A riveting debut mystery thriller tackling revenge and race relations against the backdrop of a small north woods town in Wisconsin. Detective Roger Viceroy races to stop a killer with scant clues to guide him but for a mysterious token as his only marker. Start counting…
Not eligible for review
Welcome to Aesop’s World. It’s a dark world where love and redemption have a cost that can only be measured in blood and violence. It’s just like our own world, except darker… furrier… scalier. FURRY NOIR. Six stories of things that go BITE in the night.
Ellis Mazer is a soon-to-be father and first-year English teacher in a small Arkansas town dealing with the disappearance of a little girl from her mobile home. But when one of his own students stops coming to school, Ellis discovers that he may be the only person who cares.
Every one of us is more than one person. There is the façade we show the world and the inner self, the instinctive creature that ultimately determines our behaviors. Some, favoured with a benign inner voice, are fortunate. Others must answer the murmurings of their dark angels.
“Lucky Dick” Richards thought stealing $4,000 in OxyContin would be a quick way to score some pills and cash. Now on the run, he discovers it was anything but. With nowhere to go, Lucky Dick strikes west, leaving his friends, family, and enemies to deal with the wreckage left behind.
Three-fingered Jack Davis sells some laced black tar heroin that contained carfentanyl, a drug used to tranquilize elephants. Several of the addicts overdose, and now Jack and a new friend, Jesse James Hofstetler, are stuck with a number of dead bodies to deal with. The two men aren’t evil, not in the way a serial killer is, but under the law they have committed murder.
Ted Bundy was never apprehended and is running for president. Jim, a contestant on a game show which has contestants competitively predicting the future by reading animal entrails, finds omen foretelling Bundy’s victory. As details of Bundy’s murderous past are uncovered, Jim decides to stop his ascent to power.
The Trumpets of Jericho blasted from the sky, heralding the imminent arrival of death. So begins this novel that is equal parts mystery and thriller in which five eccentric friends, all veterans of international intelligence agencies, meet a captivating, provocative young woman down on her luck, who triggers a chain of unforeseen, ill-fated events and steers them toward a ruthless enemy.
A justice system bent by lawyers until it’s nothing more than a process. But there’s a profound difference between the law and what’s right. How do an ordinary couple set about restoring some kind of balance? And is the Justice they seek for their murdered child, or for them?
In 1988, ADA Frank Corda battles the emergence of crack cocaine in once-affluent Washington Heights. Inspired by true events, and alternating between intrigue and action, Fallen City captures an iconic era in the history of NYC and paints a human story on the canvas of one of its biggest challenges.
These all await the reader of my novel “MY FIRST MURDER”; Miners and murders, cops and robbers, pimps and pedophiles, masters and subs, dicks and daggers, dogs and bitches, and assorted things and places. Some part is based on reality, some part is pure fiction. Figure it out.
PI Charlie Miner, freshly revived from his own murder, and Homicide Detective Dave Putnam follow a series of murders mysteriously described by a psychic.
This story will appeal to people who like gritty crime fiction with a touch of the supernatural who appreciate character development.
A recently widowed father. The dilapidated Victorian he wanted to start a new life in. The gnarled old woman in the house next door who watches him with sightless eyes. The beautiful young seductress who goes missing. The otherworldly messages that point to violence and murder.
Thomas Haftmann, a much beleaguered private investigator with a shortage of clients and a long-standing drinking problem, decides to take a few days off–namely, put in time on a case that take shim to the sunshine state tracking a runaway teen girl. Before he knows what hit him, he’s in big trouble and the two thugs escorting him to a mangrove swamp where a hungry alligator lies waiting are making no secret of what’s on the menu for that massive reptile.
When arriving home after work, George Knox makes a gruesome discovery. His beloved wife, Anna, is dead—hanging from a beam in their basement. Upon cutting her down, thinking it is a suicide, he realizes it is a cover-up for a brutal murder.
