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Family Money

Family Money Summary

Family Money: Alex Mahan is married to his high school sweetheart, Taylor. They have two daughters and a beautiful home, and Alex’s startup business is about to explode thanks to massive private funding from his compassionate and supportive father-in-law, Joe. With millions more to come, all is perfect―until Joe is abducted and murdered during a family trip in Mexico.

Alex’s world is about to be turned upside down. He can’t bear to tell his grieving wife why. The man they’ve both idolized has been keeping secrets. The pledged millions are nowhere to be found. The source of the original investment is a mystery, even to Joe’s financial adviser. No one, it seems, has any idea who the man they knew, loved, and trusted really was.

As Alex digs deeper into Joe’s shadowy life, the most shocking surprises are yet to come. Deadly ones, too, because every lie that Alex uncovers in Joe’s dark past puts his family in more danger.

About the Author

Chad Zunker is the author of the David Adams legal thriller, An Equal Justice, as well as The Tracker, Shadow Shepherd, and Hunt the Lion in his Sam Callahan series. Chad has worked for some of the country’s most powerful law firms and serves at Community First! Village, a 51-acre master planned community that provides affordable, permanent housing and a supportive community for men and women coming out of chronic homelessness. He lives in Austin with his wife, Katie, and their three daughters, and is hard at work on his next novel. 

Family Money Introduction

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

The first thing that struck me as odd when my father-in-law was abducted right in front of me was the calm look on his face. Joe did not appear to be shocked when three young Mexican men suddenly jumped out of a run-down gray minivan and grabbed him in the middle of a small village eight miles outside of Matamoros. He did not yell out to me, “Alex! Help!” Instead, Joe just kind of stared at me with a resigned expression from across the crowded outdoor marketplace as they began yanking him backward toward the vehicle.

Yes, he fought them—at first. Joe did not go easy. His lean arms thrashed against their pulling. My father-in-law was in great shape for being in his late fifties. He still played a lot of golf and tennis. Joe had no trouble keeping up with me on our runs together on the downtown trail back in Austin. But he was no match for these muscle-bound men who wore dirty T-shirts, jeans, and boots. They looked more like day laborers than organized criminals. Two of the men secured Joe by the arms. When the biggest of the group grabbed his legs and lifted, the struggle was basically over.

With a heavy sack of groceries clutched in my arms, I hesitated a moment, squinting across the vendor tables against the blinding glare of the late-afternoon sun. What the hell was happening? Were these men really dragging my father-in-law away? I flashed on the conversation I’d had with Taylor—Joe’s only daughter and my wife—about a month ago when we’d first talked about taking this trip. Taylor had been concerned about bringing our whole family down here to assist at an orphanage.

She’d read so many horror stories about kidnappings and other violent crime on this side of the border. My wife always researched everything to death and then usually focused on worst-case scenarios. It drove me crazy. I tended to be the simple idealist. I had assured her we would be perfectly safe. We would only be twenty miles south of the border. We wouldn’t even be spending the night inside Mexico; instead, we’d stay at a Holiday Inn in Brownsville and cross over the border each day.

I’d had a friend who’d recently brought his own family down to the orphanage and said it was a wonderful experience, especially for his kids. This had also been true for us thus far. Our young daughters, Olivia and Nicole, had loved being with the other children this week. For the past five days, they’d done hundreds of crafts together, played games, put on plays, and kicked the soccer ball around for countless hours.

I’d never seen my girls smile so much. While the kids played, Taylor, Joe, my mother-in-law, Carol, and I had rolled up our sleeves to put fresh coats of bright paint on dingy walls of various bedrooms inside the old two-story building. Joe and I had left the orphanage an hour ago to drive over to the nearest village and buy groceries for dinner tonight, as we’d done several times the past week. My mother-in-law wanted to make a special vegetable-and-beef stew for all the kids. An old family recipe from her grandmother. My kids would usually devour it.

Everything about this trip had been a dream—until now.

I cursed, dropped the sack of groceries, ran toward the van. Unlike Joe, I was already in full-on panic. I weaved around other outdoor shoppers, who all turned to stare at the frantically sprinting thirty-two-year-old white man wearing a paint-stained orange Texas Longhorns T-shirt, tan cargo shorts, and flip-flops. A small boy pulling a rusty red wagon suddenly stepped out in front of me. I tried to leap clean over him, but the toe of my flip-flop caught the wagon’s edge. I toppled face-first onto the ground.

