Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Monday, April 24, 2017

The First Year by Genevieve Gannon (Book Release Day Event / Author Interview / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book release day event for The First Year by author Genevieve Gannon!

Author Interview

What is your new novel about?

The First Year is a novel about a newly-in-love couple who got married way too fast. Andy Colbrook is a high-flying lawyer with a snobby family and Saskia Hill is a bolshy jewellery designer whose father has done several stints in jail. On their honeymoon, Andy offers to support Saskia so she can quit her day job at a café and devote herself wholly to her art. But Saskia’s fledgling business is only just recovering from the financial blow it suffered when her ex-fiance cheated on her then ditched her with the bill for the wedding, and she is uncomfortable being reliant on her new husband. Tensions begin to emerge. Things are exacerbated when Andy discovers his law firm is in financial trouble. Despite their best efforts to keep the flame alive their marriage begins to suffer. Then Saskia makes a discovery that blows her world apart. 

What inspired the book?

This one came about slowly. When I sat down to write my first two novels, the concepts were fully formed in my head. I rejigged the stories and characters a lot, but when they were finished, they were how I had imagined them from the beginning. With The First Year, I found myself unsure what I wanted to do. I had an idea of following a couple day-by-day through their first year, but I didn’t know what would happen to them over that time. I thought the concept of the first year of marriage being the hardest was a good one to explore in a romantic comedy. So I wrote a few chapters and scene fragments, then I hit a bit of a wall. I knew I wanted Andy to be a corporate type, and Saskia to be an artist, but I didn’t have much more detail than that. Then one day I came across an article about a designer who had made the same discovery Saskia makes in the book. I did a bit of research and it turns out it is a really common problem. I don’t want to spoil the plot by revealing the big discovery, but once I had that I knew what I wanted Andy and Saskia’s story to be.

What makes the main character who they are?

Saskia Hill comes across really brash but she’s actually quite vulnerable. She loves a man, Andrew Colbrook, who wants to support her as she builds her business, but the idea of being reliant on him conflicts with her feminist values. She eventually accepts his offer to back her financially until she is established, but it never sits right with her and ultimately is the cause of much tension. 

One of my favourite lines in the book comes when Saskia receives a letter from her mother-in-law addressed to Mr and Mrs Andrew Colbrook. She has not changed her name and when the letter arrives she asks of Andy, “What am I? Some sort of subsidiary of you?” I feel like this sums her up perfectly.

Do you base your characters on real people?

My characters are original creations, but inevitably I find myself incorporating traits of family and friends. Usually it’s just a little thing to give the character a ring of authenticity. When trying to *show* rather than *tell* - something that a lot of writers struggle with - I find it helpful to think about how real people display their emotions - the way their postures change, the tone of their voice, what they do with their hands and eyes. Sometimes I’ll lift a small anecdote (with permission) or give a sly nod to a friend by including a personal joke. But generally I try to ensure the characters are wholly their own people.

How long did it take you to write The First Year?

I am often asked this question but this is the first time I’ve ever been able to answer it properly. For about a year, I had a few fragments of this story and a vague concept but didn’t know what I wanted to do with it. Then I made the discovery that revealed the plot to me and it was all very fast. It took me about three months to write a three chapter sample, a synopsis and a plot outline. I pitched it to HarperCollins in November, got the go ahead in December and had completed the manuscript by June. It was quite a fast process because I had been thinking about the characters and the supporting players for so long. As is always the case, it needed some major reworking and I relied heavily on my amazing beta-readers. But it basically took one year of procrastination and six months of furious writing.  

What is your typical writing routine?

I used to write at night and on weekends but now that I live in Sydney I find myself getting up early and writing before work. I assume that’s because it gets hot and sunny here very early. That being said, I still try to get some writing in after work. And I can be found most weekends in a café somewhere with a pile of manuscript pages and a laptop.

People love to ask writers if they are planners or pantsers. I think I’m a combination of both. I like to have a plot outline before I begin, but sometimes it is very vague and details emerge – and characters are created or killed off – as the writing progresses.

Where do you write?

I do a lot of writing at my dining room table – but I far prefer to write in cafes. It’s not always possible, of course. Sometimes you have a burst of creative energy at 2am when all the good cafes are selfishly closed, and realistically it’s just not possible to mainline lattes for eight hours and a Saturday or Sunday. But my preference is definitely to write in a café. When I was living in Melbourne I would write a lot at Milkwood in East Brunswick (try the white beans on toast) or a Minor Place (more white beans, these come with Dukkah and avocado). Another favourite is a café called True North in Coburg. They have lovely booths that I like to spread out in, and do great sandwiches with heaps of vegetarian options.

What book do you wish you had written and why?

This is a complete departure from the type of fiction I write, but I am in awe of We Need To Talk About Kevin. Lionel Shriver creates so much tension and complexity. I adore her prose and the way she uses a million little perfectly phrased observations to make-up the story.  I love the way she tricks the reader into thinking they know what is happening, only to discover all is not as it seems as the narrative slowly reveals itself.

Who are you favourite writers?

This is such a difficult question to answer because there are so many, and I turn to different writers for different things. I love Caitlin Moran for the sheer joy she gives me with her hilarious stories. No less important is the strong feminist message in everything she does. I really admire Curtis Sittenfeld’s skill as a story-teller, and Gillian Flynn for the ease with which she spins complex narratives, imbuing her characters with light and shade. Jeffrey Eugenides remains an all-time favourite. Whenever I’m asked about my favourite books Middlesex is always at the top, and his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, was hauntingly, devastatingly beautiful. Oh, and Michael Chabon for so many reasons, especially inventiveness.

In terms of my own genre – which I consider to be a loose grouping of contemporary chick lit with rom-com tendencies -  I LOVE Lauren Sams who wrote She’s Having Her Baby and Crazy Busy Guilty. I also can’t go past fellow HarperCollins authors Tess Woods and Sunni Overend. The Regulars by Georgia Clark is great fun.

Who is your favourite literary character?

I have racked my brain, trying to come up with an answer that isn’t a total cliché, but it is a truth universally acknowledged that Elizabeth Bennett is a sublime literary creation, and has to be my favourite character. She’s clever, sensitive, witty and warm. She loves her sister Jane and her friend Charlotte Lucas, and she’s loyal but not without flaws. She speaks her mind and isn’t intimidated by those who think them better than she is. At a completely different end of the spectrum is Uncle Oswald, a recurring character in the short stories of Roald Dahl. Uncle Oswald is a hilarious, wealthy, horny old man who often finds himself entangled in pseudo-scientific schemes with hilarious outcomes.

What are you working on at the moment?

