Rogue Legal Thriller Series Boxset I: Legal Thrillers by Dale E. Manolakas
Two Must-Read Legal Thrillers [individual Audiobooks and Print books Available]
Hollywood on Trial ~ A Legal Thriller
✩Industry secrets uncovered…drugs, sex, betrayal, death…the power elite exposed and hunted down…murder on trial…✩
Sexual currency, extortion, and murder—the hidden life behind Hollywood cameras. Josh Stein, the industry’s top entertainment lawyer represents star power—the price for ingénues is sex. Starlets pit man against man and willingly or unwillingly do what it takes to fight their way into the inner circle. After a starlet goes one step too far, a murder trial of the century shocks the world.
✩ AMAZON AUTHOR REVIEWS: “Have read this author before. Truly gifted.” “Put you into the courtroom.” “… amazing trial …. This author has a particular talent for developing real life characters that you can’t forget.” “Visceral. Sensual. Alive.”
✩ GOODREADS 4.67 RATING: .”Excellent legal thriller written well with attention to detail. Highly recommended to anyone who loves a gripping courtroom drama.” “a good mystery-thriller-suspenseful read … will keep you turning the pages to see what is coming next … fast moving.” “I highly recommend … this author.” “… gifted author …”
Rogue Divorce Lawyer ~ A Legal Triller
✩ Depravity escalates to murder. “Great psychological thriller.” “Author truly gifted.” “Real life characters you can’t forget.” ✩
[Note: Sexual Subject Matter ~ Some Necessarily Explicit ~ Mature Readers]
Based on a real “Me Too” case—in this legal thriller for decades divorce lawyer Gary Stockton sexually harasses, abuses, and subjugates his “special” female clients. To him, they are the perks of his practice.
When Stockton’s criminal depravity escalates to murder, this new craving leads to a shocking trial. A pillar of the community, this rogue divorce lawyer is unstoppable until a new client fights back.
✩ AMAZON REVIEWS 4.5: “The characters are as compelling as the story which is true. Have read this author before. Truly gifted.” “Couldn’t Stop Reading.”Put you into the courtroom.” “Great psychological thriller with an amazing trial. A real page turner. Could not put it down. This author has a particular talent for developing real life characters that you can’t forget.”
✩ GOODREADS: 4.33 Rating
• Be an insider. At the author’s web sight sign up for new release notices.
• Visit You Tube Channel for Author’s book trailers.
Targeted Age Group:: All audiences
Heat/Violence Level: Heat Level 4 – R Rated
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Hollywood on Trial is based on real incidences and the authentic industry lifestyle. Although the characters are fictionally portrayed, they are real. They struggle, compromise, and die, one way or another, in the industry every day. Their story had to be told.
Rogue Divorce Lawyer is based on a real case well-documented in the news and reported in official appellate journals. The criminal acts this lawyer perpetrated against women unbelievably went on for years. Justice demanded he be exposed.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I have met them and observed them and their lifestyle, or in some way have been involved in their cases. Evil stands out and requires nothing more than a discerning eye to recognize it. The characters are fictionalized but based on real facts, incidences, and cases.
Sunset burned across the stormy Pacific Ocean. On the beach, director Nick Claren paced in the wet sand eyeing the horizon. For his last shot of the day, he needed the surging November squall to hit shore before nightfall.
Waiting for the cameras to roll on a submerged platform, actors Cristian Alba and Tiffany Simms fought the windswept swells near the Santa Monica Pier. The two leads, nude waist up but wet-suited below, struggled for their footing.
Tiffany yelled, “I’m freezing. Why don’t they start?”
“Don’t know. Night will kill the long shot from the beach. And the drones are whacked.”
Cristian studied the wind flurries battering the two drone cameras above. A wind shear hit, and one drone diagonaled down at them.
“Watch out!” Cristian, a veteran action star, covered Tiffany with his broad back.
Tiffany screamed, “I can’t take this.”