A novel in the flavor of Less Than Zero and Bright Lights, Big City. The book is about one man’s disillusionment with the America he thought he knew. Within the context of the novel are many political references as well as humor and satire. But the real context of the story centers on drug abuse, jewelry theft, fine wine theft, art theft, working for the mafia, and stealing from the mafia, as well as the author’s employment in the exciting, fast-paced world of fashion photography and his eventual downfall. It is the story about how, for a brief period of time he obeyed only the law… of gravity. He once believed that the answers to all of life’s problems could be found in the bottom of a bottle. They are probably still there, but now they are printed in Chinese. It is a story in which he learns “A heart is not judged by how much you love; but how much you are loved by others.”
After a series of encounters with the law, a young man yearns for a better life and escapes his past as he heads to New York City where his pursuit of happiness and success sends him on a series of well-intentioned misadventures that lead him into the dark side of the criminal underworld and revenge. A marriage of real events and fiction, Love and Theft pulls from the author’s personal experience to create a man whose life path is no more his own fault than the color of his hair.
Michael Malone and Dick Cherry are two down on their luck friends that reconnect after 30 years and stumble upon a serial killer in Tarpon Springs, Florida during Hurricane Katrina. Night after night as the storm is growing in form and power, the two friends race against time to find the killer. But perhaps they are not ready for the truth? Could the killer be one of them?
Sarah Andrews is a shy librarian who accidentally stumbles on a conspiracy by a group of rogue cops. Assaulted, framed and sent to prison to ensure silence, she discovers a startling capacity for violence. When released, Sarah plots her chilling revenge against the cops, hunting them down one by one.
Thriller novelist Garth Wainwright wakes from a car crash coma suffering from amnesia. Desperate to find his identity he learns he has a wife snatched during the car crash that stole his memories and almost his life —on orders from the head of a crime cartel.
Inside Moves: A Wainwright Mystery was a gripping and poignant read with bad guys, good guys and take-charge women for readers seeking a crime novel with an Ocean’s Eleven sort of feel.
Meet William Butcher, aka The Butcher. Those who stole $9 billion in cash want him dead. The cops want him for murder. Butcher’s only hope is his former NCIS colleague and closest friend, Linus Schag. With a plot torn from today’s headlines . . . The Butcher’s Bill.
Handsome, clever, if not yet rich, Philip Clarke finds himself drawn by Mei Li, lawyer and colleague, yet at the same time is unable to relinquish his weekly visit to the near-by shanty-town and the fishing village woman who offers exquisite and unexpected pleasure. But paradise comes at a cost.
Detective Tom Stone chases after a small-time entrepreneur who discovers the price for betrayal when mobsters fight for control of the High Tide Marijuana Dispensary in East Hollywood.
A fast-paced crime thriller which should appeal to fans of the genre, and anyone who likes double-crossing, gun-fights, betrayal, murder and just a little bit of romance. Great dialogue, plenty of twists and turns and enough action and drama to keep you hooked.
These 15 short noirs have been collected from a variety of outstanding publications and blog sites, ranging from “Powder Burn Flash” through “A Twist of Noir” to “Sex and Murder Magazine.” Thomas Haftmann’s dark world of murder and madness is not for the lover of the cozy mystery.
Tom and Sacha are ordinary. No special skills. Not retired CIA or former Assassins. No sliding walls swish magically open revealing a startling array of weaponry. They are normal people, like you and me. Until their 3 year old child is abducted and murdered. Revenge becomes their life.
Homicide detectives use an unapproved type of a DNA search in an attempt to catch a serial killer.
A thoroughly researched and genuinely compelling detective drama. The Death of Anyone introduces disgraced detective Bonnie Benham, who is determined to put her addictions behind her in order to solve a new case. A killer is targeting young girls and it’s a race against time to stop him before the body count gets any higher.
A phone call in the small hours after midnight lands Dallas PI Ed Earl Burch in a lethal game where nobody can be trusted and everybody wants him dead. That includes the caller, an old flame with a violent temper and a terminal knack for larceny and betrayal.
The Right Wrong Number is filled with the latest and greatest of Nesbitt’s Quentin-Tarantino wit mixed with everything gory, despicable, irreverent, and plenty of sex. Indeed, a great combination of mystery and a plain laugh-out-loud read—guaranteed to be a favorite for noir enthusiasts.