Having just finished a book I’m a bit of a free agent at the moment. I have two ideas that are in the very early stages, so I’m playing with both of them, thinking about the characters and deciding which one to commit to. I have just started a new job as a feature writer so I am finding that at night I’m spending the time I would normally dedicate to fiction thinking about feature ideas. That being said, I want my next venture to be a departure from my usual books. Neither of the concepts I’m currently playing with could be described as romantic comedies. The First Year has parts set in a court room, which came about because I spent the past few years covering courts as a journalist and my two new ideas are also inspired in part by that part of my job.

What would you do if you weren’t a writer?

This one is tricky because writing is both my hobby (fiction) and my livelihood (journalism). My other hobby is baking, so perhaps if it all falls in a heap I could retrain as a pastry chef. I have made a few wedding cakes for friends, and I really enjoy playing with flavour ideas and pretty shapes. Strangely, when it comes to savoury meals I’m terrible, but I have mastered cakes.

What are you reading right now?

I just finished Big Little Lies by Liane Moriarty which I devoured, barely lifting my eyes to draw breath. Liane dazzles me with her ability to tease and entice. I am also reading Sweet Bitter by Stephanie Danler. I cheated on Sweet Bitter with Moriarty because I found myself at the airport without a book and knew I couldn’t go wrong with one of Liane’s books.

Coffee, wine or something else?

I am completely addicted to coffee. I don’t drink much wine, unless I’m sharing a bottle at a dinner party or something. If I’m at a bar I’ll order sloe gin (rocks and lime), a gin and tonic or a cocktail. Sometimes when it’s really hot I’ll take my laptop to a pub and write while drinking cider and ice. But generally on those days my preference is a café and an ice coffee.

What is your favourite social media platform and why?

I am addicted to social media. I love Instagram and Twitter but for different reasons. In my day job, I work as a journalist, so I love being able to keep an eye on the issues of the day as they unfurl on Twitter. I follow major news outlets, journalists I like and admire, politicians and specialists in my areas of interest. I also follow a few funny accounts to break it up. I like checking-in on Twitter when I take a break from work. Instagram is great for book recommendations, food and bar recommendations, fashion, recipes and just keeping up with what my friends are doing. I recently moved interstate, so it’s great to be able to see what my friends have been up to with a few swipes of my phone.

Of all your books, do you have a favourite one?

This is like being asked to choose between your children! I hate to admit it, but I do have a favourite one. My latest novel, The First Year, is my third. I think because I had been through the process twice before it was less daunting and stressful. I had a lot more confidence and I think it shows in the writing. I also quite like the story. My previous books were what I’d call caper romances. In both, the protagonists hatched hair-brained schemes in order to find love. The First Year is a lot more grounded in reality. The characters’ families and work colleagues play a great role and I feel like they’re more rounded because of it.

About The Author

Genevieve Gannon is an Australian journalist and author. She has worked in newsrooms in Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. Her writing has appeared in The Age, The Australian, The Guardian and The Daily Telegraph, among others. Most recently she covered crime in Melbourne for Australian Associated Press before moving to Sydney to be a feature writer for The Australian Women’s Weekly.

Her favourite books are We Need To Talk About Kevin, Middlesex, Atonement, Prep and One Day. She likes Terry’s Chocolate Oranges and wasabi (not together) and hates mangoes. Her first book, Husband Hunters, was published in 2014. The First Year is her third novel.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

About The Book

The First Year by Genevieve Gannon

Publisher: HarpersCollins / Impulse Australia
Publication Date: April 24, 2017
Format: eBook - 320 pages
ISBN: 978-1460708460
BNID: 978-1460708460
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Book Description:

The first year of marriage is hard no matter what. Throw in jealous exes, high-pressure careers and two wildly different families, and the degree of difficulty goes up a few more notches. Determined to beat the odds, one couple comes up with a plan to keep their romance alive - but life has other ideas.

Saskia is an up-and-coming jewellery designer, waiting tables at a trendy cafe to keep her fledgling company afloat. Andrew is a corporate lawyer who wants to be known for more than his family's money. They're passionate about their work and each other, but with Andy's job in jeopardy and Saskia's jewellery label taking off, the pressure is taking its toll.

As life pulls them in different directions, the two of them are forced to decide: Just how important is their marriage? And how hard are they willing to work to protect it? 

'Genevieve Gannon writes with a fresh and funny narrative voice ... chick lit at its very, very best' Tess Woods, author of Love at First Flight

'A clever and entertaining read-into-the-wee-hours-of-morning story about love, creativity and the things that make us tick. Genevieve Gannon writes with passion and wit in a story you'll relate to whether you've struggled through love, art or the wrath of public transport ticket inspectors.' Claire Varley, author of The Bit in Between

Contest Giveaway

Book Release Day Event

Event Participants:

Beach Breeze by Joanne DeMaio (Book Review)

In association with author Joanne DeMaio, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Beach Breeze!

Book Review

Beach Breeze by Joanne DeMaio
Book 4: Seaside Saga Series
Publisher: Independent Self Publishing
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Format: Paperback - 346 pages
               Kindle - 1401 KB
               Nook - 847 KB
ISBN: 978-1543115277
BNID: 2940157385309
Genre: Women's Fiction

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour hosted by author Joanne DeMaio.

Book Description:

From the New York Times bestselling author of Beach Blues comes a novel of summers you never forget and friendships that never fade.

After a heartbreaking summer on the Connecticut shore, a group of beach friends is as adrift as an unmoored rowboat. When a dismayed Jason Barlow drives as far away from the sea as he can, leaving behind his wife, Maris, as well as their stately cottage on the bluff, that news hits like a sudden wave. Gathering over an intimate meal in a coastal diner, the friends make a solemn pact to lean on each other and not make any more rash decisions.

Which is all well and good, until each friend wavers--testing relationships, commitments, and especially love in the little beach community of Stony Point. But can the magic of the weathered boardwalk, whispering lagoon grasses, and sweet salt air cure what ails them?

Like a swaying seashell wind chime, Beach Breeze is a book that leaves echoes of summer's sweetness and sadness, long after the last page is turned.

My Book Review:

Every once in a while an author comes along who weaves stories that simply pulls at the heartstrings and stirs the soul, for me, this author is Joanne DeMaio.

In Beach Breeze, author Joanne DeMaio transports the reader back to the tranquil seashore town of Stony Point, Connecticut, where the reader catches up with the lives of friends: Maris, Eva, Matt, Jason, Kyle, Lauren, Elsa, Cliff, and Celia after the sudden death of Elsa's son and Celia's fiance, Salvatore DeLuca.

