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Wonder Book - Member ABAA/ILAB
Name Brand Overstocks
Pilkington & Sons
Strange Birds Books
M and N Media
Maurice Valentine is being groomed by important people for big things. He's a noted Los Angeles architect whose commissions take him from the developing Las Vegas strip to the top-secret atomic-test sites in the surrounding desert, jobs that have him mixing with gangsters, politicians, Brat-Pack hangers-on, and other powerful players. Poised to achieve even greater professional heights, Valentine appears unstoppable.
Then Mallory Walker enters his life, presenting herself as an heiress with a keen eye for architecture. Valentine, normally a cool hand at the casual affair, falls head over heels and whisks the mysterious beauty off to Las Vegas for some time alone. At a swank penthouse party where the high rollers gather -- Lana Turner's there, and Frank Sinatra -- Valentine introduces Mallory to the powerful Paul Mantilini, the mobster who's made Valentine's career. It's then that Valentine gets the first inkling that something's amiss, that Mallory might have an agenda at odds with his own.
At last the moment they've been waiting for has arrived, the evening's spectacle. A piercing flash of light is followedby a bubble of boiling red rising from the horizon: forty-five miles across the Nevada desert, the Atomic Energy Committee has detonated another of its 4,600 A-bombs. The crowd cowers, stumbles, readjusts, reaches for their drinks, hoping to hide the terrorfor a moment longer behind their martini glasses and champagne flutes. Valentine's life will never be the same -- not because of that explosion, but for what comes immediately after. From the corner of his eye, he sees Mallory walking toward him, but doesn't see the nickel-plated pistol until it's too late. Confused, he calls out to her. She raises the gun, points it, and fires.
How could Valentine have found himself so far removed fromthe carefully constructed, tidy life he'd been building all these years? The discovery of Mallory's true motive, and of her relationship with Mantilini and the elite of both Las Vegas and Palm Springs, will send Valentine down a path of twisted schemes, murder, and lies within lies -- and will force him to make a fateful decision that will save one life and end another.
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