The ruthlessness of Russian organised crime, police corruption, sex-trafficking and murder are only a few of the problems facing ex-convict, Harry Windsor, as he searches for a missing girl while struggling to stay on the right side of the law – and survive!
A Federal official out to cover a deal he made with the Devil has brought the blueprints for the classified mission that nearly got Detective Holland killed in Iraq to New Orleans. The detective must take him on to keep the peace between heroin dealers and a notorious Mexican cartel.
“Francis Sparks’ MADE SAFE is a gripping, fast-paced and hard hitting thriller. Sparks’ depiction of the gritty underbelly of the heartland will grab you by the throat and not let go. Hold on tight for a wild ride.” Heather Gudenkauf ~ NYT bestselling author of The Weight of Silence
After five campers are hacked to death in their sleep in a national park campground, FBI Special Agent Cal Bocock learns nothing is as it seems at Elkmont. Bocock and his companions are pitted against an ancient evil that has been haunting the mist shrouded mountains since colonial days.
Nick Sibelius wants peace and the love of good woman. Failed dentist, Barry Swenson, wants to make a killing in meth and toxic waste. Caught in a death spiral of toxic relationships, Nick must choose between love and justice. And get kill’t dead–or worse.
“Kill’t Dead or Worse” is a smart novel chocked full of great characters and light humor. Finding humor and action surrounding Texas culture and a toxic waste dump, “Kill’t Dead or Worse” is anything but toxic.
Pour yourself a nice warm drink, dim the lights and conjure up in your consciousness; Femme Fatales, handguns, seedy bars, bad luck, thieves, scoundrels, a book of matches, a pack of Pall Mall’s, low lighting and definitely everything in glorious black and white and you’ll have “Alcohol and Cigarettes”
Manhattan, 1983. Ginny is young, brilliant… and one of the most feared criminals in Times Square. Waste management executive Nicolette is respected, trusted… and completely insane. In the spring of 1983, neither Ginny nor Nicolette knows the other exists. By Summer, one of them will be dead.
Given an impossible choice–kill a stranger to save five other strangers–what would YOU do?
If you like psychological horror and books that make you think as well as scare you, this book is for you. The author is a true professional and this reader can tell that he knows his craft, his pacing and character development. The book never lags. The characters live and breathe and feel very intense emotions that draw you in and make you sympathize. The internal monologue is handled deftly as well, without bogging down the reader in Chris’s agonizing decisions, but giving us enough to allow us to experience this with Chris. It’s a great read and would please anyone who can stomach some violence and uncomfortable situations.
This contemporary thriller is a comedic romp through South Florida. Full of twists, surprises and quirky characters who come together like a dysfunctional family, it grabs you by the belt, and drags you into a world where simple pleasures are way more dangerous than you ever imagined.
How do you defeat a foe who knows how you operate and every secret of your organization? It’s the question on Max Kenworth’s mind when he receives information about stolen nuclear weapons. The theft was arranged by Bart Madison, an ex-special forces officer, who has big plans for the devices.
Five years ago, Nell’s parents fled at night, leaving her and her younger siblings with their crippled grandfather. Now, she must also assume the burden of an injured FBI agent whose presence ignites revelations regarding both her parents’ disappearance and stolen munitions. Protecting her loved ones becomes a deadly undertaking.
When a rogue programmer intentionally crashes the gold index, it seems that Wall Street’s worst nightmare has come true. In truth, the crisis has just begun. Across town, an armored truck filled with $120M of gold is hijacked by an ingeniously crafted electromagnetic crane and seemingly driven into thin air.
Charlie Porter thinks he’s found the American dream in 20 pounds of stolen raw opium. The only problem standing between him and easy street is a desperate American landscape. A landscape filled with friendly foes and beautiful women, strewn with border …
We follow Agnes Mullins as she regains consciousness next to a girl whom, despite unsettling familiar features, she swears she does not know. The only problem is that this girl is dead. She struggles to piece together the past 24 hours before her already unraveling mental stability becomes truly unhinged.
After receiving a heart transplant from a young murder victim, Mia Germaine is plagued by nightmares. Are they clues to solving a murder case, or grim phantasms leading her further into danger? “A Secondhand Life” weaves a tale of reclaimed dreams as this taut thriller ensnares you.
