A Monster's Game is the story of an idealistic young reporter named Alamanda Tyler and a serial killer with a serious grudge against the rich.
Crime reporter Alamanda Tyler is in Detroit to write a human-interest story about a six-year old girl killed in a drive-by shooting. When a wealthy white woman is beaten to death on a suburban street, Tyler’s boss orders her to “drop the piece on the black kid” to cover the story. A few days later, the body of Harrison Blaire, a Boston financier, is discovered in Detroit's Greektown district. Identical MO’s in both slayings fuel speculation a serial killer is on the prowl.
Tyler's controversial interview with the prostitute Blaire physically abused hours before his death results in the killer viewing her as a kindred spirit. In an email sent from an untraceable account, he tells her about the game he has devised to punish the wealthy. A maniacal version of baseball where a homerun isn't something to cheer about—it's a death sentence.
With few leads, the Task Force convened by Michigan’s Governor, enlists Tyler’s aid in establishing a dialogue with the monster who boasts: “I kill rich people.”
Madeline Erickson paid close attention to her surroundings as she hurried to her car on a warm July evening. Nearly midnight, the shops and bistros in downtown Birmingham, an affluent suburb north of Detroit, had closed hours ago. Having heard muggers avoid targeting people who project an air of confidence, she squared her shoulders and held her stylishly coiffed blond head high to avoid appearing as if she would be easy prey.
At fifty-seven, Madelineís figure was still trim; her taut, unlined face providing testimony to a willingness to come under the surgeonís knife on more than one occasion. Her first grandchild was due in December and Madeline blushed with pleasure each time a friend insisted she looked far too young to be a grandmother.
The call that morning from Rosalind Whittaker, an old friend from college, saying she was in town and suggesting they meet in Birmingham for a bit of shopping and a latte had been a pleasant surprise. The two women were having such a good time, they decided to have dinner at the restaurant in Rosalindís hotel. After dinner, the conversation was still going strong. They ordered another glass of wineóand then another. When Madeline confessed she was a bit lightheaded from the wine, they ordered coffee.
Now, as she peered cautiously into the shadows of each doorway she passed, Madeline scolded herself for not moving the car into the hotelís valet parking. Instead, she had used her annoyance over finding that silly parking ticket tucked under the wiper blade when she went back to feed the meter, as an excuse not to bother about moving the car. Listening to the rhythmic clacking of her fashionable high heels echoing in the dark, she regretted that decision.
* * * *
The driver of the black Escalade did a double take when he spotted the well-dressed woman coming out of the hotel. A silver Mercedes three blocks away was the only car still parked on the street. He drove past the hotel without slowing and pulled in behind it. Shutting off the engine, he hunched down low in the seat to wait. His heart beating so hard, he could almost hear it.
The Game was finally about to begin.
Five minutes later, the Mercedesí tail lights flashed twice accompanied by the clicking sound of the driverís side door unlocking. Giving the visor of his Detroit Tigers cap a quick tug for luck, he grabbed the baseball bat lying on the passenger seat and jumped out.
The terrified woman struggled frantically to get the car door open, but he was too quick. He swung the bat with such force it split open her skull, killing her instantly. The sight of the blood-spattered body sprawled on the pavement turned his stomach.
Get over it, dude. The bitch deserved to die. Follow the rules and get the hell out of here.
Two more blows transformed the targetís face into an unrecognizable mass of bloodied flesh and shattered bone. Glancing around to be sure there were no witnesses, he tossed the bat into the back seat of the Escalade and drove away.