Mark Bellinghausen is a courtroom sketch artist who witnesses injustice on a daily basis. On the way home from work one day, he sees a group of criminals assaulting a young woman on the bus. Overwhelmed by anger at the violence he witnessed, and the growing frustration of observing the guilty gain freedom due to the frailties of the American justice system, Mark seeks instant retribution on the gang under the cover of darkness. Having acquired the taste for vigilantism, Mark targets other guilty people he sketches in the courtroom, and dons a disguise to remain anonymous while delivering his own brand of illegal punishment to sexual predators and murderers. Mark travels through the seedy underbelly of America’s most dangerous city, Mecklenburg, delivering violent justice to those evading it, and pursuing ever more deadly criminals to attain solace from his secret past. With the media labelling the unidentified vigilante as ‘The Outlaw’, will Mark be able to escape from the long arm of the law, or will the vicious serial killers he hunts get to him first?
Three months after the events of OUTLAWED, THE HOUSE OF KARDS tells the story of Mark Bellinghausen; known in the city of Mecklenburg as The Outlaw. As he becomes obsessed with revenge on those who have wronged him, the tale follows a number of characters intertwined with his fate, including Fiona Falley; a former exotic dancer who uses illegally attained funds to buy into a sexually depraved and secret organisation called The House of KArds, which use clandestine means to run the world; economically, criminally and politically. The House of KArds employs two top level assassins. The first is the world’s premier sharpshooter, called The Marksman. Having never missed a shot in his career in the army, or in his work as a mercenary, The Marksman kills anyone who gets in the organisation’s way. For contracts which require more subtlety, The House of KArds use The Angel, a mysterious killer who dresses like the Grim Reaper and assassinates his targets leaving no evidence of any crime. Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Murphy Kocer has a new serial killer to capture, but without The Outlaw’s help, will he be able to halt the murderous rampage of Mecklenburg City’s newest psychopath? Or will his involvement with Mark be uncovered before he catches the homicidal sexual predator?
Mark Bellinghausen, the vigilante known as The Outlaw, begins his raging quest for revenge against the woman who betrayed him. With the help of his enemy’s enemy, The Outlaw becomes a low ranking member of The House of KArds and infiltrates the secret sect with the intent to murder his adversary in retribution for her betrayal. As The Outlaw delves deeper into criminality and becomes obsessed with vengeance, Police Commissioner Murphy Kocer attempts to limit the damage the vigilante inflicts on the city, in order to prevent his capture and hide his own involvement with The Outlaw from the public. However, Murphy soon realises he doesn’t have control of Mark, and is forced to make difficult decisions regarding his former ally. While The Outlaw climbs up the ladder of The House of KArds, he encounters ever more treacherous foes, and with his opponent becoming more desperate to retain control of her fledgling criminal empire while The Outlaw looms, can the ruthless vigilante achieve his revenge? Or will the limitless resources of The House of KArds prove too much for the former courtroom sketch artist?