Just like the ebb and flow of the tide, life brings issues and changes to one's life, but the bonds of friendship, sea air and salt water are cleansing, they cure what ails you. For this group of old friends, the summer's end and the heart wrenching death of Sal will bring them together, but the bonds of friendship and personal relationships will be tested with personal secrets and life issues that surface and swirl around in the shimmering denim blue sea, yet its calming effect will offer them another chance of hope, love, family, friendship, forgiveness, and redemption.

So drive under the railroad trestle and enter the enchanting beach town of Stony Point ... pull up a beach chair ... and visit with the close-knit longtime friends in author Joanne DeMaio's delightful novel, Beach Breeze.

Beach Breeze is a poignant story of friendship and family, dealing with heartbreak, death, grief, life's experiences and personal issues that will tug at your heartstrings. Author Joanne DeMaio weaves an emotional tale written in the third person narrative, that is set in the present with flashbacks to the past. The reader is transported to the tranquil seashore town of Stony Point, Connecticut, where they follow along with Celia, Maris, Eva, Matt, Jason, Kyle, Lauren, Elsa, and Cliff as they each deal with challenges of real life, loss, love, heartbreak, secrets, and personal demons.

Author Joanne DeMaio easily captivates her readers' attention with this beautifully written and emotional tale through a seamless and flowing storyline, and with a wonderful description of a tranquil beach setting that wraps itself around the reader like a sun-warmed beach towel. The characters draw you into their lives with a strong emotional pull, their complexities and flaws are true-to-life, it is easy to relate to them with compassion, empathy and hope. With a mixture of intrigue, suspense, drama, humor, heartache, hidden secrets, romance, and a strong bond of friendship, this story takes you on an emotional roller coaster ride that will keep you turning the pages until the satisfying conclusion.

Beach Breeze is an intricate story of interweaving friendships and real life challenges that is both heart wrenching and inspirational. It is a powerful and compelling story that will have you feeling the full gamut of emotions while soothing your soul. It is a wonderful story that demonstrates the power of the magical sweet salt air that will cure what ails you, and it will resonate with you long after the last word has been read.


About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Beach Blues is her seventh novel. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Wedding Dreams Boxed Set (Book Review / Contest Giveaway

In association with Novel Publicity and author Maggie Way, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Wedding Dreams Boxed Set!

Book Review

Wedding Dreams: 20 Delicious Nuptial Romances Boxed Set by Maggie Way, Alix Nichols, DelSheree Gladden, Lexi Ostrow, Michelle Jo Quinn, Kate Allenton, Lita Lawson, Lindzee Armstrong, Gemma Brocato, Susan Ann Wall, Nicole Morgan, K.M. Hodge, Ann Omasta, Auriella Skye, Amy Olle, Abbie St. Claire, Ann Marie Frohoff, Kristi Rose, Iona Findley
Publisher: Lucky Red Press
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Format: eBook - 3000 pages
               Kindle - 2994 KB
               Nook - 3 MB
BNID: 978-1508053330
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Buy The Boxed Set:

Book Description:

Wedding Dreams: 20 Delicious Nuptial Romances

You are invited to the weddings of your dreams ...

Twenty award-winning, USA Today and International best-selling authors have come together to bring you over 3,000 pages of love, lust, and lusciously sexy men. 

From sweet second chance romances to bad boys, BBWs, and brides looking for revenge, this is a perfect read for anyone who enjoys Romance or Women’s Fiction. These pages are packed with cozy romances, thrilling international and holiday adventures, and sweet heart-melting stories. Our authors bring you everything from hot cowboys to rockstar romances, elegant weddings to nuptial disasters, and blushing brides to bold women, all in a delightful celebration of love. 

You’re in for a wild, passionate ride on a breathtaking voyage to make your heart soar. This box set will leave you craving all things marital and wishing the honeymoon would never end. 

Heat level: sweet to sensual 

My Book Review: 

Wedding Dreams is a wonderful collection of twenty wedding romance stories that will surely make you swoon!

The twenty authors weave unique stories that range from sweet to sensual romance ... but there is one delightful theme that runs through each story, wedding nuptial bliss!

I couldn't help but get drawn into the twenty stories, they each had something special that tugs at the heartstrings and stirs the soul. So if you want to read a delightful collection of romantic wedding themed stories that will give you a warm fuzzy feeling and leave a smile on your face, then look no further, Wedding Dreams boxed set is a must read!


Contest Giveaway

Friday, April 21, 2017

Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for Cat Got Your Cash by author Julie Chase!

Book Review

Cat Got Your Cash by Julie Chase
Book 2: A Kitty Couture Mystery Series
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Publication Date: e-Book April 11, 2017 / PB August 8, 2017
Format: Paperback - 336 pages
               Kindle - 1925 KB
               Nook - 4 MB
ISBN: 978-1683312673
BNID: 978-1683311096
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Buy The Book:
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million

Buy The Series: A Kitty Couture Mystery Series
Book 1: Cat Got Your Diamonds 
Book 2: Cat Got Your Cash 
Barnes & Noble
Books A Million

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours.

Book Description:

Lacy Marie Crocker’s whimsical pet couture has gained a following in New Orleans’s cozy Garden District, and word of mouth has traveled all the way to her favorite fashion designer, Annie Lane. Lacy’s thrilled when Annie schedules a private session at her home to discuss a companion line for her evening wear, but when Lacy arrives for the appointment, she enters the kitchen to two mewling Siamese cats–and one very dead Annie.

Lacy takes the kittens home to care for them until they can be properly claimed by Annie’s family or friends, but after a busy day of work, she returns home to find them missing. And when Lacy learns the cats are set to inherit Annie’s fortune, she begins to wonder if the killer was after the kittens all along. Now Lacy will stop at nothing to save the Siamese and find justice for Annie–if the killer doesn’t sink his claws into her first.

Luckily, Lacy has the help of handsome NOLA PD homicide detective Jack Oliver to help her catch the cat-napper before its too late in Cat Got Your Cash, the endearing second Kitty Couture mystery from Julie Chase.

My Book Review:

In Cat Got Your Cash, the second book in A Kitty Couture Mystery Series, author Julie Chase weaves an intriguing cozy mystery tale that follows the latest amateur sleuth adventures of pet boutique owner Lacy Crocker.

Set in the Garden District section of New Orleans, Louisiana, fashion designer Lacy Crocker's Furry Godmother, a couture pet boutique and organic gourmet treat bakery is starting to get noticed and taking off. When Lacy's favorite fashion designer Annie Lane schedules a private session, Lacy is all excited ... that is until she finds Annie dead on her kitchen floor with two Siamese kittens next to her body. Lacy takes the two kittens home until Annie's family can claim them, but when Lacy finds out the kittens are inheriting Annie's fortune, and they suddenly going missing, Lacy is determined to find the wealthy felines and Annie's killer with the help of sexy New Orleans Detective Jack Oliver.

