Detective Lieutenant Kay Boyd, head of Boston’s Organized Crime Task Force, saw her husband and children butchered by Boston’s rising crime crew “The Family.” Gambler junkie Joseph X. Null, a former low-level bagman for “The Family,” was tortured by their chief enforcer until he lost his mind.
Due to an experimental therapy to bring him back from a mutilated, catatonic state, Null recovered everything but his humanity, remaining in effect a chemically reconstructed psychopath. A one-man killing machine now, his single-minded mission is to whack out “The Family” down to its last man. A conflicted Boyd is out to stop him, even though the Boston Police Department unofficially couldn’t care less about “who takes out the trash.”
Believing he’s owed a debt, and having once been her CI, Null wants to recruit Boyd to help him destroy “The Family.”
When Boyd lost her family, she became a functional alcoholic, unable to deal with her guilt and grief. Like Null, she too is maimed. Null and Boyd may be different from each other, but they’re also exactly the same. "Dead survivors." And “The Family’s ace hitman Theron “Thing” LeCoeur is out to remove the “survivor” part from their mutual equation permanently.
Null pressed the gun hard to her cheek to confirm this. “We’re at
condition zero. Did Gomez teach you what that was?”
“I do. I’m new to guns, but it goes something like this: Condition
One is cocked and locked; Condition Two is hammer down
with a round in the chamber; Condition three is a loaded magazine;
empty chamber; Condition Zero, though, is as close as it gets: a
round in the chamber, hammer cocked, the safety disengaged.” He
made an impression on her cheek with the muzzle of the gun.
“That’s where we are now.”
“And where Anton is, is dead, right?”
Null reached behind and dragged the body into the bathroom,
dropping it by the scarlet painted toes of her pale bare feet. “He’s
right here.” Anton’s body left a skid of blood that beaded up on the
tile. He made it look like the two hundred thirty-pound thug was a
Ophelia jumped back on the edge of the sunken bathtub. She
had instantly been transformed into a gangly, knock-kneed teenager
with a desperate urge to pee. She danced nervously in place.
“He made mistakes, a few bad moves. He wasn’t really ready for
serious security for the Family’s lead counsel. But then, it wasn’t
necessary for him to be any good, was it? Who in their right mind
would go after a defense attorney, a civilian? But then, as you know,
I’m not in my right mind.”