War-tortured hero, Frank Dempsey is dedicated to nation, family and traditional values. He is a community pillar and rising financial planner. Relied on by clients, he aids the homeless and rich alike. Flashback: Surrounded in battle, he discovers that a bloodthirstiness erupts, a “justifiable-killing compulsion,” in the face of desperate threats to those he cares about. Regulator Mark Goast toys with Dempsey’s career—potentially jailing him away from wife and children—then ramps this up in iterations. Goast is challenged in what he takes as increasingly enraging parries to his authority by Dempsey and his Insurance Commissioner boss. Never previously challenged or embarrassed by a superior, Goast seethes. This “inciting event” reveals a murder-psychosis; Goast grins at a cabinet marked “White Knight” for fined licensees. He kills the Commissioner with a similar axe and knife to those Dempsey used in war (kept in his man cave). Dempsey’s tools have dents that would have left forensic evidence. He is off the hook but suspects Goast. Goast’s escalations, even stalking family, tempts Dempsey to murder: Police dismiss Dempsey’s complaints; he must kill Goast himself. Jack, a friend/client, provides a CIA drug for their planned kidnapping of Goast, to be killed in a remote area. But he must kill Jack’s estranged wife Macy, enhancing Jack’s alibi; she’s an unjust threat to a friend. Jack provides toxic fruit from where Macy vacationed for “self-poisoning.” Dempsey prepares to kill Goast but balks. He returns drugged Goast to his apartment. But a secretly vengeful client, Brandon Walsh (Dempsey’s war C.O., relieved for endangering Dempsey’s troops; now CIA recruit/student under Jack), has tailed Dempsey. Walsh copied the dents on Dempsey’s weapons at a client party at Dempsey’s home, Walsh kills Goast with mimicked weapons! Season Two: Dempsey attempts to work while trying to discover who has framed him. Jack tries to kill Macy himself. Season Three follows Dempsey’s family life challenges and the growth of his firm to become a regional powerhouse that larger firms want defunct because its charitable, consumer-friendly actions make them look bad (more attacks upon Dempsey and his family). Skyhorse Publishing provided confirmation that it has no claim on $ecret$, even though some true tales from The Secrets of Successful Financial Planning will appear in $ecret$. Example: The son of an aging client took advantage of Joint Tenants with Right of Survivorship (JTWRS) to "legally" inherit half of the father's roughly one million dollar savings in a superficially legal manner. This shut out two charities and other heirs from that half. JTWRS can be used to "help" a declining senior manage assets. JTWRS trumps a will. The son faked the father’s “suicide.” My thirty years of being a de facto counselor to hundreds of clients is source for more real life intrigue woven into episodes and building Dempsey into a flawed yet sympathetic character.? Themes Despite human weakness—even a proclivity toward vicious violence—one can be a more complete hero by choosing to refrain from returning malice for malice. Also: You never know who will react psychotically to your challenge.