Cat Got Your Cash is a captivating and fast-paced cozy whodunit tale that has enough quirky characters, witty banter and humor, romance, drama, danger, and intriguing twists and turns. You can't help but get caught up in Lacy's latest amateur sleuth adventure as she and Jack try to save the wealthy kitties and solve Annie's murder. The story unfolds with a wonderful balance of comedy, romance, and drama that easily kept me guessing, and left me wanting more. I can't wait to read the next book in this purrfectly delightful cozy mystery series!

Cat Got Your Cash is an entertaining cozy murder mystery that pet lovers will enjoy reading!


About The Author

Julie Chase is a mystery-loving pet enthusiast who hopes to make readers smile. She lives in rural Ohio with her husband and three small children. Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW) and Sisters in Crime (SinC). She is represented by Jill Marsal of Marsal Lyons Literary Agency. Julie also writes as Julie Anne Lindsey.

Author Website
Amazon Author Page

Contest Giveaway

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

April 11 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

April 11 – Classy Cheapskate – REVIEW

April 11 – The Self-Rescue Princess – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 12 – Books Direct – GUEST POST

April 12 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – INTERVIEW

April 13 – Sapphyria’s Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 13 – My Journey Back – REVIEW

April 13 – Books,Dreams,Life – INTERVIEW, SPOTLIGHT

April 14 – Reading Is My SuperPower – REVIEW

April 14 – Valerie’s Musings – REVIEW, INTERVIEW

April 15 – Queen of All She Reads – REVIEW

April 15 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, & Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

April 16 – Varietats – REVIEW

April 16 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

April 16 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT

April 17 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

April 17 – Bibliophile Reviews –  REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 17 – Back Porchervations – REVIEW

April 18 – Bookworm Cafe – REVIEW

April 18 – Books, Movies, Reviews. Oh my! – REVIEW

April 18 – Celticlady’s Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 19 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 19 – A Blue Million Books – INTERVIEW,

April 20 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

April 20 – Island Confidential – CHARACTER INTERVIEW

April 21- Jersey Girl Book Reviews – REVIEW

April 21- Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW

April 22 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

April 22 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

April 23 – Texas Book-aholic – REVIEW

April 23 – Cozy Up With Kathy – REVIEW, GUEST POST

April 24 – Girl with Book Lungs – REVIEW

April 24 – Brooke Blogs – GUEST POST

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The Outsider by Anthony Franze (Book Review / Contest Giveaway)

In association with Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews is pleased to host the virtual book tour event for The Outsider by author Anthony Franze!

The Outsider by Anthony Franze
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books / St Martins Press / Minotaur Books / Macmillan
Publication Date: March 21, 2017
Format: Hardcover - 320 pages
               Kindle - 1320 KB
               Nook - 997 KB
ISBN: 978-1250071668
BNID: 978-1466882843
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Legal Thriller

Buy The Book:

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author / publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tour.

Book Description:

A young law clerk finds himself caught in the crosshairs of a serial killer in this breathtaking thriller set in the high-pressure world of the Supreme Court, from renowned lawyer Anthony Franze.

Things aren’t going well for Grayson Hernandez. He just graduated from a fourth-tier law school, he’s drowning in student debt, and the only job he can find is as a messenger. The position stings the most because it’s at the Supreme Court, where Gray is forced to watch the best and the brightest―the elite group of lawyers who serve as the justices’ law clerks—from the outside.

When Gray intervenes in a violent mugging, he lands in the good graces of the victim: the Chief Justice of the United States. Gray soon finds himself the newest—and unlikeliest—law clerk at the Supreme Court. It’s another world: highbrow debates over justice and the law in the inner sanctum of the nation’s highest court; upscale dinners with his new friends; attention from Lauren Hart, the brilliant and beautiful co-clerk he can’t stop thinking about.

But just as Gray begins to adapt to his new life, the FBI approaches him with unsettling news. The Feds think there’s a killer connected to the Supreme Court. And they want Gray to be their eyes and ears inside One First Street. Little does Gray know that the FBI will soon set its sights on him.

Racing against the clock in a world cloaked in secrecy, Gray must uncover the truth before the murderer strikes again in this thrilling high-stakes story of power and revenge by Washington, D.C. lawyer-turned-author Anthony Franze.

Stellar Reviews:

THE OUTSIDER is as authentic and suspenseful as any John Grisham novel—and I like Grisham a lot.” —JAMES PATTERSON, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“Crafty and clever! Franze’s insider knowledge of the Supreme Court sets this twisty legal thriller apart. The sympathetic plight of the outsider hero, Grayson Hernandez, will keep you glued to the pages; the explosive plot will leave you breathless.” —LISA GARDNER, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Book Excerpt:


When her computer pinged, Amanda Hill ignored it. This late at night, she shouldn’t have, but she did.
All her energy was focused on tomorrow’s closing argument. Her office was dark, save the sharp cone of light from the desk lamp. She’d waited for everyone to leave so she could run through her final words to the jury. So she could practice as she’d done a thousand times, pacing her office in front of imaginary jurors, explaining away the evidence against the latest criminal mastermind she’d been appointed to represent. This one had left prints and DNA, and vivid images of the robbery had been captured by surveillance cameras.
She glanced out her window into the night. Normal people were home tucking in their children, watching a little TV before hitting the sack. Her little girl deserved better. She should call to check in, but she needed to get the closing done. Amanda’s mother was watching Isabelle, and her mom would call if she needed anything.
There was another ping. Then another. Irritated, Amanda reached for the mouse and clicked to her email. The subject line grabbed her attention:


