Prompted by the unearthing of a human skull in the woods near his house, Bill Reyner begins an investigation into a 20-year-old unsolved murder.

Unlike the police, he becomes involved with the characters associated with the deed. His entanglement deepens, as does his knowledge of the case. Joining the deadly and insane cult, he intends to trap them, only to find the tables are turned and he becomes the quarry. At every turn, the Mania is ahead of him. With full knowledge of their actions but no physical evidence, he has nowhere to hide and no one to call for help. Bill’s only option is to fight them on their own terms.

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Excerpt from Mania

The parishioners began filing from the building. They were like anyone else, just people. Suddenly my heart stopped, the fabulous, the miraculous, the vision of my life glided from the building and floated down the few steps like a genuine angel. Her radiance dimmed the rest of the world. I couldn’t speak, I felt paralysed by her.

‘Hi! Priscilla,’ Newf barked and barred her progress.

‘This ’ere is William Reyner.’

She looked at me with those deep alluring blue eyes, and my spine wilted, like a picked daisy in the hot sun. She nodded and smiled.

‘Bill’s a millionaire. He very rich, knows everyfin’. Bill this is Priscilla Critton.’

She tossed her head slightly; her hair fell like golden rain on her shoulders. I nodded, and felt real stupid.

‘Pleased to meat you, Mr. Reyner,’ she said in her angelic voice.

I nodded and tried to smile without cracking my face asunder. ‘Yes. I mean, me too. Your... I... er-. I mean. Well pleased to meet you.’

She giggled, turned and ran toward her father’s car. I felt like the asshole of the month. Man! What an idiot. I stood in the parking lot mouth open, watching her leave. North elbowed me in the gut, to attract my attention. ‘What?’

‘Close your mouf. You look like a ’alf wit.’

‘Come on, Newf, let’s go see if Gran has any food for us.’ I couldn’t get that girl out of my mind. Why would such a lovely, such a beautiful female be associated with a barn full of nut cases?

It must have been close to eight in the evening when we arrived in Dundas. Gran, bless her, had cooked us a full meal. Poor Newf, he acted like a ravenous dog. I don’t think he had ever seen real food before. His eyes were wide and he bubbled with enthusiasm.

‘So what did you learn, William,’ Gran said joining us at the table.

‘Not a lot Gran. I figure the whole bunch are cracked. They go on about spirits and things. There’s one thing I don’t understand.’

‘And what’s that William?’

‘They talk about this right of passage.’

Newf coughed, almost choking on his beef. ‘I fort you knew that.’

‘No, explain it.’

Funny lad, he pulled a sort of quizzical face. You could almost see the cogs turning. ‘No one goes to heaven, ’cept the pure. You gotta be pure to pass to heaven.’

‘That makes sense,’ Gran said. ‘I do believe in just about all religions they expect some form of honesty of heart, faith.’

‘Nah. It ain’t faif. They finks that you can hitch a lift to heaven, if you keep the body clean, and watch what you eat. Like this meal would put the brakes on. If you eat like ’is you don’t go to no heaven.’

‘Did you learn anything today, Gran?’

‘Oh, just a little,’ she sighed. ‘The term mania, it comes from the profit Manian. He believed, just about what North said. The path to heaven is through purity of diet. He was eventually captured by the Romans and executed for cannibalism.’

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Mania: book 2 in the Bill Reyner Mystery Adventures

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