Circle of Lies
by Douglas Alan
Review by Mel Jacob
Forge Books Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9780765322463
Date: 07 December 2010 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /
Douglas Alan's lasted novel from Forge, Circle of Lies, is a fast paced thriller of murder, conspiracy, and mayhem featuring John Delaney, ex-cop turned lawyer and his wife, Katherine Adams also a lawyer. When John's old friend Ted Jordan is arrested for the torture and murder of a partner in his law firm, John comes to his rescue.
Ted insists a mega drug company that has fudged test results for a major anti-depression drug framed him. At stake are billions of dollars and relations between governments. A French woman offers to post Ted's bail and warns John about the drug company.
Thornton Schiff, the District Attorney, fans the flames of public outrage against Ted Jordan and draws John's ire and protest. Colleagues suggest John withdraw from the case and he is forced to take a leave of absence from his teaching position.
Troubled by what he considers a lack of candor on Ted's part, John also has doubts. However, when a pair of spooks harasses him and threatens his wife, he fights back. A sympathetic cop and an assistant prosecutor inform him of inconsistencies that make him digs into Ted's past.
At first the prologue appears unrelated to Ted and his case, but eventually Alan provides the links and how it relates to later events. By that time, most readers will have forgotten it and the links may come as a surprise.
Ripped from the headlines and set in the near future, the book may have a limited shelf life. Like Cobweb by Neil Stephenson, this story featured Tariq Aziz who survives and thrives in the novel, when in real life he faces hanging.
Alan keeps the tension up and ensures plenty of twists to keep the pages turning and the reader wondering. Given John's age and a more or less sedentary life style, one marvels at his abilities even knowing he was an ex-cop. The demanding climax against overwhelming odds pushes him to superhuman effort. Alan waves the flag a lot and speaks of defending the weak, but in the end he justifies ignoring the law to ensure justice.
From: Phil Mickleson:
I've only read the advance reader's copy and all I can say is "wow." This was an enjoyable fast-paced thriller with great characters. It's the first time I've read anything by Mr. Alan and I think he has a great future. The story was written with style humor.