Murder Behind the Badge by Stacy Dittrich is one of the best books I have ever read about Cops who have gone bad. She delves into the minds and psych of cops all across the country who have committed henious crimes. She ends her book with Gerard Schaefer Florida’s first serial killer.
Stacy used my book Silent Scream as her research for this chapter. It was truly humbling to see my work in her book.
Blood on His Hands is one man’s tale of the inner struggles that we all deal with in our lives. Mike Renton struggles between doing the right thing or doing that which will benefit himself; taking the road to righteousness or the one the one leads to deceit.
His life seems to end the moment he pulled the trigger sending his unfaithful wife and her lover into oblivion.
On the lam, his journey takes him from rural Oklahoma to the glitz of Las Vegas. He had not however, anticipated the determined tenacity of private investigator Ian Walker, who tracks him down to northern Georgia on to the Appalachian Trail just outside of the sleepy hamlet of Helen. Was the path chosen by both men the trail to redemption, forgiveness and repentance, or was it one that will eventually pull them into tempest and despair; a black hole into oblivion?
Nine months later, in the spring of the following year human remains are discovered by a hiker just off the Appalachian Trail. How will the decisions made by the White County coroner’s office affect the final outcome of the journey Mike Renton started when he killed his wife and will he be able to deal with the repercussions that come along with the choices he made? Blood on His Hands leads us from wanton despair to the promise of a new life no matter the cost.
“What are a husband’s choices when he comes face to face with his wife’s infidelity? The answer lies in Mark P Sadler’s debut novel, BLOOD ON HIS HANDS, and it’s far more complicated and satisfying than the reader would imagine. Both a tale of bitter choices and sweet surrender, BLOOD ON HIS HANDS is a fine examination of the human spirit and soul… Though there is no mystery as to who’s the killer, the answer we ultimately seek is who will actually pay for the crime… I found the ending to be extremely satisfying and fresh. Remorse and reconciliation comes in many forms and Sadler has done a first-rate job at portraying this to his readers. BLOOD ON HIS HANDS is a very good read from a talented new author.” Robin Cain author of When Dreams Bleed
“Blood on His Hands is not your average romance novel. In fact, even though it contains love and heated passion, this book is not a romance novel at all…Descriptions are grand in this work. You will not find the boring, long-winded, twisted passages you find in 18th century novels or hard-to-follow poetry. Sadler is direct, brief and right to the point. And he does sway a bit poetically… ‘Tumbleweeds danced, twirled and weaved in the wind, like straw ballerinas finally sacrificing themselves on the barbed wire.’ Gorgeous. In addition to plenty of blood, guts and sacrifice, Sadler uses another beautiful writing technique. He gets the reader to honestly like every single character…” Ryn
Gargalinski, TucsonCitizen.com“With a well-paced storyline and powerful characters, Blood On His Hands is a welcome first effort from a promising new literary talent.”
Renee Washburn,Apex Reviews“…Mark Sadler’s debut novel, Blood on His Hands, is a solid and earnestly written thriller, not so much a murder mystery (since we learn early on whodunit) as a study of the psychosexual dynamics of a homicidal but oddly sympathetic loner on the lam. The book’s unexpected ending provides a new twist on the concept of the bad guy getting his just desserts, and its closing chapter provides a haunting allegory of dubious religious redemption…”
T.S. Minton, editor Interfusion Publishing“…for a debut novel…Blood on His Hands is a solid, engaging read for thriller fans…I started reading the book in the morning and finished it in the evening the same day. It obviously wasn’t boring in the least…Another really nice and really unexpected thing for a thriller, was Micheal’s internal dialogue and struggle with what he’s done…The author skillfully managed to insert humor into Micheal’s life on the Appalachian Trail and I was smirking quite a few times…I think that if you’re a fan of mystery/thriller books that are a fun and quick read, you should definitely give Blood on His Hands a try.”
Liliana Swistek, Reading Extravaganza – A Book Reviewers Blog“You did some great first hand research of all the different locations and I felt like I was right there along with Ian and Mike wherever they were! I loved the way you took us on a voyage across the U.S…The ending was great! It was really unexpected! I love a twist in the end.”
Frances, founder of www.WhereDoYouRead.com“He (Sadler) is also a careful writer and has done his research. I trusted him when he took me places, places I’ve been and places I want to go…. I didn’t want to put the book down or for it to end…. It held my interest and was suspenseful.”
Randy Ford, playwright
Sadler’s humble beginnings started in a small caravan in his grandmother’s garden in Post War Britain, May 1956.
Young Sadler quickly learned the joy of discovery through books as his mother, a pre-school teacher, read countless stories to him.
He graduated from Codsall Comprehensive in 1974, a future in writing seemed to be taking a clear path. The following year Sadler emigrated to the States on a student visa to attend Ambassador College Big Sandy Texas and participated in journalism and speech classes, intent on becoming the next big television news anchor.