Amanda opened the email. Strange, there was no name in the sender field. And the message had only a link. Was this one of those phishing scams?
She almost deleted it, but the subject line caught her eye again. Her seven year old's name.
Her cursor hovered over the link— then she clicked. A video appeared on the screen. The footage was shaky, filmed on a smartphone. The scene was dark, but for a flashlight beam hitting a dirty floor. Then a whisper: “You have thirty minutes to get here or they die.”
A chill slithered down Amanda’s back. This was a joke, right? A sick joke? She moved the mouse to shut down the video, but the flashlight ray crawled up a grimy wall and stopped on two figures. Amanda’s heart jumped into her throat. It was her mother and Isabelle. Bound, gagged, weeping.
“Dupont Underground,” the voice hissed. “Thirty minutes. If you call the police, we’ll know. And they’ll die.”
The camera zoomed in on Isabelle’s tear-streaked face. Amanda’s computer began buzzing and flashing, consumed by a tornado virus.
Amanda drove erratically from her downtown office to Dupont Circle. She kept one eye on the road, the other on her smartphone that guided her to the only address she could find for “Dupont Underground,” the abandoned street trolley line that ran under Washington, D.C.
Her mind raced. Why was this happening? It didn’t make sense. It couldn’t be a kidnapping for ransom. She had no money— she was a public defender, for Christ’s sake. A disgruntled client? No, this was too well organized. Too sophisticated. Common criminals, Amanda knew from her years representing them, were uneducated bumblers, not the type to plan out anything in their lives, much less something like this.
She checked the phone. She had only fifteen minutes. The GPS said she’d be there in five. She tried to calm herself, control her breathing. She should call the police. But the warning played in her head: We’ll know. And they’ll die.
She pulled over on New Hampshire Avenue. The GPS said this was the place, but she saw no entrance to any underground. It was a business district. Law firms and lobby shops locked up for the night. She looked around, panicked and confused. There was nothing but a patch of construction across the street. Work on a manhole or sewer line. Or trolley entrance. Amanda leapt from her car and ran to the construction area. A four-foot-tall rectangular plywood structure jutted up from the sidewalk. It had a door on top, like a storm cellar. The padlock latch had been pried open, the wood splintered. Amanda swung open the door and peered down into the gloom.
She shouldn’t go down there. But she heard a noise. A muffled scream? Amanda pointed her phone’s flashlight into the chasm. A metal ladder disappeared into the darkness. She steeled herself, then climbed into the opening, the only light the weak bulb on her phone. When she reached the bottom, she stood quietly, looking down the long tunnel, listening. She heard the noise again and began running toward it.
That’s when she heard the footsteps behind her. She ran faster, her breaths coming in rasps, the footfalls from behind keeping pace. She wanted to turn and fight. She was a god-damned fighter. “Amanda Hill, The Bitch of Fifth Street,” she’d heard the defendants call her around the courthouse. But the image of Isabelle and her mother’s faces, their desperation, drew her on.
The footsteps grew closer. She needed to suppress the fear, to find her family.
The blow to the head came without warning and slammed her to the ground. There was the sound of a boot stomping on plastic and the flashlight on her phone went out. The figure grabbed a fistful of her hair and dragged her to a small room off the tunnel. She was gasping for air now.
A lantern clicked on. Amanda heard the scurrying of tiny feet. She saw the two masses in the shadows and felt violently ill: her mother and Isabelle. Soiled rags stuffed in their mouths, hands and feet bound. Next to them the silhouette of someone spray-painting on the wall.
Amanda sat up quickly, and a piercing pain shot through her skull. She averted her eyes, hoping it was all a nightmare. But a voice cut through the whimpering of her family.
“Look at them!” Amanda lifted her gaze. She forced a smile, feigned a look of optimism, then mouthed a message to her daughter: It’s okay. Everything’s going to be okay.
It was a lie, of course. A godforsaken lie.


Grayson Hernandez walked up to the lectern in the well of the U.S. Supreme Court. He wasn’t intimidated by the marble columns that encased the room or the elevated mahogany bench where The Nine had been known to skewer even the most experienced advocates. He calmly pulled the lever on the side of the lectern to adjust its height, a move he’d learned watching the assistant solicitor generals showing off. He stood up straight and didn’t look down at any notes; the best lawyers didn’t use notes. And he began his oral argument.
“Mr. Chief Justice and may it please the court—” He was immediately interrupted, not uncommon since the justices on average asked more than one hundred questions in the half hour of oral argument allotted to each side. But the voice, which rang though the chamber, wasn’t from a justice of the highest court in the land.
“I’ve told you before, Gray, you can’t be in here.” The beam of a flashlight cut across the empty courtroom. Gray held up a hand to shield his eyes. He smiled at the Supreme Court Police officer making his nightly rounds.
“Someday, counselor,” the officer said. “But for now you might wanna focus on getting the nightlies delivered.” The officer swung the ray of light to Gray’s messenger cart filled with the evening’s mail.
Gray waved at the officer, and returned to his cart. The wheel squeaked as he rolled it out of the courtroom and into the marble hallway.
In Chief Justice Douglas’s chambers, two law clerks were sitting in the reception area, fifteen feet apart, tossing a football between them. They seemed punchy, wired after a long day at the office, talking about one of the court’s cases.
“A high school has no right to punish a kid for things he says off school grounds. The court needs to finally say so,” one of the clerks said. He was a stocky blond guy. Gray thought his name was Mike. Mike spiraled the ball to the other clerk who looked kind of like a young JFK.
“You’re high if you think the chief is going to side with the student,” JFK said, catching the ball with a loud snap. “You upload a violent rap song on YouTube saying your math teacher is sexually harassing students, you’re gonna get suspended.”
“Even if it’s true?” Mike said. The Supreme Court had thirty-six law clerks, four per justice. It was an internship like no other, promising young lawyers not only a ticket to any legal job in the country, but also the chance to leave their fingerprints on the most important legal questions of the day. The current clerks were all in their late twenties, the same age as Gray, but that’s where the similarities ended. Like the two throwing the ball, almost all were white, from affluent backgrounds. Gray didn’t think there were any Mexican Americans in the clerk pool, and certainly none who grew up in gritty Hamilton Heights, D.C. They’d all gone to Harvard or Yale or institutions that, unlike Gray’s law school, had ivy instead of graffiti on their walls. And they certainly weren’t delivering mail.
Gray nodded hello as he lifted the stacks of certiorari petitions out of his cart and dropped them in the metal in-boxes for the chief ’s clerks.
Mike looked at Gray. “No, not more petitions, I’m begging you.” Gray smiled, but didn’t engage. His boss in the marshal’s office had a rule when it came to the justices and their law clerks: Speak only when necessary.
The ball whizzed across the reception area again. “Is it printed yet?” JFK asked. “I wanna get out of here.” He looked over to the printer, which was humming and spitting out paper. Gray worked tw night shifts a week, and there usually were no less than a dozen clerks still in the office. Theirs was a one-year gig, but they worked as if the justices wanted to squeeze five years out of them.
“It won’t take long,” Mike said. “It’s a short memo, and I just want someone who’s a disagreeable ass to point out any soft spots before I turn it into the chief.”
“You’re wasting your time. He’s never gonna side with the student, he—”
“This case is no different than Tinker v. Des Moines Schools,” Mike countered. “The court said disruptive speech at school could be punished, but not speech made off school grounds. Off-campus speech, including posting something on YouTube, should be covered by the First Amendment just like everything else. It’s none of the school’s business.”
JFK gave a dismissive grunt. “A rap expert from Greenwich, Connecticut, I love it.”
Mike threw the ball hard at his co-clerk. “Hey,” JFK said, shaking off the sting after reeling in the throw. “I’m just saying, the Tinker case was decided in the late sixties. You can’t apply it in the digital world. You’re in an ivory tower if you think the chief will blindly follow Tinker.”
Gray pretended not to listen, but he lingered, enjoying the intellectual banter.
The ball flew by again. “Ivory tower?” Mike said. “Fine, let’s ask an everyman.” He pointed the football at Gray. “Hey, Greg, can we ask you something?”
Mike had once asked Gray his name, a regular man of the people.
“It’s Gray.”
“Sorry. Gray. We have a question: Do you think if a high school student is off campus and posts something offensive on social media a school can punish him for it?”
JFK chimed in: “It’s not just posting something offensive. It’s a profanity-laden rap that accuses a teacher of sexually harassing students and threatens to ‘put a cap’ in the guy.”
Gray pondered the question as he retrieved mail from the outboxes. “I agree with what Murderous Malcolm said about the case.” The clerks shot each other a look. That morning the New York Times ran a story about the case, in which a famous rapper was interviewed and defended the student’s right to free speech. Every morning the Supreme Court’s library sent around an email aggregating news stories relating to the court. Gray was probably the only person at One First Street who read them all.
Gray continued. “I think the First Amendment allows a kid who saw a wrong happening to write a poem about it over a beat.” Gray wheeled the cart toward the door. “And if the chief justice disagrees, you might mention all the violence in those operas he loves so much.”
“That’s what I’m talking about,” Mike said, spiking the ball, then doing a ridiculous touchdown dance. He strutted over to Gray and gave him a high five.
For a moment, it felt like Gray was a clerk himself, an equal weighing in on the most important school-speech case in decades.
“Hey, Gray,” JFK said. Gray turned, ready to continue his defense of the First Amendment.
“I’ve got some books that need to be delivered to the library.”
When Gray arrived at the gym two hours later, his dad already had his hands wrapped and was hitting the heavy bag. There was a large sweat stain on his shirt. “You’re late,” he called out.
“I told you, I have the night shift on Sundays,” Gray said. His dad didn’t respond, just pounded the bag. He wasn’t going to get any sympathy from Manny Hernandez about the night shift. This was his father’s one night off from the pizza shop. Since his dad’s cancer went into remission, they’d been meeting every Sunday night at the old boxing club in Adams Morgan. Gray would have preferred that they spent these times together somewhere other than a smelly gym, but it made his father happy to see him back in the gloves. It was these moments that Gray was reminded that he probably wasn’t the man his father had dreamed he’d become. With his books and big dreams, Gray was his mother’s boy. Gray punched the bag, the hits vibrating through him, his thoughts venturing to his earlier encounter with the law clerks. He threw his weight into his right.
Let’s ask an everyman.
Then his left.
I’ve got some books that need to be delivered to the library.
Gray continued to pummel the bag, his heart pounding, sweat dripping from his brow.
“Somethin’ wrong?” His father came and stood behind the bag, holding it in place as Gray kept going at it. “Talk to me.”
“It’s nothing,” Gray finally said, catching his breath, wiping his forehead with his arm. “Just work stuff.”
“I thought it was going well. You’ve loved that building since you were a little kid. And now you’re working there, helping the justices.”
“I don’t think delivering the mail is exactly helping the justices, Dad.”
“It’s a foot in the door. Once they get to know you, see how smart you are . . .”
Things didn’t work that way, but Gray wasn’t in the mood to argue.
“It’ll happen, son,” his father added. “You just gotta pay your dues, Grayson.”
“I know, Dad, I know.”


