C. Gary Johnston has a B.A. in English from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. Before a successful career as a business executive, Johnston worked as an advertising copywriter. Secrets Unused is his debut novel. He and his wife live in suburban St. Louis.
by C. Gary Johnston
by C. Gary Johnston
Published Jan 18, 2019
Genre: FICTION / Psychological
Many would say that Dr. Michael O’Byrne has it all. With a beautiful, smart, if somewhat snobbish wife, a loving young daughter, a successful practice, and an elegant home in the burbs, his life seems perfect. But his cushy existence is suddenly threatened when mysterious emails begin arriving from a woman from his past. A woman he last saw at a class reunion years ago who now wants to meet him—at a very odd place and time. Intrigued, Michael welcomes the private diversion, and takes the emails at face value, purposely avoiding a serious search as to who, or even what, is really behind them.
Knowing the magnitude of the risk, he formulates a credible plan and alibi to justify his absence. But at the last minute, problems arise, suspicious things, warning, perhaps, that Michael should call the whole thing off. But no. If his escalating guilt and apprehension can’t stop him, nothing can.
Finally the long-awaited day arrives—a day when nothing but the unexpected occurs and one Michael wishes would both end and continue. And when it’s over, one thing is certain. This day in June will live secretly in his mind forever.
Twists, surprises, deceptions, revenge—Secrets Unused has them all. With this psychological tour de force, a bookmark may not be necessary. Because putting it down might not be possible…
So after one final glance in the mirror, I looked around the room to make sure that the shades were pulled and that I had left one lamp on. Seeing all was in order, I gathered my phone, wallet, and keys, and moved toward the door. I took a deep breath as I opened and shut it, affixing the Do Not Disturb sign to the handle. I wondered how I would feel, what I might have become, when I returned. As expected, the hotel lobby was bustling at this time of the day. Guests were still checking in. People were meeting people. Groups were babbling among themselves. As I hurried my way past them, I briefly envied their apparent camaraderie. Unlike me, they had each other and most likely knew what their evenings would bring. But being alone and not knowing what was in store for me during the hours ahead was my choice. All of these people might be more comfortable than me now, but I had mystery on my side and the potential of a much more interesting and surprising evening.