Wolf Mallory already has his share of problems--including a congressional investigation and trying to figure out what to do with his life in southwest Florida after his forced retirement from military intelligence. When a friend asks him to talk to a young woman suspected of murder but claiming her innocence, Wolf has no idea what will happen.
Vicky Agincourt is smart, beautiful, and Wolf quickly finds she's likely guilty of nothing more than trusting the wrong people. Someone murdered her lover, but Wolf is convinced Vicky didn't pull the trigger. Unfortunately, well-connected people hiding along the fringes of the investigation have a lot to lose if Wolf succeeds in his mission to clear Vicky's name. They'll stop at nothing, including calling in favors from people in high places, to force Wolf off the scent.
But Wolf has friends of his own in low places. While he's dancing on a tightrope to stay ahead of the killer, can he clear Vicky's name in time before someone takes her--and him--out for good?
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Jon Dalton is a new author to me and Dancing on a Tightrope is the first in his Wolf Mallory series. I really enjoyed this book. It held my interest from the beginning to the last page. Mr. Dalton's writing reflects the fact that he has an excellent command of the English language which impressed me since I was an English major & I'm somewhat of a grammar & vocabulary nerd. I was truly impressed with his writing style. This story centers around two main characters, Neal "Wolf" Mallory & Vicky Agincourt. As the story begins, Wolf finds himself at the center of an extremely sticky situation. He's now a former black operative for the Marines & is in a huge amount of trouble with the government. He's done nothing wrong but the government doesn't see it that way. He's moved to Florida while he awaits trial in Washington, D.C. The time-consuming & tedious task of government bureaucracy grinds slowly forward & he's bored, worried & out of his element. All he wants to do is get this over & done with & move on with his life. Vicky Agincourt has major troubles of her own. She's been accused of murdering her boss, Brian Clausen, who, coincidentally, was also her lover. The police, her court-appointed lawyer & the investigator involved all believe she's guilty. And the case, even though circumstantial, appears to be open-and-shut. Wolf appears to be Vicky's only hope but he's not a private investigator. He's merely a former Marine trained in black ops. What can he do to help her? But something about Vicky draws him in, makes him believe her story, as improbable as that may seem. So, against his better judgment, Wolf takes the case & sets out to prove Vicky's innocence. But, with only two weeks until Vicky's trial begins, can Wolf, with his lack of training & virtually nothing to go on, actually make a difference here? As the story progresses, more & more clues turn up, more people become involved. The murder may not be as clearcut as it once appeared. But, again, with less than two weeks until the trial starts, can Wolf, Vicky & their friends make a difference? Who else had motive? There's the old standby, the wife. What about her lover? Then there's the "friend." The more they look, the more people turn up, until it turns into a literal guessing game. Then, suddenly, a directive from the powers on high in Washington, those involved in Wolf's case, decree that Wolf "cease & desist" his involvement in this case or his own situation will become a nightmare, far more than he ever wanted to deal with. What will Wolf do? Will he continue investigating? He's come too far to turn away from helping Vicky, hasn't he? If he doesn't do something, he's convinced she'll be railroaded into a guilty plea & end up in prison for something she didn't do. But if he continues, he could end up in prison for a lot longer than Vicky! He's truly torn between wanting to get at the truth of Vicky's situation & wanting to avoid going to prison himself. Dancing on a Tightrope is a suspense thriller that is the beginning of a series I believe shows a great deal of promise. There are two more books in the series that have already been published with a fourth being written as we speak. I think Jon Dalton has a very bright future as an author & I'm looking forward to reading more of his work. If you enjoy mystery/thrillers full of intrigue & unexpected twists and turns, I would highly recommend Dancing on a Tightrope. You won't be sorry you read it. Thanks for reading my review!
This is the first book in which we get to meet Neal "Wolf" Mallory a retired Marine. This book has been a long time coming for the author and shows great promise of what is to come in the world of Wolf. Wolf is, as most military men and women are very patriotic, but his belief in the system he has spent his entire adult life in and always trusted to have his back failed him. So therefore, he beings to question himself and all that he stood for. Wolf is asked by a friend, and fellow retired Marine, to look into another friend's predicament and gets a whole lot more than he bargained for. Using his own intelligence background and the few friends he still trusts the story unfolds. There is murder, mystery, suspense and maybe a little romance along the way. But he also might have found a way back into the real world.
To be honest, I read this book because I'm a fan of the author's wife. I'm glad I did. Not only is it well written, it's also funny and shows a good sense of investigational logic. Character descriptions and development allowed me to actually see them clearly. Thank you Jon for a delightfully good read. I look forward to the next Wolf escipade.