“Just hold on, Tiff.” Cristian signaled the drone operator in the surf. “Hey! Watch out with those damn things.”
Cristian’s shouts were lost in the wind and so were Tiffany’s protests.
As a mound of ocean hit them, Tiffany clung to Cristian and screamed, “Don’t let go!”
Cristian wrapped his arms around her as the wave battered them and then crashed on the pier pylons beyond.
* * *
On the beach, Nick ran to the drone operator—knee high in spent, foamed waves.
Nick muted his headset. “What the hell happened?”
The operator said, “The gusts. They’re worse.”
“Deal with it. We’re doing the take.”
“No. The storm is here … it’s too dangerous.”
Nick looked seaward. “You mean too perfect. What a shot! The red sky … black clouds.”
The operator fought with the duo-drone control box. “Just wait, Nick. I’m telling you—”
“You’re telling me nothing … we’re doing it because the storm is here.”
The operator argued, “Cristian will walk out.”
Nick smiled. “Walk out? Hardly … Cristian never quits and she’s too green to leave.”
“It’s too damn risky.”
“So’s being over budget. We’re not coming back tomorrow.” Nick unmuted his headset and announced, “Everyone, it’s time.”
* * *
On the pier, the assistant director Quinn Kolberg whispered into his headset. “It’s too late. We’re losing control out here.”
Nick ignored him and commanded, “Ready on the set!”
Nick’s order blasted through the crew’s headsets. His orders were law; the buck stopped with the director.
Quinn turned to see yet another wave pummel Cristian and Tiffany.
I should get them out, Quinn thought, but instead followed orders.
He signaled Cristian and Tiffany to get on their marks.
Nick jogged up the dry sand to his cinematographer Floyd Tyson, a friend since their U.S.C. Film School student-project years.
“Ready, Floyd? This is a once in a lifetime. One take. That’s all we get.”
Floyd said, “Mother Nature may not even give that to you.”
“She will. We can do it.”
Floyd lowered his voice, “Remember the helicopter that killed—”
“Quiet …Yeah. But little drones can’t kill anyone.” Nick left and enthroned himself in his director’s chair.
* * *
As the wind plopped scattered rain bursts onto the dry sand, nervous sweat seeped down Nick’s forehead from under his tan, tattered lucky cap. He hated Floyd resurrecting the helicopter crash in the Twilight Zone movie. Three actors died. He had known two.
He analyzed it and thought, But that was a lightning thing with the helicopter,
Nick watched the orange sun filtered behind the low, black clouds dropping rain.
Then from the pier, Quinn dropped a word bomb on his headset. “Stein. Behind you, Nick. Three o’clock. Stein and a new one.”
Nick replied, “Damn. Not now.”
Quin cautioned, “Play nice.”
* * *
Nick glared across the sand to the secured entrance at Josh Stein, the most powerful entertainment lawyer in the business.
Nick took off his tattered good luck cap from his U.S.C. days and wiped his sweat. “Like clockwork. That ass never forgets a nude scene and never comes alone.”
Josh Stein was the gatekeeper to the highest grossing industry talent—feared and respected by studios, directors, producers, and agents alike. He always showed up, as of right, at his female clients’ nude scenes—scenes he bullied them into putting in their contracts.
* * *
At the entrance Bruce, the bulked up head of security, stepped aside for the infamous entertainment lawyer to the stars. “Mr. Stein, welcome.”
“Good afternoon, Bruce,” Josh said. “She’s with me.”
Following Josh was Kaitlin O’Keefe—a statuesque, lean, striking young woman.
The security guards pushed back the gawkers and paparazzi. They took a moment to stare themselves at Kaitlin prancing in the sand behind Josh—the man who was going to “make her a star.”
Then, a young man in a black hoodie ran by the distracted guards. “Kaitlin. Kaitlin.”
They caught him ten feet in and muscled him back into the crowd.
“I’m with her. She’s my girlfriend.” The man struggled. “Kaitlin. Kaitlin, wait for me!”