A compelling thriller with twists and turns, A Secondhand Life explores the theory of ‘organ memory’, when Mia, the recipient of a murder victims’ donated heart, begins to experience memories of the night she was killed. Determined to piece together the clues and the bring the killer to justice, Mia places herself and her loved ones in danger to reach the truth. A great pacy thriller with a genuinely shocking ending.
The ill thought out attempt on Tulee’s life was a mistake, a terrible mistake. There’s an old Biblical verse in Galatians saying “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”. That never was more true than during those three months in Tyson County, never.
While holding to a Christian undertone, The Passing of Tulee Main is one story that has the potential of capturing the interest of quite a large audience.
Phoenix and Justin Sunder are master cat burglars and best friends until Dylan Panicosky enters their circle of hedonism and crime. Set in the blighted city of St. Louis in the ‘80s, Fraternity of Fractures is a love triangle played out in an urban setting full of nocturnal decadence and danger, with all the players fractured in their own way.
Corrupt politicians, a lost payoff, hired thugs, a sociopathic dog catcher, a foul-mouthed mob hitman and a pearly-toothed televangelist. Just another day in Dallas. Plain Brown Wrapper is a fast-paced crime thriller, combining the manic intensity of Carl Hiaasen with a jolt of Texas spice.
Aurora, a holiday maker, and David, a globetrotting sushi chef, meet-cute on a skydive, literally falling head over heels for each other. However, after a few days of bliss reality rears its ugly head and they have to part again. Three months later Aurora has rearranged her life to be with David. When she returns to Mallorca their love remains strong. Only, nobody reckoned with the human baggage Aurora unwittingly brings to the island. Two professional hitmen with nothing but murder on their minds. The chase is on
Stanke’s wildly thrilling period piece captures not just the groovy vibe of post-Franco Spain in 1977, but also the feel, the look, the smell, of Mallorca just as tourism was starting to really make inroads into the formerly pristine island.
His unusual and ambitious jumps in point of view wouldn’t have worked in the hands of a less skilled author, but here you’re in good hands. David and Aurora’s whirlwind courtship is over almost before it began, and then, upon her return to him three months later (surprise! With a child in tow) the breathless chase through the pine forests and over the mountains unwinds skillfully. David and his young charge flee for their lives from hit men, and then murderous cops. Then Stanke rewinds and adds another perspective, layering on a new level of understanding for the reader. And again he backs up and goes over the same ground again but in the head of yet another character. By the end, when the whole heart-squeezing narrative has unfolded, the reader knows everything and is satisfied. It’s not an entirely happy ending, you know that going in—but it’s a just one, and a thrill right to the last scene.
I wholeheartedly recommend Falling in Death and Love, for anyone who enjoys and appreciates intricate plotting, who has an affinity for Spain, or who needs a reason to stay up late. Once you start this novel, you won’t want to stop.
These stories are about the cliff—the tipping point—the instant we must roll the dice or succumb to the status quo. Burch’s characters face life with courage and humor in a tenacious search for meaning and fulfillment.
A Book of Revelations delivers the voyeuristic aspects of social media sans FOMO (fear of missing out) thanks to Burch’s stellar ability to place a reader inside the characters he’s created. His short stories have an epic feel because of his exquisite use of language and penchant for deftly wielding details. (Prepare to be compelled to reread details like “her right blinking flashing as she turned left” multiple times.)
Lately, there’s been no shortage of research on the benefits of reading floating around in the “soundbite-osphere,” everything from reduced stress levels and higher happiness quotients to better sleep and elevated empathy. (This inc.com feature rounds up nine of them.) As for the latter, being immersed in the worlds masterfully created by Burch may result in an almost immediate boost in understanding.
The eavesdropping sensation they induce is mesmerizing, and the stream of unexpected revelations are, too.
LINK FOR ARTICLE ABOVEL http://www.inc.com/jeff-haden/9-ways-reading-fiction-can-make-you-happier-and-more-creative.html
Two personalities, one person. After the death of his wife at the hands of robbers, Ronan take brutal and bloody revenge. Steve is an innocent man, but the only witness. A cat and mouse chase leads to a chilling conclusion for both men. Who will survive?
