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mail@authorsguildoftn.org    +1.865.254-3054 and 865.657-9560.

  • HeaderWayne

    HeaderWayne

Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators.

He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves.

Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara—not far from Prospect PD.

Books by Wayne Zurl

Interview with Author

Tell us a little about yourself, whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself

Tell us a little about yourself, whatever you’d like to share to introduce yourself

Karen, you ask good questions. I needed an extra day to provide intelligent answers. Now, let’s see if anyone else thinks I’m as clever as I do. Here’s a little something about me:

Shortly after World War Two ended, I was born in Brooklyn, New York. Although I never wanted to leave a community with such an efficient trolley system, I had little to say in my parents’ decision to pick up and move to Long Island where I grew up.

Like most American males of the baby-boomer generation, I spent my adolescence wanting to be a cowboy, soldier, or policeman. Those aspirations were based on a child’s perceptions fostered by movies and later television.

The Vietnam War and additional time in the reserves accounted for my career as a soldier. After returning to the US and separating from active duty, the New York State Employment Service told me I possessed no marketable civilian skills. So, I became a cop. That was as close to military life as I could find. I spent twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years, I served as a section commander supervising investigators. Thanks to the GI Bill, I graduated from Empire State College with a couple of degrees and now that I’m retired from the police service, I still like the cowboy idea, but have interrupted that aspiration with an attempt at being a mystery writer.

Years ago, I left the land of the Big Apple to live in the picturesque foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of east Tennessee with my wife, Barbara.

Twenty (20) of my Sam Jenkins mysteries have been produced as audio books and simultaneously published as eBooks. Ten (10) of these novelettes are now available in print under the titles of A MURDER IN KNOXVILLE and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries and REENACTING A MURDER and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries.

My first full-length novel, A NEW PROSPECT, won Indie and Eric Hoffer Book Awards for best mystery and best commercial fiction in 2011 and 2012, and was a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. My other novels are A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT and HEROES & LOVERS. A fourth book, PIGEON RIVER BLUES, is under contract to be published in the near future.

Going beyond that canned biography, I now live in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States, just outside the most visited national parks in the country. In addition to spending my days writing and taking care of five acres of woodland, I’ve returned to something I’ve enjoyed since I was a small boy, fishing. I still use tackle from the 1950s and never mind throwing back those really big old lunkers that wouldn’t taste good and sort of remind me of myself.

How did you get started writing?

How did you get started writing?

There are a few defense attorneys who might say I began writing police fiction when I was still a cop. But back then, we called them prosecution worksheets. No one should ever believe a lawyer. My real writing career began after I retired. For almost ten years, I wrote non-fiction magazine articles about Colonial American history and the writings of James Fenimore Cooper. In 2006, I switched to fiction. I saw my first novelette published in 2009 and a full length novel debuted in 2011.

What appeals to you about the genre that you write?

What appeals to you about the genre that you write?

I cash in on the old author’s maxim of write what you know. With police mysteries set in Tennessee I can cover both bases: subject and venue. My protagonist is a former New York detective who retired and found a job as police chief for a small city in the Smoky Mountains. Like me, he would investigate crimes the old-fashioned way. In police language, he’s a dinosaur.

I take actual cases I investigated, supervised, or knew a lot about and transplant them to Tennessee. This whole procedure saves me from doing all but a bare minimum of research.

What is your favorite part of writing?

What is your favorite part of writing?

The seventh word in that sentence. Writing is fun. All that Facebook and Twitter nonsense needed to market the books is too much like work.

If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?

If you had to give up writing and do something else, what would you do instead?

I collect three pensions and think my royalty checks are pitifully small. So, I write to stabilize my ego on a livable level and keep me from playing stickball in the traffic not to make money. Right now, if I had to take a job to occupy my time, I’d probably want to be a charter boat captain. I’ve owned boats most of my life, know how to behave on the water, and the work would be fun.

What’s your favorite meal of the day?

What’s your favorite meal of the day?

No doubt about it—dinner. My wife is a great cook. I like to cook, and we’re not afraid of the clean up. We rarely eat prepared foods or frozen meals. It’s almost like going to a restaurant.

Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? The heroes and heroines, or the villains?

Which are your favorite characters to write, the female characters or the male characters? The heroes and heroines, or the villains?

This is a tough one. I use a lot of dialogue in my books and I love the conversations between Sam Jenkins and the three women in his life—his wife, Kate, Bettye Lambert, his administrative officer and desk sergeant, and Rachel Williamson, his friend the TV reporter. Each lady handles him differently. I’d say, they’re my favorites, but since most of the characters I use are based on real people, I like the idea of duplicating the delivery and style of speech for these quirky and unique personalities. If I can “hear” and “see” someone I know, it’s easy to write their dialogue and develop their character.

One of the things I dislike about my kind of story is killing off a few of the bad guys. Sometimes they’re so evil, I hate to see them go. I’d like to get more mileage from these real rats.

Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?

Are you an avid reader? When you do read someone else’s writing, what is your favorite genre?

I’m constantly reading something. For years, I read lots of historical fiction. When I was a cop, I rarely read mysteries or police fiction. Then one day someone gave me a copy of James Lee Burke’s book BLACK CHERRY BLUES and I got hooked. From him I moved on to guys like Robert B. Parker, Raymond Chandler, Joe Wambaugh, and that other fellow from Long Island who tries to write mysteries, Nelson DeMille.

Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?

Many writers dream of having the ideal location to write. If you could live anywhere in the world or live a particular lifestyle, where would you be answering these questions right now?

We almost moved to Scotland when I retired, but thanks to the US dollar sinking and the exchange rate being abysmal, we changed plans. But since you’re allowing me a fantasy existence, I’ll take a renovated old stone cottage on a few acres of headland near a harbor town in the Western Highlands. I would happily sit in front of a picture window overlooking the sea and the islands sipping single-malt whisky and write about an ex-New York detective who moved to Scotland and helps the local constables solve crimes.

If you were a color, what color would you be and why?

If you were a color, what color would you be and why?

Questions like this are too abstract for me. So, what do I do? Simple, ask my wife. She thinks I should be Great Lakes blue. We’ve just started fishing up there and I’m amazed at the expanse and beauty we cover in a boat.

