Identity Crisis by Author Debbi Mack

September 28, 2009 at 7:16 pm (Crime Novels, mystery, Suspense Novels) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


Identity Crisis_ Book CoverIDENTITY CRISIS introduces attorney Stephanie Ann “Sam” McRae. A simple domestic abuse case turns deadly when the alleged abuser is killed and Sam’s client disappears. When a friend asks Sam to find Melanie Hayes, the Maryland attorney is drawn into a complex case of murder and identity theft that has her running from the Mob, breaking into a strip club and forming a shaky alliance with an offbeat private investigator to discover the truth about Melanie and her ex-boyfriend.

With her career and life on the line, Sam’s search takes her from the blue-collar Baltimore suburbs to the mansions of Gibson Island. Along the way, she learns that false identities can hide dark secrets, and those secrets can destroy lives.

 

 

 

 

 dmackBio: 

Debbi Mack has worked as an attorney, a news wire reporter for Dow Jones and a reference librarian with the Federal Trade Commission. IDENTITY CRISIS is her first novel. Her short stories have appeared in the CHESAPEAKE CRIMES mystery anthology and in The Back Alley, an online publication at http://BackAlleyWebzine.com. She will also have a short story featured in CHESAPEAKE CRIMES 4, to be published by Wildside Press in March 2010. Along with writing crime fiction, Debbi works as a freelance writer/researcher and a volunteer awareness advocate for dystonia, a rare movement disorder. A native of Queens , New York , Debbi and her husband live in Columbia , Maryland with their three cats.

Reviews:

From MidWest Book Review, January 2006.
“In this quick moving novel we meet Sam McRae, an attorney who is about to have her life shifted in ways she never imagined when her domestic case turns into a murder investigation and somehow she is smack in the middle of it. Attorney turns investigator in this swift moving adventurous read with curving twists and winding mystery that literally leave you scratching your head and wondering just who is the villain.

“Author, Debbi Mack, does a great job drawing you into the lives of her characters with vivid description of their physical appearance, their emotional conflicts and yet keeps you in the shadows trying to figure out what part they play in the murder and mystery set before you.

“A very good read awaits you in this work and perhaps the thought that you too could have your identity stolen and the ramifications could be deadly. This was a smart move on the author to use a problem that we all can identify with and work it so well into a top-notch mystery read. Great book, recommended.”

Shirley Johnson
Senior Reviewer
MidWest Book Review

From New Mystery Reader, September 2005.
“Samantha McRae is a young public defender whose normal cases are DUIs, petty theft or internal family discord. However, one such client takes her on a car chase, a run-in with the mob, and encounters with several branches of federal law enforcement as well as the local police.

“An ordinary seeming girl who works in a bank disappears when her ex-boyfriend is found dead. The police and feds are looking for her and after a thorough questioning by them, Sam is also on the hunt for her client.

Sam checks all the places the girl is likely to be and doesn’t find her so after a call that alerts her the girl is heading west, she sets off to follow the bus she’s on. Unfortunately, the mob and a private detective are following Sam.

“This is a story with plenty of action, a well-drawn plot and a set of interesting characters. Talented Debbi Mack lets the reader step into the shoes of an ordinary public defender and experience the excitement and danger of a case that is far from ordinary. Recommended as a fun read.

“Enjoy.”

Anne K. Edwards

Reviewer

From Mystery Lover’s Corner, February 2006.

“Sam McRae takes on a simple domestic abuse case. But it turns out to be anything but simple.

“A friend asks Sam to find Melanie Hayes. This pulls Sam into a case with identity theft and murder. She even finds herself running from the mob. She makes an alliance with an offbeat PI in her attempt at getting the truth about Melanie and her boyfriend.

“When she finds Melanie, Sam has to convince her to trust Sam. Then Sam has to find a way to keep Melanie safe until everything can be cleared up. This isn’t always easy.

“The story is set in and around Baltimore. There are many twists and turns in the plot that will keep you guessing right up to the end. I really enjoyed this book and found it hard to put it down.

“I highly recommend you read this book. I can’t wait for the next Sam McRae mystery.”

Dawn Dowdle

Reviewer

From Roundtable Reviews, September 2005.

“Identity Crisis grips you from the first page. Sam is a likeable heroine–smart, feisty and determined.”

Author reviews:

“When I think identity theft, I groan. I think paperwork, phone calls to banks, boring people looking up information. Absolutely NOT the case with Debbi Mack’s Identity Crisis.

“Identity Crisis is not just about identity theft- it’s also a murder mystery and mob story, a trifecta of entertainment. The novel follows Sam McRae, a struggling private attorney handling what should be a simple domestic abuse case. When her client, the domestic violence victim, is suspected of murdering the abuser, Sam is determined to clear her name. Not such an easy thing, with a long list of suspects.

“Sam is an engaging character, flawed but with a good heart. I would have liked to have learned even more about her, and am glad to hear there are more books in the series to come.

“Just as engaging as the characters, Debbi Mack uses her settings like another character in her book. I have never been to Baltimore, but I could see the neighborhoods, the city, and even the diners as if I was there.

“With an intriguing plot that seems to be one thing and ends up being another, the book is like a treasure hunt, with clues left like bread crumbs until the surprise whodunnit is revealed. This is a good read, one to keep on your shelf to read again so you can realize what you missed the first time around.”