When a murder victim is found wearing a goat mask, it’s a strange murder. When a second victim turns up, it’s a serial killer. When the killer calls and taunts the police, it turns into something else, especially since the detective on the case doesn’t exactly go by the book.
After unearthing a plot that would kill hundreds of innocent people and bring London to its knees Jacob Wrayburn, along with his new employer Mycroft Holmes and young American nurse Faith Hobson, enters a dangerous world he never knew existed and must use all his wits to survive.
When the worlds of Johnny and Jamaal collide, the catastrophic clash ignites racial conflict not seen since Ferguson. The incident tests the fledgling love of Johnny’s best friend Lucas and his African-American girlfriend Chantal, setting them on a quest for truth and justice in the perverse racial landscape of 2016.
A disturbing yet highly recommended must-read, especially during current troubling times.
Bisexual teen Corey Nguyen believes that surviving senior year and a budding romance with her friend Kate is all life has in store for her. That is, until prom night, when she’s left alone and in shock, hiding inside a diner restroom, the only witness to a multiple homicide.
Economy in turmoil; lives, careers and fortunes are at stake. Tom must find out why and who’s behind it. Is the motive greed, power, revenge or even economic terrorism? Facing a crumbling marriage, personal threats and his most challenging ever investigation, he has the added distraction of a romantic attraction.
“Not just another book about serial-killing monks who travel through time and wear Union Jack flip-flops.” – Unusual Footwear Monthly
Monty Python fans may enjoy the slap stick humor and occasionally creative wordplay that make for some chuckle-worthy moments in Quest for the Holey Snail. Overall, the writing is excellent. Too often, though, the verbal calisthenics take over the story, detracting from plot, characters, and humor, and draw attention to the author’s presence. That makes it hard to become vested in the story or any of the characters. The murder mystery storyline is interesting and hints at a would-be great finale, but instead, the ending wraps up quickly, leaving the reader unsatisfied.
In the aftermath of the horrifying attacks of September 11, 2001, a second wave of attacks is expected to hit the U.S. mainland. The year is 2002. A Cabal of elite “one world” proponents, in conspiracy with members of the Chinese government, has developed an operation to spark the birth of their new world order. John Powers, ex-Delta Force sniper and CIA operative and the Alpha Team, must act now.
Ed Earl Burch is an ex-Dallas homicide detective tormented by memories of a dead partner and a killer snuffed before Burch could track him down. He’s a burnout, living drink by drink. Then Carla Sue Cantrell points a Colt 1911 at him and says the killer is still alive.
The first book in the Ed Earl Burch series, The Last Second Chance isn’t for everyone. Audiences who get a thrill out of Quentin Tarentino’s flicks will no doubt find Nesbitt’s plot captivating from beginning to end.
Two University science professors invent a device to determine natural abilities from DNA. Brian Townley becomes suspicious when his colleague, Richard Talbot, dies and his lab is blown up. Brian gets the help of local school teacher Jessica Dufret, trying prevent the Talent Scout from being used for sinister purposes.
A TV cameraman frantically searches for his missing reporter. Helped by his free-spirit brother, the terrifying scenario plays out from Florida to Belize. When one brother is locked inside a trunk on its way out of the country, the other battles to save their lives.
A fast-action crime thriller: Evan Powers has left his dull office job to become the new manager in Nick Grady’s marijuana growing operation … however, Nick’s complex past comes full circle, thrusting Evan in a scramble to decipher the truth behind the enigmatic lives of the people he holds dear.
An expertly plotted and devised crime thriller which keeps you guessing until the end – a great, fast paced read, despite the lack of connection between the reader and the main protagonist who I never really felt I got to know.
Successful artist Caleb Everett lives each day with a real-time film inside his head … playing murder. Working alongside veteran homicide detective Jack Rafferty, he now uses his unique ability to balance the scales of justice. Will this case take apart everything Caleb holds dear?