If that doesn’t work, how about orange? I love the autumn and the foliage here in the Smokies is almost as spectacular as it was in New York’s Adirondacks.

My Latest Blogs

18 March 2017
Blog

 

Reviews/endorsements Wayne Zurl books

 

FROM NEW YORK TO THE SMOKIES

Masterful plots, penetrating psychology, rich background and intriguing, diverse characters –let’s face it – this series is addictive. You read one, you want more.
Wayne Zurl is a wonderful writer, whose books should not be missed! Five stars!
Ilil R. Arbel, author & researcher

Every story in this collection will hold your attention and y’all will be learning jes’ how them folks in the mountains of Tennessee chat! Great writing, well edited, exhilarating stories.
Nancy L. Silk, author & reviewer

Wayne Zurl writes detective novels with authority. His writing style is in-depth character development, vivid scene settings, and weaving just the right twists and turns to keep his readers captivated.
[The main character] Chief Jenkins reminds me of Robert B. Parker’s ‘Chief Jesse Stone’.
Any of Wayne Zurl’s novels could easily be turned into blockbuster feature films or ‘made-for-television’ movies. FIVE STARS.
Michael Phelps, author & private investigator

The stories, written in the first person, are funny, deep, sad – every aspect of human life is covered – and I thoroughly enjoyed every one.
Diana M. Hockley, author

This anthology collection is perfect for readers who have not had a chance to meet the charming main character, Sam Jenkins. Sam is a sarcastic guy who has no problem saying exactly what he’s thinking: his quick wit, sense of humor, friendly banter and sweet flirty side keeps the reader laughing out loud as every story unfolds.
Zurl has a knack for weaving intriguing police procedural tales with a witty mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. He utilizes his prior extensive knowledge and experience of police procedure to create a series that diehard mystery / detective fans will crave to read.
So take it from a Sam Jenkins groupie and read From New York To The Smokies. I guarantee that once you read the collection, you will get hooked on all of the Sam Jenkins Mystery series. It is simply an addicting whodunit mystery series that will turn mystery fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
Kathleen Anderson, book reviewer

Zurl is a natural born storyteller! He recounts these crime-solving tales with such ease, you’ll actually feel like your mind is being smoothly caressed. With memorable characters and vivid detail, these are the kind of stories you’d love to hear conveyed around an evening’s campfire.
There are a few seriously laugh-out-loud moments at our hero’s witty and clever sarcasm…a charming and delightful character.
Kat McCarthy, author, blogger, reviewer

…detailed stories with fascinating characters…fast-paced and enjoyable. Don’t miss these.
Marianne Spitzer, author

 

PIGEON RIVER BLUES

Sam Jenkins’ police work is the propelling motion of this fast pace read. Sometimes comical and witty, his style works on the written page. If you like TV police dramas, this book will be as intense, but more enjoyable because of Wayne Zurl’s spiffy character, Sam.
Roy Murry, author and reviewer

…Zurl does an excellent job of writing believable characters with their own special traits. Each is unique. [His] knowledge of police work and the military brings reality to Sam Jenkins’s character as he uses both to solve this mystery.
Marianne Spitzer, author

[Zurl] created a clever, hilarious, sometimes-over-the top character in Sam Jenkins. [He] is what makes this series one-of-a-kind. But it’s not all about Sam … The secondary characters in this novel are fantastic … complex, and though some are thoroughly unlikable, they are all unique … A fun, fast-paced, intelligent read.
Tricia Drammeh, author

I have always liked the small city police chief stories that used to be quite popular but seem to have been cast aside. Mr. Zurl has rescued this genre, given us new stories and a new chief [in] Sam Jenkins. This is quite a plot that Mr. Zurl has given us as protecting singer C.J. Profitt is not going to be easy. However if it were easy then we probably would not read this story. Sam Jenkins is a wonderful character that will keep you entertained as you enjoy this new adventure.
Victor Gentile: Vic’s Media Room

I loved the mystery and the relationships between the characters. I loved reading this story. It was written so well and kept me turning the pages.
Arlene Mullen, reviewer

Sam is one of those characters that has many sides to him. He’s lovable but can get the answers from a criminal when needed. He’s always full of surprises.
All the characters are deep and you have some you can’t stand but they each have their own qualities, good and bad. The book is a fast paced read and keeps you on your toes from the front cover to the last page. The bad thing is, you’re left wanting more.
Gayle Pace: Books, Reviews, Etc.

Pigeon River Blues brings to light many current issues that are front and center in the news today … This novel will keep you riveted to the printed page … with an ending you won’t expect and a Police Chief who won’t give up until the gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach is soothed by solving the case.
Fran Lewis: Just Reviews
… Zurl weaves another intriguing tale of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader guessing as they follow Sam [Jenkins] on his latest madcap adventure. Zurl engages the reader with a story that has a mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. His use of the local southern dialect stays true to the setting in the story; the reader feels like they are transported to the town of Prospect.
I loved the fun banter that makes up the dialogue in this story. You can’t help but get drawn in as the characters come to life. With a quirky cast, rich descriptions of the area … and a suspenseful storyline full of intriguing twists and turns, Pigeon River Blues is an exciting continuation of the thrilling adventures found in the Sam Jenkins Mystery series!
Pigeon River Blues and the Sam Jenkins mysteries are simply an addicting whodunit series that will turn mystery/detective fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
Kathleen Anderson: Jersey Girl Book Reviews

This full-size novel is one of Wayne Zurl’s best! This is an amusing, fun read as the characters are all well defined and there are no holds barred in what they think and say. This is a crime thriller which will make you chuckle and also keep you reading till late into the night. I could not put this book down and I’m amazed how well a former NY detective writes in perfect southern-speak in this captivating novel.
Nancy Silk, author

‘PIGEON RIVER BLUES’ is perfect with unique characters in a setting that fits like a glove with its Southern language. [It] is as intriguing as The Game, as thrilling as Ransom, and as entertaining as ‘Good Will Hunting.’ Highly recommended to all readers who enjoy a clever mystery, with a blend of intellectual thrills, and humor.
Geraldine Ahearn, reviewer

