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February 15 , 2009

Legally Dead

A Novel


U.S. Marshal Michael Venturi of the Witness Protection Program relocates a mobster, now a government witness, to a small rural town after creating a new identity for him. The man proves to be a monster unleashed on an unsuspecting community. The results are tragic. To make amends Venturi leaves the Marshals Service and assembles a team of close confidants to secretly create new identities for innocent men and women whose lives have been ruined through no fault of their own – people who really deserve fresh starts in new lives. But before they are relocated and reborn, each must change a lifetime of habits and actually become someone else, with new traits, tastes, and personalities.

And before being declared "legally dead" – they have to die. The result is a combination of Extreme Makeover, Mission Impossible, and CSI – the last in reverse. In these "deaths," some of them spectacular, phony forensics must be created to fit the "facts" and fool the experts.

His fascinating experiment works – for a time. But as Venturi continues to relocate the deserving, evil begins to stalk Venturi and his legally dead clients.

Soon one is dead.

Really dead.

Are the relentless killers from his own past, or was one of his clients not so innocent after all? His own loved ones are now targets because of his attempts to atone for a tragedy that haunts him.

In a desperate race to protect those he has relocated, Venturi must call upon his former training in both the U.S. Marines Force Recon and the Marshals Service, as he is hunted by police, prosecutors, ruthless killers, and his own former federal colleagues.
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