Title: That Which Maddens and Torments
Author: Christopher Keating
Publisher: Christopher Keating
With the encouragement of her uncle, a retired professor of geophysics, Josephine Black, a recent college graduate, begins reporting on the issue of climate change for a major New York City newspaper. She quickly discovers that she has a passion for the subject and a talent for investigative journalism.
It’s not long before Jo’s hard-hitting articles are being noticed. However, leaders within the powerful fossil fuel industry don’t like what they are reading. They believe that the information in Jo’s articles could threaten their profits eventually, and they are also concerned that Jo will uncover a scientific report written by a friend of her uncle’s that proves the truth about global warming. The industry’s leaders are ruthless and are willing to stop at nothing to silence Jo and protect their profits.
Soon, Jo finds herself caught up in a very dangerous high stakes “cat and mouse game” related to the climate change debate. A game that combines politics and policy brokering at the highest levels of government with criminality. However, Jo is determined to outwit her ruthless enemies no matter what it takes.
Full of twists and turns, That Which Maddens and Torments is an entertaining, page-turning read. However, it also provides readers with insights into the debate surrounding the issue of global warming and helps to explain the motivation behind many of the global warming skeptics or deniers we read about or see on TV.
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They hadn’t hurt him. In fact, they had treated him quite well. That didn’t really change things, though. They were waiting for him in the apartment when he arrived and forced him to sit at the table. One of them sat with him while the other searched the apartment.
“Are you comfortable, Dr. Chriswald? Can I get you something to drink? Maybe something to eat?”
The old man shook his head.
“Why are you still in my apartment? I answered all of your questions. I don’t know anything about this report you keep asking me about.”
“Please, professor. Don’t lie to me. We know that you had the report. Just give it to us or tell us where we can find it and we’ll leave. No one is going to hurt you, but I must know where to find that report. You’re an old man and it wouldn’t take me long to force it out of you, but I don’t want to do that. Tell me what I want to know and we’ll be on our way.”
He was an intimidating figure. He wasn’t large or muscular, but there was a look about him that made you think this was someone to avoid, someone that would make you cross the street so you didn’t have to walk by him.
He was sitting at the table with professor when his accomplice came in.
“I can’t find anything. It’s not here.”
The professor’s questioner looked at him and said, “We’re going to have to do this the hard way. You are not going to like this. But, don’t worry; you’ll give in quickly enough.”
He was surprised at how fast the old professor could move and was caught off guard. Before he could do anything Chriswald jumped up from his chair was racing across the room - not towards the locked door, but to the window behind him. Without uttering a sound he went head first through the window.
The second man started to run after him before the first man stopped him.
“No! Someone might see you. Its five stories to the sidewalk. He’s done.”
“Oh, man! This place is going to be crawling with people. We need to get out of here.”
Seth Kern agreed. He could already hear the screams outside.
“Did you leave any evidence?”
“No. I was careful.”
Kern calmly nodded his head, “Good. Did he have some kind of list of contacts? He knew he would be forced to talk and he was willing to die instead. That means he had some secret he didn’t want to tell us. My guess is he did something with the report. He might have sent it to someone he knows for safe keeping.”
“Yeah, I saw an address book. I’ll get it.”
They took the address book and quickly let themselves out, leaving the building before anyone had a chance to see them. The clamor out front helped cover their escape. People were looking to see what the fuss was all about and weren’t in the hallway.
Once clear of the building Conrad Holiday asked, “Did you mean it? Were you going to just let him go?”
“Sure. I wasn’t paid to kill him, just to recover the report, and a dead body always results in an investigation. Besides, what was he going to do? Tell people about the report? Even if he did talk, people would have ignored him. It would have been just another crazy conspiracy theory with no proof or evidence. No, he wasn’t a threat to us.”
He wasn’t concerned about the dead professor. They had been careful breaking in and had made sure to not leave any evidence of their presence as they searched the apartment. He had no idea what kind of explanation the police would come up with, but he was sure it wouldn’t involve the two of them.
He was more concerned with what to tell his client. The professor was dead and the only lead they had was an address book. But, he had been in bad situations before and he would explain it somehow. Besides, he knew his client wanted that report too badly. He would let some things slide, as long as Kern was making progress.
“I wonder. If he had the report, why didn’t he take it to the press?”
Holiday shrugged his shoulders. “Maybe he was trying some blackmail?”
Kern shook his head. “I haven’t heard anything like that. Besides, the people involved would have just paid and moved on. It would be pocket change to them. No, I have a feeling there is more to this than we know about.”
With a sigh he pulled out the address book and began looking through it.
“Hopefully, one of these people knows something,” he thought.
Chris Keating had his first story published when he was just seven years old and in second grade. He has been writing both fiction and nonfiction ever since.
He wrote his first book, Dialogues on 2012: Why the World Will Not End, while he was a professor of physics at the U.S Naval Academy. He was inspired to write it because of continually being questioned on all walks of life about the myth the world was going to end on December 21, 2012 according to the Mayan calendar.
After the world didn’t end, Chris decided to tackle the controversial topic of climate change by writing Undeniable! Dialogues on Global Warming, which was published in 2014. He also began the online Global Warming Skeptic Challenge, offering $10,000 to the first person who could prove the fallacy of global warming. His challenge quickly went viral and Chris spent his entire summer that year responding to submissions. He later published a compilation of the submissions and his responses, which can be purchased at Amazon.com or downloaded as a free PDF at ChrisKeatingAuthor.com. Chris also writes the blog, Dialogues on Global Warming, which is devoted to climate change issues.
Chris most recent book is the thriller, That Which Maddens and Torments. It pits an ambitious, hard-hitting young newspaper journalist writing about global warming against villainous denier lobbyists in Washington, D.C., who are working for the fossil fuel industry. At the behest of their clients, the lobbyists will stop at nothing to protect the industry’s profits and to ensure that a scientific study proving the truth of global warming does not become public. Chris hopes that by tackling the issue of global warming via a work of fiction, he will engage a broader cross section of people in the issue.
After successful careers as an Intelligence Officer in the U.S. Navy and the Navy Reserve and then as a professor of physics, Chris now lives in the Texas Hill Country, where he continues to focus on climate change research and to write.
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