… Jenkins is one of those “tough-but-fair” lawmen who also display a well defined sense of ethics and personal integrity, while at the same time possessing a keen sense of humor and a generous dose of personal charm.
The supporting characters are also well rounded and completely defined, as opposed to the cardboard cutouts found in many series in this genre. I particularly liked the way he portrayed the Lesbian country star and her bigoted antagonists as real people rather than stereotypes or caricatures. That might have been an easy trap for an author to fall into, but Zurl avoids it deftly.
“Pigeon River Blues” is a more complex work than it appears to be on the surface. As in the works of authors like James Lee Burke and the late Robert B. Parker, there are moral and ethical questions clearly presented without losing sight of the fact that the main purpose of this type of novel is to entertain and entertain it does, hugely.
Bob Dunbar, author

Five stars to Wayne Zurl and his latest Sam Jemkins novel, “Pigeon River Blues.” The multi-faceted plot is driven by prejudice and hatred…[Jenkins’] demeanor while on the job is not what one might expect from a small town, southern police chief. His tactics are interesting, to say the least. As might be expected, the “real” antagonist is a surprise.
Larry Webb, author

Pigeon River Blues by Wayne Zurl is a fast-paced, intrigue-filled detective mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

I enjoyed the way the author developed his storyline and the background information. This made the story easy to follow and relate to. The author’s story telling style made the tale flow and it never bogs down. I found it easy to get into the story and hard to put it down.
Larry B. Gray, author

… there is much, much more to Sam Jenkins than just being an excellent police chief and an attractive guy. The character is complete, three-dimensional, and entirely human. He becomes a friend, whom you like, and you feel you know him well after a book or two—but just like your real-life friends, he can, and does, surprise you every so often. You think you know how he functions at work, at home, with his friends, his employees, his wife, and the criminals, but trust me, you don’t. In this book in particular I was utterly surprised by some of the things he said and did—but they fitted perfectly well with his personality. Mr. Zurl makes no mistakes.
I admire and respect Mr. Zurl’s complete absence of bigotry, prejudice, or preconception of anything, anyone, anywhere. There is, obviously, not an ageist bone in his body. His take on race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation (which is very important in Pigeon River Blues) is based on the jaded and sophisticated acceptance that the human race may be stupid and annoying, but stupidity and annoyance is spread across the entire world with no relation to who and what you are. As a result, the book displays the kind of gentle humor that is born of wisdom.
As for the plot – it is both brilliant and well crafted. Twists and turns and surprises happen again and again, but they are so well orchestrated as to make them entirely believable. You sometimes want to punch Sam’s nose – and the sentiment is certainly shared by some of the characters – but everything he does is inevitable to the plot and characters. This is a beautiful book that will keep you up and force you to go on until you finish. Enjoyable, intelligent, and fun – don’t miss it!
Ilil Arbel, author

Zurl’s mystery novels are well-written, character-driven, and the plot keeps the reader wondering. In his latest, ‘Pigeon River Blues’, the plot is tight, the good and bad characters are excellent…the dialogue is realistic and humorous. Oh, and the new character, John [Gallagher,] has a language all his own … and it’s a hoot.
The ending is tight; all ends are tied up, and just as you think it’s over…hang on…here comes another blast.
Lee Carey, author

 

HEROES & LOVERS

I just finished HEROES AND LOVERS…really an enjoyable read. Hell, if I was a cop, I would BE Sam Jenkins…Great writing Wayne. I’m looking forward to more.
Dirk Western, Amazon customer

Wayne Zurl is a fantastic author that grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go… His characters are fully developed and realistic. His descriptions of the Great Smoky Mountains area makes one want to leave on vacation. His story-line is full of twists and turns mixed into everyday life…Then there is the main character Sam Jenkins, the kind of man who can steal a woman’s heart with a smile [and] who will not take “no” as an answer when he is trying to…find his kidnapped friend. If this is the first Sam Jenkins mystery you pick up, it won’t be your last.
Marianne Spitzer, author

This story takes you on twists and turns that are unexpected, making the book hard to put down. Another great job by Wayne Zurl!
Margaret Millmore, author

Sure, Heroes & Lovers had a good-old-fashioned mystery at the heart of the book. But, this book also delved into who Sam Jenkins is as a person. It’s the human connection that speaks to me… This book is so much more than a mystery or a detective novel. The author tackles some very serious issues…with humor and compassion. He’s created flawed, but likable characters…And all was redeemed in the end. Zurl ties up his loose ends superbly. The book was a pleasure to read from beginning to end, and that’s why I’ll be back for more Sam Jenkins books.
Tricia Darmmeh, author

Zurl captures the regional southeast flavor in his characters’ individual dialects, in his descriptive writing, and in his obvious affection for the locals. In this entry Sam has to solve the kidnapping of his friend, a local TV anchorwoman, and the assault of her cameraman… Mix in a crooked car repairman, an active drug trade, political interference, and a lot of colorful characters and you have the makings for an entertaining story. I especially appreciated the satisfying ending, where several loose ends from the complex plot are all brought together. I liked this book a lot. Highly recommended.
Jerold Last, author

The reader will mentally view a superb story unfold, aided by excellent characters who do their jobs perfectly. Zurl uses descriptions of his characters and their surroundings with skill. The dialogue is perfect and realistic.
Lee Carey, author

My uncle Lou used the word spiffy to infer that an individual had class, was cool, and had his act together… it describes Sam Jenkins…Sam is a hero with pizzazz.
Roy L. Murry, author

I love Sam’s wit and humor along with his ability to see what other’s may not. He is charming and lovable and of course the ladies all love him and I like that in spite of his charm he is faithful to his wife Katherine, who may have a smaller role in the story but definitely not a minor role in Sam’s life.
Kathleen Kelley, reviwer

I really enjoyed reading this book. It…kept my attention from start to finish. I wasn’t expecting it to end the way that it did. Always a good sign!
Melissa Waldron, reviewer

Every once in a while a really good crime / police mystery comes along that just grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the end. And that is what Heroes & Lovers has done for me! This is the first Sam Jenkins Mystery novel that I have read, but it will not be the last. Author Wayne Zurl weaves an intriguing tale that is just a plain good ol’ fashion mystery that could only be told by a person with years of prior police experience. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style: the mixture of humor, intrigue and romantic drama engages the reader, while the story has enough twists and turns [to] keep the reader guessing what will happen next. With rich descriptions and details of the Great Smoky Mountains and rural Tennessee setting and dialect, to Sam’s sarcastic personality and the witty banter between the characters, Heroes & Lovers is an entertaining story that crime/police mystery fans will thoroughly enjoy.

