I’m delighted to be bringing you an extract today from William Myers Jr new novel A Killer’s Alibi. William Myer’s first two novels in the Philadelphia Legal series have been bestsellers with the first book A Criminal Defence hitting the number one spot on the Amazon bestseller list. But before I share the excerpt, here’s what the book is about.
When crime lord Jimmy Nunzio is caught, knife in hand, over the body of his daughter’s lover and his own archenemy, he turns to Mick McFarland to take up his defense. Usually the courtroom puppeteer, McFarland quickly finds himself at the end of Nunzio’s strings. Struggling to find grounds for a not-guilty verdict on behalf of a well-known killer, Mick is hamstrung by Nunzio’s refusal to tell him what really happened.
On the other side of the law, Mick’s wife, Piper, is working to free Darlene Dowd, a young woman sentenced to life in prison for her abusive father’s violent death. But the jury that convicted Darlene heard only part of the truth, and Piper will do anything to reveal the rest and prove Darlene’s innocence.
As Mick finds himself in the middle of a mob war, Piper delves deeper into Darlene’s past. Both will discover dark secrets that link these fathers and daughters—some that protect, some that destroy, and some that can’t stay hidden forever. No matter the risk.
A KILLER’S ALIBI
Eight are with him at the table. His three best friends: Vinny Itri, Dominic Ricci, and Geno Moretti. Four guys who work for his father: Bruno, Dave, Tomasino, and the guy everyone calls “Pits” because of his pockmarked face. And, of course, his father: Big John.
It’s his twelfth birthday, March 15. Outside, the night is bitter cold, the South Philly streets covered in ice and snow. Inside, Alighieri’s is cozy. And it’s all theirs, Big John having persuaded the owner to close the restaurant for the private party—a big favor to grant on a Saturday night, as his father has reminded them all.
The older men amaze the boys with ribald stories, everyone guffawing over “Three-way” Wendy Mancini and “Pass-around” Patti Peregrino. The mobsters shift gears eventually and trade veiled tales of “jobs” they’ve done, the boys recognizing the word as code for one type of illegal activity or another.
“My boy reaches manhood, we eat like kings,” says Big John.
The waiters bring plate after plate, starting with the antipasti: meats, cheeses, and peppers; prosciutto, provolone, and Sicilian olives; stuffed portobello mushrooms; mussels; steamed clams in spicy marinara sauce; calamari stuffed with crabmeat. For entrées, the crew orders perciatelli Genovese, linguine and claims, penne alla vodka, fettuccini Alfredo, pork chops Milanese, and osso buco di vitello. Big John orders the special—pasta with Italian gravy and meatballs—and makes clear he expects his boy to order the same.
He does as his father suggests, though his mouth is really watering for the branzino.
His stomach full to bursting, he unbuttons his pants even before the waitstaff brings out the desserts: tiramisu, cannoli, semifreddo, tartufo. There will be no cake.
“Fuck cake and candles,” Big John says. “This ain’t a kiddie party. Right, boy?”
“Right,” he answers.
The real dessert, he knows from Geno, will come later. Geno is the oldest in his group, having turned twelve the month before. His father, not as well-off as Big John, put out a big spread at home. Then, after everyone left, he took Geno to a motel near the airport.
“When I opened the door,” Geno told him and Vinny and Dominic, “there she was, smiling on top and bottom.” As Geno told it, he didn’t let up until the sun rose, and the woman told him he was “amazing” and “the best” and “You’re going to break some hearts in your time, that’s for sure.”
The waiters clear the table. The owner comes over, thanks Big John for hosting such a special occasion in his restaurant. No check is tendered or asked for.
