Danny Callaway knows who killed his sister. His testimony sends Kevin Green to prison, but did he really do it? Kevin enters prison innocent, but emerges a hardened criminal bent on revenge.
Soon the people Danny loves start dying. Danny must finish the job he started years ago, even if it means sacrificing a second chance at love.
"A tale of failed justice, vengeance, and love. A wrongful conviction spawns death down through the years. Both tragic and hopeful, Two Wrongs engages the reader's emotions. I very much enjoyed TWO WRONGS." -- Barbara D’Amato is a past president of Mystery Writers of America and of Sisters in Crime, author of the Cat Marsala mystery series, as well as several standalone novels.
"The author vividly describes the conflict between love and revenge that threatens to tear apart the main character in TWO WRONGS. She does an excellent job of swinging between the two main viewpoints and captures the changes in the characters as they progress from young men to mature adults. She never focuses too long on either character so the tension is not lost, bringing the reader along for the ride. The research is unobtrusive to the plot line and the detailing of Chicago settings give a veracity to the story." -- Martha Powers is a freelance editor, author of the thrillers, Sunflower & Bleeding Heart, as well as several romance novels.
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About the Author
Morgan Mandel writes mysteries, thrillers and romances, depending on which mood seizes her at the moment. Her mystery, Two Wrongs, set in Chicago, is available here at Smashwords. Also on kindle at Amazon you'll find Morgan's romantic comedies, Girl of My Dreams, as well as Her Handyman and its sequel, A Perfect Angel. If you like romantic suspense, you'll find Killer Career. The thriller, Forever Young: Blessing or Curse and its sequel, the short story collection called Blessing or Curse are also available at Amazon. Morgan lives in a Chicago suburb with her husband and dog, and loves to take part in local events, play Bingo, go to garage and rummage sales and play the slots. The latter she reserves for vacations so she doesn't go broke! Morgan is very active online. Twitter handle: @MorganMandel. Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/morgan.mandel She is a past president of Chicago-North RWA,was the library liaison for Midwest Mystery Writers of America, belongs to Sisters in Crime and EPIC. Before her writing career, Morgan freelanced for the Daily Herald newspaper.
Read an Excerpt
THE TRIAL BEGAN, yet it couldn't be happening. Mary Alice couldn't be dead. It had been six months since Danny had discovered his sister's still form on that cold February night, yet he still couldn't believe he'd never see her again. She was family, a part of his life. It didn't seem right being without her. If only she'd come back, but that was impossible.
Slamming home that fact was the prosecutor, Bill Rosenberg, who held up a photo. "With the court's permission, may I present Exhibit One, a picture taken at the crime scene?"
No, Danny wanted to shout, knowing firsthand what the photo contained. His heart beat fast as the picture made its rounds. He clenched his fingers to keep from snatching it away. His sister's memory was sacred, yet these people eyed her lying exposed and defenseless.
He watched helplessly. Finally, the photograph reached the end of the jury box, where a frail, bent-over lady cupped it in her palm. Her eyes filled with tears. Danny blinked rapidly, reminding himself that men don't cry. He turned his attention to his parents. Mom had no such compunctions. Her shoulders shook. Tears streamed down her face. Dad leaned over to comfort her.
Watching their anguish made matters worse, but Danny wouldn't cave in. He'd never break down in front of his sister's killer. Stone-faced, he concentrated on what the prosecutor was saying. "I'd like to call Officer Dugan."
The officer testified that he'd been first on the scene.
"Can you describe the position of the body?"
…the body. Danny swallowed hard at the image conjured up in his mind.
The prosecutor bore onrelentlessly, digging for details, inquiring about the state of rigor mortis, the head wounds, the color of Mary Alice's lips. The image deepened.
That's my sister. She's a person, not a thing, Danny wanted to shout.
The subject was exhaustively pursued. The officer answered each question matter-of-factly. Easy for him. It wasn't his sister he was talking about. Each new detail drove a fresh spike into Danny's heart.
It took forever for the line of questioning to change.
"Officer Dugan, I understand you exercised a search warrant. What was it you found at the defendant's home?"
"Hair strands from the defendant's brush, a book of matches, a pair of gym shoes…"
The list was long. Dear God, let it be in there somewhere—the necessary ingredient to convict Kevin.