Kathleen Anderson, reviewer

 

A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT

 The plot is sound and interesting. The author’s characters are likeable and believable.

The author has taken an assortment of characters from all over the country and the world and woven them into a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. I look forward to the next installment of the ‘Sam Jenkins Mystery Series’.

Paul J. for Readers Favorite

 Wayne Zurl’s writing, with its home grown Tennessee humor mixed with New York sarcasm, will have you laughing. But when it comes to police procedure, his writing is on spot—according to me, a police TV series nut case.

Roy Murry, author & reviewer

We travel along on a page turning read....really wild and entertaining. The way things turn out is nothing less than amazing. I loved it. I for one will be reading more of Chief Sam Jenkins mysteries!!

Maureen, Amazon customer

Zurl has a wonderful way with words and [a] hardy imagination. He's so creative, his main character Sam Jenkins is really someone I would love to know, [and] especially work with. I just don't think I would want to commit a crime with him around. Sam is brilliant. His sense of humor, witty comments, and all around knowledge make reading these mysteries that much more entertaining.

Patricia Foltz, Way2Kool Reviews

Absolutely superb. I was groused in by page one. This was the real stuff. The best aspect of this book is the incredible authenticity of police work. The details and the glimpses into what "real" police life is like, fueled by Wayne Zurl's experience as a cop, [are] remarkably refreshing. If more detective/cop books were like this, I would seek [out] this genre more frequently. Parts of the book made me feel as if someone had grabbed and twisted my guts.

In terms of its craft, one of the best books I've read in years. For me, a delightful read well worth the effort.

Tracy Shew, Amazon customer.


 

 

 

 

 


14 March 2017
Blog

Writing Effective and Realistic Dialogue

By Wayne Zurl

 

 

I can do something Nelson DeMille can’t. He admitted so in an interview. Well, not exactly. Although we’re both native Long Islanders, he didn’t mention me specifically, but said he has trouble writing dialogue for a woman’s voice. He’s not alone. Sometimes people experience difficulty satisfying the most important rule of dialogue—each character MUST have a unique voice.

 

Men don’t speak the same as women…and vice versa. Canadians don’t speak the same as people from Tennessee. A twenty-year-old boy doesn’t speak like a sixty-five-year-old man. Facts of life.

 

So, how do we remedy the problem some writers have? Think real people—people you know—actors you’d like to play parts in your story—anyone who you can HEAR.

 

I don’t have a great imagination. I’d flounder if I tried to write a classic sci-fi novel or a historical romance. But I do have a good memory, and as an ex-cop, I’ve got plenty of war stories to tell. And I base most of my writing on actual incidents. Quite often, Isee the real people who played roles in those real incidents. I hear them, their accents and inflection and delivery. And I duplicate that in the dialogue I write.

 

I also cheat. For instance, I gave my main character my voice. That made part of my writing life easy. If I would say something in a particular police situation, so will my protagonist, Sam Jenkins. Sam’s wife, Kate, says many of the things my wife might say.

 

After I get an idea, but before I begin writing, I hold a casting call and assign real faces to the fictionalized characters. I cast someone who would fit well into the role—an acquaintance who could play the part, the person who actually lived the story, or an actor/actress with a voice and delivery I can replicate.

 

Other factors are important to dialogue and revolve around you having a good memory. Poor memory? Carry a pad and pen, a mini-recorder, or whatever.

 

Just as you should be jotting down descriptions of places or people you may use some day, you should make notes on speech characteristics. Here’s an example of two very different deliveries.

 

Two mature women are sitting in a coffee shop.

Ms. A says, “Have you heard what people are saying about Mabel?”

Ms. B replies, “Yes, and I don’t believe it for one minute.”

 

Two salty old cops are sitting in a gin mill.

Detective A says, “You hear what they’re sayin’ Gallagher did?”

Detective B answers, “Yeah, and that’s bullshit. I know John—never happened.”

 

Same basic message, but very different sounds.

 

That last bit brings me to my idea of realistic dialogue.

 

Most people do not speak with grammatical correctness. We may know all the rules, but rarely do we strictly adhere to them. We’re lazy. We’re a product of our environment or locale. Most people speak utilizing contractions and quite often drop “understood” words.

 

What did Detective A leave out and shorten? “[Did] You hear what they are saying…?”

 

Writers should keep their narrative grammatically clean, but make dialogue fit a character’s personality.

 

I read a friend’s manuscript once. He’s an excellent writer with almost flawless research, and, man, can he construct a ripping yarn. But his dialogue sounded stilted, always in the “King’s English.”

 

His novel about Marines during the Vietnam War opened with the main character being rescued after a brief POW situation. Just after the protagonist, Captain X, jumps into a rising helicopter, he locks his heels on the skids, and bravely hangs out the door shouting in the general direction of a North Vietnamese company commander who “questioned” him quite vigorously.

 

“You are a vile coward, Tran. If our paths should ever cross, I will not hesitate to kill you.”

 

I’ve never been a POW, but I remember incidents where I wanted to send my best regards to someone I didn’t especially care for and I wasn’t so eloquent.

 

If he took time to say anything, I think Captain X may have said, “You’re a lousy coward, Tran. I see you again, I’ll blow your shit away.” If it were me, I’d probably save my breath and empty a few M-16 magazines in Major Tran’s general direction, punctuated by a carefully chosen epithet.

 

Of course, if Captain X was a British Army officer during the Boer War and not a US Marine in 1968, my comment would have been unnecessary.

 

I’m happy to report that if readers compliment my work, they often say my dialogue is realistic and easy to read—even when I add dialect. Not everyone agrees about using dialect. But in his book, ON WRITING, Stephen King does. He says, “Write it the way you hear it.” I’ll add, do it in moderation so you don’t inundate a reader with too much   out-of-the-ordinary speech.

 

For those who scoff at using dialect, I have only two words: HUCKLEBERRY FINN. Bringing it closer to our generation, there’s an excellent book (and movie) called THE HELP that would not have sounded very authentic without the distinctive accents used by author, Kathryn Stockett.

 

I’d like to think you’ll read something of mine to see if I’m as good with dialogue as I think. But if you don’t, try a guy named Elmore Leonard. Most experts think he’s aces.

