The Midas Protocol - Book 1: Fool's Gold

1983. Wealthy inventor and famed industrialist, Lawrence Bingham and his wife, are murdered at Well House, their magnificent arts and crafts home, about a twenty minute drive north of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The posh and typically quiet community of Sewickely Borough is rocked to its very core.

Larry Bingham's prototype invention, the Gold Box, which he built under the guidance of a mysterious entity called the Watcher, is stolen. The Gold Box constitutes an otherworldly device with the potential to usher in a new era for humankind. The circumstances of the murder are shrouded in mystery.

Corrupt police chief, Clipper Watson, uses the murder as an opportunity to falsely arrest two locals, Rusty Gibb and Mark Doverspike, thereby eliminating competition for his fledgling illicit drug business and bringing the high profile murder case to a close. 

The Gold Box prototype is handed over to the Majestic 12, a secretive committee of scientists, military leaders, and government officials, lead by the nefarious Malcolm Kane and his ruthless henchmen Mortimer Vanterpool. Formed in 1947 by executive order of President Truman, MJ-12 is charged with the recovery and investigation of alien spacecraft. 

Although the Majestic 12 obtained the Gold Box, they never located Bingham's secret lab where they feared plans to build a perfected version of his initial, flawed prototype might exist.  

6 years later. 1989. We meet Hank Raglan.

Hank is a young man working his way up the corporate ladder at Unalco, a multinational Pittsburgh-based metals and aerospace company, co-founded by the late Lawrence Bingham and Anthony "Tony" Laporte, Bingham's lifelong friend. Unalco is a multi-billion dollar company with operations in all continents but Antarctica. 

Tony is struggling in his leadership role at Unalco ever since Bingham's murder.  He feels control of his company is being wrested from him by Connor Wallrose, a man under the influence of Dr. Malcolm Kane. 

Meanwhile, the brash and impetuous Caroline Friday, the younger sister of Hank's best friend, Sam Friday, reluctantly caves in to her father's demands and enrolls at Point Park College, where she discovers an abiding interest in investigative journalism. As part of her class investigative reporting project, Caroline's team re-investigates the murder of Lawrence Bingham and his wife.

Caroline's team  believes that the two men convicted of the crime, Rusty Gibb and Mark Doverspike, were wrongfully prosecuted.  Under the guidance of journalist Bill Murdock, they reexamine the evidence and records that found Gibb and Doverspike guilty of first degree murder. 

While Caroline's investigation unfolds, Hank Raglan distinguishes himself with his ability to understand and explain complex engineering processes. Tony Laporte, renowned for ability to identify talent, takes an immediate liking to the young Hank Raglan.

Tony views Hank as the son he never had and a young man of rare intellect with extremely high leadership potential—much like his old friend Larry. However, Tony harbors a dark secret. 

Years after his Larry's death, he discovers his late partner's secret lab and his research about a perfected version of  Larry's Gold Box. He suspects Larry may have been killed for this cryptic invention, which he had hid from Tony for years. Compounding matters, Tony is diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. He fears he is the only one alive now who knows the location of Lawrence Bingham's secret lab and the blueprints for a perfected version of the strange Gold Box. 

With little other options, and his disease progressing, he tasks Hank Raglan to deliver the plans for the Gold Box to a Dr. Ahmed Rashid of the Gold Council, a metallurgist in Kuwait. He explains to Hank that Dr. Rashid is the only person in the world who can contact the mysterious Watcher, the entity who helped Larry build his Gold Box prototype.   

Meanwhile, the Majestic 12, which has infiltrated Unalco, suspects that Tony Laporte may know the whereabouts of Bingham's plans. They convince US President James Hawthorne that if the Gold Box should fall into he wrong hands, then the US would be at the mercy of whomever possessed it. 

The President authors the Midas Protocol, a memorandum granting the Majestic 12 sole authority and discretion to secure Gold Box technology at all cost. Kane instruct the ruthless Mortimer Vanterpool to closely watch Tony and his protegee Hank Raglan and kill anyone that stands in his way of obtaining Bingham's plans. 

Things are going great for Hank. Oblivious to the dangers posed by the Majestic 12, he becomes infatuated with both his meteoric rise at Unalco and his budding relationship with the lovely and beautiful Addison Moore, a co-worker at Unalco.  However, all that glitters is not gold. 

He soon finds himself in a fierce competition for prestige at Unalco, and for the hand of Addison Moore, with rival Jack Barons, an arrogant, contemptuous, young man born with a silver spoon in his mouth.

As an Ivy League graduate with a famous and powerful father, Barons grows jealous of Hank. He feels that Hank is beneath him and that he is more deserving of Addison More. Wallrose, who despises Laporte, comes to view Barons as his own protegee and together they seek to undermine Tony and Hank and gain control of Unalco. 

As the story unfolds into the summer of 1990, Caroline Friday, proves to be a natural at investigative reporting. She takes on the leadership role her project. Her investigation brings her to a surprising confrontation with Clipper Watson, who reveals to her information that she finds too incredible to believe. After a series of interviews and following clues provided by Watson, Caroline slowly unravels what really happened the night Lawrence Bingham and his wife were murdered. She comes to the startling realization that the truth may be too hard to believe and that it may be too late to save Hank Raglan.