I'm a tenured University Professor living in Rome, Italy (but interestingly enough am originally from Cleveland, Ohio). As I move toward retirement after a long and somewhat stressful career, I feel the desire to break out of the mold and delve into fiction which focuses on the dark side of human nature, both that which is unfeeling and indifferent to the fate of others and that which derives pleasure and a feeling of power from pain inflicted on them. Why do people read thriller stories and horror stories? Maybe because these stories allow them to entertain the unimaginable in a realm where there are no holds barred and no room for remorse. Inspired by masters like Stephen King, Dario Argento, and Dean Koontz, I offer up what I hope is a tasty tidbit replete with secret panels, hidden doors, torture chambers, flawed characters, riddles needing to be solved, and buried treasure.