— Holli Castillo

Author of Gumbo Justice

“If you enjoy realistic legal thrillers—and dread the thought of ‘identity theft’ striking home—Identity Crisis will be a genuine treat. Debbi Mack has used her own experience as an attorney to craft a twisty yet completely credible plot. And her protagonist, Stephanie Ann ‘Sam’ McRae, is a perfect example of what every client should hope for in an advocate: a professional who’s willing to take risks both inside AND outside the courtroom.”

— Jeremiah Healy

Author of Rescue, Turnabout and The Only Good Lawyer

“Identity Crisis is a well-written and well-plotted mystery which introduces lawyer-sleuth Sam McRae. She’s an exciting new protagonist mystery readers will want to get to know.”

— Louise Titchener

Author of Malpractice, Burned in Baltimore and Buried in Baltimore

Availability:
Identity Crisis is available for sale online, in print and as an e-book, from Lulu.com at http://www.lulu.com/content/3923913. Lulu often runs 10% off specials, for customers who use the proper discount code at checkout, so check Debbi’s blog at http://midlistlife.wordpress.com/ for the latest news on these specials and that month’s promotional code.

Her Web site is http://www.debbimack.com and her blog is http://midlistlife.wordpress.com.

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Reviews of Gumbo Justice Author Holli, Castillo,

August 1, 2009 at 8:20 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )


 gumbo justice

Synopsis of Gumbo Justice

New Orleans can be a dangerous place. Especially for a prosecutor.

Ryan Murphy is an assistant district attorney who likes her Tequila cold and her cops hot. With a mouth that doesn’t know quite when to stop, her attitude plays well in front of a jury, but has a tendency to tick off judges, defendants, and other attorneys alike. Battling demons from her past and checking her self-destructive streak take a back seat to her ambition, and she’s not above skating the line just a little to get what she wants. It seems her hard work is just about to pay off. If she snags a detective in the process, well, that’s just a little lagniappe for her trouble. Life should be good.

Enter a demented psycho, with a plan to ruin Ryan’s life before he ultimately kills her.

Set against the backdrop of pre-Katrina New Orleans, Gumbo Justice is the first in a series that follows the tumultuous life of prosecutor Ryan Murphy.

REVIEWS:

A New Queen of Thrillers,

By J. M. Orenduff, author of THE POT THIEF 

 

“Move over James Patterson – Holli Castillo has arrived. Well, it makes sense doesn’t it? Patterson was an advertising exec; Holli Castillo is a criminal appellate public defender and former prosecutor in New Orleans. Which one do you suppose has been up close and personal with the seamy side of life? Castillo’s first thriller – Gumbo Justice – takes us on a wild ride into the drug scene in the Big Easy’s projects where we’re confronted with intertwined mysteries. Who is killing the defendants that assistant prosecutor Ryan Murphy failed to convict? And how is Murphy’s mysterious family history related to the killings? The plot takes more twists and turns than the old Zephyr roller coaster at Pontchartrain Beach. The final curve will blow you away, so whatever you do, do not peek at the last page. Murphy is the best hard-boiled heroine since V. I. Warshawski, but she’s smarter, tougher, and – in a piece of brilliant character development – paradoxically more vulnerable. Gumbo Justice is fast-paced and tightly woven, combining a psycho-thriller, a police procedural in a city where procedure takes a back seat to impulse, and a terrific love story – a stunning achievement.”

By Sunny Frazier, author of WHERE ANGELS FEAR and others in the Christy Bristol Mystery series“Holli Castillo has the pulse on law enforcement beyond the headlines in pre-Katrina New Orleans. Her background as a public defender lends her debut novel authenticity and a strong voice to prosecutor Ryan Murphy. Part police procedural, part legal drama, Castillo is a welcome addition to both genres.”

LINKS

website www.gumbojustice.net     www.hollicastillo.com

blog www.gumbojustice.blogspot.com

 

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Gumbo Justice – Holli Castillo, Author

July 28, 2009 at 11:34 pm (Uncategorized) (, , , , )


 

Gumbo Justice

 

Gumbo Justice – Holli Castillo, Author – Review by Martha A. Cheves, Author of Stir, Laugh, Repeat

‘Ryan couldn’t keep her thoughts from drifting back to the homicides on the short drive home. L’Roid Smith had been killed in a way common among gangs members – beaten, shot in the head execution style and left naked. It was the ultimate humiliation, and the same way he had committed his own gang murders, including the one Ryan had tried to prosecute. And Jeremiah had been beaten, the same way he had beaten his wife on the case Ryan had handled.’

Ryan Murphy is a New Orleans Assistant District Attorney working to build a winning case history in the hopes of being promoted to the “Strike Force.” But she has a problem. The die-hard criminals that she prosecutes are turning up dead in the same fashion of pain and death that they bestowed on their victims. Even though this may be getting the criminals off the streets, it’s not helping Ryan with her promotion. Especially when news leaks to the media that there is a connection between Ryan and the deaths.

Gumbo Justice was a book that I actually sat up until 1:00 in the morning to finish. I had to know who was trying to ruin Ryan’s career and why. This book is so well written that as I read along I actually started seeing Ryan and the other characters in action. It could easily be made into a movie and I know the perfect actress to play Ryan. Holly Hunter plays in a TV series called “Amazing Grace.” In my opinion “Grace” is the perfect Ryan. She loves to party, get down right dirty but still get her job done.

I thoroughly enjoyed Gumbo Justice and recommend it to anyone who loves a good murder mystery. Holli Castillo’s experience as a prosecutor and public defender in the New Orleans court system comes through with the full knowledge as to how the courts really work.

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