Tuesday, April 2, 2019

William Manchee Pens Stan Turner Mystery--Disillusioned

Stan stepped into the house, and his stomach twisted as he observed the outline of Maureen Peters' body on the tile floor. She was facing away from the staircase like she'd been running for the front door and was tackled from behind.
"How'd Maureen die?" Stan asked.
Jenkins pointed to the fireplace in the den. She was hit with a fire poker the perp got from over there. Stan walked over to the fireplace and looked around the large room. There was a large TV cabinet on one wall and two blue leather sofas facing it.
"I wonder why she wasn't shot in te head like the others," Stan asked.
Jenkins looked around the room and then said thoughtfully, "Maybe she ran to the fireplace, got a poker to use as a weapon, but the perp caught her and wrestled it away from her."
"And then used the poker on her?" Stan added.
Stan shrugged. "That's possible...Okay, let's go upstairs."
Jenkins turned and started up the staircase.
"Don't touch the banister. I'm not sure if they're finished dusting for prints yet."
"Right," Stan said, putting his hands in his pockets.
When they got to the top of the stairs, there was a strong odor of blood and chemicals. Stan felt sick as he saw the blood-soaked carpeting where Rob had been found.
"So, did they recover the gun?"
"Yes. It was in Rob's hand."
"How many rounds were fired?"
Stan frowned. "Six? Five killed by gunshot but six rounds missing? That doesn't add up."
"Right. Detective Moore thinks maybe Cindy was struggling and Rob missed the first time he shot at her." 
"Hmmm. Or, a third party wanted to make sure Rob had powder burns on his hand and forced Rob to fire a wild round after he was already dead."
Jenkins shrugged. "I don't know. That's a possibility, I guess, but you could never prove it.
"Maybe, maybe not," Stan said, moving on to where Cindy's body had been lying.
Star felt nauseous and struggled to keep from vomiting as he didn't want to be kicked out of the crime scene before he'd had a good look around.
"What was the order of the killings?" Stan asked.
"They were all killed about the same time. I doubt you could conclusively determine the exact order."
"What was the murder weapon?
"Rob's .38 special," Jenkins replied.
"Rob kept that gun in his car," Stan said. "He's shown it to me before. The killer probably waited until Rob and Cindy came home and went into the house, and then he went into the garage, got the gun, and entered the house."
"That also means the killer knew Rob had a gun in his car, so Rob must have known his killer."
"Or the killer was hired by someone who knew Rob pretty well..."

A Stan Turner Mystery

By William Manchee

Having your best friend and his family murdered had certainly grabbed Stan Turner's attention. Fortunately, he was close to the local police staff and they were willing to have him go over the crime scene right after it had happened. His interrogation during that time was based upon what he was being told. Already in his mind, he was considering  how best to at least clear his friend's name. Murder and suicide was not what had happened, even if it had been staged to appear that Rob had killed his entire family as well as the baby sitter. At least that was what Stan would be trying to prove!

I met Stan Turner through his books Deadly Dining and Deadly Blood. Check out my reviews before you leave! Turner has definitely become a legal thriller character that I fully enjoy and endorse. With Manchee, you get not only a main character, but you get his office and the activities in which they are involved. His books are complex, diverse, and definitely intriguing!

In Disillusioned, Stan, who loves politics, gets involved in working for the republican party for Gerald Ford for the presidency as well as local activities of the party. Among the other things happening, I was especially interested when Turner, instead of running himself, talks his competent assistant into running as the first woman who would be elected, and Stan was willing to be her campaign manager to ensure that happened! Given the constant bombardment of political issues based upon the Trump administration these days, it was fun to read all that was happening in 1976... Like today, there is an investigation going on by the FBI regarding financial dealings of a local party contributor. As a result, the murder-suicide of Stan's best friend's family as well as the resignation of two republican candidates for the district's state representatives. And, of course, Turner's office responds to all of this. I must say that, for me, reading Disillusioned at this time proved to be a intriguing counterbalance to today, since Nixon had just left office and Ford would have been his replacement. Does history merely repeat itself in one way or another?

Disillusioned portrays a more personal side to Stan. Just by being the type of man he is, he discovers that, especially in politics, truth and integrity are important to him and it is revealed in his legal activities. But when he is played for selfish reasons, he finds it hard to deal with, especially if he thought the individual was a friend...For me, another reason to love the character!

Lots of investigations, cases, thrills and danger, including multiple murders for various reasons... But the most important one for Stan, that of his best friend's case was the one I was most interested in and was quite satisfied with its ending... And a new female lawyer just might be continuing with Stan in future books...His desire to support females, even if disappointed sometime, also deserves kudos from me...

Black Monday drew my attention with its trailer with its spooky house, along with many other issues! So watch for my review sometime in the future! I'm enjoying the series and highly recommend you check at least one out...They are all free-standing, but do have some character carryover... Enjoy! 


William Manchee is an attorney by trade who practices consumer law in Texas with his son Jim. Originally from southern California, he lives now in Plano, Texas. In 1995 he began writing as an escape from his stressful law practice. Since then he has written over twenty-two novels. He is the author of the Stan Turner Mysteries, inspired by actual cases he has been involved in over the years, the Rich Coleman Novels, the Tarizon Trilogy & Saga, as well as other stand-alone works

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