“Sean had no one left in his life to impress, least of all himself.”
Below is an exclusive excerpt from chapter four of John A. Daly’s upcoming novel, “Safeguard (A Sean Coleman Thriller).” Safeguard is the fourth book in the Sean Coleman Thriller series, due out October 1, 2019. It’s now available for pre-order.
The novel catches up with Sean about 8 months after the significant revelation that closed out Broken Slate, the previous book in the series. Though Sean has left Winston far behind, he hasn’t escaped his past…
Tiny flakes of white paint swirled in the air on their gentle descent to the ground. They disappeared into a patch of long grass and weeds at the edge of the blacktop. The metal pole, rusted and slightly tilted, hummed from the punishment of its warped, wooden backboard.
Each smack of the basketball against the board sent a crunch echoing across the land, unheard by anyone but Sean. The campground was empty, which had made the day’s trash collection and restroom cleaning a cinch. The last camper—a college-aged kid with long hair—had left late Sunday afternoon. With no one around but Avalanche, who sat at half-court beside some grass poking up from a crack in the pavement, Sean didn’t mind looking like a crazy man.
He dribbled the ball with authority, his jaw square, his nostrils wide, and his eyes burning a hole through the backboard. When he spotted an unblemished spot of paint just below its upper left corner, he gripped the ball in his right hand, and twisted his body to the side. He thought about his father, and then his mother.
She had died four months ago. A second stroke had finished her off. It had happened just a few weeks after the Christmas debacle. He had never gotten to make amends for the things he had said to her that night—for what he had said to everyone, and the frightening physicality of his rage. The scene often replayed itself in his mind.
“You’re dead to me!” he had yelled, stumbling around in the kitchen with deranged eyes—effects of the multiple boilermakers he had downed at a local pub before arriving. “You’re all dead to me.” But it took a broken chair, shattered window, and the wails of his crying niece before things got bad enough for Lumbergh to pull his gun on Sean and demand that he leave.
Standing there on the court, Sean snarled and launched the basketball like a rocket from a bazooka, using all of his body. The ball collided with the backboard so hard that its corner snapped off. Sean clenched his fists and yelled at the sky as if delivering a war cry. Avalanche jumped to his feet.
Sean’s chest throbbed. His teeth clenched, and the corners of his mouth slowly curled into a demented grin. He had spent many hours on the beat-up old court, and he had told himself dozens of times that he should buy a rim for the backboard; he could work on his shooting and set some goals. But Sean had no one left in his life to impress, least of all himself. And sometimes it felt better to destroy than to achieve.
Safeguard is available through these and all other major book retailers: