The Puppet Master
by Ronald S. Barak
Genre: Thriller, Suspense
What would YOU do if they took everything you had, your family, your home, your business, your dignity, even—perhaps—your sanity?
Barak’s latest, The Puppet Master, prequel to The Amendment Killer, and the second in the Brooks/Lotello Thriller Series, is a gripping story of a political system gone awry—and those who feel compelled to fix it. “Have you ever killed anyone? I have. I’ll do it again. If I need to.”Three prominent political leaders in Washington, D.C., murdered in as many days.
Not a plausible story premise? What about the real world villain who recently mailed a series of pipe bombs to a number of prominent political figures? Ripped from the headlines? Barak gives new meaning to the word “timely.” The Puppet Master isn’t ripped from the headlines; written first, it forecast the headlines that followed!
The Puppet Master begins with a bang. Literally. Three of them. Not a page wasted. Capitol Hill panics. Who will be next? Others whisper that our political leaders are only getting what they deserve. Anxious to see who will be next. And why.
Crafty D.C. homicide detective Frank Lotello is tasked to find the killer. Cliff Norman, a local businessman with ample motive, is arrested. Politicians breathe a sigh of relief. However, when Lotello discovers a disturbing White House connection, he suspects Norman may not be what he appears to be. Things may not be what they appear to be.
Norman’s trial commences in the courtroom of savvy D.C. trial court judge Cyrus Brooks. An angry nation rallies behind Norman. The jury debates whether Norman’s actions may be legally justified by a rampant abuse of political trust, and threatens to unravel the very fabric of our dysfunctional government.
In an unprecedented and questionable manner that may destroy their respective careers, Lotello quietly approaches Brooks and they form a secret alliance to uncover the truth in this classic whodunnit mystery. Before it’s too late.
Blurring fiction and reality, The Puppet Master will have you dangling from the first page to the very last.
“One of the year’s best thrillers!”
–Best Thriller Magazine
“First The Amendment Killer, now The Puppet Master, whenever Barak brings it, the result is always the same, tense, timely and terrific!”
–Lee Child, #1 New York Times Bestselling author of the Jack Reacher novels
There are 117 sitting trial court judges in Washington, DC. Judge Cyrus Brooks always thought of himself as among the best of them. Lately, however, he was beginning to wonder.
It used to be if you were unhappy about something, you’d write to your congressman. If he ignored you, then you wouldn’t vote for him the next time around. You’d vote for the other guy. Maybe, you’d even campaign for the other guy.
But what if the problem you’re unhappy about is your congressman? What if you think he isn’t doing his job? What if you think he’s on the take, corrupt? And what if the other guy is just as bad? Then what?
Brooks knew you couldn’t just go out and shoot someone because you’re unhappy. Let alone shoot a bunch of other people. People you don’t even know.
Or could you?
More and more, there are those today who seem quite willing to do precisely that, to kill complete strangers just . . . because.
That was the crux of what had been troubling Brooks of late. What if one of those killers was arrested, and ended up in his courtroom? Could he assure both the people of Washington, DC and the accused alike a fair and proper trial? Could he remain impartial, and objective?
Brooks wondered if all his recent doubts meant it was time for him to step down, to retire. Pass the baton to someone else.
But he waited too long.
Described by his readers as a cross between Agatha Christie, Lee Child, and John Lescroart, bestselling author Ron Barak keeps his readers flipping the pages into the wee hours of the night. While he mostly lets his characters tell his stories, he does manage to get his licks in too.
Barak derives great satisfaction in knowing that his books not only entertain but also stimulate others to think about how things might be, how people can actually resolve real-world problems. In particular, Barak tackles the country’s dysfunctional government representatives–not just back-seat driving criticism for the sake of being a back-seat driver, but truly framing practical remedies to the political abuse and corruption adversely affecting too many people’s lives today. Barak’s extensive legal background and insight allow him to cleverly cross-pollinate his fiction and today’s sad state of political reality.
Ron and his wife, Barbie, and the four-legged members of their family reside in Pacific Palisades, California.