 

 

 

28 February 2017
General

 

I collaborated with 4 other mystery writers to create an anthology said to contain “8 tales of murder, mayhem & mystery.” Obtain your FREE copy of DEATH OF CHOICE from these book sellers:

Amazon (Kindle) https://www.amazon.com/Death-Choice-Murder-Mayhem-Mystery-ebook/dp/B015AL6IJU/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Smashwords (all other eBook formats) https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/576713

These are my contributions

THE FERGUSON SHOOTING

            Jamal Ferguson’s mistake costs him his life and forever changes Police Officer Billy Puckett’s.

            On a cool, damp evening in Prospect, Tennessee, seventeen-year-old Jamal tries to buy beer from a convenience store. When asked for ID, the boy decides to steal the beer and assaults a store employee.

            All this was witnessed by Officer Puckett who attempts to arrest Jamal for robbery. Only the big teenager has other ideas. While resisting arrest, Ferguson violently attacks Puckett and tries to take his handgun.

            Moments later, unarmed Jamal Ferguson lies dead in the parking lot.

            The next day, the community expresses their outrage and a famous activist descends on East Tennessee, declaring that he will help the Ferguson family seek justice for their murdered son.

            Not much stands between the angry citizens and Puckett except Police Chief Sam Jenkins.

            Find out what a police shooting is really like, not what the media wants you to hear.

A FIRE AND OLD ICE

             Prospect, Tennessee’s mayor, Ronnie Shields, walks into Sam Jenkins’ office with his hat in his hand. Ronnie’s wife wants to sponsor a benefit fashion show to raise money for an animal shelter. They need the chief for two things: Convince his friend, TV reporter, Rachel Williamson, to emcee the show and find amateur models to wear the outfits.

            The show begins perfectly, until someone sets fire to the spring collection of a flamboyant Knoxville designer named Mr. Alex.

            Jenkins’ arson investigation puts him up against a trio of redneck troublemakers and takes him back seventy years to Europe and a closely guarded family secret.

            Think of this one as an episode of NYPD BLUE written by Woody Allen

 

 

 

 


05 February 2017
Blog

 

 

ON BAD REVIEWS

By Wayne Zurl

 

Some people have no bedside manner. That’s certainly true of a few (or more) book reviewers.

 

Don’t you hate to get bombed by a blogger who has only six followers and spends most of his/her time passing judgment on throw-away diapers or kitchen appliances? You ask yourself, “Why didn’t he/she leave my book alone and pick up a Veg-O-Matic?”

 

How should you handle the pain of a bad review? Let’s take it by the numbers and I’ll give you my thoughts.

 

1-Allow the steam to escape from your ears before proceeding.

 

2-Get all thoughts of physical violence and verbal retribution out of your system before moving on to step three.

 

3-Look at the poorly worded, opinionated, juvenile, asinine, obnoxious, nasty, insensitive, grits-for-brains review, written by an obviously uneducated, mentally challenged cretin OBJECTIVELYand assess its merit. Perhaps among all the hurtful statements, something can be learned from a valid point (no matter how ill-phrased.)

 

4-Do notimmediately click on Amazon’s comment box and write, “Oh, Yeah? I HATE YOU!”

 

5-If you mustreply, (and there may not be a necessity to do so) you owe the reviewer (and your reputation) civility. Type in: “Thanks for your opinion,” perhaps accompanied by a short and professionally worded statement and send it on its way. Then without delay, grab a pen and paper, and for your mental wellbeing, finish your thoughts with: You moron! Up yours! What makes you think you’d know a good book/story/poem (strike out those that do not apply) if it bit you in the ass? After you’re finished, crumble up your handwritten message and throw it at the cat. Your psychotherapist will be proud of you for practicing catharsis.

 

6-Receiving other than a five or four star rating may not be all that bad. Why you ask? Simple. It may give your book more credibility in the subjective world of literature. You can’t please all of the people all of the time. If you have nothing but five star ratings, people who read your reviews may think you arranged for all your relatives and friends to post nothing but high praise. With a spread of opinions, (with luck, mostly positive ones) readers tend to see the reviews as honest input from a wide spectrum of people.

 

My best advice (and who follows his/her own advice?): Don’t dwell on the negative thoughts of others. Most great authors have received negative criticism from someone.

 

My second best advice (and I like this one much better): If available, print out a photo of the reviewer, carry it with you and hope you see them on the street some day. Take this advice as something coming from a middle-aged kid originally from Brooklyn.


04 January 2017
Blog
Press

The holidays are over. No more shopping until Valentine's Day. BUT THE GIFTS KEEP COMING. Here's a FREE copy of my award winning first novel in the Sam Jenkins Smoky Mountain mystery series. Simply click on the link and follow the directions to down load your free mobi version (for the Kindle eReader.) If you would like a different version (ePub for Nook and most other eReaders or PDF for PCs and all other devices) just send me an email (the address is provided on the "freebie page") and I'll send it to you.

I hope you enjoy A NEW PROSPECT and plan on visiting Sam Jenkins and all the boys and girls of Prospect PD often. 

http://waynezurl.authorreach.com

21 December 2016
General
Short Stories

 

It’s a Wonderful life?  A Christmas Story

By Wayne Zurl

 

 

           Few people want to work a four-to-twelve shift on Christmas night.

            My wife had made an early dinner the night before and we opened our presents on Christmas Eve, satisfying our holiday spirit. And working Christmas day paid double time and a half. That’s no humbug.

            My partner, Louie, had just split up with his wife and it wasn’t his turn to have the kids.

            So, he and I sat drinking Dunkin Donuts’ coffee watching the stop light at Station Road and Montauk Highway. There were no cars, much less violators lurking about on December 25th.

            It was warm that year, about fifty degrees. I took the pile liner out of my leather jacket before I left home. The heat generated by the big 383 Plymouth engine and sent through the thin firewalls made the interior of the police car too warm for a jacket. We tossed them into the back seat with our brief cases.

            And we drank more coffee.

            “We haven’t heard shit on the radio for almost twenty minutes,” I said.

            “If we could find another human being I’d run them for warrants,” Lou suggested, “just to keep the dispatcher awake.”

