Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. The world recently learned of something the Japanese call Karoshi. This is the situation where people are worked to death. Several deaths have been labeled as Karoshi in recent weeks.
What would it take to get to that point? What goes through someone’s mind as the symptoms take over? We’re going to talk to someone who is very near that point today. “Welcome to the show, Trish Clayton.”
“Hello, Lisa. ‘Karoshi’? Is that what they call this insanity? I guess having a label for it is rather handy for some. Make no mistake, Lisa; there is nothing about this entire situation that a sane person wouldn’t have problems dealing with. I’m not certain about my ability to step back from this on a personal level, and that’s hardly a point from which to assess anything rationally, is it?”
“Let’s not be too hasty here, Trish. You’re dealing with life or death situations every day. People are being tortured and murdered in some kind of sick cat and mouse game, and everyone wants to bring the game to a conclusion. Tell us the truth, how many hours are you putting in every week? When was the last time you took a vacation?”
“The images of the victims at their time of death haunt what little sleep I’m able to grab. How many hours a day do I work? That’s blurred now, one day seems to melt into the next. I guess I get around two, maybe three hours downtime every other day. As for vacation time …! The last time I took some time off was just before the FBI team was formed to investigate the ‘Countdown’ murders. So, that would be over five years ago now. I can’t take time out, not from this. It’s not just the victims now, we just lost a fifteen-year-old boy who went to help one of whoever the hell these victims really are. He was just a kid! A brave kid with a good heart who should never have died.”
“An abduction leads to a photograph with a cryptic message. Find this person by a certain time or they will be killed. When the time passes, another photograph of the person’s severed head. Followed by another abduction which starts the cycle over again.”
“Five years worth of this and you don’t have any leads?”
“No, Lisa, you’re wrong. I have leads! All roads lead me to hell. Sheila Harrington is involved up to her dangerous smile in this situation. The toxic Ms. Harrington is about to become the Governor’s fiancé, Lisa. And, if rumor is correct, the Governor is about to throw his name in the race for the Presidency. I guess suspecting the female most likely to become the new First-Lady of the United States could gain me a few interested parties. How is she connected to the ‘Countdown Murders’? I believe she is at the very least connected via someone powerful enough to have had eighteen men executed. She’s no serial killer, not this one. Oh, I do believe her capable of murder. I also believe that she is simply the well-paid puppet of someone very powerful. Someone else is jerking her strings.”
“If not Sheila, then who?”
“Let me run a few things by you, first, okay? First up, I don’t believe in coincidences when they occur on this kind of scale. So, you’ll understand my dilemma when we discovered that not ONE of the victims existed anywhere on record, prior to two years before their deaths.
I mean nowhere … no registration of birth, no driver’s license, marriage license, no social security, Facebook or other social links. No one came forward to claim them as family when their bodies were released for burial. Only one of them was ever reported missing, that was Quentin Hammersley, the first victim. The friend that reported him gone has since been untraceable.
“There were discrepancies in our records. Vehicle and registration details had been deleted. Passports were falsified in most of the cases, sending us on a wild goose chase that distracted us for far too long.
“You need to understand, Lisa … this information had to have been altered from the inside. The FBI security access is state of the art, and a sad sign of the dangerous times we now live in. We hadn’t been hacked. Someone I knew, perhaps someone on my own team was steering this investigation in a direction away from Sheila Harrington. I began to suspect everyone. It made me sick to my stomach thinking that one of these people whose lives I’d die to protect was bent in some way … or acting under duress.
“I’m sorry … this conversation is affecting me more than I thought it would, I’m wound up pretty tight.”
“Now, Trish could your stress levels be causing a little paranoia?”
“Am I paranoid? Jesus, Lisa … I hope so! I hope to be proven wrong every hour of every day. But it’s all adding up to a really bad equation here, and the recent assassination of Director Ted Prendergast was a professional hit. We have zero leads on the shooter. Ted was my friend, Lisa! We even dated for a while before he started moving up the ranks faster than anyone we knew. Why was he silenced, had he discovered something and was about to reveal it? Or, was he operating under duress? Was he being coerced into altering FBI files?