He and his father walk outside, and his eyes water in the frigid air. He has on a heavy winter coat, long-sleeve shirt, undershirt, and wool pants his mother bought him for the occasion, but he’s still freezing. Big John just has a fall jacket over a short-sleeve shirt, and it seems he could stand outside all night and not mind it one bit. It amazes him how tough his old man is. In so many ways, they couldn’t be more different. Big John is five nine and weighs two hundred pounds, not an ounce of which is fat. His father’s head is starting to go bald, but everywhere else he’s covered with thick black hair, and he has a perpetual five-o’clock shadow. The old man has an overhanging brow, a fat nose, and a jaw so square it looks like his head was carved from a block of wood.
He, on the other hand, is 120 pounds soaking wet and has a thin nose and sharp jawline. The only things they have in common physically are their dark eyes, which turn into black pits when they’re angry.
His friends pile into Dave’s car to be driven home. The last to get in, Geno, glances back at him and gives him a thumbs-up. Earlier in the night, Geno had given him four Trojans, saying he’d be disappointed if he didn’t use them all.
Bruno gets in the driver’s seat of Big John’s Cadillac, and his father takes shotgun. Tomasino waits for him to get in the back seat, then slides in beside him. He’s thinking Bruno, Tomasino, and Pits will get dropped off, after which Big John will take him to the motel. But the car leaves their neighborhood with all the grown-ups still inside, and they make their way to I-95 South, then to Route 1 West.
He’s starting to get nervous now, because he’s thinking his father’s crew are all going to be waiting around while he’s with the woman. Maybe in the next room . . . maybe listening in.
What if I mess it up? Will she tell them? Will they laugh at me?
His father wouldn’t laugh. Big John would be pissed if he didn’t perform, especially if his men were there to hear it.
The drive goes on and on, the men seeming to grow quieter as they get closer to wherever they’re going. After they turn off the main roads, they go from one winding country road onto another, a single lane in each direction. It is pitch-black—no moon, no stars, and hard to see outside—but he senses the roads are lined with farm fields.
Finally, they turn onto a dirt road. Up ahead, in the Caddy’s headlights, he sees a second car, a dark sedan, pulled over to the side. Bruno pulls the Seville up behind it, and Big John orders everybody out.
The air here is even colder than in the city, and his eyes sting as soon as he gets out of the car. No one is saying anything, so he doesn’t, either, simply follows the four men into the field, keeping his head down and using their bodies as shields against the wind. They walk for a while until he hears two voices ahead. Actually, three voices, but one sounds muffled.
Big John, Bruno, Tomasino, and Pits stop, and he stops behind them. His father looks back at him, waves him forward.
“Come on,” he says in his gravelly voice.
His heart is beating a mile a minute as he steps forward. He knows what his father does for a living—sort of, at least—and he guesses what he’s about to see even before the men move aside.
The man is on his knees, his hands bound behind his back, his mouth wrapped with duct tape, his face a battered mess. He is naked. There is a large hole in the ground to his left. To the kneeler’s right, two men stand. One of them leans on a shovel. Watching them shiver, he realizes that it must’ve taken them hours to dig the hole in the frozen ground.
“Come up here, son,” Big John says, grabbing his arm and pulling him closer. “You see this guy? He stole from me. And that means he stole from you. And from your brother and from your mother, too.”
He looks at the man, who looks up, tears and terror in his swollen eyes. The man mumbles something through the tape, but it’s indecipherable.
“The real reason he’s here, though? I trusted him. He led me to trust him. You see, son, he was one of our own. And that means he didn’t just steal from us—he betrayed us.”
Big John stares into his eyes, and he can tell his father is looking to make sure that he’s getting it.
“You know what happens to a Judas, don’t you?”
He nods again, and his father reaches into his jacket and pulls out a gun. He’s seen it before. It’s a .38 Special. A revolver with a cylinder that holds six bullets. His father told him all about it one night at the kitchen table. “You see this?” Big John had said as he cleaned and oiled the weapon. “Some people say dog is man’s best friend. I say bullshit. This is man’s best friend. You take care of this, it’ll take care of you.”
Big John holds out the gun now. And only then does it hit him what this is all about, what his father has brought him here to do. His jaw starts to drop, but he stops it. He takes a deep breath, then accepts the gun. For all the times his father has let him see the weapon, he’s never let him hold it. He’s surprised at the weight of it.