30 September 2016
Press

Every book I've had published contains a caveat on the copyright page stating something to the effect: This is a work of fiction. Any similarity between this story and/or characters contained herein is a figment of the author's immagination and bears no resembalance to anyone living or dead. Well HOGWASH. Everything I write has some basis in fact. I'll readily admit that I have more of a memory than an immagination. My stories are based on real police cases I investigated, supervised, or just knew a lot about. Then I fictionalize and embellish them, and transplant them from New York to Tennesee. Real police work is not always a thrill a minute. So real police stories often need a little added pizzazz to make good fiction. Also, I'll paraphrase Jack Webb and his weekly opening statement on the old TV show DRAGNET; I change the names to protect the guilty...And keep me out of civil court.

My latest Sam Jenkins mystery (#6) A CAN OF WORMS, is a prime example of fictionalized police incidents that were strange enough to turn into fiction. Here's the gist: What began as a simple appointment of a local man to the Prospect Police Department, turned into a nightmare of epic proportion. A phone call from a citizen rekindled a three year old  rape accusation against this probationary policeman. The investigtion went far beyond revisiting a routine rape case. Falsified reports from a local detective were uncovered. A mishandled rape complaint and what appears to be malfeassance on the parts of the investigating detectives from another jurisdiction became very embarrassing. The prosecuting District Attorney's office lost the entire case folder. A shady private investigator is sent to intimidate the complainant and a material witness. The chief at Prospect PD is threatened with scandal unless he drops the investigation. And it goes downhill from there. In short, A CAN OF WORMS. This book is a composite of two incidents originally investigated in the mid-1980s.

HINT: don't read the author's notes which follow the ending until you finish the book.

Here's the summary from the book jacket:

 

             Against his better judgment, Police Chief Sam Jenkins hires Dallas Finchum, nephew of two corrupt politicians.

            Now, Finchum is accused of a rape that occurred when he attended college in Chattanooga three years earlier.

            The young man claims his innocence, but while investigating the allegations, Jenkins uncovers corruption in the local sheriff’s office, evidence that detectives mishandled the rape investigation, and the district attorney lost the entire case file.

            False accusations, scandal, and extortion threaten to ruin Jenkins’ reputation and marriage unless he drops the investigation.

http://www.melange-books.com/authors/waynezurl/canworms.html

 

What Readers say...

  • Review on FROM NEW YORK TO THE SMOKIES...

    Masterful plots, penetrating psychology, rich background and intriguing, diverse characters –let’s face it – this series is addictive. You read one, you want more.

    Wayne Zurl is a wonderful writer, whose books should not be missed! Five stars!
    Ilil R. Arbel, author & researcher

    Every story in this collection will hold your attention and y’all will be learning jes’ how them folks in the mountains of Tennessee chat! Great writing, well edited, exhilarating stories.
    Nancy L. Silk, author & reviewer

    Wayne Zurl writes detective novels with authority. His writing style is in-depth character development, vivid scene settings, and weaving just the right twists and turns to keep his readers captivated.
    [The main character] Chief Jenkins reminds me of Robert B. Parker’s ‘Chief Jesse Stone’.
    Any of Wayne Zurl’s novels could easily be turned into blockbuster feature films or ‘made-for-television’ movies. FIVE STARS.
    Michael Phelps, author & private investigator

    The stories, written in the first person, are funny, deep, sad – every aspect of human life is covered – and I thoroughly enjoyed every one.
    Diana M. Hockley, author

    This anthology collection is perfect for readers who have not had a chance to meet the charming main character, Sam Jenkins. Sam is a sarcastic guy who has no problem saying exactly what he’s thinking: his quick wit, sense of humor, friendly banter and sweet flirty side keeps the reader laughing out loud as every story unfolds.
    Zurl has a knack for weaving intriguing police procedural tales with a witty mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. He utilizes his prior extensive knowledge and experience of police procedure to create a series that diehard mystery / detective fans will crave to read.
    So take it from a Sam Jenkins groupie and read From New York To The Smokies. I guarantee that once you read the collection, you will get hooked on all of the Sam Jenkins Mystery series. It is simply an addicting whodunit mystery series that will turn mystery fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
    Kathleen Anderson, book reviewer

    Zurl is a natural born storyteller! He recounts these crime-solving tales with such ease, you’ll actually feel like your mind is being smoothly caressed. With memorable characters and vivid detail, these are the kind of stories you’d love to hear conveyed around an evening’s campfire.
    There are a few seriously laugh-out-loud moments at our hero’s witty and clever sarcasm…a charming and delightful character.
    Kat McCarthy, author, blogger, reviewer

    …detailed stories with fascinating characters…fast-paced and enjoyable. Don’t miss these.
    Marianne Spitzer, author

    Reviews on PIGEON RIVER BLUES

    In Pigeon River blues Wayne Zurl weaves a riveting tale of radical redneck revenge and domestic terrorism into the very fabric of east Tennessee's vacation paradise. True to his style, Zurl's detective Sam Jenkins delivers another captivating account of police bravery and heroism in the face of extreme personal danger. Dollywood may never be the same! *****   

    BJ Gillum, Author

    Rockwood, TNSam Jenkins’ police work is the propelling motion of this fast pace read. Sometimes comical and witty, his style works on the written page. If you like TV police dramas, this book will be as intense, but more enjoyable because of Wayne Zurl’s spiffy character, Sam.

    Roy Murry, author and reviewer

    …Zurl does an excellent job of writing believable characters with their own special traits. Each is unique. [His] knowledge of police work and the military brings reality to Sam Jenkins’s character as he uses both to solve this mystery.
    Marianne Spitzer, author

    [Zurl] created a clever, hilarious, sometimes-over-the top character in Sam Jenkins. [He] is what makes this series one-of-a-kind. But it’s not all about Sam … The secondary characters in this novel are fantastic … complex, and though some are thoroughly unlikable, they are all unique … A fun, fast-paced, intelligent read.
    Tricia Drammeh, author

    I have always liked the small city police chief stories that used to be quite popular but seem to have been cast aside. Mr. Zurl has rescued this genre, given us new stories and a new chief [in] Sam Jenkins. This is quite a plot that Mr. Zurl has given us as protecting singer C.J. Profitt is not going to be easy. However if it were easy then we probably would not read this story. Sam Jenkins is a wonderful character that will keep you entertained as you enjoy this new adventure.
    Victor Gentile: Vic’s Media Room

    I loved the mystery and the relationships between the characters. I loved reading this story. It was written so well and kept me turning the pages.
    Arlene Mullen, reviewer

    Sam is one of those characters that has many sides to him. He’s lovable but can get the answers from a criminal when needed. He’s always full of surprises.
    All the characters are deep and you have some you can’t stand but they each have their own qualities, good and bad. The book is a fast paced read and keeps you on your toes from the front cover to the last page. The bad thing is, you’re left wanting more.
    Gayle Pace: Books, Reviews, Etc.

