March 2, 2024

About the Book:

A decade ago, it had been unthinkable when Joe Turner’s life-long friend, Owen Prescott, was charged with a grisly murder. Then Owen disappeared, leaving behind a brilliant career and budding romance to live as a fugitive from justice.

Now, haunted by the memory and clinging to a belief in Owen’s innocence, Joe dives in to solve the cold case as the FBI closes in on his friend.

The award-winning Joe Turner Mystery series returns with a haunting, serpentine tale that pushes the snarky defense attorney to the brink.

Bequette has penned another riveting thriller that rewards the reader with a signature twist at the finale. Unlock the mystery to the latest Joe Turner thriller today.

Buy the Book – Amazon

Reviews:

Kirkus

Reclusive writer who’s a fugitive fights for his innocence in this detective novel.

Bequette’s third installment of a mystery series is a departure from his typical fare featuring resilient police detective Joe Turner. While Turner pops up sporadically in this volume, it is 30-something American writer Owen Prescott, a Dartmouth graduate from a wealthy family, who steals the spotlight. For over a decade, Prescott has enjoyed a solitary, secluded life of anonymity in the English countryside, far from the woman-chasing, vibrant social life he once relished. Flashback chapters tell the story of a time when Turner was assisting Prescott, who wrote under the pseudonym Ancil Bradford, with Boston book signings in 2013, despite the menacing omnipresence of obsessed stalker Desiree Richins. Desiree’s behavior necessitated a restraining order. That problem became coupled with a lawsuit filed by former creative writing instructor Norvel Anendale against Prescott for plagiarism, claiming he’d co-authored the novelist’s prize-winning bestseller, Orchards of Grace. Neither of those nuisances was enough to spook Prescott from continuing to celebrate his literary success, but he landed in hot water anyway as the lead suspect in Anendale’s violent murder. Soon after, Prescott eluded prosecution by fleeing America for Europe and went into hiding. Fledgling FBI agent Alyssa Wagner revives the cold case (“A native of Boston, Alyssa recalled the Owen Prescott disappearance as a teenager and was immediately intrigued by the idea of bringing the fugitive to justice”). She becomes determined to garner positive attention in her new position with the aid of facial recognition technology. Meanwhile, Prescott has become antsy, yearning for the literary spotlight. He ventures out in public, where freelance journalist Margo Stark spots him and decides to insinuate herself into his life with the intention of writing a career-defining, exclusive feature. As Wagner narrows her search and surveillance, edging closer to apprehending Prescott, the tale is complemented by a generous Boston backstory, chronicling the author’s legal troubles a decade earlier, all running parallel to his present melodrama. The denouement, filled with hidden identities and startling events, is a shocker.  

With the amount of characters Bequette incorporates in his novel, the tale is slow to gain narrative momentum and only moves into high gear after all of his players and their assorted backstories are established. The author’s previous headliner, Turner, takes a backseat this time, serving as Prescott’s former literary agent, which may or may not appeal to fans of the series. Nevertheless, Bequette’s prose is reliably crisp and descriptive, and lots of intrigue and suspense are embedded in a thrillingly serpentine story with plenty of twists and turns as Prescott tries to worm his way out of complex litigation. Also captivating is the backstory of Prescott’s longstanding, difficult relationship with his father, particularly during a vividly portrayed duck hunting trip, where shame and trauma mark the writer’s memory of his childhood. In the present, his father attempts to preserve the family name after Prescott has been charged with Anendale’s murder based on DNA evidence at the scene. With its surfeit of subplots and characters, the book eventually coalesces into one big hunt for justice as Prescott attempts to evade his pursuers and a surprise psychotic killer emerges in an ending few readers will predict.

An entertaining and exuberant suspense tale about murderous revenge in the literary world.

~ Kirkus Reviews

About the Author:

T.L. Bequette is a criminal defense attorney turned writer from Lafayette, California. His debut novel, Good Lookin, A Joe Turner Mystery won the 2022 Independent Press Award for Crime Fiction, a Chanticleer International Book Award, and was a Finalist for a National Indie Excellence Award. Kirkus Reviews called the book “a rigorous, thoroughly engrossing mystery from a writer with immense potential.”

Blood Perfect, second in the Joe Turner series, was hailed by Chanticleer Reviews as “a tale that solidifies Turner as a charmingly reliable champion of the innocent.”

Much of Bequette’s law practice involves defending young men from Oakland accused of murder. He holds degrees from The University of the Pacific and Georgetown Law School and serves annually on the faculty of the Stanford Law School Trial Advocacy Clinic.

About The Author