Monday, April 30, 2018

Predatory Kill by Kenneth Eade - Second in Book Set...Spotlights Bank Fraud...

He had made it to his State Street office just in time to check messages and make sure everything was in order for the big weekend.  No work, only play and relaxation for the next 48 hours.  
As he entered the office, Melinda Powers, his secretary, looked worried.  It was unusual for her to be there past quitting time on a Friday. “Hey Mimi, what’s wrong?” Brent asked her.

“You’ve got a call waiting.  I told him you weren’t in, but he said he’d wait.” 

“Who is it?” 
“I don’t know, he won’t say.  He’s really weird, Mr. Marks.” 
“Why don’t we let him just die on hold then?”
“I think you should answer.” 
Brent entered his office, sat down behind his plush mahogany desk, and picked up the phone. 
“Hello, this is Brent Marks.” 
The eerie voice on the other end was cold and inhuman.  “Do you know how fast a bullet goes, Counselor?” it asked.

“Who is this?” 
“Seventeen hundred feet per second.  At that velocity, it will crack open your skull and splatter your brains all over your wall like a watermelon being hit by a sledge hammer.”  The caller cackled like a wounded chicken. 
Brent quickly switched on the recording device to the receiver.  He had bought that baby to record threats from ex-husbands whose wives had obtained restraining orders against them, but which Brent had always refused to dismiss, even in cases of so called “reconciliation.”  
“I don’t think I got your name, mister?”      
The voice responded with a maniacal chuckle, which turned into a full blown belly laugh, like Vincent Price in the final stanza of Michael Jackson’s Thriller. 
“No judge in the world can stop a bullet, Counselor.  No piece of paper can do that.”
“This conversation is really interesting, but if I don’t have your name, I…” 
“Think hard.” 
“I’m not going to play games with you.” 
“Oh, this is not a game.  I assure you.  I’m just giving you a little preview.  Wherever you go, I’ll be there.  When you’re at the corner at Starbucks, having your mocha grande in the morning before going to court, I’ll be there.  You won’t see me, but I’ll be there.  All it takes is one shot – one shot in the head.”  The phone vibrated from the eerie laughter. 
“And why would you want to shoot me?” 
“I am a servant of the Lord, Counselor.  I do His work.” 
“You’re saying that you’re going to kill me, because God told you so?”  
Without answering, the caller went into a sermon, like an evangelist preacher trying to convert a world full of infidels. “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord!  When justice is done, it is a joy to the righteous but terror to evildoers.  I am your terror, Counselor.  I am the hand of the Lord and I will strike you down!” 
Suddenly, Brent realized who this character could be.  Last year, he took on a case for Felipe Sanchez, who had rented a house from a crazy religious fanatic named Joshua Banks.  When Banks found out that Sanchez had moved in his girlfriend, all hell broke loose.   “I won’t have fornication in my house!” Banks decreed.  
Sanchez ignored him and three days later, came home to find himself locked out of his house and all his furniture thrown out on the street.  When Brent succeeded in getting the police to open the house, Banks turned off the utilities, and Sanchez sued.  
Thanks to a little known provision in the Civil Code, daily damages were awarded to Sanchez at trial which allowed him to take his judgment, levy it against the house, and become the owner of it.  Justice can be hell for some people.  
Threatening my life is a felony, Mr. Banks,” said Brent, “Do you really want to go to prison?” 
“Do you think I care about your court?  Your prison?  There is only one lawgiver and judge, and that is the Lord God!  Judge not, that you not be judged, saith the Lord.  Man does not have the right to sit in judgment of his fellow man.” 
“You’re not God, Mr. Banks.”  Ignoring him, Banks pressed on. “Your judgment has been pronounced, Counselor.  And I’m afraid there is no chance for a pardon.  The punishment is death.”

The upcoming client had Brent intrigued.  Her matter was a potential wrongful predatory lending case against one of the largest New York banks, which had taken over one of the nation’s largest mortgage banks, rumored to have committed more fraud than Charles Ponzi and Bernie Madoff put together...
“I looked at the materials you sent over to me.  Of course, I would have to review all of the files, but its looks like when the bank bought the assets of Tentane Mutual after the FDIC seizure, your father’s mortgage was not properly assigned to the mortgage backed securities trust that was supposed to be one of the assets.”
Before the 2008 mortgage crisis, thousands of subprime real estate loans on over-appraised real estate were assigned to mortgage pools and then resold to investors as mortgage backed securities.  When U.S. home prices declined sharply after peaking in 2006, it became difficult for borrowers to refinance their loans.  As adjustable rate mortgages began to increase in monthly payments, mortgage delinquencies soared, causing mortgage backed securities to lose most of their value.  This, in turn, led to what is known as the financial crisis of 2008; the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression. “Yes, they tried to slip it in with a forged assignment three years after the closing date of the Trust...”