Kaitlin glanced back and mouthed, “Get lost.”
This was her big break and Ted Ripple, ex-acting partner, loser, and stalker, was not going to ruin it for her.
Bruce got into Ted’s face. “Get out of here or we’ll call the S.M.P.D
“No. No cops.” Ted slithered away.
* * *
Back on the sand, Nick took the requisite minute to genuflect, greeting Josh like they were brothers—shaking hands, touching shoulders, patting backs.
“We’re here in time?” Josh asked.
Nick turned off his headset. “Just barely. How’s Miriam?”
“Fine.” Josh slapped down Nick’s domestic probe in front of his new Y & B, industry jargon for young and beautiful. “This is Kaitlin O’Keefe. Kaitlin … Nick.”
Josh was always accompanied by the new talent he was grooming—today a sultry, long-legged beauty with a red mane glazed by the sunset.
Kaitlin purred, “Love your pictures, Nick.”
“Oh?” He was transfixed by her eyes—light gray and lustrous, even in the fading light.
Kaitlin sat in the sand. Nick was gripped by the elegance of her long porcelain body. As she nestled into a comfortable spot, her white tube dress hiked up to reveal no undies.
Nick thought, They’re films, not pictures, sweetie. But with those assets who cares what comes out of your pouty mouth.
Nearby, Josh looked out toward the pier, “So this is the beach nude scene I put in the contract?”
“Yeah, we moved it into the ocean.” Nick twisted his wedding band, watching Kaitlin’s delicate touch dusting the sand and rain droplets off her thighs.
Josh complained, “Hell, I see more skin when my housekeeper bends over.”
Josh smoothed his thinning hair whipped by wind flurries. Then, he asserted his prerogatives by plopping his silk-suited, high-maintenance pint-sized but chunky body into the assistant director’s chair. He represented both stars on the ocean platform—Cristian, whose Hispanic machismo Josh had molded into a seasoned action adventure star, and Tiffany, the blonde bombshell he had stolen from her C-list entertainment lawyer.
* * *
A storm gust forced Nick’s attention back to his take. The windblasts now carried strings of airborne foam and salty spray from the pounding waves.
He turned on his headset. “Are we ready?”
Affirmatives came from all positions.
Nick announced, “One take. No mistakes.”
“Places,” Quinn, megaphoned and headsetted, thinking, it never rains in L.A. … except today.
Then, the readiness and anticipation were shattered by Fire and Rescue sirens sounding up the cliffs along Palisades Park.
Nick ordered, “Hold. Let them go by.”
Nick listened to the sirens passing on Ocean Avenue, turning left on Wilshire, stopping in three blocks at the trendy Third Street Promenade.
For a film location, the world-famous Santa Monica pier was always challenging, but sterling if you got your shots. Nick had planned a sunny, rainless November shoot with no sirens, summer crowds, helicopters, or small planes motoring above dragging banner advertisements. Instead, it was a circus. Cristian and Tiffany drew numerous onlookers and paparazzi. Worse, Nick got an un-L.A. stormy day, the earliest in fifty years.
He took the challenge head on. That’s what made him an A-list director. He embraced the heightened drama and danger of the storm and was unthwarted by the gawkers and the emergency sirens.
* * *
As Cristian and Tiffany held their position, the storm swells hit faster—cresting and crashing harder into them and the pier pylons nearby. Cristian’s powerful legs fought the heavy undercurrents. He kept them on the platform, built to make the shot look natural in the unnatural depth.
“I can’t stay.” Tiffany shivered uncontrollably wiping the saltwater and rain from her face.
“Yes, you can and will.” Cristian tightened his grip around her.
“Let me go.” Tiffany struggled. “I’m quitting.”
“No your not.” Cristian lost his temper and along with his subtle Hispanic charm—an affectation adopted for his career. “Listen to me. I’m not coming back here tomorrow because of you.”
The sirens stopped.
“Quiet on the set. Ready.” Nick adjusted his lucky cap against the storm.
