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BAD DAD is a psychological crime novel that explores the dark side of wealth and privilege.

Lester Fuller, as BAD DAD, is heir to a Wyoming natural gas fortune who shrewdly leverages the power of his wealth to orchestrate the murder of his daughter-in-law. Fuller loathes Mary Lou for luring son Danny away from an upper class existence, locking him into a life of poverty and transforming him into a Southern redneck who sweats as a lineman for a power company to support her and their son. What sends Fuller over the edge is his discovery, via a private investigator, that she is having an affair.

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PROLOGUE

Mary Lou Fuller disappeared one humid summer morning after her husband, Danny, left for work. She had brown-bagged his lunch and sent him off with a hasty kiss. That was the last time he saw her.

Despite a police investigation over a two-month period, there were still no leads as to where she might have gone or who might have abducted or murdered her. Mary Lou had evaporated into thin air.

Danny Fuller knew something though. It was about Lester, his father.

The knowing came to Danny as a crystallization arising out of observations of Dad. His demeanor. The way he spoke. His voice. More hushed than usual, his words, carefully chosen – changes that seemed to have occurred within the past few months, around the time Mary Lou had vanished. It was all so gradual. Nothing startling. Danny barely noticed at first. But he couldn’t help but wonder if this diminution of Dad’s easygoing charm, so typical of someone who had been born with a silver spoon in his mouth, could be linked to Mary Lou’s disappearance.

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Lester tried not to think about the murder. Nor did he and his ranch foreman, Mike Sanger, ever discuss it once arrangements were made and carried out.

Occasionally, images of Mary Lou’s body falling through the clouds from the Learjet would invade Lester’s consciousness, despite his efforts to shut them out. Yet, he didn’t experience much in the way of guilt or remorse – emotional fallout that had been minimized by hiring Mike to do the dirty work.

Obsessed with these random thoughts, Lester studied his face in the mirror while shaving. At 57, he was still youthful looking, although the strain of orchestrating the crime was beginning to show. Lines around his eyes had deepened. The corners of his mouth turned down in perpetual sadness. Or was it his imagination?

He was haunted by fears of being found out, even though he knew these concerns were irrational. Mike would never blab about murdering Mary Lou or being paid $50,000 for the job. It wasn’t even remotely possible. Who in his right mind would admit to being a hired killer? True, you can never predict what people will do, but Mike was someone he could trust with his life.

Still, the secretiveness of this dirty business had gotten to Lester. Who would understand his rationale for getting rid of Mary Lou who had been unfaithful, who had dragged his only son down from a privileged existence into the muck and mire of working class poverty?

He was doomed. He would go to his grave without ever revealing what happened to Mary Lou.

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Cover design by Melchelle Designs