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Length: 331 pages4 hours


Mark Carson was once on a fast rise to the upper echelons of Global Guidance Corporation (GGC), until his wife’s affairs and their subsequent divorce destroyed his self-confidence and sent him into a downward spiral. By rediscovering the joy of running, he has seemingly gotten his life back together. Then one warm Minnesota night, Max Wong, a reclusive senior engineer at GGC, shows up at Mark’s front door shot in the neck. The wound prevents Max from speaking, but it doesn’t stop him from pressing a mysterious key into Mark’s hand. Mark is left with a dilemma – to follow the path down which the key leads and fulfill his unspoken promise to the dying man, or to turn everything over to the police. For reasons that Mark can’t adequately explain himself, he decides to work to solve the murder.
Mark decides to explore Max’s office early the next morning. He doesn’t find the lock linked to the mysterious key, but he does find some suspicious defense department files -- and a security guard. Cathy Chin, another GGC engineer and Max’s closest work associate, is Mark’s next logical stop in unraveling the mystery. Over a lunch meeting the two agree to break into Max’s home. Before they can get to the house, however, Mark is called down to the HR office to respond to a sexual harassment complaint. By the end of the interview, the message is clear: Stay out of the investigation of Max Wong’s death, or kiss your career at GGC goodbye.

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