Price of Justice
by Alan Brenham
His focus is on solving the murders—until the unthinkable happens…
Recently widowed, Austin Police Detective Jason Scarsdale works to solve the murders of two pedophiles, while trying to be both mother and father to his five-year-old daughter. During his investigation, Scarsdale is forced to navigate between the crosshairs of two police commanders out to get him. Drawn to Austin Police Crime Analyst, Dani Mueller, who has also suffered tragedy, Scarsdale fights both his attraction and his suspicions that something just isn’t right…
She is hiding a secret, one that could not only cost her a job—it could end her life…
Dani hides a deadly past. After her daughter was brutally murdered, Dani exacted her revenge then changed her name and fled to Austin. But if her secret ever gets out, she knows there is no place she can hide from the murderer’s vicious family.
Pulled into a web of malice and deceit, Scarsdale and Dani discover the value of breaking the rules. Then just when they thought things couldn’t get worse…they do.
Scarsdale trudged into the courthouse, flashing his badge so he could bypass security. He stopped at the rear of a throng of people maneuvering to get an elevator. He checked to see where the four elevators were—one was stopped on floor three, another just arrived at the fifth floor and two seemed stuck on Eight. People elbowed their way closer to the doors—even he got jostled. A distinct odor of alcohol, mixed with cheap perfume and a trace of marihuana, made him sneeze a couple of times.
Looking around, Scarsdale didn’t recognize anyone connected with his dreaded hearing. He leaned against the wall and let his thoughts drift. The events of the past five years flashed through his mind. The wedding Marcy refused to attend. Then Charity’s funeral—the second time Marcy had seen Shannon since she was born—gushing over her granddaughter, telling Shannon how much she missed her. Scarsdale stopped outside the big wooden courtroom doors. He stared at the brass door handles. What will the judge decide?
His heart hammered against his chest. Taking a couple of deep breaths and swallowing hard, he pulled the courtroom doors open.
1. First, tell us about yourself - where you live, your family, and those sorts of details.
My home is in the Austin, Texas, area with my truly wonderful wife. I’ve worked as a law enforcement officer and criminal investigator and am a licensed attorney with experience in criminal prosecution and defense.
2. How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing fiction since 2010. Prior to that, I wrote plenty of legal briefs, motions and police offense reports. A number of opposing counsel and defense attorneys considered some of those to be fiction.
3. Do you have a favorite place to write Price of Justice?
I do all my writing in my home office. It has an outside view- great for creating setting, and a quiet environment well away from distractions.
4. Why did you decide to write Price of Justice?
I wanted to tell a story about two people, one motivated by a work ethic and the other by grief, and how they worked toward a common goal but from opposite ends of the legal spectrum. It was a scenario I’d seen both as a police officer and as an attorney.
5. Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
It didn’t start out this way but after the book was finished and I looked back on the story, I’d have to say my favorite is Dani Mueller. She endured a lot of heart-ache, grief, fear, and did a lot of soul-searching.
6. How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?
My least favorite character in Price of Justice would be the guy known as the CEO. He was a psycho who bullied others and preyed on the innocent and helpless for profit.
7. Do you proofread/edit your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?
I do several revisions and edits on my own but after all the self-edits are done, I have someone else go through it - a fresh set of eyes.
8. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I’m an avid fan of certain TV shows such as The Blacklist, The Originals, Game of Thrones, The Walking Dead, and most recently Bitten. I love going places and doing fun things with my wife, like going to The Melting Pot for dinner or to the Austin Aquarium, or a really great movie. When football is in season, I have two teams I pay close attention to. I also read a lot of crime and legal thriller books.
9. Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors?
I bought myself a Nook and read every morning over a cup of coffee and many times in the evening. The authors I’ve read the most are Michael McGarrity, John Sandford, and Michael Connelly. Recently Andrea Kane, Jeffery Deaver, John Grisham, and John Lescroart are making the list.
10. What question do you wish that someone would ask about your book, but nobody has? Write it out here, then answer it.
Question: Why did you write the character of Dani Mueller in 1st person point of view?
Answer: Since the story deals with two people after the same goal but from different ends of the legal spectrum, I wanted to have a clear contrast between the protagonist detective and Dani Mueller. Having Dani tell her own story allows the reader to see things as she saw them and be in her head. As such, in my opinion, it then creates a closer bond between the reader and the character. Some reviewers have commented that they really enjoyed her character.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Alan Brenham is the pseudonym of Alan Behr, an American author and attorney. He served as a law enforcement officer before earning a law degree. He worked first as a prosecutor then defense attorney for the next twenty-six years. His travels took him to several European and Middle Eastern countries, Alaska and almost every island in the Caribbean. While contracted to US military forces, he resided in Berlin, Germany for a few years. Alan and his wife, Lillian, currently live in the Austin, Texas area. He has authored two crime fiction books, Price of Justice and Cornered, and is working on a third titled Rampage.
Black Opal Books: http://www.blackopalbooks.com
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