For the crime and detective novel junkie, TAKE YOU APART is the perfect book to kick back and relax to. Caleb, who suffers from visions of murders through the eyes of the murderer, is a sympathetic and well written character. With a fair amount of violence, it is not for the faint of heart. It is, however, an excellently crafted story.
A girl braves peril across 300 years of Detroit history to solve a series of murders. A young girl died the day before her sixteenth birthday at Fort Pontchartrain, during Pontiac’s Indian riots, 1805 Detroit’s great fire, 1800’s Black Bottom, 1920’s Hastings Street, and during the riots of 1967, this historical thriller will tickle your imagination.
“The Launch” is what you need in your life right now. It’s got comics, crime (a kidnapping), a buddy caper, insurance (not very much, we promise), a love story (that’s what we’re calling narcissism these days, right?), and a thrilling new watershed moment in Canadian-American relations.
Abandoning a recession-plagued America for the easy money of Asia’s lucrative but highly illegal boiler room industry, Don Rouse must navigate through a sordid world of drug addicts, deviants, prostitutes and professional con men in order to achieve his lifelong dream of making it big.
Young artist Mia Jackson is compelled to watch the posthumous video diaries of Jack Flood – controversial bad boy of the London art world and convicted serial killer. Can Mia allow Drake Gallery to show Aftermath in their retrospective of his work? Muse or victim, why was she allowed to survive?
Nobody’s career change was ever this rough . . . or rewarding! Auguste Kensley just wanted a vacation, a break to reconsider his chosen career and get his head together, to someplace exotic, a paradise on earth. Then she arrived. Was it new love, or was she only a deadly temptation, one to be avoided at all costs? But then they came, it all happened so fast, before he could find out the truth. He was kidnapped and held for ransom. And his only option for release, he had to complete the condition. But was there really freedom . . . afterwards?
Stumpy McCabe is forced back into the deceitful world of prize fighting to save his family and to chase away the nightmare that has tormented him for decades. Navigate through Trenton, NJ’s crime-infested backstreets and alleys with Stumpy as he obsessively defends the integrity and honor of his legacy.
With Strings Attached is for readers interested in a crime novel with likable characters, vivid descriptions and a close look at the underworld. Though a bit slow-paced with its detailed writing, there are still plenty of reasons to enjoy this street-smart, Jersey novel.
Sahara Corporation has a growing community of enthusiastic employees. But they don’t have the best interests of their company at heart. Through a VIP club—formed inside the company itself—they skim assets, steal clients and pocket the profits. The CEO vows to take back the company and destroy them.
A suspense-filled novel that crosses the globe in a world of corrupt politics, a ruthless greedy opportunist, terrorists, and a pawn with deadly skills. Dydre Rowyn wants out, but to leave her working relationship with Clayborne Zsigmond, a ruthless black market arms broker, could be a bullet.
Based on the real-life robbery of the famed Gardner Museum, this fast-paced, wily whodunit filled with intrigue, romance and stimulating scholarship. A wonderfully satisfying mystery for anyone interested in historical fiction. A roller-coaster ride of suspense, a meticulous portrait of the underbelly of the art world at its highest echelons.
Molly Peterson is a frazzled mother of two who is recruited by a super spy agency to infiltrate the PTA at her son’s elementary school. This book is a send up of motherhood, the PTA, comic books and spy novels. Its underlying message: life is better when you have superpowers.
This is a fun, fast read filled with enough gadgets and wisecracks to satisfy fans of “Get Smart” type thriller-spoofs. Readers looking for well-crafted mystery with depth, plausibility, and edge-of-your-seat excitement might want to look elsewhere. Despite swinging from predictable (the villain) and implausible (the solution), Codename Cupcake is well-written and filled with plenty of humor, making it a good choice when looking for a lightweight diversion.
In the small town of Hilldale, kid detective Adam Parker was crime’s worst enemy. With the help of his best friend, Kevin, and the girl next door, Becky, no mystery was too great to tackle. 15 years later, Adam returns to his hometown, but this time playing detective is no longer his passion. Kevin needs his help and what starts out as a favor, quickly turns into a plot to destroy the town.
