Mitch Engel’s satirical mysteries weave contemporary themes with timeless human values. His previous novels, Deadly Virtues and Noble Windmills, are widely available. After heading one of the country’s largest ad agencies before the age of 40, Engel accepted a senior strategic role with a Fortune 500 company. He now writes full-time from his home in Lake Forest, Illinois.
Crimes of Arrogance
by Mitch Engel
Crimes of Arrogance
by Mitch Engel
Published Sep 18, 2017
Genre: FICTION / Mystery & Detective / General
Perfect Crimes on a Weekly Basis
Webb Tremont never has lived up to his family's expectations — mostly because he never wanted to. This independent-minded son of a prominent billionaire shuns his trust funds to become a cop, but when a series of events ends his career, he turns to writing about true crime stories and attracts a huge fan base. But fame takes an unexpected turn after his popular Serve & Protect books are adapted into a TV series. Six bored young geniuses from the tech world, rolling in millions from the sale of their software company, decide to prove their brilliance on a grander stage, committing mock crimes that parody each week’s episode of the prime time show. The anonymous pranksters become instant champions of the American public by leaving high-minded messages and large sums of money at each mock crime scene … that is, until a line is crossed into serious felonies. Webb and veteran FBI agent C.J. Matthews recognize that the group has been manipulated by a dangerous sociopath who has a vendetta against the Tremont family. In the search for answers, Webb uncovers secrets about his family and learns that wealth and pedigree are no protection against a criminal mastermind. Though he may have thought himself an expert on crime and arrogance, nothing could have prepared Webb for the rollercoaster journey he and everyone close to him is forced to endure in this well-crafted page-turner.
... Webb Tremont was defenseless. If C.J. Matthews had decided to accuse him of a felony right there on the spot, he would have confessed merely for the opportunity of having her place him in handcuffs. To say nothing of being searched for a weapon. The agent extended her hand and smiled. “Pleased to meet you, Mr. Tremont.” The smile only made things worse. Bright, perfect teeth. Magnificent full lips. Dimples on both sides of her smooth, bronze cheeks. She oozed outdoorsiness and athleticism. “Malibu Perfect” typically held little attraction for Webb, but C.J. Matthews also carried a badge and a gun. Any past rating scale was immaterial. He once again gave a slight nod, but this time also managed to expel a few syllables as he clasped her hand. “Miss Matthews.” That was enough. He couldn’t risk whatever else might tumble out of his mouth. She didn’t allow the silence to grow awkward. “An unexpected choice of residences,” she observed. “Considering your success as a writer, when I pulled up to the front gate I assumed your house was the sizable one in the distance, through the trees. But the mysterious voice on the intercom directed me back here.” “That was Nessie. She started working for my parents before I was born. She’s the one who really runs this place … at least since my mom died.” The agent tried to conceal her puzzlement, before finally surrendering. “Let me get this straight, Mr. Tremont. You’re forty-one years old, you’ve made millions from writing books, and you probably have hundreds of millions more in family money, yet you’re living here in your parents’ coach house?” Webb shrugged his shoulders. “It’s a long story, so let me simply clarify two important points. First, I’ve never touched a dime of family money. And second, this is my coach house. I bought it from my father back when I was a cop. Wasn’t easy making the payments, but I even paid more than it was worth so he’d never be able to claim I took advantage of him.” Now she was more perplexed than before. “Sounds like an interesting family.” “You have no idea, Miss Matthews. You have no idea.”