- Publisher: Grand Central
- Release Date: Aug 16, 2022
- ISBN-13: 9781538752012
- Available Formats: Audio, e-Book, Hardcover
Former Super Bowl MVP quarterback Zach Bridger hasn’t seen his ex-wife, Rebecca Pratt, for years—not since their volatile marriage imploded—so he’s shocked to receive a life-altering call about her. Rebecca has been placed on life support after a violent assault, and he—despite their divorce—has medical power-of-attorney. Zach is asked to make an impossible choice: keep her on life support or take her off of it. Buckling under the weight of the responsibility and the glare of public scrutiny, Zach ultimately walks away, letting Rebecca’s parents have the final say.
Four years later, Rebecca’s attacker, Eban—the scion of a wealthy North Carolina family—gets an early release from prison. The ludicrous miscarriage of justice reeks of favoritism, and Kate Lennon, a brilliant state prosecutor, is determined to bring him to justice. Rebecca’s parents have kept her alive all these years, but if her condition were to change—if she were to die—Eban could be retried on a new charge: murder.
Kate’s mission to send Eban back to prison for good depends wholly on Zach. It isn’t lost on him that in order for Eban to be charged with Rebecca’s murder, Zach must actually be the one to kill her. He rejects Kate’s legal standpoint, but can’t resist their ill-timed attraction to each other. Eban, having realized the jeopardy he’s in, plots to make certain that neither Zach nor Kate lives to see the death of Rebecca—and the end of his freedom.
A Note From Sandra
One of the most upsetting consequences of the Covid pandemic was families having to make the impossible decision of whether or not to take a loved one off life support. Life-sustaining apparatus can extend one’s life, but also prolong the suffering. Conceptually, then, taking a preemptive step could be considered a mercy.
But in actuality, saying “when” and calling a halt to life-protracting measures is a torment like none other for the person vested with the responsibility. It’s a choice that no one should ever have to face.
The inevitable question was: If the decision was mine alone to make, what would I do?
With that question came the idea for OVERKILL, because a situation such as that is rife with conflict. It brings into question one’s stance on unconditional love and loyalty, morality, spirituality, legality, and just plain humanity.
Wait! Isn’t that what a good story also does?
At that point, I began playing the “what if” game.
What if my protagonist suddenly and without warning gets a call informing him that someone’s life hangs in the balance, and HE’s the one who must decide whether or not to – crudely put – pull the plug?
What’s worse, what if the individual rendered “brain dead” isn’t a loved one, but an ex-wife, for whom he feels nothing but scorn? An ex-wife who, out of spite and unbeknownst to him, had added a provision to her Medical Power of Attorney that overrode the automatic revocation upon their divorce.
Even worse, what if this protagonist is a mega-celebrity who can’t possibly keep this soul-wrenching decision private, but must make it in a global arena under the glare of a white-hot spotlight?
Meet Zach Bridger, NFL record-breaking quarterback, Super Bowl MVP, and media favorite. His brief but tumultuous marriage to red carpet diva Rebecca Pratt was chronicled in the tabloids right up through their scorched-earth divorce.
Which is why when Zach is notified that Rebecca’s condition is described as “unresponsive,” he’s appalled to learn that he’s the one legally appointed to determine her fate, and it seems that everyone in the world has a deeply rooted, unswerving opinion on what course he should take.
I’m giving nothing away here. Readers will learn all of the above in the first several pages. But Zach’s predicament is far from over.
The story opens four years after Rebecca’s catastrophe. The fallout from it cost Zach his “mind game” and derailed his NFL career. He now lives embittered and reclusive, desiring nothing except privacy and distance from the nightmarish experience.
Enter Kate Lennon, a smart, savvy, state prosecutor who isn’t afraid of tackling tricky cases. Kate’s current target is Eban Clarke, the millionaire playboy who orchestrated the disaster that ruined Zach’s life and left Rebecca in a persistent vegetative state. Kate is seeking Zach’s help to bring Eban to justice. Zach would like nothing better than to see Eban put away for good.
But in order for that to happen, Zach will once again be required to contend with deciding Rebecca’s fate.
My challenge as a writer was to weave Zach and Kate’s soul-searing moral dilemma into a novel of suspense. Beyond the struggle with their consciences, they needed a flesh-and-blood foe.
Hello, Eban Clarke.
Eban is a handsome, suave, glib, wealthy, sexually deviant sociopath. He oozes charm and menace in equal portions. Beyond being creepy and despicable, he’s also sly and dangerous.
While Zach grapples with his inner turmoil regarding Rebecca, and Kate navigates the intricate legalities necessary to bring Eban to trial, both are fighting their unethical but oh-so electric and irresistible attraction to each other.
And Eban? He’s busily plotting his escape from the judicial snare they’re laying for him. Because, in order for him to remain free, Rebecca must stay alive. It’s Zach and Kate who must die.
The resulting showdown had even me gasping.
Considering the steam factor between Zach and Kate, and a shocking twist of an ending, OVERKILL has my fingerprints all over it. I want this story to keep you on the edge of your seat, evoke both pathos and passion, and leave you asking yourself: What would I do?
OVERKILL goes on sale August 16th. Preorder now!