At seven the next morning, Gray sat at his cubicle, tired and his muscles aching from the workout the night before. He started his day, as always, slugging down a large coffee while reading SCOTUSblog, a website that covered the court. It was the first day of the new term, and the pundits predicted it would be an exciting year with several landmark cases.
Gray turned when he felt a hand on his shoulder. Shelby, one of the marshal’s aides. A mistake he’d made after a night of drinking with the other aides. She made a point of saying she’d never been with “a guy like him,” which he assumed meant a poor kid from a sketchy side of D.C. She worked part-time while finishing her senior year at Georgetown.
“Martin wants to see you,” she said. Gray looked across the expansive cube farm. He could see Martin Melnick, their supervisor, through the glass walls of his small interior office in the back. He was eating something wrapped in foil. A breakfast burrito, maybe. Shelby’s expression summed up her assessment of Martin: Ick. Martin was in his late thirties, ancient by aide-pool standards. Overweight with bad teeth, he was the antithesis of the bright young things who worked at the high court, the butt of many jokes. He was never particularly nice to Gray; the opposite, actually. But Martin was good at his job and didn’t deserve the ridicule, so Gray kind of rooted for him in all of his slobbiness. Before Gray made his way over to Martin, Shelby said, “Who’s that?” She pointed to a photo pinned to Gray’s cubicle. It was of a boxer in the ring, bruised and battered, arms in the air, standing over his opponent who was out cold.
“My dad, back in the day. He was a fighter in Mexico.” Gray had pinned it up his first day on the job. His own Facebook motivational meme.
Shelby squeezed Gray’s bicep. “I see where you get—”
“I’ve gotta get over to Martin,” Gray said, politely extracting himself.
Martin’s office didn’t help his image. Stacks of papers everywhere. Post-it notes all over the place. He glanced up at Gray and handed him an envelope.
“We got a rush delivery for E.R.D.’s chambers.” E.R.D. were the initials for Edgar R. Douglas, the chief justice. In his month on the job, Gray had learned that the Supreme Court was obsessed with abbreviations and acronyms.
“Oral arguments start at ten, so get this to his clerk ASAP. His name’s on the envelope.”
Gray fast-walked up to the main floor, shuttling through the impressive Great Hall that was lined with marble columns and busts of past chief justices. He nodded at the officer manning the bronze latticework door and made his way to the chief justice’s chambers. The chief ’s secretary, a tough old bird named Olga Romanov, flicked him a glance.
“I have a delivery for Keir Landon.” “The clerks are getting breakfast,” she said in her clipped Eastern European accent.
“Do you know where?”
“Breakfast. Where do you think?” Gray forced a smile, then headed back downstairs to the court’s cafeteria. He marched past the assembly line of trays and the public seating area and into the private room reserved for the law clerks. A group of four were sitting at the long table.
Gray cleared his throat when they didn’t look up. When that didn’t work: “Excuse me. I have a delivery for Keir Landon.”
The guy from last night who looked like JFK popped his head up. He walked over to Gray and plucked the envelope from his hand.
“What’s up, Greg?” Mike said from the group. Before Gray could correct him again on the name, Gray’s phone pinged. A text from Martin, another rush delivery.
Gray hurried out, tapping a text to Martin as he paced quickly through the cafeteria. He didn’t look up until he bumped into someone. A tiny woman in her seventies. It was only when the elderly woman’s food tray hit the floor that Gray recognized her: Justice Rose Fitzgerald Yorke. She looked different without the black robe. Always weird seeing the teacher out of school. Yorke was one of the most beloved members of the court. Gray had read that when Yorke graduated from Harvard in the fifties, the only woman and number one in her class, none of the white-shoe law firms would hire a woman as a lawyer. A few had offered to make her a secretary. Maybe that explained why she ate in the public cafeteria rather than the justices’ private dining room, or why she organized the office birthday celebrations for every single employee at the court. She knew what it was like to be an outsider. She brought what some would derisively call empathy to her jurisprudence.
Justice Yorke bent over to pick up her spilled plate and silverware.
“Justice Yorke, I’m so sorry. Please, let me clean this up.” Gray lightly put a hand on the elderly justice’s arm.
“It’s no problem, young man, I can clean up after myself.”
“No, really, it’s my fault. Please.”
The manager of the cafeteria was standing there now looking annoyed. He gestured for Justice Yorke to come with him to get a new plate. The manager shot Gray a hard look as he spirited the justice away.
So there he was on the first Monday in October— the opening day of the term—on hands and knees wiping up the floor, the clerks passing by on their way back to chambers.
You just gotta pay your dues, Grayson.


