by Scott Overton

It’s a hard thing to accept that someone wants you dead. It forces you to decide if you have anything worth living for.
When radio morning host Lee Garrett finds a death threat on his control console, he shrugs it off as a prank. Until a series of minor harassments turns into undeniable attempts on his life. The suspects are many—he’s made enemies—and the police are strangely uncooperative. The radio career he loved has turned sour, leaving behind a dwindling audience and the wreckage of his marriage. Then the friendship of a newly blind boy and the boy’s attractive teacher offer unexpected hope. Maybe he can make a fresh start.
But when the deadliest assault yet claims an innocent victim, Garrett knows he has no choice—he has to find his persecutors and force a confrontation. The extraordinary outcome will test the limits of an ordinary man.


The Bee Gees sang about starting a joke, but the lyric made no impression on his mind. His fragile early morning contentment had been pierced by childish block letters from a fat, felt-tipped marker. Red ink. A square of paper torn from a brown grocery bag. A message of hate.

He fingered the paper and read the words again, then a third time, one by one, as if reading them together he had somehow misunderstood their meaning. Most were unnecessary; one conveyed the meaning of all: death. Like the most feared tarot card or the pirates’ black spot, the scrap of paper in his hands had suddenly brought a breath of the grave into his private sanctuary.


“25 Or 6 To 4” by Chicago went into its last, long chord. A station ID fired, with a ballsy voice over a musical ‘stinger’: 620 CTBX “The Box”: Favourites of the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s. George Harrison’s “What Is Life?” followed, and Lee tapped the screen of the music computer to kick it out of Auto Play. Then he cranked up the volume on his studio monitor and let the juicy riff settle his nerves.

The Lee Garrett Morning Show was on the air.

A moment or an hour later, he reached for a pen and a pad of paper, and scribbled the words that had defiled his world that day.

Reviews:Sean Costello, author of Here After wrote:

“A gripping, insightful debut from a veteran radio personality and gifted wordsmith.”

Mark Leslie, author of Haunted Hamilton and I, Death wrote:

“Scott Overton is a storyteller of boundless skill. Dead Air first intrigues readers by drawing them into a side of radio broadcasting most people have never
seen, which is interesting enough, but then begins to craftily unravel an intriguing and suspenseful set of circumstances, further drawing readers in and holding them, breathless, to the last page. Overton’s …a writer to watch.”

About the Author

With a long career as a radio morning show host, Scott’s first novel, the mystery/thriller Dead Air was set in the radio world (and shortlisted for a Northern Lit Award in Ontario, Canada). Since then he has taken the reader to even stranger places, including the human bloodstream in his SF novel debut The Primus Labyrinth, a science fiction thriller that reviews compare to Michael Crichton and Dan Brown. Scott’s short fiction has been published in many science fiction magazines and anthologies.
Scott’s distractions from writing include scuba diving, music, and collector cars. He lives with his wife on a private island in Northern Ontario.