Ill Gotten Gain answers the question: "What happened to the 30 pieces of silver given to Judas for betraying Christ?"
It is a historically based, religiously oriented mystery. It presents a plausible, if not believable account of the movement of the suitable cursed coins from Jerusalem c:33 AD/CE to Charleston, South Carolina current day in which every one who has the coins dies.
Ill Gotten Gain is a story of intrigue that starts when a Charleston antique dealer finds a cache of valuable antiques in his home/business in the old section of Charleston. Unbeknownst to him, it contains a small box which appears empty but contains a false bottom and holds the cursed 30 pieces of silver Judas was given for betraying Christ.
Story Line 1. Over the next six weeks, he dreams the deaths of each of the six people who had previously had the box and, ultimately he dreams his own death. The dreams include Judas, the owner of the Potters Field, a 14th century crusading knight, Pope Alexander 6th (Borja family fame), a young priest sent to establish a parish in the new word, Steede Bonnet aka The Gentleman Pirate and the protagonist, antique dealer Edward Garrett.
Story Line 2. Follows the antique dealer as he prepares to auction these valuable antiques. In addition to the antique dealer, Ill Gotten Gain brings together a variety of people including the curator of the Vatican museum and library, one of the most powerful political leaders in the state, Doctor Bug a modern day witch doctor and a mysterious member of Opus Dei.
The story is a mystery with horrific touches because it chronicles the death of the coin holders — hanged, strangled, drowned in blood, choked of food, drowned while being eaten by sharks, hanged and suffocated in a fire. The antique dealer dreams these deaths as through the eyes of the person dying.
The driving force of the story is the manic desire of the main character for recognition and acceptance.
It isn’t a horror story but it does occasionally knock on the door of macabre. It isn’t a comedy but there are some really funny scenes. It isn’t a love story but it does have the tension of a love interest and changes in a relationship. It isn’t a foray into the world of VooDoo but it does dip its toe in the world of “roots” and root doctors.
It is an imaginative piece that will hold the attention of the reader and deals with a subject that hasn’t captured the attention of any other writer.
"Woe to the man who betrays. It would be better for him if he had never been born."