The Sixteenth Man

The Sixteenth Man

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by Thomas B. Sawyer

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A Mystery/Thriller By Thomas B. Sawyer

Archaeologist Matt Packard unearths a tomb in Utah containing fifteen ancient skeletons. The sixteenth has a bullet in its wingbone – and Packard is plunged into a web of vicious killers and people in high places desperate to prevent his discovery of the truth about JFK’s Assassination


A Mystery/Thriller By Thomas B. Sawyer

Archaeologist Matt Packard unearths a tomb in Utah containing fifteen ancient skeletons. The sixteenth has a bullet in its wingbone – and Packard is plunged into a web of vicious killers and people in high places desperate to prevent his discovery of the truth about JFK’s Assassination.

THE SIXTEENTH MAN consists of two parallel, intertwined, fast-moving stories that play out in alternating chapters, converging in the final suspenseful pages.
Archaeologist Matt Packard's story is set in the present.
Reno Private Investigator Charlie Callan's takes place in 1963.
Dr. Matthew Packard’s relationships and his career are at crisis points when he’s almost killed in a motorcycle accident in Muleshoe Canyon, near Moab, Utah. The mishap results in his discovery of an ancient burial shaft containing sixteen male skeletons. Fifteen of them date back 100,000 years, dramatically older than any human remains ever found in the Americas. But to Packard’s surprise, he finds himself more fascinated by the sixteenth. It has silver fillings in its teeth, a bullet in its wing-bone, no I.D. The find triggers alarms from Washington, D.C. to Virginia to New Orleans and beyond, and quickly leads to the brutal murder of Packard’s assistant.
Infuriated, determined to find the killer, obsessed by the mystery of the Sixteenth Man, Packard is plunged into danger – and an intrigue that was set in motion by the long-dead Callan – which involves the murder of the 20th century.
In late 1963, Reno PI Charlie Callan accepts a garden-variety domestic surveillance case that promises to extricate him from the shambles of his personal and financial problems. The job takes him to Texas, where it abruptly becomes anything but routine. Charlie finds himself nearly broke, running from a murder charge. Worse, when he realizes to his dismay that he’s in possession of evidence which can blow open a monstrous national conspiracy, he is faced with a moral dilemma for which there is no right answer.
In the present-day story, vicious New Orleans mob enforcers and a mystery man from Washington, all with urgent, lethal agendas, descend on Moab – and Packard. He must outwit them – and solve the mystery of the Sixteenth Man. Along the way he receives unexpected help from an aging former showgirl who’s convinced the Sixteenth Man was her lover, and from a lovely young woman, Kate Norris, who believes the anomalous skeleton was her grandfather. While saving their own lives Packard and Kate fall in love, figure out how and why Charlie died, uncover the reason for a series of vicious murders that began long ago – and find the incriminating evidence Charlie possessed – evidence that has eluded the heavies for decades.
In the final days of 1963, the wily, pragmatic PI faces the unfortunate truth that if he attempts to expose the bad guys it will cost him his life – and justice won’t be served anyway. So, torn by that reality, plus escalating personal complications, knowing he’s probably going to be killed no matter what, he embarks on what he hopes will at least help his loved ones – an ingenious, daring, truly outrageous extortion scheme.
Driven by Packard, Charlie, and the shadowy people who will do anything to retrieve the evidence, these two suspenseful stories come together, both of them reaching their dramatic conclusions high on a narrow cliff in Muleshoe Canyon.
In the end, Charlie learns that even the most careful planning cannot compete with fate. And Packard learns a lot about himself, survival, almost everything about Charlie Callan – and the truth – most of it, anyway – of who killed President John F. Kennedy.

