As private detective Kyle Roach flees the scene of a house explosion in Wichita, Kansas, his tattered shirt resembling Miss Kentucky’s sash, he suspects the beautiful woman who has just hired him has been less than truthful. Stella Kapaneous, Washington D. C. socialite and wife of a multi-billionaire, has hired Kyle to arrange a meeting for her. Kyle walks into a trap meant for Stella and is nearly killed. Scared and confused, Stella begs Kyle to help her return to the protection of her husband back east. During the next four days Kyle will fight off agents from two continents, crash his beloved pickup into a motel room and steal four vehicles while protecting his client. And this is Kyle’s first case.
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It’s not as if Kyle’s life needs turmoil. His week ended with the employer at his day job announcing Kyle’s pension had become a victim of cost cutting. He struggles daily with the loneliness of being divorced. The memory of his late father’s suicide lingers, and he wrestles with his own fleeting suicidal thoughts. Kyle fights on, surrounding himself with friends and immersing himself in sports, alcohol and a study of great thinkers from the past.
Rich and pampered, Stella doesn’t take well to life on the run, interfering with and second-guessing Kyle’s unorthodox methods of protecting her. When a pair of hit men draw close to the motel room in which they are hiding, Stella admits she’s pitched his 9mm into a parking lot trash can because, “… guns make me nervous.” Kyle ends up trading shots with the bad men, reeking of chicken nugget dipping sauce and having violated various littering ordinances.
Not satisfied with interfering with Kyle’s attempts to protect her, Stella interferes in his personal life. When his manic-depressant ex-wife drops back into Kyle’s life, Stella manages to insult her. Stella soon finds out that hell hath no fury like a woman scorned – and off her meds.
Though Kyle hasn’t a clue about dealing with women’s motives and emotions, his understanding of history helps him anticipate the actions of the men opposing him. Though not normally aggressive, he discovers he’s able to mete out violence in large doses to protect those in his care. He knows when to fight, when to lie and when to run.
Stella and Kyle settle into an uneasy alliance as they hurtle across the Midwest, running from hired killers, as well as the police. The two experience the clash of wealthy versus middle class, East Coast versus Middle America and cool sex appeal versus wanton wanting. Thoughts of abandoning his high maintenance client enter his mind throughout their flight. But, before their journey ends Kyle starts to understand that clients, and life, don’t always allow you to take the most logical path. Both can get you killed and all you can do is your best – and be ready with a smart-assed answer.