Chapter 1

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The phone wouldn't stop ringing. 

Tom Kush had tried to avoid picking up, letting it ring four times and dump the call into the Verizon answering system. But each time it started up again--four rings, a brief respite, and then another four.

By the fifth round, he knew he'd better rouse himself. He lifted the receiver of his vintage land-line phone from its cradle.

Kush was tired. He'd just arrived in Boston from LA on American Airlines Flight 192, a red-eye. 

The plane had been packed--a legacy of the airline cutbacks since 9/11--and he hadn't slept a wink. 

Thankfully AA 192 had arrived just five minutes behind schedule, at 5:47am.

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