Monday, September 12, 2022

Heel Turn

Released from prison for one murder, only to be arrested for a second, Sheila Hampton has no one to turn to save Sam Quinton, local private eye, who sets out to prove her innocence and uncover the knot of corruption that entangled its victim for over two decades.


read an excerpt...

The do-gooder organization must have found something because they somehow managed to get an emergency hearing in front of the state appeals court and, not too long after, the appellate court overturned her conviction and ordered a new trial, at least nominally setting Sheila free after over two decades of incarceration.

Exactly six days later, Bernie Lyman sauntered into my gym and offered me some work.


“What news?” I asked.

“You’ve heard of Robert Harris, right?”

“Sure. The DA who prosecuted Hampton back when. So what?”

“Former prosecutor.” Bernie’s eyes were practically dancing in their sockets. “He got quite the splash for the Hampton trial, eventually made it up to Executive Assistant, then retired a few years back.”

“Wasn’t he a sure thing for the top job at some point?” I asked.

Bernie shrugged. “Everyone thought so, but he never went for it.”

“So what’s your point?”

“The point, my boy, is that six days ago Sheila’s conviction was overturned, the conviction brought about, primarily, through the efforts of former ADA Harris.”

“Uh huh.” I felt a sinking feeling in my gut that I was about to hear something bad.

“And this morning, Sheila was arrested for Harris’s murder.”


about Kevin R. Doyle...

A high-school teacher, former college instructor, and fiction writer, Kevin R. Doyle is the author of numerous short horror stories. He’s also written three crime thrillers,
The Group, When You Have to Go There, and And the Devil Walks Away, and one horror novel, The Litter. In the last few years, he’s begun working on the Sam Quinton private eye series, published by Camel Press. The first Quinton book, Squatter’s Rights, was nominated for the 2021 Shamus award for Best First PI Novel.  The second book, Heel Turn, was released in March of 2021, while the third in the series, Double Frame, came out in March of 2022.

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more personal "stuff" about Kevin R. Doyle...

Does this book have a special meaning to you? i.e. where you found the idea, its symbolism, its meaning, who you dedicated it to, what made you want to write it?

               It’s special in one way because it’s the second book in a series I had started a few years before. When I first found a publisher for Squatter’s Rights (Sam Quinton #1), we were working through the publication process when they asked me if I’d begun a second book. I hadn’t, but I did have a kind of vague idea for one. They offered to look at fifty pages to see if they wanted to offer a contract for a second book. About a month later, I sent them the first fifty for Heel Turn, hoping they would like it. However, they changed their minds slightly, and based on that fifty pages they offered a contract for two more books, not one. That was the point at which I knew, “I have a series here.”

Where do you get your storylines from?

As with most people, storylines come from all over. I can’t specifically pin down where this one came, except for the fact that over the last several years there’s been a lot of stuff in the ether about people being released from prison after several years based on DNA and the like. While this story doesn’t concern DNA (that’s number four in the series, Clean Win, coming out next year), it does have to do with someone possibly wrongfully convicted.

Was this book easier or more difficult to write than others?  Why?

As a general, the Quinton books are a little easier to write than my other works. For one, they’re shorter, usually around 60,000 words as opposed to my suspense novels, which are the standard 80,000 words, if not a little more. Also, as I mentioned above, they’re a little lighter in tone, and heavier on casual conversations, so the overall process of working on them is easier, at least on first drafts.

Do you only write one genre?

My work is kind of split in a few directions. Back when I was writing only short stories, they were almost entirely horror. Now that I’m working on novels, they basically fall into the mystery/ suspense fields. I do have one straight-out horror novel, The Litter, and one of my favorite pieces is a short novelette that the original publisher classified as “rock fiction.” However, lately I’ve been focused almost entirely on mysteries, with a short horror story popping out every now and then.

Give us a picture of where you write, where you compose these words…is it Starbucks, a den, a garden…we want to know your inner sanctum?

It’s not a very special place, really. Standard desk at home, situated next to my living room, with computer and all the other stuff I need laid out in a row. Exercise bike off to the side and kitchen behind me.

And finally, of course…was there any specific event or circumstance that made you want to be a writer?

I kind of fell into it one afternoon when I was nineteen and bored, looking for something to do. However, looking back on it later, I’d say the event that planted the seed was one day when I was around twelve or so, and I read a story called “The Star” by Arthur C. Clarke. It’s a very short story, no more than a few thousand words, but it’s such a gripping piece of work that when I finished it I just sat there in my chair, thinking over what I had just read. I remember thinking how cool it would be to be able to create something that would move someone so much. I’m pretty sure that’s where it started, but it took several more years before the urge really began.

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  1. I really like the cover and the excerpt.

  2. Good morning. Thanks for hosting my book. I'm going to be tied up most of the day, but will check in later for any comments or questions.


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