Authors Showcase: Rampage by Alan Brenham
July 28, 2015
The Book: Rampage
The Author: Alan Brenham
The Story: The stakes soar, both professionally and personally, for Austin PD Detective Jason Scarsdale as he finds himself in a race against time to hunt down a vicious gang hell-bent on murder.
Realizing that his new partner, the attractive divorcee Tatum Harper, could be trouble in more ways than one, he tries to run her out of Homicide. Will their partnership destroy his romantic relationship with long-time girlfriend Dani Mueller?
Will they both survive the harrowing face-off with the increasingly unhinged gang leader?
About Alan Brenham:
Alan Brenham is the pen name of Alan Behr, a Texas criminal law attorney and former law enforcement officer.
His first crime novel, Price of Justice, won several awards including best in police/crime fiction. A second novel, Cornered, was released by Black Opal Books on Amazon on July 13, 2014 in print format. A third novel, titled Rampage, is expected to be released on July 4, 2015. He’s writing his fourth and fifth novels, with more to come.
He was born in upstate New York, in the small Catskill Mountains town of Delhi. He worked as a Texas law enforcement officer for over seventeen years and as a criminal prosecutor and later criminal defense attorney for over twenty-five years. Today he lives in the Austin, Texas, area with his wife, Lillian.
Review by Susan Keefe:
Set in Austin, Texas, this story begins with Justin Wayne Cooper a.k.a. Mad Dog, repaying a debt by destroying a grave in the Heavenly Garden Memorial Park. Waiting in the car are Rastaman, and Runt. Fresh out of prison Mad Dog is on a mission to right some wrongs done to Snake, his cellmate. Impressed by his prison tales and hardness, the other two have become willing accomplices. At first it’s all a game, a good laugh, an opportunity to get some ready cash, but then the stakes get higher, and when the killings begin, they suddenly realise how Justin got his nickname…
In Alan Brenham’s first book, Price of Justice, we met widower, Detective Jason Scarsdale, his daughter Shannon and Dani Mueller. After the events in that book ex Austin PD Crime Analyst Dani moved back home to her family in Garmisch, Germany. However, three years on, Jason and Dani still have a very strong transcontinental relationship, and very soon Shannon and Jason are due to visit Dani and celebrate Shannon’s birthday at the same time.
However the holiday isn’t here yet and arriving at work, Jason, who has transferred back to Homicide from the Sex Crimes division, is called into his superior’s office and informed by Sargent Kipfer, that he has a new partner, a very attractive divorcee called Tatum Harper.
Soon a reluctant Jason, and his new chatty and very keen partner are trying to discover who the reckless killers are, and what links the crimes together. Whilst in the background, Jason’s relationship with Dani has taken a strange turn which gives the story an intriguing subplot.
Despite the clues and evidence coming together, nothing will stick, the death toll is rising. Who is the mysterious MD?
If you like reading crime thrillers then you will love Rampage. They say write about what you know and this action-packed plot has been very cleverly written, and has the great attention to detail I have come to expect from Alan Brenham. With his lifetimes experience as a Texas law enforcement officer, criminal prosecutor and defense attorney, the author’s in-depth knowledge, and understanding in these fields enables him to take his lucky readers on an unforgettable journey into the dark criminal underworld, its chilling inhabitants and the people who protect us from them.
Review by Grady Harp:
Alan Behr, a criminal law attorney and former police officer in Austin, Texas, takes on the moniker Alan Brenham for his second career as a writer. His debut novel, PRIDE OF JUSTICE was a certified winner with awards bestowed. His second novel CORNERED bested the initial entry and now he offers RAMPAGE – more action and finer polish than those first two jewels.
Working in both criminal prosecution and defense (as well as an on the ground police officer) gives him a special insight to write novels about crime and the intricacies – both positive and negative – of the criminal justice system. It also allows him scrutiny of the `good cop/bad cop’ conundrum that steps beyond the writings of most other authors less exposed to the realities of our justice system. Couple these facts his natural bent for writing and the result is another novel of great distinction.
This time around we meet another Brenham detective – Jason Scarsdale – and from Alan’s synopsis we get the gist of the tale: ‘The stakes soar, both professionally and personally, for Austin PD Detective Jason Scarsdale as he finds himself in a race against time to hunt down a vicious gang hell-bent on murder. Realizing that his new partner, the attractive divorcee Tatum Harper, could be trouble in more ways than one, he tries to run her out of Homicide. Will their partnership destroy his romantic relationship with long-time girlfriend Dani Mueller? Will they both survive the harrowing face-off with the increasingly unhinged gang leader.’
Alan knows that thrillers must grab you from the first page if they are to keep your sense of inquisitiveness, and so he plunges us in with the following: ‘It was after ten that night when the Dodge sedan stopped next to the curb. Two shadowy figures eyeballed the single-story home and the blue Toyota SUV parked in the driveway. Light shined through slats in the blinds of an enormous picture window about five feet from the front door. To the right of the door were two side-by-side windows, both lit up. “Are you sure this is his house? It looks different at night,” the driver said. “Damn right, I’m sure.” The passenger laid the rifle barrel on the edge of the window. “So now what?” “We wait until the son of a bitch walks in front of that window.” The passenger shifted in the seat to get a clear field of fire right at the window. “Then boom. One dead cop.”
And that is merely page one of a novel with so many surprises and twists and turns that the reader grows into a detective’s mind mold.
Brenham’s mastery of works and sense of tension and the realities of being a detective and finding ways to piece together a thriller while having his hero under the microscope of the criminals with life ending intentions is second to none. He is a master at molding these criminal tales and likely (and hopefully) there are more coming down the line. For those who love police/crime novels this is one of the best, and it certainly suggests that Alan Brenham has found his niche.