The Upside to Murder
Above: The book cover,
At right: Author Marshall Frank
Thriller by ex-cop Frank
will make you want more
By ANDY MURCIA
Admittedly I dont often read books by other cops. Maybe its because I had my own career as a cop in Chicago and I feel like Ive pretty much seen it all, my way. But when a life-long friend kept after me to read Marshall Franks writings, I acquiesced and Im glad that I did.
Marshall Frank can really write real--and after I checked around on what he did in his lifes work, Im not a bit surprised. Marshall Frank is no stranger to homicide. He knows well what he writes about. He's a retired police captain from Miami-Dade, Florida. In his 30-year career, he served in many capacities, including 16 years in homicide and crime scene investigation (CSI). He testified in more than 100 murder investigations and supervised nearly 3,000 murder cases.
Im also proud to say Marshall Frank and I attended the same high school (North Miami High) and enjoy some mutual friendships. However, Marshall and I have never met in person.
I purchased his latest book, "The Upside To Murder" (Aberdeen Bay, $16.95 ), so I could simply enjoy it. But after reading it and loving it, I kept getting a thought that I should review it here as my way of telling everyone to take up this author, if you like who done-it tales or just like a good story, you will want to read all of Marshall Frank's writings. He not only knows murder, he also knows how to write about it. And this is where he leaves the wanna-be writers of this genre in the dust.
I enjoyed Joseph Wambaughs writings, but now ex-cop Joe will have to share the spotlight. There is another great writer of police stories on the scene: Marshall Frank.
Since Im a retired cop who enjoyed a second career as a show biz personal manager here in Los Angeles, I have a hunch that The Upside to Murder is a hit film waiting to happen. I hope a wise agent reads this book and gets his major actors attached to this material fast.
The tease on this book states: After 16 year-old Cassandra is gang-raped, shot and left for dead, her father, Orville Madison, embarks on a stealth campaign to protect his daughter from reliving the terrifying ordeal through the justice system. His obsessive pursuit drives the Miami physician into a spiral of anguish as he desperately tries to resolve inexplicable conflicts between love of child and love of God. Besides emotional struggles and unending suspense, "Upside to Murder "offers engaging drama pitting good versus evil, which brings out the worst in the best of people.
The book is published by Aberdeen Bay.
In reading this unforgettable story, I could not help but notice that it had a sort of Dexter"-ish flavor to it. So much so that I think if the talented Executive Producer of Showtime's "Dexter" series, Sara Colleton, read Marshall Frank, Im confident she would want to hire him immediately to write or consult on her hit TV series. I might add, that "Dexter" is my favorite TV show these days.
Lastly, in all my years as a cop in Chicago, I do understand "The Upside To Murder" simply because acts of street-justice, like it or not, do play a role in handing out justice to those who live by these same street rules.
Of course, its unlawful and wrong, but sometimes, when the bad guy really deserves it, it can be all so very deliciously digested and in some cases, devilishly enjoyed. Im positive all who read "The Upside to Murder " will enjoy it a lot more than "Dexter" mainly because its even more real and just a bit more gratifying for those of us who like to keep the playing field even.
I had one advantage in my reading of this book: I knew well the parts of Miami where this story takes place, having grown up there and worked as a boy in the very area where this horrific case occurs. Ive read the book twice already and am about to start read number three just to enjoy it all over again.
On a lighter note, Marshall Frank in his off time is a former symphony violinist. He is also the author of eleven books, seven fiction and four non-fiction, and his articles have appeared in various newspapers and magazines. He lives in Melbourne, Florida with his wife Suzanne. You can read more about Marshall Frank and purchase his books at his website at http://www.marshallfrank.com
©2012 by Andy Murcia. This column first posted July 30, 2012.
TO ACCESS ANDY MURCIA'S ARCHIVE OF COLUMNS ON THIS SITE, CLICK HERE: MURCIA ARCHIVE
You can comment on this column online via our TALKBACK page. Please address your e-mail message to either "The Editors" or Andy Murcia at Syndpack@aol.com
HOME About Us Index To
Talkback Contact Us