gregory byrne, author
Synopsis of Second Chance By Gregory Byrne FBI Special Agent Declan “Deke” O’Brien has hit rock bottom. He is released from an alcohol rehabilitation program, but has no life to return to. He once had a successful marriage, a happy family, a successful second career as a mystery writer, and a job that he loved–working as a profiler for the FBI. Now he fears his love affair with alcohol has ended everything. His wife Catherine divorced him, shortly after his son Patrick was severely brain injured in a playground accident when Deke was supposed to be watching him. He chooses the bottle and its false promises over the terrible pain he’s experienced in his life and career. His publisher is clamoring for the book Deke has been paid a handsome advance for and that Deke has not even started. What concerns Deke the most, however, is that he has probably lost his job with the FBI. He has been a successful profiler and has been instrumental in capturing several serial killers in his 11-year career. He has an appointment with his boss, Special Agent O'Shaugnessy, in two weeks and he figures that he will be fired. All Deke wants is a second chance—to be a better father for his kids and to keep on chasing the bad guys for the FBI. Out of the blue, Deke gets an unexpected call from O'Shaugnessy. To his astonishment, his boss does not want to fire him. Rather, O'Shaugnessy desperately needs Deke’s help. A series of murders have been committed in cities on the East Coast—Boston, Philadelphia, Albany, and most recently New York. All the victims are women, all are immobilized with a ketamine injection and slowly, cruelly strangled and sexually assaulted, and all the murders take place in movie theaters during daytime matinees. Deke, together with his partner Louise D'Antoni, has an amazing track record at profiling and tracking down serial killers and they are the right team to profile this killer, identify him, and put an end to his reign of terror. O'Shaugnessy is willing to give Deke a second chance—to get back on the job and capture the Movie Theater Killer. Deke pulls out all the stops, setting up a powerful profiling team that analyzes the evidence and comes up with a snapshot of the killer. He is a man who was almost certainly abused sexually and physically as a child, and likely taken in by protective services and/or housed in some government facility for abused children. Surveillance footage shows that the same perpetrator is committing the crimes and is smirking as he passes the cameras, clearly taunting the FBI profilers who are seeking to identify him. As the evidence accumulates, a picture of the killer emerges of a highly intelligent and narcissistic man who delights in outsmarting those pursuing him, and in instilling fear in anyone that crosses his path. The killer soon gets very personal, sending taunting messages directly to Deke, the successful profiler, as he manages to avoid being caught and continues to murder. The messages get particularly frightening when the killer reveals that he knows many details of Deke’s life—his alcoholism, where his ex-wife and children live, the accident that left Patrick brain damaged, who Deke’s profiling partner is, and the name of the girl Deke is dating on and off. As Deke and his team get closer and closer to identifying the killer, the messages get more and more threatening and increasingly personal. It soon becomes clear that Deke himself is the killer’s real target. The killer considers that humiliating the FBI’s top profiler would confirm his superior intellect and mental prowess. What better way to prove superiority than by making Deke himself the ultimate victim of his own profiling. The profiling becomes a dangerous game, with the killer holding all the high cards. Deke desperately needs a second chance—to be able to use his profiling skills to save everything in his life that he holds dear.