends, Beth Cowling, rushes to help Andrea long distance, the youngest Harding soon finds herself surrounded by a bevy of intriguing new friends and helpers. First to arrive is Beth's own daughter, Riva, acting as Andrea's attorney after Andrea is violently attacked in her father's home, where she grew up, forcing her to kill both would-be assassins. When Nicholas's on again/off again lover, state prosecutor and gubernatorial hopeful Kerry Marcus, is equally at a loss to name suspects in the Harding family attacks, Riva begins her own investigation into the short list of family friends and colleagues, including Don Marshall, former colleague of Nicholas's at Marshall Pharmaceutical, which Don w runs, and Don's wife Karen. Marshall has a shady past, including an incident at his company that also involved Andrea's father. She also looks closely at Marcus Ricci, father of Andrea's closest high school friend, Jason. After Jason's death from leukemia, Ricci becomes like a second father to Andrea. Ricci is also widely believed to have ties to the New Jersey mob. But Beth has ather contact she wants involved in the investigation, Deirdre Southington, daughter of Beth's old friend Cordelia Southington. The Southington family has more money than God, as well as, through Deirdre, more contacts in the intriguing world of international espionage. A former NSA agent, Deirdre is mysterious and beautiful in a cold way. An eccentric who travels via private rail car, she is also extraordinarily persuasive, holding a PhD in forensic psychology that she has put to great use in both her work with the NSA and on her own, as a defender of good, rooting out evil doers and ensuring they are brought to her own brand of justice. Andrea, Riva, and Deirdre all also cast a suspicious eye on the Oakes brothers, Carlton and Jefferson, who run Oakes Industries along with their silent partner and cousin, New Jersey state senator Schuyler Colfax, who also has his eye on the goverr's seat. Oakes Industries has recently made an attempt to purchase Harding Industries, a seemingly irrational move that is rebuffed by Nicholas. What one kws until much later is that the Oakes brothers have entered into a business deal with Russian mobster Viktor Roman, who represents the real party interested in acquiring Harding Industries, a Vor, Russian organized crime unit, with heavy international interests in the energy sector. Andrea matures quickly as she rapidly learns who she can and cant trust during her search for the people out to kill her family. Along with her new friends and advocates, she discovers Harding Industries holds a soon to expire option to buy property that could become the source of untold billions from oil reserves, and moves in the nick of time to exercise their right to purchase. But the biggest blow for the Harding family is yet to come--the discovery that Viktor Roman has promised Kerry Marcus the goverr's seat in exchange for information about the Hardings, including Nicholas and Michael's whereabouts on the night they are shot. Ultimately, Andrea chooses to forego law school and becomes her father's new partner in Harding Industries, doubt with many adventures yet to come. Masterfully told using a smattering of historical facts along with a soundtrack of classical music masterpieces, this thriller keeps readers on edge until the very end.
Bill Powers is a former pharmaceutical R&D executive, world traveler, and history buff turned author. Bill's first Harding Family novel, The Pharm House, was published in 2013 by DonnaInk Publications, Inc., and was named a Finalist in the Medical Thriller category of the 2014 National Indie Excellence Awards. In that debut novel, Bill put to use his twenty-six years of experience working for Johnson & Johnson in pharmaceutical R&D, where he ultimately rose to the position of Vice President, Global Preclinical Development. In his years with the company, Bill was instrumental in the development of several marketed pharmaceutical products, leading groups of scientists in the United States, Europe, and Asia. Bill has also led research groups in Belgium and India, in addition to his extensive personal travels in the United States, Europe, and Asia. He earned his PhD in Toxicology from the University of Cincinnati, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Toxicology, and has published numerous abstracts, articles, and book chapters on a variety of toxicology subjects. Bill's parents were both teachers who stoked his childhood love for words and voracious appetite for reading. He is married, with one adult child, and has moved away from the corporate world to focus on his writing career.