It was interesting to go back and pick up the earlier books by Kenneth Eade, who has become my favorite legal author. Of course, there are the thrills of the "kill" where murder provides tension and suspense--in this book, Brent Marks, the main character even has a stalker to deal with while he works on his main case...

The reason for the stalker, as an aside, is one of those issues that really irks me--when an individual quotes God in explaining why he is going to kill somebody. The sad truth, however, is that there really are some who become fanatics in their religion...

But the main case covers fraud by major powerful, banks, using a sample to explore the 2008 crash that resulted in many banks being bailed out by the government. When I found a video where Bernie Sanders in 1998 expressed concern about what proved to later happen, I was gratified that Eade had also taken the opportunity to use his novel to help his readers understand what might (probably?) had happened! And could very well happen again...

It is scary to consider that banking institutions, especially large ones, could, and possibly already has, become the predator who turns to murder to cover-up their crimes...Eade presents an intriguing fictional account, which is, of course, as always backed up with research of real-time events... which is why he rose to my top legal writer...

April Marsh had found her mother murdered, and her father close to death... She was already named to legally act on their behalf and after her research had come to Marks, believing he was the lawyer she needed, even though he was a single-lawyer office and with no experience in this area. She cited a case from Marks' experience and had used it to explain why she had selected him. She was fairly certain who was behind what had happened...

She provided all documentation to illustrate how her parents had been swindled. Essentially because of a buy-out, the larger bank had taken over, and falsified information to show that it was not their fault... Her parents had already lost much and now they were coming after their home...

Although not versed in financial law, per se, I was easily able to follow the case put together by Marks  and his investigator. He began to worry, however, when he was personally attacked and his investigator disappeared, later presumably dead!

I had my small local bank bought out by a larger one...and I have been unhappy ever since. A large bank will soon use bureaucracy as the primary power control for their business. This was certainly the case in this situation. But can one lawyer succeed in a fight with the power of a company with all the legal advisers they could ever need? I think Eade did an exceptional job in allowing readers to learn as well as enjoy the reality of a story that all of us wish we will never face. Highly recommended...


Described by critics as "one of our strongest thriller writers on the scene," author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced International law, Intellectual Property law and E-Commerce law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, "An Involuntary Spy." Eade, an award-winning, best-selling Top 100 thriller author, has been described by his peers as "one of the up-and-coming legal thriller writers of this generation." He is the 2015 winner of Best Legal Thriller from Beverly Hills Book Awards and the 2016 winner of a bronze medal in the category of Fiction, Mystery and Murder from the Reader's Favorite International Book Awards. His latest novel, "Paladine," a quarter-finalist in Publisher's Weekly's 2016 BookLife Prize for Fiction and finalist in the 2017 RONE Awards. Eade has authored three fiction series: The "Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series", the "Involuntary Spy Espionage Series" and the "Paladine Anti-Terrorism Series." He has written eighteen novels which have been translated into French, Spanish, Italian and Portuguese. 

"I've been writing all my life, but began publishing my work out of a passion for the environment. My wife, Valentina, is a professional photographer, who worked for two years on an environmental exhibition called, "Bee Cause I Care" which was exhibited by the Prince Albert II Foundation and is now touring cities in France to bring awareness to the importance of pollinators and the dangers facing them. I penned a few articles on the subject for the Los Angeles Daily Journal and turned my research into my first book, "Bless the Bees." That passion continued with the publication of my novel, "An Involuntary Spy," which is an action thriller that also points to the dangers of genetically engineered food. Then I began publishing the "Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series," which, in part, is based on actual experiences during my long career in law.

"Now I divide most of my time between France, where I have resided for the better part of 10 years, and Russia. I try to put as much realism in my novels as possible, and they all revolve around important social issues. I treasure all of my readers and love to hear from them, whether it's good or bad. Sometimes I make changes based on their suggestions and one reader has inspired a character that has appeared in my latest three novels. Everyone who signs up on my mailing list at gets a free ebook and I give away a Kindle Fire every month to a lucky winner on the list. I love this new adventure and hope you enjoy taking it with me."

ECommerce site:

Note: The last book in this set, I had already reviewed...

No comments:

Post a Comment