If Mitch Wilder wasn't in prison, he'd never discover the conspiracy to kill his son, Darren Hoffman. The only way to save his life is for Mitch to kill Pete Hoffman, the man who raised Darren. But Mitch doesn't have it in him to commit murder and searches for a way out of it. In desperation, Mitch barters for a pen and a piece of paper, which will change his life forever. He writes a note and gives it to a man who's about to be released, praying he'll deliver it to the right person, and on time. It will take weeks before Mitch knows if his son is still alive...or not.
A Sneak Peek
April 12, 1972. Mitch Wilder blinked up at the early morning clouds as he and five
other men shuffled toward a plain white van. Chains stretched from their waists to
their ankles and waists rattled as they moved. One by one they stepped up into the
dark insides of the vehicle. A seasoned guard checked off their names on the
clipboard and sneered at the convicts. It was only four o'clock, too early to be up and
about. Dew glistened off the van. Mitch waited for the man in front of him to lift his foot
up onto the steel step. The young guard on his right fidgeted with his gun belt, his
eyes darting from one convict to the next.
As Mitch was stretching the chain so his foot could land on the first step, the man
behind him yelled, “Boo!” The young guard pulled out his revolver, only to drop it in on
the pavement. It clattered and slid under the van. The two guards that brought up the
rear ran up with their pistols drawn. The man behind Mitch let out an evil laugh.
“Move,” yelled the guard with the clipboard, giving Mitch a shove. Mitch scrambled
onto the bench on his right. Someone pushed the last man into the van. He landed
on the floor with a loud grunt.
“Damn it, Jack,” someone's angry voice came from outside. “You could have killed
The doors to the van slammed shut. Mitch could barely make out the form of the
man as he crawled up onto the bench across from him. A sliver of hazy light filtered in
through the bulletproof glass that separated the inmates from the guards up front.
Young Jack slid into the passenger side and looked back at them as if they were
going o gobble him up alive. Mitch wondered if they gave him his gun back. The
driver, the guard with the clipboard, scowled at the young man before he turned on
the ignition and pulled out of the lot.
Someone started to snore after they left the city limits of St. Thomas, Ontario. Mitch
looked around to see that most of them were trying to sleep. Their long legs stretching
out past the ones of the man across from him. He closed his eyes and leaned his
head back against the side of the van. Sporadic dozing was all he got. He thought
about things that he wished he wouldn't.
He missed his daughter's birthday, again. Leslie Scott was fourteen now, a bright
teenager who hated his guts. Her mother, Sandy, an ex-wife, made sure of it. He
knew why now. A year ago, she found out about one of his illegitimate sons, Greg
McNaughton. Mitch had just learned about Greg, himself.
Mitch jumped when someone kicked the bottom of his foot. The chains rattling as he
pulled in his feet. He kept a slitted eye on the big black dude sitting across from him. It
was starting to sink in now, the seriousness of his situation. His stomach was ready to
get rid of his breakfast. They ate two pieces of dry toast before they left. He sat up
straight and pulled on the chains around his wrists and ankles. The other man finally
leaned toward him. “I'm Bulldog, Mitch Wilder.”
Mitch looked around at the other inmates. Two had their eyes closed while two
others glared at each other as if getting ready to kill the other one. Nobody seemed
interested in the conversation. “I guess I don't need to introduce myself, then.” Mitch
took in the big black man's features and knew why he had that nickname. He looked
like a bulldog, with a flat, crooked nose and round piercing eyes. The man had big
cheeks and a head full of kinky curls. Scars crisscrossed his face. He looked like a
man who knew life behind bars. “I'll protect your ass in there for half of anything you
earn or barter for.”
Mitch nodded. He heard of the gangs who preyed on the smaller guys, using them
as slaves. Of the bigger and more powerful men raping the weaker ones. The safest
thing for him to do was to latch on to a gang, if he could. The cop who arrested him,
told him this.
Bulldog gave him a hard stare. “What? You think I want you for sex?” He sat back
and laughed. “I don't need that from you.” Bulldog sobered. “I heard you have a big
dick. There will be plenty of guys after you. Because of that and your good looks. Not
to mention, you have a body most of them would drool over. You let me know who you
want to bang, and I'll make sure you get him.”
“What if I don't want to bang anyone?”
“Can you hold off, Mitch Wilder? Will your own hand be enough for you for years on
end? I know why you're heading to prison. Five years will seem like a lifetime.”
Mitch glanced at the other men. “How do you know so much about me?”
Bulldog shrugged. “It's not a secret. Everyone knows who you are. Watched the
news every night during your trial.” He smiled and scratched at his crotch. “You're
going to need a friend in there.” He leaned forward again. “You are him, aren't you?
The one they say screwed 550 women.”
Mitch glared at him. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see some of the other
men sitting up, taking notice. It wasn't that many, it was 538 that they could prove, and
another six that they couldn't. But every time Mitch heard it, the number grew.
Dawn made it brighter inside the steel box they were in. They all jerked when the
van hit a pothole. The man next to him turned his head and grinned. “Yep, it's him.”
The man poked him with his elbow. “That right?”
“No,” Mitch said. “And it wasn't 550 either.”
The big man across from him laughed. “By the time we get to Millhaven, it will be