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The Devil to Pay

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.


A bourbon heartburn woke Jack Darwin at one in the morning. He lay in near dark listening to the fog horns moan across the bay, gripped by anxiety and forgetfulness. He tried to remember how many whiskey sours he’d drunk at Marge’s on Mason Street, counting forward through each drink as if he had willed himself an injection of truth serum. Then, for a moment, just as he rose and put two feet on the carpet, he felt like begging God for an explanation for these Sunday night expeditions to the Financial District, some clear delineation of the loneliness that froze itself inside a person.

With his marriage to the beautiful Karla in disarray and his law practice in a state of neglect, wealthy San Francisco attorney Jack Darwin is also plagued with mounting financial problems, the result of his wife’s heedless extravagance. Then Karla, seeking a profitable divorce, escalates his troubles when she falsely charges him with sexual brutality. Bewildered, Jack turns for help to a fellow lawyer, an aggressive and enigmatic criminal defense attorney named David Avila, who has recently befriended him.

It seems to Darwin that things can’t get worse, but he is proved wrong when he is accused of a series of rape-murders that have occurred in the city. Racked by increasing doubts about the motives of his own defense counsel, Darwin decides it’s more than time to take charge of his own life.

Written with brilliant authenticity by a former criminal defense attorney, The Devil to Pay creates an atmosphere of page-turning tension as police, lawyers, and an innocent victim battle what seem to be insurmountable odds to prevail against a clever and diabolically unpredictable killer.

"The suspense of this cleverly plotted thriller is derived from the old Hitchcockian device of letting the audience—but not the hero—in on the danger….a great thriller."
Booklist (starred review)

"Dold’s lyrical and stylized prose is of a quality rarely encountered in any genre. The bloody end in misty San Francisco testifies to Dold’s skills as a perfect scene-setter and villain’s portraitist—evolutionary advantages that any writer of suspense would love to have."
Publishers Weekly

From Publishers Weekly

Feb 01, 1999 – As the trap closes around once-privileged, now-dissolute lawyer Jack Darwin in Dold's fourth nail-biter (Schedule Two), it's clear that he's become the prey of his supposed confidant. Accused of rape and murder, the hapless Darwin turns to his colleague, the criminal lawyer David Avila, to argue on his behalf. Little does he suspect that Avila is already sleeping with Darwin's cold and calculating wife, Karla, and has visions of Darwin's Bay view apartment dancing through his head. Avila's survival-of-the-fittest reveries--which rely a bit embarrassingly on the Charles Darwin pun--intensify the creepiness of his duplicity. He fancies himself "Homo sapiens" in an uneven contest with "Homo erectus," "as if he'd just hopped down from an acacia in East Africa and was about to pounce." Avila's courtroom "mistakes" get Jack convicted of Avila's crimes. Lucky for Jack, softhearted second thoughts by police and DA staff foil Avila's plans. But this unlikely turn of fate, sadly, dispels the tension Dold has worked so painstakingly to create. The bloody end in misty San Francisco testifies to Dold's skills as a perfect scene-setter and villain's portraitist--evolutionary advantages that any writer of suspense would kill to have.
The Devil to Pay
View in iTunes
  • $4.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Apr 09, 2015
  • Publisher: Gaylord Dold
  • Seller: Smashwords
  • Print Length: 525 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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