Cristian smiled down at Tiffany. “You see. They’re ready.”
Quinn megaphoned. “Quiet on the set. Scene 6, take one. Action.”
This was the money shot—Cristian’s and Tiffany’s ostensibly nude, passionate kiss in the ocean.
As their lips met, Quinn shouted into his megaphone, “Cristian, duck.”
Cristian, who had worked with Quinn and Nick before, trusted them implicitly in dangerous action shots. When a command came, he reacted without question. A wind shear had pushed one drone down toward the platform. Tiffany held on to Cristian, frozen, terrified, and screaming. The machine sucked their hair into its airstream as Cristian pulled them under water to safety.
“Cut,” Nick yelled into the headphones. “Get control of that drone. Alright, one more time. The light’s turning.”
Quinn announced again, “Quiet on the set. Ready. Scene 6, take two. Action.”
Cristian placed his lips on Tiffany’s again. Then, with cold calculation and experience, he cheated his face into the drone cameras mosquitoing around their heads—giving him prime exposure over this ingénue. Cristian dominated the scene in both the long shots and the close-ups. He gazed at her, as his face carouselled around into the lens of the close-up drone. He flexed his biceps, popping every pumped-up trainer-honed muscle above the water.
Tiffany was unaware that Cristian had been upstaging her in every scene and every shot—long, short, and in between.
In this scene, she simply closed her eyes and kissed Cristian, throwing her arms passionately around his neck and pulling him into her. Cristian, the savvy pro, held her back to optimize his presence on the big screen. The public wanted him, and he made sure they’d get him.
The wind whipped the swells, but Cristian maintained his pose. The now-burning red, sinking sun contoured his striking face and definitioned body. When the drone came in fast and low for a close-up, he held still for the lens.
He pressed his lips harder on Tiffany’s, feigning passion but preserving his professionally advantageous position. He vice-gripped her in place to ensure his limelight.
As the drones and wind swirled around and the water sprayed over them, Cristian heard Quinn yell, “Down. Get down.”
But before Cristian could go underwater again, a downdraft slammed the high hovering drone into his head—a gush of blood blinding his right eye.
The drone blades spinning out of control sliced through Cristian’s cheek. He shrieked as his fileted flesh fell to his jaw—blood poured down his neck and saltwater seared through the open wound. He dropped Tiffany and pressed his cheek back into his bloodied face.
“Help! Hel…” Tiffany gurgled as the drone’s blade then rapiered into her neck.
Blood spurted from her jugular, and she flailed as the white-capped, red-stained sea sucked her under.
* * *
Extras screamed. Nick yelled piercing headsetted orders and ran to the pier. Josh and Kaitlin followed. The crew mobilized at the pier with Nick. Sirens sounded up Ocean Avenue again, but this time for them.
The S.M.P.D. backed the crowds to the east side of Ocean Avenue: the rapid-response parasitic media, voyeurs, and paparazzi.
First responders clamored at each other, getting Cristian out alive. Then, the organized chaos turned funereal as Tiffany’s body recovery blanketed tense silence over the film set, the beach, the pier, and Nick, Josh, and Kaitlin.
* * *
When Tiffany went under, so did Nick’s filming of Deranged.
Links to Purchase Audiobook version – Click links for book samples, reviews and to purchase
Buy Rogue Legal Thriller Series Boxset I: Legal Thrillers Audiobook at Amazon
Buy Rogue Legal Thriller Series Boxset I: Legal Thrillers Audiobook at Audible
Buy Rogue Legal Thriller Series Boxset I: Legal Thrillers at iTunes
Links to Purchase eBook version – Click links for book samples, reviews and to purchase
Buy this eBook On Amazon
About the Author
Please join this author’s email list
For joining the author’s email/newsletter list you will get:
Notices of specials, free books, new releases. No spam.
Learn more about the author on their website
Follow the author on Amazon
Follow the author on Social Media:
All information was provided by the author and not edited by us. This is so you get to know the author better.