The Second Letter

The Second Letter

by Robert Lane


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The Second Letter by Robert Lane

When Jake Travis is contracted by his ex-Army colonel to retrieve a missing fifty year-old Cold War letter, he quickly finds himself entwined in a world where the line between good and evil becomes increasingly blurred. The letter, written in 1961 by a CIA operative who met a mysterious demise, has ended up in the possession of Raydel Escobar. As Jake relentlessly pursues the enigmatic Escobar, he soon discovers that Escobar is involved in far more than simply blackmailing the IRS in exchange for the letter.
Assisted by his partner Garrett and neighbor Morgan, Jake turns up the heat on Escobar. Fascinated with the letter's origins and the fate of those who first touched the document, Jake will stop at no end--moral or otherwise--to complete his assigned task. Jake's girlfriend questions why he places their relationship, and his life, in jeopardy for something he knows so little about.
The Second Letter is a page-turning mystery that blends suspense with literary fiction. Set on the west coast of Florida, its plot twists, richly-drawn characters, and sharp, witty dialogue forge a gripping and entertaining read. Jake discovers that only by risking everything can he define himself, secure his relationship with the woman he loves, and discover the message of the second letter.

"...a standout sleuth...a worthy new entry into the suspense genre." Foreword Clarion Reviews, Five Stars

"Lane's crime thriller features a wisecracking Jacob Travis...with a penchant for breaking the rules...certainly worth a read for fans of the genre."
Kirkus Reviews

"Robert Lane's novel, The Second Letter, is an entertaining read fueled by a riveting story featuring a wisecracking, somewhat reluctant hero...the book moves at an idea pace..." blueink Review

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780615841885
Publisher: Mason Alley Publishing
Publication date: 12/30/2013
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 662,006
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.74(d)

About the Author

Robert Lane's literary crime-noir debut novel, The Second Letter, layers action-packed drama with compelling characters, timeless themes, and a tropical setting. His second stand-alone Jake Travis novel, Cooler Than Blood,will be released in the fall of 2014. Lane resides on the west coast of Florida. Visit his web site at

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The Second Letter 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
LauraMHartman More than 1 year ago
Smart Dialog, Entertaining Plot - New Author Lane has a Must Read! Robert Lane opens The Second Letter in 1961with a hand-carried letter delivered to the widow of a Secret Service agent. Dorothy Harrison lives a good life in Florida, and follows the instructions of her dead husband’s friend, a CIA agent, regarding the letter. Is it about her husband’s death or just a government secret that could be used against the United States? Along with her gardener, she hides the letter in a safe place. They do not open it, intuitively knowing it contains secret government information that could affect the Secret Service or other government agencies. And possibly information about her husband she doesn’t want to know. Fast forward from 1961 to present day.  Dorothy Harrison’s home is now a museum. It is broken into one night without an apparent robbery.  Enter Jake Travis, an ex-military man living on Florida’s coast. His ex-Army commander contacts him with an “off the books” mission. Find the mysterious fifty-year-old letter that was taken during the Harrison Museum robbery. It is being held by Raydel Escobar, a shady millionaire that is attempting a trade with the IRS – they get the letter, he gets the tax evasion charges dropped as well as the slate wiped clean of all the money he owes the government.  Travis is on Escobar like a dog on a meat truck. With the help of his girlfriend Kathleen his neighbor Morgan, and his partner Garrett they get close to Escobar, discovering he has many secrets that are much worse than hiding money from the IRS. The question is, how far will Travis go to retrieve a letter that is possibly of no consequence today? He may be risking his relationship with Kathleen and the lives of those closest to him if he keeps hounding Escobar and his associates.  I loved this book. The first of I hope many from Robert Lane. His characters are sharp, witty and have a depth that many authors can’t or don’t often give them. Travis has a tortured soul. We get glimpses into his past through his comments and actions. He treads softly around alcohol must have been a problem for him at one point in his life. Escobar is the character you love to hate. He has an unusual soft side that shows up when least expected. There is a fabulous tie-in to the 1960’s in Escobar’s choice in music. It becomes the soundtrack of the book, reminding the reader where the story started and where it will circle back to end. Lane uses dialog and descriptions beautifully. For example, of all the ways to describe the hot Florida sun, Lane chooses “…I lowered the blind to block the sun that assaulted our bodies like white bread in a toaster”. This is just a small sample of the authority and realism he commands with his words.  He must be amazing sharp-witted, because I suspect the voice of Travis is close to his own. Humor and sarcasm go hand in hand when Travis opens his mouth. This often gets him in trouble, but he does not really seem to mind. If this is a glimpse into the head of Robert Lane, I’d love to attend a dinner party where he is in present and sit back and listen. Maybe even verbally spar if the occasion warrants – but I accept defeat in advance.  His next book, Cooler Than Blood is scheduled for release Fall 2014. I will be the first in line to get it.  Copyright © 2014 Laura Hartman   DISCLOSURE OF MATERIAL CONNECTION: I have a material connection because I received a review copy that I can keep for consideration in preparing to write this content. I was not expected to return this item after my review. 
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Samantha Rivera for Readers' Favorite Jake Travis has met his match in The Second Letter. Determined to complete another job for his government contacts, he sets out to retrieve a letter that supposedly came from the Cold War era when America was young and policies were lax. But Raydel Escobar isn’t giving up that letter for nothing. He wants his IRS debt wiped clean or he claims he’ll keep the letter. It’s going to take everything Jake, his girlfriend Kathleen, and his friends Garret and Morgan have to try and make everything work out the way it needs to because Raydel is hiding more than just a large IRS debt. The Second Letter was a captivating book of lies and deceit as well as love and loss. Jake is an adventurous soul who really never does give up. He’s determined to see this case through, no matter what it may cost him and it makes him a character that readers look up to. Robert Lane’s book keeps you flipping one page after another and it most definitely draws you in with the characters. Even Escobar is a character you can’t help but be entranced by as he goes about his dirty deeds and black market dealings. His connections will definitely make it difficult to force him into anything, but Jake definitely does an excellent job of trying. I was happy with the way the story balanced so many different elements with the mob, the blackmail, and romance all at the same time. All of the characters and all of the plot were important.