    Pigeon River Blues brings to light many current issues that are front and center in the news today … This novel will keep you riveted to the printed page … with an ending you won’t expect and a Police Chief who won’t give up until the gnawing feeling in the pit of his stomach is soothed by solving the case.
    Fran Lewis: Just Reviews
    … Zurl weaves another intriguing tale of mystery and suspense that keeps the reader guessing as they follow Sam [Jenkins] on his latest madcap adventure. Zurl engages the reader with a story that has a mixture of humor, intrigue, drama and suspense. His use of the local southern dialect stays true to the setting in the story; the reader feels like they are transported to the town of Prospect.
    I loved the fun banter that makes up the dialogue in this story. You can’t help but get drawn in as the characters come to life. With a quirky cast, rich descriptions of the area … and a suspenseful storyline full of intriguing twists and turns, Pigeon River Blues is an exciting continuation of the thrilling adventures found in the Sam Jenkins Mystery series!
    Pigeon River Blues and the Sam Jenkins mysteries are simply an addicting whodunit series that will turn mystery/detective fans into Sam Jenkins fans!
    Kathleen Anderson: Jersey Girl Book Reviews

    This full-size novel is one of Wayne Zurl’s best! This is an amusing, fun read as the characters are all well defined and there are no holds barred in what they think and say. This is a crime thriller which will make you chuckle and also keep you reading till late into the night. I could not put this book down and I’m amazed how well a former NY detective writes in perfect southern-speak in this captivating novel.
    Nancy Silk, author

    ‘PIGEON RIVER BLUES’ is perfect with unique characters in a setting that fits like a glove with its Southern language. [It] is as intriguing as The Game, as thrilling as Ransom, and as entertaining as ‘Good Will Hunting.’ Highly recommended to all readers who enjoy a clever mystery, with a blend of intellectual thrills, and humor.
    Geraldine Ahearn, reviewer

    … Jenkins is one of those “tough-but-fair” lawmen who also display a well defined sense of ethics and personal integrity, while at the same time possessing a keen sense of humor and a generous dose of personal charm.
    The supporting characters are also well rounded and completely defined, as opposed to the cardboard cutouts found in many series in this genre. I particularly liked the way he portrayed the Lesbian country star and her bigoted antagonists as real people rather than stereotypes or caricatures. That might have been an easy trap for an author to fall into, but Zurl avoids it deftly.
    “Pigeon River Blues” is a more complex work than it appears to be on the surface. As in the works of authors like James Lee Burke and the late Robert B. Parker, there are moral and ethical questions clearly presented without losing sight of the fact that the main purpose of this type of novel is to entertain and entertain it does, hugely.
    Bob Dunbar, author

    Five stars to Wayne Zurl and his latest Sam Jemkins novel, “Pigeon River Blues.” The multi-faceted plot is driven by prejudice and hatred…[Jenkins’] demeanor while on the job is not what one might expect from a small town, southern police chief. His tactics are interesting, to say the least. As might be expected, the “real” antagonist is a surprise.
    Larry Webb, author

    Pigeon River Blues by Wayne Zurl is a fast-paced, intrigue-filled detective mystery that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

    I enjoyed the way the author developed his storyline and the background information. This made the story easy to follow and relate to. The author’s story telling style made the tale flow and it never bogs down. I found it easy to get into the story and hard to put it down.
    Larry B. Gray, author

    … there is much, much more to Sam Jenkins than just being an excellent police chief and an attractive guy. The character is complete, three-dimensional, and entirely human. He becomes a friend, whom you like, and you feel you know him well after a book or two—but just like your real-life friends, he can, and does, surprise you every so often. You think you know how he functions at work, at home, with his friends, his employees, his wife, and the criminals, but trust me, you don’t. In this book in particular I was utterly surprised by some of the things he said and did—but they fitted perfectly well with his personality. Mr. Zurl makes no mistakes.
    I admire and respect Mr. Zurl’s complete absence of bigotry, prejudice, or preconception of anything, anyone, anywhere. There is, obviously, not an ageist bone in his body. His take on race, gender, religion, and sexual orientation (which is very important in Pigeon River Blues) is based on the jaded and sophisticated acceptance that the human race may be stupid and annoying, but stupidity and annoyance is spread across the entire world with no relation to who and what you are. As a result, the book displays the kind of gentle humor that is born of wisdom.
    As for the plot – it is both brilliant and well crafted. Twists and turns and surprises happen again and again, but they are so well orchestrated as to make them entirely believable. You sometimes want to punch Sam’s nose – and the sentiment is certainly shared by some of the characters – but everything he does is inevitable to the plot and characters. This is a beautiful book that will keep you up and force you to go on until you finish. Enjoyable, intelligent, and fun – don’t miss it!
    Ilil Arbel, author

    Zurl’s mystery novels are well-written, character-driven, and the plot keeps the reader wondering. In his latest, ‘Pigeon River Blues’, the plot is tight, the good and bad characters are excellent…the dialogue is realistic and humorous. Oh, and the new character, John [Gallagher,] has a language all his own … and it’s a hoot.
    The ending is tight; all ends are tied up, and just as you think it’s over…hang on…here comes another blast.
    Lee Carey, author

    Reviews on HEROES & LOVERS

    I just finished HEROES AND LOVERS…really an enjoyable read. Hell, if I was a cop, I would BE Sam Jenkins…Great writing Wayne. I’m looking forward to more.

