Title: Amongst the Killing
Author: Joe Compton
Genre: Crime Thriller
For as long as he could remember, Detective Charles Street wanted to be a police officer, moreover a detective. He wanted to be knee-deep in the action, working the biggest cases, and reaping the biggest rewards. But he didn’t think when his dream job came calling that it would ever turn into his nightmare.
For as long as he could remember, Jack Casey just wanted to be free, his own man to do what he pleased, when he pleased. He too craved action, and when his dream life came calling, he didn’t think he would meet anyone who was his equal, and definitely didn’t think he would ever have difficulty leaving behind the world he loathed and mocked.
Amongst The Killing documents both of their stories, told in their own words, as the moments unfolded when their paths first crossed and their lives intersected. How could two men, with two different philosophies, be so different and yet so connected?
As the ultimate cat and mouse game unfolds, each has to deal separately with the other’s decisions and the effects they have in turning their lives sideways and upside-down. Will one of them crack? Will one of them succeed? Ultimately, the journey may mean more than the game, and show both of them the outcome neither was ever expecting.
Born in Hawthorne, CA in December of 1973 Joe grew up in Southern California; the majority of that spent in Torrance, CA. Writing has always been that thing he could do at an early age. He spent many a summer stints with his Grandma and Aunt where he was left mostly to his imagination and would escape by writing scenes and short stories; then acting them out in the backyard. Sometimes bringing in his brother to help act or just be an audience member. Then when his mother went back to work, Joe would spend the summer with his brother, write scripts ( even before he knew what a screenplay was), and perform all the characters for his brother. Joe went on to South Torrance High School and while he wasnt the world's best student, he did manage to have 3 short stories published in the school's annual creative anthology. They were mostly horror driven, in the vein of Poe or Lovecraft. It would be Joe's first published works. One of those stories Joe would end up turning into a screenplay and short film. Joe served his country in the United States Marines for 4 years, were he wrote the very first draft of Amongst the Killing. Once he was out of the Marines Joe moved to Denver, got another short story published in a underground magazine called Harvest Moon, a sort of reader's digest for Horror fans. Joe started writing screenplays and decided he would like to try making movies. He shot his first movie, Karl's Liquor in 2001 ; which had one screening and one screening ever, at the awesome, world famous in Denver, CO in August of 2001. You can still see the on youtube. Joe went on to make 2 more short films, Devilwind and aforementioned (short story turned into movie) Out of Range. Joe at one time had a deal in place with a publishing company to publish Amongst the Killing but didn't want to change the principle concept and thus walked away. Now a few years later he has started this company and decided to his first release would be Amongst the Killing . In 2010 Joe met the love of his life, his wife Shawna. Knowing that they will have children very soon he wanted to have something to hand over to his child, should they want it. So he felt the time was now to do this.
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“I promised you the gold mine of all gold mines, a one-on-one exclusive with me. You don’t think you’ll be able to bankroll that into another job with another paper? Maybe it’s time to think bigger, Francis.”
“It’s Frank, but wait...you think I could? Where exactly, you think?”
I weep for the future and the next generation born without ambition, without vision. This kid clearly didn’t know what he had, not enough at least to think beyond his situation of the moment. After taking a moment and shaking my head loose of these thoughts, I set my sights on enlightening this young man. Even if getting him to focus was a monumental task, I had more pressing things to worry about.
“Time? Newsweek? 60 Minutes? Hell you could write a book, sell the rights for more money than you have ever seen, and watch Hollywood butcher the story with a major motion picture. Who cares! The point is you have bigger and better options. First I need you to stay focused.”
Suddenly this kid’s baby blues turned into dollar signs. I could only imagine what daydreams he was having about being arm-in-arm with some bimbo starlet on the red carpet world premiere of the Credibility Assassin: The Jack Casey Story.
Pretty catching if I do say so myself. Why let the media name me? Only this kid had no idea he wouldn’t be the one telling my story. Right now though, I needed him to believe he would. It probably will make his ultimate death more peaceful, not that I care if he finds peace or not.
I snapped my fingers in front of his dopey, smiling face. He shook loose his daydreaming and looked at me. It suddenly dawned on him to tell me what I wanted to know.
“The scanners are buzzing. They have your family in custody. They are calling it the Casey mouse and cheese scenario.”
Son of a bitch! Don’t these idiots ever learn? That was my first initial reaction. My second thought was; these cops, they have a pattern, just like societal behavior, they learn a response from a scenario and follow it to the last detail, and do so the same way every time. It is a natural occurrence in everyone’s psyche. Just as I thought that, another thought occurred, and it was triggered by a surprising source. “If you ask me, I think they are trying to trap you.”
Just like a lightbulb popping up over your favorite cartoon character’s head, I figured it all out. Forget about learned behavior and auto responsiveness, they were trying to move up into the big leagues. That’s when I knew Charles Street was back. I am pretty sure a smile crept across my face. Even though I never did things for the sport of it, or the thrill, something buzzed inside of me. A euphoric high captured my senses, proclaiming the game was back on.