Editorial Reviews

Ellery Queen Magazine
...[An] outstanding first novel...If many more thrillers this good appear in the books-on-demand format, the world of publishing will be turned upside down...
Malibu Times
...a complex, brilliantly plotted thriller...
John Austin
We have just finished a page turning read that would make a fine thriller of a film, the kind that Oliver Stone prefers. This one is The Sixteenth Man by Thomas B. Sawyer. Sawyer has written, over the years, 100 network TV episodes as well as 9 pilots. He is no stranger to the craft of writing. His book is a thriller from start to finish.
Jon L. Breen
This outstanding first novel by a former writer and producer of Murder, She Wrote alternates two stories, at first seemingly unconnected: In the present, an archaeologist discovers some very old bones accompanied by a much newer set near Moab, Utah; in November 1963, a Reno private eye looking for divorce evidence becomes embroiled in one of the 20th century’s greatest unsolved crimes. If many more thrillers this good appear in the books-on-demand format, the world of publishing will be t
Pam Linn
For suspense it’s hard to beat Tom Sawyer’s THE SIXTEENTH MAN, a complex, brilliantly plotted thriller that brings a new dimension to the most compelling true murder mystery of the past century. Deftly juggling the JFK assassination with present-day, Sawyer kept me turning pages even as I wanted to slow down, spot the clues, and try to figure out where these parallel stories were going to intersect. I gave up and surrendered to the blistering pace.
Pat Browning
This is one novel that will be as timely in another 40 years as it is now, and one that grabbed me from the first page and wouldn't let go. In alternating chapters, Thomas B. Sawyer tells two stories separated by more than 30 years in time. First story, set in 1963: Tracking an errant wife whose husband wants evidence for divorce, a private eye accidentally photographs a small group of men with rifles, one of whom is a dead ringer for Lee Harvey Oswald. Second story, set in present time: A dirt
Shelley Glodowski
Several words come to mind which easily apply to this novel: blockbuster; a story that absolutely must be made into a film; a tragedy that fits in with the assassination of JFK; a historical mystery; the list goes on and on. Mr. Sawyer is a master who has graced us with a thriller/mystery that is eminently entertaining. I didn't want it to end, and can only hope he continues with this genre.

Product Details

iUniverse, Incorporated
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6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.67(d)

Meet the Author

Novelist, screenwriter, playwright Thomas B. Sawyer was Head Writer/Showrunner of the classic CBS series, MURDER, SHE WROTE, for which he wrote 24 episodes, and THE LAW & HARRY McGRAW. Edgar and Emmy-nominated, he has written 9 network TV pilots, 100 episodes, both comedy and drama, for shows such as WONDER WOMAN, CHICO & THE MAN, MIKE HAMMER, ALL IN THE FAMILY, SCARECROW & MRS. KING and others. Tom was Head Writer/Showrunner or Producer/Story Editor on 15 network TV series.
He wrote/directed/produced the feature-film cult comedy, GOSH ALICE GOODBODY. His documentary film, REUNION, was honored by the New York Film Festival, the Rochester and Edinburgh Festivals, and received national theatrical release.
Tom is co-librettist/lyricist of JACK, an opera about John F. Kennedy which, backed by the Shuberts, has been performed to acclaim in the US and Europe.
He is publisher of STORYBASE 2.0 writer’s software. Tom’s book, FICTION WRITING DEMYSTIFIED, and STORYBASE are Writer's Digest Book Club Selections. The best-selling mystery/thriller, THE SIXTEENTH MAN, is his first novel. His latest thriller is the best-selling NO PLACE TO RUN. He's taught writing at UCLA, at other colleges and universities, at numerous major writers conferences, and online at Writers University.

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The Sixteenth Man 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fast-paced, sexy, full of action, vivid, uncommon characters and surprising twists, The Sixteenth Man plays out in two parallel, interwoven stories that come together in an exciting climax on a desolate ledge high above Moab, Utah. In late 1963, Reno Private Investigator Charlie Callan embarks on a routine domestic surveillance case. When it sends him instead into a labyrinth of deception, mortal danger-and the murder-conspiracy of the last century, Charlie is faced with moral and personal decisions for which there are no right answers. In present time, in the mountains near Moab, Archaeologist Matthew Packard unearths an ancient tomb containing sixteen male skeletons. Fifteen of them are dramatically older than any human remains ever found in the Americas. But it's the more recent, anonymous sixteenth skeleton that triggers alarms from D.C. to Langley to New Orleans - plunging Packard into a web of vicious killers and long-hidden secrets. He finds himself falling in love with a beautiful young woman, and to save her life and his own, Packard must solve the mystery of the Sixteenth Man and its astonishing connection to the murder of President John F. Kennedy. 'Thomas B. Sawyer's THE SIXTEENTH MAN is at once a romantic and suspenseful thriller, a hardboiled private eye caper, a breathless chase story and a refreshing new take on one of the most profound true crime mysteries of the past century. Obsessed categorists will probably spend feverish hours trying to find a genre label that fits this powerhouse of a novel, but my suggestion is that you make better use of your time by just sitting back and letting Sawyer take you where he will. He knows the territory.' Dick Lochte, Award-winning author of the novel, ¿Sleeping Dog.¿ 'Brilliantly juggling past and present, Sawyer brings a skeleton out of the closet (in this case a burial site) and sets in motion his stunning story. Hip, hypnotic, filled with believable characters and a riveting zig-zag of a plot, THE SIXTEENTH MAN is the suspense-thriller genre at its zenith.' William Link, Co-creator of ¿Columbo¿& ¿Murder, She Wrote.¿