“Fate Don’t Negotiate. . .” – Gage Dolan
As I read the book, Wanton Regard, I wonder what kind of mind Geoffrey Neil has, to be able to come up with a fiend like Gage Dolon. This is Geoffrey Neil’s 3rd book and his writing is every bit as good as Stephen King’s or Joe Hill’s writing. The only difference is he deals with what is real rather than the supernatural. This makes it all the more terrifying.
Hailey Vaughn doesn’t know what it means to live in a digital age where someone who is obsessed with you can watch your every move, can listen to everything you say, at home, in the office, even in her car.
But there is a guy, we’ll call him Gage because that’s what he calls himself, who is totally obsessed with Hailey Vaughn—and he has big plans for her—as he watches everything she does and even manipulates aspects of her life without her awareness of any of it. For a while.
The author, Geoffrey Neil, in Wanton Regard, has created one of the most monstrous villains I’ve ever read about. He calls himself Gage Dolon and he has big plans for Hailey. To make matters more complicated, Hailey has a husband named Mason who is extremely jealous and loves guns.
Hailey Vaughn is the maiden in the middle. She likes to go for a drink in the morning at a place called Hot Perks and orders a medium half-caf, no-foam, non-fat, vanilla soy latte. A Barrista named Marissa works there and makes the drink for her, exactly as she likes it.
Gage is aware of this. Extremely aware. Frighteningly aware.
Let’s leave Marissa at Hot Perks in the short time she has left there and go back to Hailey Vaughn at the office where she works. She has just received a call from Gage Dolon, or whatever his name might be, about her note pads that she left behind while she was at a conference handled by The Small Business Growth Expo.
Gage is sitting in his car, parked in a vantage point where he can see into Hailey’s office window. He is offering to return the notepad and his voice is so gentle and suave. While he speaks to her he watches a live feed of a high-definition mini-cam loaded with footage of Hailey.
Hailey is flattered that this man, Gage, is willing to go through so much trouble for her. There is so much that Hailey has to learn and Gage Dolon wants to be her teacher. Hailey is not yet aware of the trouble Gage has gone through to gain access to her life.
Mason, Hailey’s husband, works nights and goes to the gun range almost every day. Hailey hates the guns but Mason thinks that Hailey should learn how to handle one for her own safety. Mason is also concerned that Hailey is having an affair with her assistant Robert.
On the front of the book it says, “Inspired By True Events.” The deeper I go into the book, the more it makes me think of certain events that I have read in the news. I can’t tell you what they are because I want you to read this book. Why should I have all the spine-tingling pleasure of watching an electronic net cast so carefully around Hailey Vaughn.
I’m a little ahead of myself. Hailey, flattered by Gage’s attention, meets him at a hotel and has dinner with him. She is utterly charmed. Gage is skillfull and he quote’s his father, “Fate Don’t Negotiate,” as he tells Hailey that it was fate that brought them together.
Hailey isn’t fooled. Or is she? The net is cast. Her jealous husband is cleaning his guns. Hailey is drinking a little too much wine. The electronic devices are silently spinning a web, as if a spider was wrapping its meal for later. Have you ever seen an insect struggling as the web surrounds it?
As I read I think of a song that was popular in the 50’s. It was called Sincerely and one of the lines in it went like this—“and I’ll never ever ever ever let you go, sincerely—“.
This is Geoffrey Neil’s 3rd book. Like his first two, Dire Means & Human Resources, it gripped me; like Hailey, I found myself in the snare. I started reading Wanton Regard on Saturday night of Memorial Day weekend and finished the story before Sunday evening. I would advise you not to start any of Neil’s books unless you are ready to set aside the next day or two to live in his world.
You can find his books on Amazon & EBay or just by Googling Geoffrey Neil. He has his own website. Believe me, once you read one of his books, you’d hunger for more.