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While workers ready the nuclear submarine Mystic for a June 2005 launching, comely Cynthia "Casey" Kiernan, PR chief at New England Shipbuilding Corp. (NESCO) in Connecticut's Fort Griswold Bay, struggles with distracting office politics and the slings and arrows of "investigative" journalists more intent on Pulitzers than objectivity. One of these is Brad Neiman, a young, self-centered Defense reporter for the Washington Word. On a business trip to Westchester County's New Rochelle, Neiman flees from a midnight hit-and-run witnessed only by Frank Manning, a part-time bookstore clerk in a small Connecticut River town. Manning later becomes a large part of Casey Kiernan's world in Fort Griswold Bay. One of Kiernan's occasional free-lance hires at NESCO is respected Hartford Crier photographer Ray Borelli. Ray reacts rather irrationally when he perceives an offense to his person, but his psychotic selective memory is buttressed by the fact that his victims rarely survive to testify against him. Ray nurses an intense grudge against Second district U.S. Congressman Bob Avery, and plots to amend an imaginary injury inflicted by Avery.
Borelli, meanwhile, is adding to an eclectic list of victims that began not long after his WWII GI father deserted Ray and his mother. A presidential election, an FBI investigation, and an inside look at the logistics of christening and launching an 8,000 ton nuclear submarine provide a backdrop for this story, anchored at "The Ship," a notorious, century-old submarine builder in the southeast corner of the Constitution State. Events unfold in Connecticut, New Rochelle, and Washington DC from late October 2004, through June 25, 2005, concluding as Mystic and her proud Navy crew pepare to become the last Navy submarine to slide down the yard's traditional sliding ways into the Thames River.
Peter K. Connolly grew up in New York's Westchester County. One of seven children, he now resides in New Haven, MO. He attended the University of Notre Dame, Stonehill College and Marquette University and has a B.A. in English and M.A. in Communications. An ex-Marine, he worked in Journalism, Public Relations and Advertising since 1959. He retired from General Dynamics in 1992 as Corporate Director of Public Affairs. Most recently he has been a PR consultant, newspaper columnist, web designer and third-rate golfer. He has six children and 17 grandchildren.