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New York City on the Brink: The Truth Behind "The Darkness"

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Fact: the NYPD was forced to cancel its January, 2010 Police Class due to budget cuts.
Fact: The NYPD anticipates that there will over 3,000 fewer cops on the streets in 2010 due to these same cuts.
Fact: Mayor Bloomberg expects to cut $1.75 billion in spending over the next two years, including 1.5% cuts in education services and 2% cuts in uniformed forces.
Fact: According to the state department of labor, New York City has shed over 125,000 jobs since August 2008.

With unemployment skyrocketing, the city facing a $5 billion gap, with fewer cops on the streets and more people needing to do whatever it takes to survive, New York City is a powder keg.

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This is the premise behind my new thriller, "The Darkness". As a lifelong New Yorker, I've seen this city undergo cataclysmic changes over the last year. Thousands upon thousands of people have lost their jobs, many of them friends. People who led the lifestyles of Kings and Queens are now barely making ends meet. Those who were millionaires are now forced to survive on severance packages. In my latest thriller, I wanted to ask the ultimate 'What If?' question: What if you lost everything, yet could trade your soul to live the life you've grown accustomed to?

You make half a million dollars a year. You own a multi-million dollar apartment with beautiful views overlooking Central Park. You drive a Lexus, summer in the Hamptons. You are not even thirty years old. You can have everything you want, whenever you want, at the very moment you ask for it. The world is at your fingertips.

And then, in an instant, it is all gone. Everything. You lose your job. You lose your income. Suddenly you cannot afford that beautiful apartment. Creditors are leaving messages on your iPhone. Your model girlfriend dumps you because you cannot keep up with her 'tastes'. You were once a Master of the Universe, but now the universe is knocking on your door, waiting to collect its debt.

How far would you go to keep it all?

In "The Darkness", the newest book in my bestselling, critically acclaimed Henry Parker series, Henry will find out just how far some people will go...

Henry is a young, idealistic journalist. While investigating a seemingly random murder, a man whose body is found with its bones crushed nearly to dust and floating in the East River, he discovers out that the dead man is connected to a Keyser Soze-esque drug kingpin known only as The Fury. This drug lord has lain dormant for nearly twenty years, but has suddenly resurfaced. And it's no coincidence that this shadowy figure has chosen this moment to wreak havoc on the city. With the city in turmoil, the stage is set to unleash the biggest crime wave New York has seen in a quarter century. This plan goes back decades. It stretches from the highest of Manhattan penthouses, to the deadliest drug cartels of South America.

The spark has been lit, and if Henry and his friends don't uncover just what this druglord's plan is, this brimming powder keg is bound to explode...

Download the free ebook exclusive prologue - "The Hunters":
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