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REVIEW and EXCERPT
Dead Lawyers Don't Lie
(Jake Wolfe Book 1)
(Jake Wolfe Book 1)
by Mark Nolan
Author Mark Nolan stops by today to share an excerpt from Dead Lawyers Don't Lie, which is celebrating its one-year book birthday. To commemorate this special day, the book is currently ON SALE for only $0.99, so grab it at this bargain price while you can. You can also read my review.
A mysterious killer who calls himself The Artist is assassinating wealthy lawyers in San Francisco. When war veteran Jake Wolfe accidentally takes his picture during a murder, The Artist adds Jake to his kill list and he becomes a target in a deadly game of cat and mouse that only one of them can survive. How far would you go to protect your loved ones from a killer? Jake wants to leave his top secret, violent past life behind him. But the reluctant, flawed hero can't ignore his duty and his personal moral compass.
This gripping thriller is full of suspense, plot twists and surprises. It features a cast of interesting characters, including several strong-willed women, two wise-cracking San Francisco Police Homicide Inspectors, one highly intelligent dog, and a philosophical killer who shares Jake's admiration for Van Gogh paintings but still plans to kill him anyway. As Jake gets closer to unraveling a merciless conspiracy, his life gets turned upside down and the danger level increases, adding to the growing suspense. This entertaining page-turner starts out as a murder mystery and then shifts gears into a high-speed action thriller that takes you on a roller-coaster ride to the riveting ending. A good read for those who enjoy mysteries, suspense, action and adventure, vigilante justice, unique characters, witty dialogue, and a little romance.
Listen to "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who, a song whose lyrics are significant to the killer in Dead Lawyers Don't Lie.
SFPD Homicide Inspector Beth Cushman drove through San Francisco, on her way to follow up on a lead in the attorney assassin case. She arrived at an old apartment building, parked her car and went inside. The stairs creaked, the carpet was worn thin, and the walls hadn’t seen a coat of paint in years.
On the second floor, the overhead light bulbs were burned out. One of the apartment doors had several bullet holes in it. She heard angry yelling from behind another door and then the sound of a heavy object hitting a wall. Beth placed her right hand on the pistol in her hip holster. She found number 213 and knocked on the door. Her training told her this could be an ambush, so she stood back from the door and off to one side, ready to draw her weapon.
The door opened slowly and a woman looked out. She had her hair in curlers and she was drinking red wine from a chipped coffee cup. The woman confirmed that yes she’d called the police because she had information about the golf course murder.
As Beth listened to the woman talk, it became obvious that she was a crackpot.
“You keep your eye on that boy Curtis, he’s no good, I’ve always said so,” the woman said. “I heard him complaining about his public defender lawyer, and he was plenty mad too. I’m sure he’s the attorney assassin, right here in our building.”
“We’ll be watching him, thank you for your time ma’am,” Beth said.
Beth went down the stairs and exited the building. She noticed there were now several gang-banger types of young males loitering around the steps. The men looked her up and down and one of them stepped forward to block her path. Beth was wearing a plainclothes pants suit and she didn’t have her police badge on her belt or on a lanyard around her neck at the moment. Her suit jacket concealed the pistol on her hip. The young man didn’t realize Beth was a cop, and he started catcalling her.
“Hey Red,” the man said, referring to her red hair. “I bet twenty bucks the carpet matches the drapes.”
He waved a $20 bill, and looked over at his friends and laughed. Beth punched him hard on the jaw and he went down like a bag of dirt, leaving him sprawled on the sidewalk and groaning in pain. As Beth walked past his prone body, she leaned down and plucked the twenty dollar bill from his hand and said, “You lose, genius.”
All of the man’s friends started howling with laughter. One of them said, “Oh you got owned.”
Beth had to admit that she was still angry about her husband’s affair, and she’d taken out her anger on that man. Oh well, he could have kept his mouth shut, but he’d disrespected a female cop and now he was paying the price. She smiled at the thought as she drove away.
[Want more? Click below to read a longer excerpt.]
Praise for the Book
"One of the most enjoyable books I have ever read."
"I found it riveting and could not put the book down."
"A life and death ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat. I stayed up half the night so I could finish this book."
"An action packed thriller from beginning to end! A cross between the action in the Die Hard movies, and the joking relationship between partners in the Lethal Weapon movies."
"I wish I could have given this book 10 stars - it is that good. If you like playing detective, you will love this book."
"This is the best action mystery book I have read. Mark Nolan is a hidden treasure."
"This book caused me a few sleepless nights, unable to put the book down, unwilling to wait to see how the twists and turns would end up!"
"There is non-stop pandemonium, international intrigue, twists and turns, secrets and lies... with an ending that that will shake you to the core."
"What a great story and thrilling ride! So well written. Jake Wolfe kicks ass."
"This author knows how to keep the reader intrigued. Highly, highly recommend."
By Lynda Dickson
Jake Wolfe is a photojournalist trailing a criminal lawyer in the hope of getting a story, but he gets more than he bargains for when he witnesses a murder and becomes a target of assassin Ivan Zhukov. Also known as The Artist for his creative and artistic kills, Ivan has been contracted by a mysterious international organization to kill several lawyers. But what is their real agenda? Will Jake be able to stop him in time?
While the story is good, the book is overly long and needs a severe edit. Problems include: too many physical descriptions of characters; irrelevant scenes, information, and conversations; constant over-explaining; unnecessary translations of basic phrases; numerous editing errors, including punctuation and poorly phrased sentences; back story told as dialogue; reports that read as narratives; unbelievable dialogue; multiple viewpoints, even those of the dogs, sometimes from paragraph to paragraph; too many coincidences, e.g., everybody seems to know everybody and they keep bumping into each other even though the action takes place in San Francisco; questionable character behaviors, e.g., Jake gets out of a long-term relationship and immediately sleeps with one woman and lusts over at least two more, and Ivan is always talking to himself and (conveniently) letting us know what's happening.
That being said, the story maintained my interest to the end. A nice touch is the way that music features throughout, with particular songs setting the tone for different scenes. Despite its flaws, this is still a good read for those looking for non-stop action, interesting characters, a touch of humor, and a bit of romance.
About the Author
Mark Nolan began his writing career as a successful entrepreneur who created news stories for businesses that were featured in The Wall Street Journal, National Geographic, Parade, Reader's Digest, and The Associated Press. Nolan was born in San Francisco, grew up in the Bay Area of California, and has also lived in the Pacific Northwest and Hawaii. He has raised two great kids and one very smart retriever dog. Right now he's busy writing the next book in the Jake Wolfe series.