Fatal Impact (Chapter 1, page 1 of 11)


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Chapter 1

White Plains, New York Christopher Gilbert's new home was small; a slap in the face to remind him daily of what he had done to his family. Close to shopping and the train station, the two-room apartment was advertised in the Greater New York Apartment Guide as a "cozy starter for the movers and shakers." At this, he had to laugh. He had been there only one weekend before he discovered that the only movers and shakers were on the floor above him. Though the state of his new and humble home came as a shock after his once-affluent lifestyle, at least he owned it and he could afford it-just barely. The stove was slow to warm, and the lights flickered when a train shook its way past at all hours, rattling the shelves. The thin door, with its patched foot panel, tended to drag across the worn carpet and only two out of the three deadbolts were operable. Cold air seeped around the cheap windows at night, and he woke every morning with the sniffles. The shower, however, belted out steaming hot water; so hard that it left the back of his neck red. He had heard the term "slum" and "ghetto" as a boy, but he thought the current slang was "the hood." Now "the hood" was his home.

Christopher found himself in a place he had never thought to be when he graduated from the University of Virginia ten years earlier. A few months later, he was offered a position with a prestigious brokerage firm on Wall Street.

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