John Manis, aka Johnny Manic—charming, stylish, impulsive, and reckless—is racked with guilt over the secret he doesn't dare tell. Marilyn Dupree, passionate and volatile, has too much money and the wrong husband. Johnny and Marilyn have a chemistry like nitrogen and glycerin, and that makes Detective Lou Eisenfall very uneasy.

“Poor Lou,” Johnny muses as his mind begins to unravel. “There’s a madman running around his town, and who knows what he'll do next.”

This riveting tale of deception, murder, and psychological suspense was named one of the best of 2019 by

Before the day was out, I signed the lease for the apartment on Main Street. The wiser part of me knew I should have left. But knowing what’s right and doing what’s right are two different things, especially when you’re at war with instincts you can’t articulate and don’t understand.

I understand it all now. I can articulate it very clearly. Tom Gantry wanted to kill John Manis once and for all. Or John Manis wanted to kill Tom Gantry. I was so mixed up about who I was, it didn’t matter who killed whom. The important thing was that in the grocery store that morning, Johnny Manic and the raven-haired Marilyn Dupree had found each other.

The fuse was lit.

— Johnny Manic