From the factory floors of Robberson Steel to the sales floor at Intempo Wood Factory, from employment counselor to debt collector, he finally found a permanent position at Retail Merchants Collection Service. Debt collections led to career that has now spanned over thirty years and has remained the one constant in his soap opera of a life. Writing took a back seat as he raised a family.
When 2007 rolled around it found Sadler remarried and living in Tucson, having moved there in 1993. His two older boys were now young men with children of their own, and a third son starting high school. With a little extra time on his hands he once again took up the skills that had ingrained themselves in him during high school, and took on the task that he knew one day he would succeed in; it was time to write a book, Blood on His Hands.
Sadler lives with his wife in Tucson, where he is working on his next novel.
It’s in the Eyes – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat
‘”Please get him.” Lars looked down at her and flashbacked three years, as if he was seeing his own daughter at the morgue. Candance Hawthorne, the fourth rape and murdered coed, was almost an identical twin of Lars’ daughter, Lisa. As he looked at Candance’s face, he recognized some of those facial features. And the blue eyes seemed to be staring intently at him. A tear stung Lars’ eyes. Even though the temperature outside the Lubber Run Nature Center was a warm 62 degrees Fahrenheit, he felt a chill.’
Lars Neilsen is a West Pointer who served three tours in Vietnam as a ranger/paratrooper, Special Operations. He was awarded the DSC, three Silver Stars, two Purple Hearts and many other awards while serving his country. He knows the streets, is clever and has good instincts. He also believes in justice for the victims and has no problem in carrying out whatever needs to be done to acquire that justice. But most important, Lars heads a team he created called the Alpha Team. The Alpha Team takes their position seriously and won’t stop until their job is complete.
Nathan Green, called ‘Tiger’, originally from New Orleans, served with Lars in Vietnam. Tiger was a sergeant in the military and was very accomplished in the Special Ops by performing top secret missions. He, as well as Lars, has a brown belt in Tae Kwon Do and won’t hesitate to use this art of defense when needed.
Doris Wagner was a former FBI profiler and recognized as their best. Her husband died in the World Trade Center on 9/11, draining her emotionally. She now does part-time work for the FBI. She’s clairvoyant, into astrology and develops clinical psychological leads to uncover criminals.
Brenda Little is a journalist who helped break a big murder case in Richmond. She was hired by the Washington Post but burned out after six years and now does freelance work. She studied criminal justice at the University of Maryland, her father was a metro cop killed in the line of duty and she has a black belt in Tae Kwo Do.
Now you know the Alpha Teams. When Candance Hawthorne was raped and murdered the Alpha Team was hired by the family to find her killer. This case turns out to be the toughest case the team has encountered.
I’ve enjoyed following Lars and his team as they search for the ‘Coed Killer’, only to find out that there is not one killer but two, bringing even more excitement to the story. Charles Toftoy created 4 characters, dedicated them to justice, but still give the reader the feel that these 4 characters are normal everyday people. He does this through the jokes and humor of ‘Tiger’, the compassion of Brenda, the confused lifestyle and childhood memories of Doris and the pain felt by Lars due to the death of his wife and daughter. I couldn’t help but enjoy It’s in the Eyes and look forward to reading it’s sequel Eyes of Cold Case Killers.
‘The man was face down in one of her attractive wicker baskets filled with anemone bulbs. It was part of the autumn scene she’d created, complete with scarecrow and pumpkins. He’d obviously fallen forward, dragging the scarecrow from its perch on the oak rocking chair. The straw figure looked forlorn, lying half under the man’s weight like some bizarre teddy bear.’
Peggy Lee is the owner of the Potting Shed and when she walks into her shop to find a man face down in one of her arrangements she’s beyond words. Part of her wanted to turn around and run, screaming for help. But after being a cop’s wife for years as well as a researcher, she pushes her emotions aside and does the right thing. She calls the police.
To Peggy’s relief, the Detective that took the call was her deceased husband’s partner, Al McDonald. He had been her husband’s partner for twenty years and there wasn’t a man alive she trusted more. But his questions, as well as hers, was who is this man with his face hidden in the plant, how did he get in a shop that was locked up and what happened to him. It definitely wasn’t an accident. There was blood on the shovel that he had been hit over the head with.
One question was answered as soon as the body was turned over. It was Mark Warner, one of the wealthiest men in Charlotte. Peggy had seen him around the shop lately with a woman and the woman wasn’t his wife. Could she have killed him in a rage of jealousy? Maybe he decided to break up with his new girlfriend and she struck out in rage. Some speculated that it might be the homeless man who hung around the shop. There were as many reasons for his murder as there were suspects and Peggy was determined to find the killer.
I became hooked with the Peggy Lee series after reading A Corpus for Yew. There are a total of five books in this series and I intend to read them all, starting next with Fruit of the Poisoned Tree. The Peggy Lee series has to be one of the most light hearted murder mysteries I’ve ever read. The situations Peggy finds herself in will make you laugh as well as keep you on the edge of your seat as you try to solve the mystery. Joyce and Jim Lavene, I really hope you will continue the Peggy series. And please don’t forget to write in Shakespeare the Great Dane rescued by Peggy.