At the end of his shift, Gray headed down to the court’s garage to get his bike. In the elevator down, he contemplated his dinner options. He wasn’t sure if he could take another night of ramen or SpaghettiOs. Maybe he’d go to the pizza shop. Or to his parents’ apartment. Mom could always be counted on for a good meal, and he could bring some laundry. The elevator doors spread open to a field of gray concrete. The bike rack was empty but for his beat-up Schwinn. As he unlocked the chain, he heard a commotion. In the back, behind one of the support beams.
Gray stepped toward the sound. Next to an SUV parked in a reserved spot he saw two men, one had fallen on the ground, the other standing over him. The guy must have slipped. Was he hurt? There was something about how he didn’t try to get up and the stance of the other man that didn’t seem quite right.
“Everything okay?” Gray said. The man who was standing whirled his head around. That’s when Gray noticed the ski mask.
Before Gray could process the situation, the assailant had kicked the man on the ground and charged Gray.
Gray’s father had taught him that when someone is coming at you, in the boxing ring or on the street, time slows. Nature’s way to give you a chance to evade the predator. And that was how Gray dodged the blade that lashed in a wide arc, grazing his abdomen. A panic washed over Gray. And when the attacker came at him again, it wasn’t one of Dad’s bob-and-weaves that saved him, but a crude kick— more Jason Statham than Cassius Clay— that connected to Ski Mask’s chest. The guy slammed into a car, but he didn’t go down. He roared forward at Gray again. Gray did a bull-fighter’s move and pushed the attacker past him, but felt a bite in his side. Ski Mask then jammed something into the small of Gray’s back. He felt a jolt of electricity burning into him— a shockwave up his spine— causing him to spasm and gasp for air. Gray went black for a moment, and then was flat on the cold concrete.
Gray watched as Ski Mask turned his attention to the other man who was on his feet now. It was only then that Gray got a good look at the victim: Chief Justice Douglas. The chief had scurried behind a car and was frantically thumbing a key fob, his panic button. The elevator dinged and Gray heard the slap of dress shoes on concrete, the court’s police.
Still on the ground, Gray shifted his eyes toward the man in the ski mask, but he was gone. Gray’s vision blurred. He heard yelling. Then things went dark.


Gray awoke to the scent of disinfectant and the presence of a crowd in the small hospital room. He must’ve been given painkillers because it was like watching a sitcom, one of those Latino family comedies written by white guys from Harvard. There was Mom, hovering over him, wiping his brow, pushing the giant plastic jug of hospital water at him. Dad, looking tired and too thin, wearing a flour-stained apron, staring at the old box television mounted from the ceiling. And big sis, Miranda, wrangling Gray’s seven-year-old nephew, Emilio.
When they noticed his eyes open, they called for a doctor, and soon an intern was checking Gray’s pupils with a penlight.
Gray never got into drugs, but as he sat back in the relaxed haze, he was starting to understand the fascination. And for the next hour, or maybe it was longer, his family kept talking to him— asking about the garage attack— and he gave woozy responses. God knows what he said.
Sometime later, Gray’s attention turned to a familiar voice at the doorway.
“Always gotta be the hero.” One of his oldest friends, Samantha. When they were in elementary school, Gray had intervened to save Sam from a schoolyard bully, only to have the kid then pummel Gray until Sam put an end to it by giving the kid the worst wedgie Gray had ever seen. Sam still gave him shit for it.
As Sam hugged everyone hello, Gray’s father shadowboxed and said, “He used the moves I taught him.”
Gray didn’t have the heart to tell him that most of the credit went to Jason Statham.
Sam came to his bedside and punched him in the arm.
“What was that for?”
“For being so stupid. You’re lucky to be alive.”
“That’s what I said to him,” Mom said. The room grew loud again with his family talking over one another. Gray watched as his nephew reenacted Gray’s confrontation with the mugger. He was feeling the pull of sleep, more drugs they’d put in the IV, and closed his eyes. He was just about to drift off when the room went suddenly quiet, a rarity at any Hernandez gathering.
His eyes popped open at another voice. “I owe you a thank you.”
There was a tall man standing at his bedside. He wore a sports jacket, shirt open at the collar. It took Gray a moment to realize it wasn’t the drugs, it was really him. Chief Justice Douglas. “It was nothing,” was all Gray managed in response. “No, if you hadn’t arrived when you did, then . . .” the chief's voice trailed off.
Gray introduced the chief justice to his family. He noticed the chief hold Sam’s gaze a beat longer than comfortable when they shook hands. Sam had that effect on men, and Gray supposed Supreme Court justices were not immune to her beauty. To Gray, she was still the flat-chested tomboy he used to play dodgeball and video games with.
After the introductions, the chief pulled up a chair next to Gray’s bed. It was awkward to talk because the room was compact and his family wasn’t too subtle about the gawking.
“Someone at the court told me you’re a lawyer?” the chief said.
“Top of his class,” Gray’s mother said.
“Mom, please.” Gray felt his face flush.
The chief justice smiled. “The doctors said you’ll be out of commission for a few days.”
“That’s what they said, but I don’t think it’ll be more than a day. I’m already feeling—” He stopped when he saw the hard look his mother was giving him.
“It’s always wise to listen to your mother,” the chief said with a dry chuckle.
His mom nodded, giving a satisfied smile.
“But do me a favor, would you?” the chief continued.
“Of course.”
“When you get back to work, come by my chambers.” Before Gray could respond, the chief added, “You’re not gonna be a messenger boy anymore.”