Adam Parker and the Radioactive Scout is tempting for any adult who grew up on a steady diet of Nancy Drew, The Hardy Boys, and also Scooby Doo and especially Encyclopedia Brown. The book is infused with Michael Field’s affection for the kid detective genre. The concept is great, but the delivery left me wishing for something different.
When good guy social worker James Morrow and his police detective wife Maya meet local New England lobsterman, Tucker Flynn, the two families encounter tragedy too close to home.
Taking on Water is for those who enjoy a novel that takes them so deep into a setting that it feels like they’re actually there. Readers with enough patience to get through a sluggish first half will find a captivating finish.
1972. Harvard Square. Sex. Drugs. Riots. Across the Charles River–the Combat Zone, Boston’s notorious red-light district. Strip Clubs. Peep Shows. Dirty Bookstores. These are the streets new PI Mike Malloy roams trying to stay away from danger, especially the danger in his own mind.
Following a series of bad judgements, Nicolas Keszthelyi finds himself alone and pursued by the police in the depths of the French countryside. In a final attempt to secure his freedom, he writes to the police and lays out his side of the story…
People Like Us is an intelligent (in some places brilliant), well-written and entertaining novel. It reads like a cold white wine, not sweet but dry enough to make you pucker your lips in anticipation of the next sip. Perhaps it might go well with courgettes.
Based on a true story: It’s December 17, 1931. Nelly Don, millionaire fashion designer, has been kidnapped. It’s no ordinary kidnapping and no ordinary rescue attempt. Before it’s over, a powerful Senator may see his downfall and a Syndicate Crime Boss will have played a major role.
“Do you want the court to appoint a defender for you?” At this point, Thiery was still visible on the periphery of the main image in his mindProjection. Evans watched him nervously, remembering how well he had handled himself against the accuserAdvocate. He didn’t really understand all that much about legal procedure. All he knew was that this man had faced mild hostility from the adjudicator and strong hostility from the AA and yet had still managed to get his client out on what sounded like rather low bail, compared to some of the other cases he had heard that morning while waiting for his turn. “Can I have him, Your Seriousness?” he asked, indicating Thiery’s image. There was laughter in the holding area from some of the other defendants, awaiting their turn. “Do you mean Mr Wallace?” asked the adjudicator. Thiery froze at the sound of his name. He had heard Evans’ words a moment ago, but hadn’t realized that they referred to him. “Is that his name?” asked Evans, to more ripples of laughter from the oldTimers. “I mean yes Your Seriousness.” “Mr Wallace is somewhat inexperienced, Mr Evans. He deals with less… serious offences.” This was something of an understatement. Thiery had in fact only recently completed his legal internship and passed the bar exams. He had been invited to stay on at the publicDefender’s office and had agreed to do so for a year – even though he could have made far more money in private practice. “Does that mean he can’t represent me?” “Oh he can represent you, Mr Evans. But it might be in your interests to instruct a more… experienced defenderAdvocate.” “But I thought you said… if I can’t afford a defender…” The other detainees were laughing again at Evans’ naivety. Justice Norman called for silence and looked at Evans with an almost heartbroken sympathy. “The Court can assign an advocate for you, but not necessarily the advocate of your choice. We have a wellStaffed publicDefender’s Office and normally it would be up to them to assign a competent defenderAdvocate to you. And if for any reason they can’t take your case, the court will appoint a defenderAdvocate according to a roster of who is available, ensuring that all advocates appearing before this court do their fair share of proBono work. If you leave the matter with the publicDefender’s Office, they will assign an experienced defenderAdvocate to represent you – almost certainly a more experienced defenderAdvocate that Mr Wallace.” But Evans was not listening. He was still liveVisualizing Thiery, whose initial reaction had been to look away from Evans on his own mindProjection. However, now Thiery permitted his gaze to settle on the eyes of the accused man and he forced himself to hold the man’s gaze. Looking at Evans for any sustained period was not easy. Thiery’s initial reaction was revulsion at the man’s unkempt appearance. But when he looked into the man’s eyes, he saw in rapid succession a man who had lost all hope and then, as the mibiNeuts ticked by, that first glimmer of optimism and a faint belief that there was – after all – a future.