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Wearing the Spider, a new fiction
title from Galavant Press, combines
identity theft, political intrigue and
sexual harassment in one high-tech
legal thriller. A female lawyer's identity
is hijacked and misused by a ruthless
partner of her Manhattan law firm who
engages in email impersonation, political
gamesmanship and electronic forgery
to set her up in a scheme that ultimately
leads to murder. She embarks on a
clandestine investigation while dodging
the FBI, risking her life as well as her

Excerpts from Wearing the Spider:

From the Prologue
....He opened a drawer, pulled out a Redweld and extracted a bundle of papers clipped together. “Yeah, just think of me as an alchemist turning dross into gold.” He chuckled. “We can arrange for the results to show a seventeen percent relative reduction. Data’s inherently malleable.”
....He flipped a page and listened, as he took another mouthful of coffee, swirled it over his tongue and swallowed.
....“No, that’s the beauty of it,” he paused. “I’m not a gambler. I’m a creator of wealth. Value at the close of the transaction, not dependent on any uncontrollable variable.”
....He smiled to himself. The computer screen on his desk glowed with a webpage of statistics.
....“Two billion at least. That’s worth a few dead people, right?” He laughed into the receiver and then fell silent for a few minutes. His email inbox had replaced the Internet browser window on his computer screen and he typed electronic messages as he listened to the voice in his ear.
.... “Oh, come on, Chuck. Corporations make product line decisions every day based on the cost of potential wrongful death suits as a debit against profit. Whether or not a few side-effects show up is really inconsequential to the bottom line. You’re trying to play in the big leagues, my friend, but you guys want to keep using an amateur’s playbook.”
....He fell silent again. “Yeah, that’s right,” he said after a few seconds. “That’s all it is. Just a cost of doing business.”
....He slurped the steaming liquid. “Okay. Will do,” he paused. “Done. We’ll talk next week.” He yanked off the headset, pushed the blinking button on his phone and spoke openly into the air of the room, “Mad Max! What can I do for you?”
....“I have a question,” a male voice sang out of the telephone speaker.
....“When I ran into you last week and you bought me a drink, did you slip me a mickey or something? I had some crazy hallucinations that night and the mother of all headaches the next day.”
....“Don’t blame me if you can’t hold your liquor,” the man said, as he drained the last drops of dark liquid from the cup.
....“C’mon, man. That whole conversation was off the record. You didn’t have to drug me.”
....Maaaax, amigo, you insult me. You really think I’d do something that pathetic?”
....“Okay, right. Never mind. Now, on the record. Gimme your reaction to Newspan’s cover story. You know. The one that claims the FDA lets scientists from the big drug companies serve on advisory committees. The guys that dictate drug policy.”
....The man stayed silent as he stood and stuffed some items into a leather portfolio.
....“C’mon, man. They’re talking about Congressional hearings. Don’t you have any comment?”
....“Why would I comment on that?”
....“You represent Finley Regent, don’t you? And, other pharmaceutical companies?”
....“Yeah, that’s public knowledge.”
....“What about these allegations of ‘conflict of interest?’ Some of these scientists are making big bucks from their recommendations to the FDA. Any of Finley Regent’s scientists under investigation?”
....“If you think I’m going to answer that, you must still be under the influence of whatever that was in your drink the other night,” the man said as he disconnected the line.

From Chapter 1
....“Jen, what are you doing here this early?” Evie spoke into the receiver.
....“Never left,” Jenna said in a coffee-stained voice. “My third all-nighter in a week. If this deal doesn’t close soon I may resort to physical violence.”
....Jenna was an associate one year senior to Evie who had already been up for partner the previous year. Known to be smart and attentive to clients, Jenna had nonetheless been passed over. The rumor was that she tended to interject herself too directly into clients’ politics. Jenna believed she was overlooked because of her gender, an opinion she had shared only with Evie, and unofficially with a sex discrimination attorney who was a friend at another firm.
....“Client or partner?” asked Evie.
....“I wish I could offer some great advice, but—”
....“I know. You’ve had your share.”
....“Reminds me of a dream I had a few nights ago,” said Evie. “I’m working under a tight deadline, researching case precedent for a client memo. In my dream, all the resources I need are located in this group of buildings…in one location…like the Smithsonian. I’m trying to walk from building to building gathering what I need. But there’s all this scaffolding in front of the buildings I have to crawl through and it’s all spider-webby and I get caught up in it. And my legs. It’s as if I’m crawling through thick mud. Something’s sucking my legs down. They get heavier and heavier and it’s taking all my energy just to lift them. So ironic. All I need to write my memo is right there, I just can’t seem to get to it.”
....“Hmmm. An allegory for this firm,” Jenna said as she smacked her lips.

From Chapter 28
“What did the note say?” she asked.
....He ignored her question. “Do you have any idea why this woman would have your name written on a piece of paper she was carrying in her pocket when someone murdered her?”
....Evie stared at him wondering how to avoid answering these questions without raising his suspicions. The fact was, she didn’t have the answers.
....“Did you have a plan to meet with a Latin woman yesterday?” he asked.
....How do I answer that? I can’t lie to the FBI. “Yes, I did,” she said finally. “This woman, with what sounded like a Latin accent, called me at my office and asked me to meet her, but she never showed up. And I…I don’t even know her name.” Not a complete lie, she thought. I don’t know her name with certainty.
....“What did she want to meet with you about?”
....“I don’t know.”
....“So you’re saying that you agreed to meet someone unknown to you, not knowing what she wanted to discuss or why she wanted to meet with you?”
Yes, that does sound unbelievable doesn’t it. “Yes, that’s…I did know that she wanted to talk to me about a matter that I was aware of. She said she had information for me. She hung up before I could ask her name or find out anything more.”
....“What matter was that?”
....“That’s confidential.”
....“Did you know that she was an employee of Romez Nuevo?”
....“Yes. She did tell me that much.”
....“What else did she tell you that may have slipped your mind?” There was no mistaking his skepticism.
....“Nothing. She was very brief. She said she didn’t want to go into it over the telephone and told me where to meet her.”
....“Where was that?”
....“I was supposed to meet her at Mangia on 57th Street.”
....“At what time?”
....“She said eleven thirty.”
....“And you waited for her there?”
....“Yes, but as I said, she never showed up.”
....“Did she say anything about why she wanted to talk to you…anything that’s not confidential?”
....Evie feigned the look of someone trying to remember elusive details and remained silent. How could she tell him that she thought the woman had information about a trap being set for her?

From Chapter 35
....She could feel her face flushing and her body heat rise again. A woman scowled at her as she walked passed. Somewhere in her state of awareness, she knew she must look a mess – sweaty, dirty face, messy hair, rumpled, stained clothes and irregular movements. This must be how homeless people feel, she thought.
....She kept walking, looking for a police officer, or a friendly face who might help her find one. There was no restaurant within view that would have English-speaking staff and she did not have the stamina to do much explaining. Her head was spinning again and her mouth burned. She felt an overwhelming thirst and her stomach churned. She forced herself to focus her mind and she collected all her energy to make each step look as normal as possible. A few more minutes of walking and the faces that passed started merging into one another as if they were wet paint – one in blues, the next like the veined red of stained mahogany.
....A man stopped and asked her if she was okay. She tried to form words with her mouth, but she couldn’t talk and she couldn’t swallow. Her voice didn’t work and her motor control was dissipating. She didn’t see the lamp post of the street light until it collided with her head and she fell in a heap on the sidewalk, right in front of the man. A few other curious New Yorkers clustered around, one frantically dialing 911 on her cell phone.


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