"The items mentioned are State's Exhibits One through Twenty. Thank you. That will be all."
For some inane reason, Danny's attention drifted to the bald spot on the prosecutor's head. The fluorescent light gleamed on it, casting an eerie glow, reminding Danny of how Otto Meyer's porch light had shone down and illuminated Mary Alice's still body.
He shivered, lost in painful remembrance. He had to be strong. His sister counted on him. He would not break down. Staring straight ahead, he pretended not to understand the dreadful implications as the officer spoke about sexual assault.
The prosecutor called up a forensic pathologist who verified his written reports about semen, torn tissue, and bruises. Did everyone have to hear this? As the questioning resumed, Danny tried to zone the man out, but couldn't.
A lab technician stepped up to the stand.
"We examined blood samples extracted from Kevin Green's shoe and found them to be O-negative," the man said.
"Is that Mr. Green's blood type?" Rosenberg asked.
"No. His blood tested B-negative."
"What about the victim's?"
"Mary Alice Callaway's was O-negative."
Up to this point, slick-haired Eric Dominski, the public defender, hadn't said much. Suddenly his slim body jerked into high gear. Gesturing wildly, with arms outstretched, Dominski debated about the blood, saying Kevin could have walked by, stepped on it and not have committed the crime.
"Wasn't Mary Alice Callaway's blood on her brother's clothes? Didn't he say he'd discovered her body? Could he be the one who killed her?" Dominski shot out.
Danny glared at him. Rosenberg had warned him not to get rattled by the public defender. The guy was a grandstander, who, due to a backlog of cases, tended to ignore his homework and make up for it by trying to manipulate the jury's emotions.
Danny knew this, yet it was hard to keep calm when he was being accused of something so base.
Copyright © 2006 Mary A. Gruner as Morgan Mandel.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
A nice tale of revenge. This story grips you from page one and you can't stop reading
I really enjoyed this book. Though I found some things i.e. sex with sister following death of wife was a bit too much. I liked how the end didn't make me feel disappointed or empty like so many other suspenseful books have. The read is always so good until the climax then they bomb. This book had good action and was an easy read. I recommend it.
There are a few things that weren't quite believable but it was still a good read.
I am a decades-long avid reader, and probably secretly wanna-be writer. So, I hate to criticize another's literary work. However, in all fairness to my fellow readers, I think this book has many, many problems. First, the trial of Kevin Green is completely unbelievable. For a man to be convicted for 20 years of murder based on the testimony of one or two people who witnessed an argument between Kevin and the victim, with no physical evidence, and DNA samples that had been "lost" - no way. Woudn't happen. Second, the courtroom scene itself was not believable. The opposing attorneys, with their opinion giving and conclusions, without asking a question or without facing objections, wouldn't happen. The book would have been better to have left out the whole trial and started with Kevin already in prison. Next, for Danny to have been bent on revenge for 8 years for the murder of his sister, giving up his whole life and all of his own happiness, loving relationships (as well as sex, it appears) is very unlikely. I don't buy that a man would be celebate over his sisters murder almost a decade earlier. Then, when letting out his feelings to a friend in about a two minute conversation, he changes his mind and lets go of all his vengeful feelings and decides to live life to the full. He just saw the light, instantly! Next, the book seemed to imply that Cathy and Danny had never been intimate before marriage, although being together for years. While I applaud this hint at virtue, it seemed unreal. I was disturbed by Danny's thoughts about Dora when he was married to Cathy. Then, to have his wife (and he believed his newborn son), murdered by a bomb, and a few hours later, Danny gets it on with her sister, was completely distasteful. Overwhelming grief does not make you bang your wife's sister a couple hours after she is blown to bits and incinerated. That's pretty low. In so many places, the book lacked needed detail, only to give too much detail when describing a basketball game, giving the names of players and moves that they made....completely irrelevant. There was no suspense, just the characters introduced at the beginning, planning revenge on one another from the first page to the last. After reading the first four to five chapters, I wanted to stop, but in all fairness, gave the book a chance and read to the very end. The only believable character in this whole book was Kevin, and how he ended up in the end was the only thing that even saved this book a little. I truly hate to give such a negative review, but this one was....wow...tough to get through.