Authors Showcase: Death in the Balance

The Book: The Desolate Garden

The Author: Danny Kemp

The Story:  Only months before the murder of Lord Elliot Paterson and his youngest son Edward, an address in Leningrad is discovered hidden in the ledgers of the Families Private Bank in Westminster, dating back to the 1930’s.

There is a spy in the Family, but on whose side?

Elliot’s eldest son, Harry, is recruited into the British Intelligence Service to uncover the traitor.

The Desolate Garden is a twisting tale of deceit and intrigue spanning decades when the truth was best not told!

Lord Harry Paterson, Earl of Harrogate, is introduced to an attractive woman from the Foreign Office and together, desperately, they try to unravel the intricate web before the killer strikes again.

A Review by McDroll: “The magic of a book never fails to amaze me and The Desolate Garden by Daniel Kemp is certainly a book that will live in my memory for a long time.

I was totally blown away. Here is a book that isn’t just good but actually rather awesome, reminding me of the early 20th century literature of John Buchan and The Thirty-Nine Steps. I had to keep reminding myself that The Desolate Garden is set in contemporary London, for the most part, it has such an evocative feel of bygone times when manners and respect were expectations rather than a surprise.

“The story flows along at quite a lick. Harry’s father and brother have been killed in suspicious circumstances. Turns out the family has been involved in espionage for many years and Harry, as he delves into his family’s history, makes startling discoveries leading to a serious threat to his own life.

“To find out what happens, you must read The Desolate Garden for yourself. The history of the 20th century is at the heart of the book and ranges from the Russian Revolution to the Suez Crisis. Every event that is mentioned is closely linked to the plot and characters in such a seamless and brilliant manner, helping to build up the complex and tangled web of espionage that Harry finds himself wrapped up in!

“The Desolate Garden is a thriller, a romance and historical fiction all wrapped up in one highly entertaining package. I’m curious to find out where Mr. Kemp’s next project will take me but I’ll be there, bag packed and ready to go!”

A Review by M. Graff: “I must add that Kemp’s wry humor, swift pacing and knowledge of human nature make this a fantastic read.

“You’ll be charmed even as you’re horrified at the all-too-believable tale. Kemp has a sure hand with the differing strata he moves his characters around in – he also has a huge knowledge of little bits and pieces that add to making his characters so real they jump off the page! There’s something here for everyone, male and female readers alike.”

The Book: Death on a Budget

The Author: Michael W. Sherer

The Story: There’s nothing like having kids to change your outlook on life. A toddler has Chicago freelance writer Emerson Ward thinking twice about his habit of tilting at windmills and riding a white charger to people’s rescue. It’s no wonder he turns down his friend Brandt’s pleas to find out why a banker they both knew was shotgunned to death in the park near Montrose Harbor.

But when the love of Emerson’s life leaves for Seattle with their daughter to care for her ailing mother, Emerson has no reason to turn down a cry for help from a childhood friend. It means climbing back in the saddle of his old GMC motor home and returning to the small town where he grew up and swore he’d never return to confront old demons, family, friends and foes he hasn’t seen for 25 years.

Soon he’s up to his eyeballs in a high-stakes commercial real estate scam and a decades-old family secret that threaten everything he holds dear. The deeper he digs, the less he likes what he learns, about his old hometown, the people in it, and even himself. When he links the dead banker to the real estate scam and a group of fundamentalist Muslim businessmen raising funds for terrorists, the FBI steps in to let him know he stands to lose even more—his life.

“Think Travis McGee in Chicago with an Alfa Romeo coupe instead of a moored houseboat,” says author Jeremiah Healy (Rescue, Spiral), “and you have a terrific series.”

A Review by Harriet Klausner: “In Huntley, Illinois, banker Lou Barrett commits suicide using a shotgun. His childhood friend Chicago private investigator Emerson Ward returns home for his buddy’s funeral though he us stunned that Lou killed himself.

“At the same time that Emerson heads home, his girlfriend Nell Reilly decides to go home to Seattle with their two-year-old daughter Emily to visit her mother dying from cancer. Lou’s sister Meg Brodsky informs Emerson that she believes someone murdered her sibling, but made it look like Lou killed himself.

“Emerson, who was going to rush home to talk to Nell before she flew to the Pacific Northwest, begins to uncover a dirty mall deal, which leads to further questions about Lou’s business partner Pete Anderson and Emerson’s conclusion that his pal was murdered. However, not only does someone want him silenced and the FBI warn him off the case as they conduct surveillance of a Muslim businessmen, clues lead back decades to the sleuth’s teen years and his brother Hank’s suicide.

“The latest Ward investigation (see Death Is No Bargain) is personal as the death of a childhood friend brings back memories of the hero’s salad days when his sibling killed himself. The exciting story line is complex with two prime subplots, but several threads in each. Although the climatic ending seems to come out of nowhere, readers will enjoy Ward’s investigation into Death.”



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