Scrambling to my feet, I ran forward again while spitting clumps of dirt from my mouth. The men now had Joe fully inside the minivan. Again, my father-in-law held my gaze. Staring directly at me through the open door, he mouthed something.

I’m sorry.

Was that what Joe had just said to me? Why would he say that?

One of the men pulled a black hood completely over his head. I felt my stomach twist at the sight. Then another guy yanked the minivan door shut. I reached the vehicle just as the tires began to spin and kick pebbles of gravel up into the air. I grabbed the outside door handle, yanked on it several times, but it wouldn’t budge. Pounding on the side of the minivan, I began yelling, “Wait! Please stop! I can pay you. Dinero! I’ll pay right now!”

But the driver of the minivan only sped up. I ran alongside it for maybe fifty feet before it was going too fast for me to keep up. I tried to jump onto the back of the vehicle but couldn’t find anything to grab. I lost my balance, fell onto the dirt road, and rolled several times, my flip-flops flying off my feet in different directions.

Again, I pushed myself up, looked all around for another way to stop this nightmare from happening. My Chevy Tahoe was parked on the other side of the marketplace. By the time I got back to it, the minivan would be long gone. I needed help ASAP. I glanced over at a host of pensive faces staring back at me. A lot of villagers were milling about and watching things unfold. None of them looked shocked by what had just happened.

I ran straight up to an older man wearing coveralls with a gray beard. “Please help me! Policía! Policía! Please!”

He nodded. “Sí, sí.”

He snapped his fingers at a teenager who was standing next to him. The kid punched on his cell phone, lifted it to his mouth, and began speaking rapidly in Spanish. I didn’t know enough of the language to understand what all he was saying, but I hoped he was talking to the police.

The teenager hung up, looked at me. “Diez minutos.”


“Policía. Diez minutos.”

Ten minutes?” I snapped.

I knew enough Spanish to understand that. I’d practiced the basics with Nicole and Olivia leading up to the trip. I wanted them to be able to communicate on some level with the kids at the orphanage. For a five-year-old and a seven-year-old, they had a knack for grasping the language. Both of them were really smart girls. They got that from their mother.

I again thought of Taylor, felt my chest tighten up. Ten minutes was a lifetime. I couldn’t just stand there and wait for the police. I spun around, stared back at the crowd of onlookers in the marketplace behind me. Could any of them help me? Did anyone know these men who had grabbed Joe?

“Habla inglés?” I began repeating, going from person to person.

All I got back were blank stares and shaking heads. Did no one here really know how to speak English? Most looked like poor people who’d probably never traveled too far away from this village. But then I noticed one Mexican man near the back of the crowd who stood out from the others. Clean-shaven with slicked-back black hair, he was probably my age and wore a nice gray suit with a white dress shirt unbuttoned to midchest. I doubted he was a local villager. Maybe he could help me.

I made a move in his direction. When I did, he immediately turned and slipped away into the crowd. I quickly lost sight of him. I cursed again, stepped back into the dirt road, stared off into the distance. All I could see now were big clouds of dust circling up under the blazing heat of the sun. I fell to my knees on the dirt. My hands were trembling. I kept seeing that black hood being forced over my father-in-law’s head.

Joe was gone. I couldn’t stop it.

What would I tell my mother-in-law?

What would I say to my kids?

How could I even face Taylor?

God, please.

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Family Money

Family Money PDF

Product details:

EditionInternational Edition
ISBN1542026164, 978-1542026161
Posted onMarch 1, 2022
Page Count239 pages
AuthorChad Zunker

Family Money By Chad Zunker PDF Free Download - HUB PDF

Family Money: Alex Mahan is married to his high school sweetheart, Taylor. They have two daughters and a beautiful home, and Alex’s startup business is about to explode thanks to massive private funding from his compassionate and supportive father-in-law, Joe. With millions more to come, all is perfect―until Joe is abducted and murdered during a family trip in Mexico.


Author: Chad Zunker

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