William Manchee

Novelist

BRASH ENDEAVOR

 

A Stan Turner Mystery, Book II

Top Publications, July 1998

Trade Paperback ISBN # 1-884570-89-5

 

Step into the shoes of Dallas attorney, Stan Turner, in the late 1970's as he begins the practice of law. Then hang on for the ride of your life as Stan immediately steps into a rattlesnake's nest and has to do some fancy two-steppin' to avoid a lethal strike from his own clients. When Stan's wife, Rebekah, is arrested for murder and a client turns out to be a ghost, Stan turns in his legal pad for a detective's notebook and goes to work to solve these most perplexing mysteries.

 

Teetering on the brink of bankruptcy, Stan pushes on relentlessly to extricate himself and his family from certain doom. Sex, greed and a lust for power drive this most extraordinary novel to a stunning conclusion.


Reviews


Dallas Observer - Thursday, July 30, 1998

 

William Manchee could be Dallas answer to John Grisham. Manchee, an author who has maintained a private law firm in Dallas since 1975, recently published Brash Endeavor, a page-turning tale of a small-time lawyer in over his head with some big time clients. Just like Grisham's books, the protagonist apppears to be a thinly veiledversion of Manchee. The novel follows Stan Turner--the character that Manchee introduced in the well-received Undaunted as he moves to Dallas to open up his own law practice and becomes involved with an insurance scam that ends up with his wife being falsely accused of murder. It sounds like just the kind of potboiler that Grisham is know for. Let's just hope Manchee doesn't option any of his books to movie producers.


 

Reviewed by: molly martin

 

Stan Turner and his wife Rebekah are unaware exactly how their lives are about to change when Stan determines to open his own law practice. Following this decision the only steady, reliable income coming into their home is derived from Rebekah�s work a few hours each week at the nearby Central Receiving Hospital where she in ICU/ER nurse.


 

Much to the delight of Stan and Rebekah clients and the promise of constant income do soon appear, Stan�s old friend Kurt Harrison sends the flamboyant Gena Lombardi and her problems to Stan, Inca Oil needs an attorney to do land title searches, Kurt introduces Dan Kelley. Things are looking up.

 

An offer for a percentage in an oil well rather than a fee for work performed is viewed by Stan as a method for insuring a good steady income. The only fly in the ointment is Rebekah�s growing dissatisfaction and plain old wifely jealousy for the attractive women Stan meets in the course of his work.


 

When Stan and the nubile wife of a client are found in a clinch out at the 'coming in' party held at the newly opened well Rebekah is sure her suspicions are well founded. A short time later Stan finds himself facing the fact of his wife's arrest for the death of that wife of a client, caring for his four young kiddies with the help of Rebekah�s mother and trying to unravel how it has all gone so wrong.


 

BRASH ENDEAVOR offers the reader a peek inside the daily lives of individuals who are interesting and fun and wholly plausible. BRASH ENDEAVOR is another in a series of William Manchee's 'Stan Turner' mystery thrillers. My favorite type of book, good solid writing filled with believable characters and situations, no graphic sex thrown in just to sell the book or to try to cover up lack of writing skill, no silly posturing, this is just a good, well written book . We who enjoy thrillers can only hope writer Manchee is hard at work on the next in the series and that many more Stan Turner novels are soon forthcoming. BRASH ENDEAVOR is a tale that will grab you from the first line and will hold you tight right on down to the last page. Very perceptive and highly recommended.



