Saturday, August 24, 2013

The Manhunt For Zoner One

By DB Dakota

Mystery/Crime Thriller, 376 pages
Cover art by: Pat Evans; original design by DB Dakota
The reporter suspects a missing senator was cremated in the colossal oil shale smelter, and the murderer is the operator of the plant. The reporter vanishes, captured by one-world zoning advocates. The chief zoner is the son of the missing senator, on the scene to get at the truth.
In a calculated plan of revenge, the reporter shares his conspiracy research notes with the son, proving the plant operator did indeed incinerate the senator. The operator is tossed into the furnace by the son, avenging his father’s murder, for he believes the reporter … no evidence of crime, just shale clinkers.
Alerted at her home the night before by Thornburgh, Dispatch copy chief Maynard was the first employee to clock in. She gathered up the publications, carried them inside to a hallway table and fanned them out with mastheads showing. Spotting the Valley Gazette, she couldn’t contain her glee and placed the paper on top, exposing the large-cap headlines:
Publisher Monatini Stakes Fortune In Vote Grab For Governor
City Of 20K To Rise Beside Guido’s Vast Prison Complex

She didn’t bother reading the body copy, she’d already done that. It had been on the wire a few days earlier. But other employees, as they straggled in on their way to their work stations, halted, read it, read it all, glowered at it, at each other and gasped. A couple of staffers began to speculate and mutter:

“Looks like Zoner got his wish,” was a crack from Tucker, space salesman.

“Which was?” asked accountant Falzak.

“The ace made it to the big-time.”

“Ha, ha, a Western Slope tabloid?”

“Right. This is not exactly the Inquirer,” Tucker quipped as the two stood side by side, reading.

“His coming out with a story in this rag sure doesn’t jibe with Mona’s spin on what happened to him.”

“That’s because Zoner Bergen didn’t write this.” Falzak slapped the paper.

“How can you say that. Who, then?”

“Mona himself, he wrote it.”

“What? That is dumb. Why?” The salesman double-checked the byline.

“To inject himself into the governor’s race.”

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