    Dirk Western, Amazon customer

    Wayne Zurl is a fantastic author that grabs the reader from the first page and doesn’t let go… His characters are fully developed and realistic. His descriptions of the Great Smoky Mountains area makes one want to leave on vacation. His story-line is full of twists and turns mixed into everyday life…Then there is the main character Sam Jenkins, the kind of man who can steal a woman’s heart with a smile [and] who will not take “no” as an answer when he is trying to…find his kidnapped friend. If this is the first Sam Jenkins mystery you pick up, it won’t be your last.
    Marianne Spitzer, author

    This story takes you on twists and turns that are unexpected, making the book hard to put down. Another great job by Wayne Zurl!
    Margaret Millmore, author

    Sure, Heroes & Lovers had a good-old-fashioned mystery at the heart of the book. But, this book also delved into who Sam Jenkins is as a person. It’s the human connection that speaks to me… This book is so much more than a mystery or a detective novel. The author tackles some very serious issues…with humor and compassion. He’s created flawed, but likable characters…And all was redeemed in the end. Zurl ties up his loose ends superbly. The book was a pleasure to read from beginning to end, and that’s why I’ll be back for more Sam Jenkins books.
    Tricia Darmmeh, author

    Zurl captures the regional southeast flavor in his characters’ individual dialects, in his descriptive writing, and in his obvious affection for the locals. In this entry Sam has to solve the kidnapping of his friend, a local TV anchorwoman, and the assault of her cameraman… Mix in a crooked car repairman, an active drug trade, political interference, and a lot of colorful characters and you have the makings for an entertaining story. I especially appreciated the satisfying ending, where several loose ends from the complex plot are all brought together. I liked this book a lot. Highly recommended.
    Jerold Last, author

    The reader will mentally view a superb story unfold, aided by excellent characters who do their jobs perfectly. Zurl uses descriptions of his characters and their surroundings with skill. The dialogue is perfect and realistic.
    Lee Carey, author

    My uncle Lou used the word spiffy to infer that an individual had class, was cool, and had his act together… it describes Sam Jenkins…Sam is a hero with pizzazz.
    Author Roy L. Murry

    I love Sam’s wit and humor along with his ability to see what other’s may not. He is charming and lovable and of course the ladies all love him and I like that in spite of his charm he is faithful to his wife Katherine, who may have a smaller role in the story but definitely not a minor role in Sam’s life.
    Kathleen Kelley, reviwer

    I really enjoyed reading this book. It…kept my attention from start to finish. I wasn’t expecting it to end the way that it did. Always a good sign!
    Melissa Waldron, reviewer

    Every once in a while a really good crime / police mystery comes along that just grabs your attention and doesn’t let go until the end. And that is what Heroes & Lovers has done for me! This is the first Sam Jenkins Mystery novel that I have read, but it will not be the last. Author Wayne Zurl weaves an intriguing tale that is just a plain good ol’ fashion mystery that could only be told by a person with years of prior police experience. I really enjoyed the author’s writing style: the mixture of humor, intrigue and romantic drama engages the reader, while the story has enough twists and turns [to] keep the reader guessing what will happen next. With rich descriptions and details of the Great Smoky Mountains and rural Tennessee setting and dialect, to Sam’s sarcastic personality and the witty banter between the characters, Heroes & Lovers is an entertaining story that crime/police mystery fans will thoroughly enjoy.

    Kathleen Anderson, reviewer

     

    Reviews on A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT

    The plot is sound and interesting. The author’s characters are likeable and believable.

    The author has taken an assortment of characters from all over the country and the world and woven them into a thoroughly enjoyable mystery. I look forward to the next installment of the ‘Sam Jenkins Mystery Series’.

    Paul J. for Readers Favorite

    Wayne Zurl’s writing, with its home grown Tennessee humor mixed with New York sarcasm, will have you laughing. But when it comes to police procedure, his writing is on spot—according to me, a police TV series nut case.

    Roy Murry, author & reviewer

    We travel along on a page turning read....really wild and entertaining. The way things turn out is nothing less than amazing. I loved it. I for one will be reading more of Chief Sam Jenkins mysteries!!

    Maureen, Amazon customer

    Zurl has a wonderful way with words and [a] hardy imagination. He's so creative, his main character Sam Jenkins is really someone I would love to know, [and] especially work with. I just don't think I would want to commit a crime with him around. Sam is brilliant. His sense of humor, witty comments, and all around knowledge make reading these mysteries that much more entertaining.

    Patricia Foltz, Way2Kool Reviews

    Absolutely superb. I was groused in by page one. This was the real stuff. The best aspect of this book is the incredible authenticity of police work. The details and the glimpses into what "real" police life is like, fueled by Wayne Zurl's experience as a cop, [are] remarkably refreshing. If more detective/cop books were like this, I would seek [out] this genre more frequently. Parts of the book made me feel as if someone had grabbed and twisted my guts.

    In terms of its craft, one of the best books I've read in years. For me, a delightful read well worth the effort.

    Tracy Shew, Amazon customer.

    Reviews on From New York to the Smokies...
    ~ Captivating – entertaining
     
    Wayne Zurl has done a superb job of creating unique characters and plot lines in this collection of short detective stories. Spattered with caustic observations and satirical interpolay between characters Wayne paints vivid pictures in the imagination. Captivating – entertaining. 
     
    **** ½  (four and one half stars) 
     
    BJ Gillum ~ Author Tennessee
     
    Reviews on A Can of Worms

    Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive . . .

    I loved this story with all its twists and turns about savvy Sam Jenkins, a tough-talking police chief with a soft heart, who tackles small town corruption in Prospect, Tennessee head-on. Chief Jenkins is a good man but he’s not afraid to bend the rules. The story revolves around Dallas Finchum, the goodhearted young policeman who is accused of rape. Mr. Zurl presents a host of other endearing characters and loathsome villains who are described in such exquisite detail that you feel like you know them personally. Another strong point of Mr. Zurl’s writing is that he weaves several interesting subplots into the main story that give it real substance. For example, his marriage to Kate is on shaky ground but he is determined to be faithful in spite of the strong attraction between him and Rachel Williams, the beautiful and sexy newscaster.  And there is always the tension between outspoken Sam and his former buddies from New York City, John and Vinnie, and the locals such as mayor Ronnie Shields. Mr. Zurl's years of experience as a NYPD detective give this book its authentic feel. The dialog is spot on and the ending is a surprise. There is so much to like about the hero Sam Jenkins and the story. I’ve read a few crime stories by well-known authors over the years but I would have to list this one at the top.

    Sam Bledsoe ~ Author

     

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