“Nothing? They found nothing?”
Special Agent Emma Milstein asked. Her partner, Scott Cartwright, stood in front of Milstein’s desk in the FBI field office, staring into an open file. Cartwright wore his usual navy suit, white shirt, plain tie clamped around his thick neck.
Cartwright shook his head. “A guy with a knife strolls into the Supreme Court, attacks a justice, and not one camera catches him, no one knows how he got in or out, nothing?”
“Nada,” Cartwright said.
“What about the kid? What’s his name again?” Cartwright flipped a page in the file.
“Hernandez. Grayson Hernandez. The Supreme Court’s squad interviewed him. Been on the job there for about a month, well liked. They’re confident it was just wrong place, wrong time.”
“Criminal record?”
“No, he’s a lawyer, actually.”
“A lawyer? I thought he was a messenger?”
“Yeah, works in the marshal’s office. Times are tough in the law business, I guess,” Cartwright said.
“I guess so. Our guys agree with the Supreme Court’s police? We’re sure Hernandez is clean?”
Cartwright walked over and put the open file in front of Milstein. “We don’t think he was involved in the attack. He got into some trouble as a kid— joyriding in a stolen car with some friends. But that’s like jaywalking in Hamilton Heights.”
“He grew up in Hamilton Heights? Don’t they call that area ‘Afghanistan’?” Milstein looked down at the file, studying the photo of Grayson Hernandez. He was a good-looking kid. Late-twenties. Striking blue eyes, unusual for a Hispanic. He had a scar that ran from the corner of his left eye to his ear. Jagged, no plastic surgery. “Yeah, he’s a regular local boy makes good,” Cartwright said, heavy on the sarcasm.
“Any criminal associates?”
“He was childhood friends with a real charmer, Arturo Alvarez, who’s just out of prison and already at war with a rival sect. But it appears that Hernandez left the Heights and never looked back. The report says no contact with Alvarez in years.”
Milstein read through the rest of the file. “Does the press know he was there when the chief was attacked? I don’t need reporters sniffing around. If they find out there’s a connection to Dupont Underground they’ll—”
“They don’t know anything,” Cartwright interrupted. “The court released a statement about the mugging, but no details. They’re pretty tight-lipped up there.”
“What’s the Supreme Court’s police chief saying?”
“Aaron Dowell? He’s saying we should mind our own fucking business. They’re in charge of protecting the chief.”
“Yeah, they’re doing a great job.” Cartwright said nothing. “When can we talk to the chief justice?” Milstein asked. “They’re still stonewalling. I don’t think they’re taking the connection to Dupont seriously.”
“You told them we think it’s the same perp?”
“Of course I did. I’m working on it, Em.”
“Work harder.” Milstein let out a loud, frustrated breath.
“You want me to get you a snack or something?” Cartwright said. “When my kids get a little cranky, I bring them some Goldfish crackers and it—”
“Any luck on getting the wires?” Milstein said, ignoring him. Cartwright made a sound of disbelief. “Neal says you’re crazy if you think you’ll get a bug anywhere near that building.” As usual, Neal Wyatt, the assistant director in charge of the field office, was being too cautious, playing politics.
“You need to tread lightly. This is the Supreme Court.”
“The Franklin Theater fire was on July fifth. The Dupont Underground murders on August fifth. Now the attack on the chief October fifth. And we now know it’s the same perp. What’s it gonna take to get the Supreme Court’s squad to take this seriously?”
Cartwright shook his head. “Hopefully not another victim on November fifth.”

My Book Review:

In The Outsider, author Anthony Franze utilizes his legal knowledge and position as a Washington D.C. attorney with Appellate and Supreme Court experience, to weave a riveting legal thriller that takes the reader behind the scenes into the inner workings of the United States Supreme Court.

From its gritty dark beginning to climatic ending, The Outsider is an action packed and fast paced gripping tale that follows Supreme Court messenger turned law clerk Grayson Hernandez as he tries to help the FBI uncover the identity of the Supreme Court serial killer who strikes on the fifth of every month.

As a fan of legal thrillers, especially when they revolve around a political and judicial theme, I was eager to read The Outsider, and I wasn't left disappointed! Author Anthony Franze weaves a gripping dark tale that has enough drama, mystery, suspense, intrigue, and surprising twists and turns that easily engages the reader to follow Gray as an outsider investigating the Supreme Court murders, while getting the opportunity of a lifetime working as a Supreme Court law clerk.

I really enjoyed how the author utilized his legal knowledge and experience to transport the reader into the fascinating inner workings of the political and judicial world that is Washington D.C. When you add in the mystery of the murders, the hidden secrets and dark pasts, and the suspense and danger of the investigation, you get an explosive story that takes you on one hell of a thrill ride, and a book that you won't be able to put down!


About The Author

Author Anthony Franze is a lawyer in the Appellate and Supreme Court practice of a prominent Washington, D.C. law firm, and a critically acclaimed thriller writer with novels set in the nation’s highest court. Franze has been a commentator on legal and Supreme Court issues for The New Republic, Bloomberg, National Law Journal, and other major media outlets. He is a board member and a Vice President of the International Thriller Writers organization.

Franze lives in the Washington, D.C. area with his family.

Author Website

Contest Giveaway

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Anthony Franze. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 19th and runs through April 22nd, 2017.
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Virtual Book Tour

Tour Schedule:

3/21 Blog Talk Radio w/Fran Lewis

3/21 Showcase @ A Bookworms Journal

3/22 Interview @ BooksChatter

3/23 Interview @ Mythical Books

3/24 Review @ Book Reviews From an Avid Reader

3/24 Showcase @ The Pen and Muse Book Reviews

3/25 Showcase @ Bound 2 Escape

3/26 Showcase @ Books, Dreams, Life

3/27 Review @ Tales of a Book Addict

3/28 Showcase @ Books Direct

3/29 Review @ Writing Pearls

3/30 Review @ Booksies Blog

3/31 Review @ Just Reviews

4/01 Review @ The Book Divas Reads

4/02 Review @ Bookishly me

4/03 Showcase @ Celticladys Reviews

4/04 Interview/showcase @ CMash Reads

4/05 Showcase @ A Dream Within A Dream

4/08 Review/Showcase @ Kara the Redhead

4/09 Showcase @ A Bookaholic Swede

4/11 Review @ Jaquo Lifestyle Magazine

4/12 Review @ For Life After

4/14 Review @ Jersey Girl Book Reviews

4/17 Review @ Colloquium

4/20 Review/Showcase @ Brooke Blogs

4/21 Review @ I am not a bookworm!