Disillusioned by William Manchee


SuspenseDisillusioned by William Manchee

DisillusionedWilliam Manchee; Top Publications, Ltd. 2010WorldCatReview is by Molly

William Manchee’s Disillusioned, a Stan Turner Mystery finds Stan as a law student at SMU, perhaps political aspirant, husband, father, and political activist.

Prior to his move to Texas Stan had thought a military career might be a good stepping stone for launching a political career.  That notion was shattered when as a Marine Corps recruit he entered officer candidate school and within days was accused of the murder of his Drill Sergeant.  While Stan was ultimately acquitted of that murder, his hoped for military career no long held any allure.  Stan was granted a discharge and returned home.

Disillusioned begins on Saturday, July 3, 1976 as Stan and his wife Rebekah with friends Rob and Cindy Shepherd attended a BBQ at the home of a well to do Dallas business man, Brad Thornton.  Rob was Thornton’s handpicked candidate to wage what was hoped to be a successful Republican campaign against the seeming entrenched Democratic incumbent, Ron Wells.  Not only had Thornton asked Rob to run for the office, but he was the chief monetary supporter.

The evening is a pleasant one for everyone attending.

That pleasant memory is quickly crushed.  Headlines in the morning newspaper note that FBI agents have executed a search warrant at the home of one Brad Thornton.  Within days Stan uncovers a potential problem regarding the past support, Rob receives a visit from FBI agents who exhibit more than a little suspicion regarding his involvement with financier Brad Thornton.      Rob’s chief contributor decides he must withdraw his support.  Rob needs a campaign manager and Stan suggests political go getter, Kristina Tenison for the job.

Stan’s arrival home following a bit of political maneuvering with local Democratic Commissioner Barnes who is ready to leave the Democratic party and join the ranks of the Republican finds Stan facing a visit from the same FBI agents who have exhibited little trust for Rob Shepherd.  Stan too finds himself coming under the same disbelieving scrutiny.

A political fund raiser for President Ford again brings the Turner and Shepherd couples together for a second pleasant evening of fine dinner, plans making and renewed hope.

All of that is shattered quickly with a late night knock on the door.

Rob and Cindy Shepherd, their teen neighbor baby sitter and all three young children have been found dead.  The coroner leans toward this being a murder, suicide situation.

Despite how the situation may appear to local police; it is up to Stan to sort out what is and what is not fact, try to clear his friend’s name, and in doing so find out actually did murder Rob, his family and the baby sitter.

The dismay felt by Stan Turner is understandable as he battles against an open and shut case to locate what may be the actual murderer, tries his best to preserve his friend’s memory as decent man, father and husband rather than murderer, finds himself facing more danger than he had foreseen.

The interwoven situations Turner must face as he works to determine the reality behind his friend’s death, and the deaths of his family and the sitter who was simply in the wrong place at the wrong time, the driving force behind the situation, and eventual truth while juggling his own home and family circumstances, his schooling, his make do job selling insurance while putting himself through school, and the  political contest that will continue with or without Rob Shepherd, or Stan himself, are cleverly produced in this bracing murder mystery.

Attorney and novelist Manchee carries an awareness of the judicial landscape many do not have. He puts his knowledge to first-rate usage to craft another gripping narrative meant to hold reader interest as readers are afforded a quick look into the day by day lives of persons who are appealing and enjoyable and quite believable.

As always Manchee has peopled his work with a list of characters who are well detailed, creative and carefully planned. From the enigmatic Melissa Thornton, and her somewhat unfathomable husband Brad, to secondary players who hang around the edges not always behaving as expected to the FBI agents who seem to epitomize everything readers may think regarding such officers to Stan’s wife Rebekah each is featured as altogether credible.

Disillusioned is the latest in a growing series of William Manchee’s ‘Stan Turner’ mystery thrillers. Manchee has a history for producing more and more of my preferred type works filled with very readable writing peopled with nicely authentic characters and state of affairs.

Manchee works assure no inane affectation, no specious, graphic sex is added with a hope to simply titillate in order to simply sell the book or attempt to make up for a lack of writing skill in return for highly readable work sure to prove more than adequate for those of us who enjoy a dandy mystery filled with red herrings, determined, hard hitting dialogue, perceptive narrative and more than enough highlights and resonance and description to draw the reader into the setting and keep them turning the page.

I find Disillusioned: A Stan Turner Mystery to be a good option for those who enjoy mystery thrillers. It is a fine selection for the personal reading shelf, the high school library for those mature enough to enjoy the genre and for those who just like a good book to read.

Stan Turner Series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!
More books by William Manchee

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