“I didn’t go to his funeral, Lisa. I took a couple of days and headed out to where the first victim had lived and died. I found things there; things … things that I can’t begin to believe are even possible. I had to speak to somebody. I was cracking under the weight of it. The acting Director Henry Weisman is the man I chose to share everything with. Henry and I discussed it at length. He helped me hold on to my sanity. The case is now closed. On record, it’s now a cold case. Henry and I have both resigned from the bureau, and we’ll be heading up a private security company … the staff will all be FBI trained. We plan on the private security income to provide us with an income to pay for all the time we will be investing in this case … that is, and will remain our prime objective. We–”
“Trish, I hate to interrupt, but we have a caller. Go ahead caller, you’re on the air with Lisa and Trish.”
“To say any more would be a mistake, Ms. Clayton.”
“Why are you altering your voice? If you have evidence you should come forward with it.”
“Let him talk, Lisa. Go ahead caller, I’m listening.”
“No good can come of pursuing this case. People are in danger. You are in danger.”
“Is that a threat?”
“I like the color blue on you, it matches your eyes. It would be a pity to cover that pretty blue dress with your own blood.”
“Trish, you need to get to an interior room away from windows.”
“Way ahead of you, Lisa. Shit! … I need to make a call…”
“Trish? Trish? Are you there?
“If you want to find out more about Trish, pick up a copy of Acts Beyond Redemption and Acts of Betrayal by Suzanne Burke. I’ll include the purchase links on the website.
“Please help Soooz spread the work by using those sharing buttons today. She’d do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”
Acts Beyond Redemption takes you on a twisted, deadly, journey.
Mike Matheson is head of a Special Task Force set up by the F.B.I to track down and apprehend the serial killers responsible for 18 brutal murders.
The team are exhausted, frustrated, and ready to burn out after almost five years and no leads. Their nightmares are stripping them to the bone.
Nothing has prepared them for this. Someone on the inside is deflecting their weary eyes away from an incomprehensible and shattering truth.
Who will be buried in the shattered remains of a country where freedom and honor are treasured above all things?
Just how far will those elected to protect and defend go, to keep the American dream alive?
Acts of Betrayal:
Can one powerful man ring mankind to the brink of extinction? Time’s running out …
In this powerful sequel to Acts Beyond Redemption Nigel Cantrell is back, and he’s out for blood. One of his team holds on precariously to life, with no guarantees of recovery.
Can those responsible drag him into a nightmare he will struggle to contain?
In a complex dual where oaths taken are forsaken, and promises made are broken beyond repair; he must seek the help of the only people he can trust, people who revere him … and, those that despise him.
Cantrell is efficient and deadly, but even he has ghosts in his past, demons that must be exorcised. And nothing is more demonic than the peril he must now face, as a one man’s maniacal thirst for revenge is uncovered.
A man so enormously powerful, with a hatred so intense, so extreme, that the possible demise of his own species means nothing to him. He will dispense his revenge as his diseased mind sees fit.
Nigel Cantrell and his team do not have failure as an option.
The fate of their country and beyond now rests in their hands.
Can they prevent the final Acts of Betrayal?
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Suzanne Burke resides with her daughter and grandson in a small country town located hundreds- of miles to the west of her previous home in Sydney Australia.
Suzanne had long wanted to write, life interrupted and she didn’t begin her journey into the world of writing until she was in her early fifties.
Suzanne has written her memoirs under the author name of Stacey Danson, both her non-fiction books have ranked in the top 100 paid in Kindle on Amazon. “Empty Chairs” and “Faint Echoes of Laughter” continue to earn wonderful reviews.
Suzanne writes her powerful Thrillers “Acts Beyond Redemption” and “Acts of Betrayal” and her Paranormal anthology “Mind-Shaft” as S. Burke.
Her Fictional works are written under S. BURKE.