Deadly Distractions, A Stan Turner Mystery

General Fiction, Mystery & Thrillers

By William Manchee

Publisher : Top Publications

ABOUT William Manchee

William Manchee
William Manchee is an attorney by trade and practices law in Dallas with his son Jim. Originally from southern California, he lives now in Plano, Texas with his wife Janet of some 41 years. Manchee discovered his passion for writing late in life at age forty-eight and has vowed to write a  More...



After two tough years practicing law, Stan and his family take a well deserved vacation to Colorado. Unfortunately the vacation is cut short when a client is found standing over the body of a dead IRS agent. It appears to be an open and shut case since Dusty Thomas has had a long feud with the dead agent Bobby Tuttle, and more than enough motive to kill him, yet he claims to be innocent.


Stan's new partner Paula Waters convinces Stan to finish his vacation promising to handle Dusty Thomas' arraignment and get an investigation underway. While Stan is away, she makes good on her promise and even manages to arrange financing for Dusty's defense. But Stan is mortified when he reads in the Colorado papers that a radical paramilitary group, the Citizens Defense Alliance or CDA, is doing the funding.

Since the CDA denies the legitimacy of the federal income tax and has been a target of federal prosecutors for many years, Stan and Paula immediately come under the close scrutiny of the FBI and the press. To further complicate matters, Stan's best client and close friend, Tex Weller, is reported missing by his wife. When Stan investigates his disappearance he finds a letter that leads him to believe Tex is in Ecuador.

While Stan is searching for Tex in Ecuador, Paula continues her investigation of Bobby Tuttle's murder and quickly discovers a long list of enemies with motive to kill him. But her investigation is sidetracked when she learns Stan is missing and may have been kidnaped. As weeks go by and Stan isn't found, she is forced to turn her attention back to the Dusty Thomas case and leave the search for Stan up to the FBI and the local Ecuadorian authorities. Barely able to concentrate, she plods on and day by day and soon becomes convinced that Dusty Thomas is innocent.

Clint Hunter, Crescent Blue

An unwelcome phone call from his new partner Paula Waters interrupts attorney Stan Turner's family vacation in Colorado. A long time client and friend, Dusty Thomas, stands accused of the murder of an IRS agent and continues to barricade himself in his barn while holding a contingent of federal law enforcement agents at bay. A witness who happened upon the scene identifies Thomas as the man he saw standing over the victim with a shotgun in his hand.

Leaving his family in Colorado, Turner hurriedly flies to the scene in Texas where he meets the agents and arranges a meeting with the accused. Thomas, known for his long and bitter feud with the IRS concerning seizures of his property, professes his innocence. He swears he found the already dead agent on his property after responding to the sound of gunshots; however, he agrees to give himself up with the assurance that Turner will defend him in court.

Without Turner's knowledge, Paula Waters arranges for a radical anti-government organization called the Citizen's Defense Alliance to post Thomas' bail and deposit money for the defense in the firm's account. Turner angrily speculates on the consequences of this alliance if the firm fails to prove its client innocent. Word of this action leaks immediately to the press, and federal agents begin surveillance of Turner's every move.

Before research for the trial begins, another distraction arises. Tex Weller, one of the firm's best clients, unexpectedly deposits more than a million dollars into the firm's account and then disappears. Investigation reveals documents suggesting a link between the money and a scam originating in Ecuador. While Waters prepares for the upcoming trial, Turner flies to Ecuador in search of his friend.

Left in charge of the trial preparation, Waters uncovers evidence that the murdered IRS Agent, Bobby Tuttle, sported a reputation as a bully who rose rapidly in the agency because of nepotism. Tuttle apparently maintained a "hit" list of persons and organizations to prosecute for tax evasions, and cultivated enemies both inside and outside the IRS. Waters finds herself hard-pressed to keep up with the ever-expanding list of potential suspects.

Pressure builds to piece together the puzzle of Agent Tuttle's murder as the trial date looms. In the meantime, Turner and Waters must work their way past an investigation of sedition, a gang related insurance swindle, and a charge and conviction of felonious action. But in a courtroom climax that would make the venerable Perry Mason stand and applaud, stunning revelations and unexpected connections bring the mystery to an unanticipated and startling conclusion.