Big John nods at the kneeler, then steps back. Taking his cue, he moves up to the guy.
He can’t hesitate, can’t let himself think about this. If he does, he knows he won’t be able to do it. He raises the gun to the back of the man’s head and pulls the trigger. The recoil is stronger than he expected, and it pushes his hand and arm up into the air.
It takes all his willpower to keep his knees from buckling, to keep from throwing up. To keep from bursting into tears.
“Dirty Judas,” he says. Then he calmly turns to his father and hands him the gun.
Big John’s mouth spreads into a grin.
He watches his father put the gun back inside his coat, then reach out to pat his head. More than anything, he wants to smack away his father’s hand. But of course he doesn’t, just smiles as he tousles his hair.
“Now you’re a man,” his father says, reaching down to shake his hand.
He shakes with Big John, then with the other men as they move forward to take their turns.
“Good job,” says Tomasino.
“Good man,” says Bruno.
“Your son’s got a heart of stone,” Pits says to Big John.
Big John Nunzio is beaming now.
They all stand still for a minute, watching their breath turn to steam. Then his father, Bruno, Pits, and Tomasino lead him back to the Cadillac while the two other men kick the body into the hole and start shoveling.
He’s numb the whole ride back. He tries to think about school, basketball, the girl with the red hair in homeroom whom he has a crush on—anything not to face what he’s just done. But he can still feel the solid weight of the gun in his empty hand. The man’s whimpers and the crack of gunfire resound in his ears. The smell of the man’s fear is fresh in his nose, as is the ripe stench of his evacuated bowels.
Every now and then, his father glances back at him. After the third or fourth time, he says, “Hey, Dad, what was that veal Dave had? It looked good. You think Mom can make it?”
Big John smiles. “I’ll find out what it was, bring some home for your mother to cook.”
He smiles back, his guts roiling at the thought of eating anything ever again.
Later that night, his old man comes into his room, sits on the bed. He pretends to be asleep, acts like his father woke him up.
“You made me proud tonight, Jimmy. You knew what had to be done, and you did it. And you didn’t hesitate, which looked good.” Big John pats his knee, gets up, walks toward the door. Then he turns around. “It gets easier. What my old man told me my first time. And he was right. But I guess I don’t even need to tell you that. You’re a natural. You got the heart for it.”
He waits for two hours, until long after Big John and his mom and his brother are sound asleep. Then he goes into the bathroom and throws up everything he ate that night. And when he’s done, he crawls back into bed and cries himself to sleep.
If you would like to purchase A Killer’s Alibi, you can do so by clicking on the following link below.
About the Author
William L. Myers, Jr. is the No. 6 best-selling author for Amazon Kindle in 2017 for his debut novel. Once you pick up his legal thriller and best-selling novel, A Criminal Defense, it becomes obvious he is not new to the intricacies of the legal profession. Open A Criminal Defense and you’ll find yourself lost in a labyrinth of deceits and hidden agendas, a world where everyone has a secret. You never know what is going to happen next or when the plot is going to take another unexpected turn.
Don’t miss his second book An Engineered Injustice which debuted in January 2018. You’ll really feel what it’s like to be a young attorney in the trenches, beating the streets, against all odds. His third novel, A Killer’s Alibi debuts in January 2019.
Born in 1958 into a blue-collar family, Mr. Myers inherited a work-ethic that propelled him through college and into the Ivy League at The University of Pennsylvania School of Law. From there, Mr. Myers started his legal career in a Philadelphia-based mega defense firm. After ten years defending corporate America, he realized his heart wasn’t in it. So, with his career on the fast track to success–he gave it all up and started his own firm. It was time to start fighting for the common guy.
That was twenty-five years ago and since then, he has focused on representing railroad employees and other honest, hard-working people who have been injured by others. He has represented thousands of clients in his tenure and has become a highly-regarded litigation attorney up and down the Eastern Seaboard.