IVD (9781606930502) – by Greg Przywara

Price: $9.99

Trapped in a loveless marriage and a dead-end job clerking at Mendota’s Market, Mark Crizlanek is convinced his life can’t get any worse. Then one night during a raging blizzard he meets up with an old high school friend Trevor Gates who brags about his new job with the online movie service Speedyflix. He later finds out this is a front for a terrorist operation run by the Cappellas, the most ruthless Mafia family in the Midwest who control their supermarket empire with an iron fist and eliminate anyone who stands in their way with exploding DVD’s. Shortly thereafter, his lover Crystal Logan and his manager Stuart Pearson turn up brutally murdered in a store restroom and he finds himself implicated in their deaths.
While awaiting trial, the Cappellas’ lawyer makes him an offer he can’t refuse: A guaranteed acquittal in exchange for his unconditional participation in an unspecified scheme. Mark, who believes the Cappellas are to some degree responsible for Crystal and Stuart’s deaths, agrees to the lawyer’s proposition. Unfortunately, despite the attorney and Trevor’s best efforts, he is convicted of first degree murder and given 75 years. On the way to the state pen, the Cappellas hijack the prison bus and free Mark. They take him back to Madison where he is ordered to team up with fugitive school shooter Erik Stockton and assassinate Jared Mendota, Mark’s former employer.
Mark and Erik blow up Mendota’s estate with an IVD but their intended victim escapes at the last minute. Even though they are now on the run from both the law and the Cappellas, Mark is compelled to destroy the home of Erik’s archenemy in exchange for incriminating information about Crystal‘s killer. He successfully completes this mission but Erik refuses to fulfill his end of the bargain unless Mark agrees to sell racist signs for his white supremacist uncle. Enraged at the kid’s manipulative stubbornness, Mark ties him up in his basement and tries to extract the name of Crystal’s killer from him by repeatedly screening a video of a brutal assault on Erik at a party.
When this method of interrogation fails, Mark is about to give up and resign himself to getting the information he needs from Trevor until he sees a news flash about Brett Favre’s retirement. Erik, who was promised Packer tickets by his uncle as payment for his services, now realizes he has no reason to withhold the murderer’s name from Mark any longer. He tells him that Stuart Worthington, the deranged inventor of IVD technology, killed Crystal when she threatened to inform the authorities about his activities and a cassette containing a phone conversation between Trevor and Worthington in which Trevor pleaded with the scientist not to kill Mark’s lover could be found in a safe in Trevor’s basement. Before Mark can turn the tape over to the police, he and Erik are captured by the Cappellas and taken to Worthington’s secret lab where the scientist threatens to have Mark shot if he refuses to participate in his scheme to release toxic gas into the city water supply. Mark tries to escape but is killed in a fire that also claims the lives of his lover’s killer and his associates.

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