 PROLOGUE

    September, 1979

    The light of first dawn inundated our bedroom waking me from a troubled slumber. In all the turmoil of the previous evening I had neglected to set the alarm. For some strange reason, neither the boys nor the baby had yet awakened. They must have sensed Rebekah's need to sleep. I looked at the digital display and saw it was 8:15 so I rolled out of bed and started doing some stretching exercises. From the other room I heard Reggie talking to his younger brothers, Peter and Mark. After a minute they must of heard me moving around as they came running into our bedroom.
    "Good morning, Daddy," Reggie said.
    "Hi, bums. You guys sure slept late. . . . You must be hungry?"
    "Uh huh," Peter replied.
    Rebekah sat up and looked at us curiously. "What time is it?"
    "Eight-twenty."
    "Oh geez, it's so late, why did you let me sleep so long? The kids must be starving."
    "Why don't you just stay in bed, I'll fix breakfast. Maybe I'll even give you breakfast in bed. How would you like that?"
    "Oh no, Stan, you've got to go to work."
    "Somehow, I don't think I'll be meeting with Bird and Tomlinson this morning. Not after Sheila died."
    Rebekah looked at me and said,"Oh my God. That wasn't a dream, was it?"
    "No, honey. I'm afraid it wasn't."
    Rebekah fell back unto the bed, put her hands over her face and began to cry. I went over to her, sat on the bed next to her and took her limp hand in mine.
    "Why don't you kids go play?" I said. "Mom's not feeling so good. I'll call you when breakfast is ready."
    "What's wrong?" Reggie said.
    "Nothing, just take your brothers and go play!"
    "Okay, okay," he said and ran off with Peter and Mark close behind.
    "Maybe you should get up. It's probably not a good idea for you to lie around worrying about what happened last night. Come on, I'll help you get dressed."
    Getting no response I took her hand and gently pulled her to her feet. I looked into her dispirited eyes and wondered if she'd ever recover from the horror of the previous night. After pulling off her nightgown I managed to get some shorts and a T-shirt on her. Then I brought her into the kitchen and made her and the kids breakfast. After Rebekah had consumed a couple of cups of coffee she seemed more alert.
    "You look like you're feeling better, honey," I said.
    "I'm fine, don't worry about me," she said trying to force a smile.
    "I'll take Reggie and Mark to school. I don't think you should drive today."
    "That's okay, I can take them."
    "No, you stay home. You'll have your hands full with Peter and Marcia."
    As I yelled for Reggie and Mark to get ready for school the doorbell rang. I looked at Rebekah and said, "Who could that be?"
    I went to the door, opened it and there stood two uniformed policeman and a man in a suit.
    "Stan Turner?" the man in the suit asked.
    "Yes."
    "I'm Detective Small of the Dallas police department. Is your wife home?"
    "Yes. What's going on?"
    "We'll need to see her now please," Detective Small said.
    "What do you want with her?"
    "We have a warrant for her arrest."
    "What? You can't be serious."
    "We're quite serious. Now step aside and let us do our job."
    The two uniformed officers pushed their way into the house slamming me into the doorjamb. They immediately started searching the house for Rebekah. Reggie and Mark starred in shock as they ran by. One of the policeman, having spotted Rebekah sitting at the kitchen table, ran over to her, yanked her up and pushed her up against the wall. She winced in pain as he cuffed her and then jerked her around to face Detective Small who had just entered the kitchen.
    "Mrs. Turner, you're under arrest for the murder of Sheila Logan. We're going to have to take you downtown."
    "But I didn't kill her! I was downstairs in the ER when it happened. . . . Stan, don't let them do this!"
    Anger swelled within me as I watched the officer manhandle Rebekah. "You can't treat her like that!" I said rushing over to defend her. The other officer drew his gun and pointed at my head.
    Rebekah screamed, "Don't shoot him!"
    Detective Small glared at the officer and yelled, "Put that gun away!" He then turned to me and said, "Mr. Turner, you're an attorney, you know you cannot obstruct this arrest. Now back off!"
    "Do what he says, Stan," Rebekah said.
    By this time Marcia had been awakened by the ruckus and was wailing from her crib in the next room. Mark and Peter were standing up against the wall in shock, tears streaming from their eyes. I went over to them and held them as we watched Rebekah being taken away. As they were escorting Rebekah to the squad car, Reggie suddenly darted after them screaming, "You can't take my mommy! Leave her alone. Leave my mommy alone."
    One of the officers intercepted Reggie and restrained him until I got there to get him. I pulled him back to the house yelling and kicking. Then I rushed into the nursery to get Marcia who had been screaming so loud that she was starting to turn blue. I picked her up, held her tightly and then gazed out the window. Tears swelled in my eyes as I watched the squad car disappear around the corner. Why hadn't I listened to Father Henry?