Zack Taylor's new life is crumbling. His fledgling business is in jeopardy, he's been dumped by his lady love, and a murderous gang leader is bent on revenge. A shattered Zack is enticed onto a movie shoot to provide martial arts expertise and security, when a sudden murder raises the stakes. Zack must deal with his own demons, as well as a host of shadowy tricksters with secrets to hide. Death is at hand, and Zack must figure out who to trust in a world of illusion built on money and power.
About the Author
The fourth book in the Zack Taylor mystery series is now out: "A Certain Slant of Light" joins "A Memory of Grief," "A Fall From Grace," and "A Shadow on the Wall." I studied writing with Stephen King, and have published over 50 short stories, story collections, poetry, and articles. I've appeared on stage, television, and in an independent feature film, Throg. I've also appeared on two nationally televised quiz shows, Jeopardy and Think Twice. I co-wrote and acted in The Nine, a short political satire film. I've traveled to all 50 states, Mexico, Canada, and through Europe. I enjoy competitive sports, historical re-enactment, and my family. Check out my works at: http://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/WillTravel
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
“A Shadow on the Wall” is the third in the Zack Taylor mystery series by author Dale T. Phillips. I’m always curious to see if coming to a series or reading a sequel without reading the prior works is a problem for understanding or getting enjoyment out of the book in hand. I give credit to Mr. Phillips for creating an enjoyable read that does not get bogged down in back story or is so “insiderish” that a new reader is left in the dark and wondering what all the fuss is about. This book is an expertly crafted mystery that keeps reader enjoyment front and center. Zack Taylor is an ex-con who is trying to get his life in order. He has certain – ahem – skills that can’t help but draw trouble to his feet. Tripping up is inevitable. Wrapped around this character is a setting in Portland, Maine, that includes a Japanese gang, a Hollywood movie, and diehard New England fishermen and grizzled police not sure if Zack is friend or foe. I can see why Zack Taylor fans begged to have another installment written in the series. Mr. Phillips writes in spare, no non-sense prose that evokes the best of hardboiled crime stories like Lawrence Block’s “When the Ginmill Closes.” The plot is well-paced in quick, easily digestible chapters. I found it the perfect book to keep with me and read whenever I had a spare moment or two.
Zack Taylor just can’t seem to escape his past. Ollie Southern, a member of a notorious biker gang, has cut a deal with the feds to get out of prison, and he’s returned to Portland, Maine to let Zack know he isn’t about to let bygones be bygones. Meanwhile, Hollywood descends on his beloved city, and Zack is persuaded by a beautiful starlet to come on board as the martial arts liaison for what is sure to be a blockbuster film. But Zack is beside himself when he finds out the movie is actually about his own troubled past, and when someone in the business winds up dead, the blame falls on him. Zack’s desire to put his past behind him has suddenly been complicated by questionable Hollywood ties to internationally organized crime, a police officer with an agenda, an old flame, a new flame, troubled Hollywood actors, suspicion of arson and murder, and a big bag of money. And of course, Ollie Southern doesn’t help matters either. What is an ex-con like Zack Taylor to do? In A Shadow on the Wall, Dale T. Phillips delivers a high-octane Mystery/Thriller that moves seamlessly from dilemma to dilemma as Zack Taylor navigates the deadly mysteries playing out around him. Zack sizzles as a man with a troubled past trying to turn over a new leaf, and as a pawn and an unwilling player in an agenda he must understand before it kills him. His inevitable confrontation with a bloodthirsty Yakuza assassin delivers an exciting conclusion to what continues to be one of the more engaging mystery series I’ve read. The pacing in this book starts at 60 miles per hour and only accelerates from there, making it a quick, enjoyable read. This is the best Zack Taylor book yet.