Excerpt from The Sign of The Book by John Dunning, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Sign of The Book

A Cliff Janeway Bookman Novel

by John Dunning

The Sign of The Book
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Mar 2005, 368 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2006, 544 pages

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


"Trust her, they aren't. I can smell them from here, I don't even have to look, I can't tell you how many of these things I've gone out on. They never pan out."

"I'm sure you're right. Do this for me anyway."

I looked dubious. "Do I actually get to touch these books?"

"Take your surgical gloves along and maybe. You did keep some rubber gloves from your police days?"

"No, but they're cheap and easy to get."

"Kinda like the women you used to run with, before me."

"That's it, I'm outta here."

She touched my hand and squeezed gently. "Poor Cliff."

She took another bite of the Roadrunner. "This really isn't half-bad, is it?"

I shook my head and slugged some beer. "Oh, Erin, you've got to get out more, you're working too hard, your taste buds are dying from neglect. I'll volunteer for the restaurant detail. I promise I'll find us a place that'll thrill your innards."

"When you get back from Paradise."

I ate, putty in her hands, but at some point I had to ask the salient question. "So do you ever plan to tell me about this thing?"

She didn't want to, by now that was almost painfully clear. "Take your time," I said soothingly. "I've got nothing on my plate, we could sit here for days."

"The defendant's name..." She swallowed hard, as if the name alone could hurt. "Laura Marshall. Her name is Laura. She's accused of killing her husband. She wants me to defend her, but I've got two cases coming up back-to-back. Even if I took her on, which is far from certain anyway, I couldn't get out there until sometime next month. That's it in a nutshell."

"I thought you said she had an attorney."

"He's her attorney of the moment. He sounds very competent, but he's never done a case like this."

She gave me a look that said, That's it, Janeway, that's all there is.

"Well," I said cautiously, "can we break open that nutshell just a little?"

I waited and finally I gave her my stupid look. "What is it you want me to do, Erin? This isn't just an appraisal job. I get the feeling it's something else."

"Maybe you could talk to her while you're there. Take a look at her case."

"I could do that. I'm sure you don't want me to advise her. The last time I looked, my law degree was damned near nonexistent."

"Go down, talk to her, report back to me. You don't need a law degree for that. Just lots of attitude."

"That, I can muster. In fact I'm getting some right now. So tell me more."

"I'd rather have you discover it as you go along."

A long, ripe moment followed that declaration.

"She'll tell you the details," Erin said. "And by the way, I pay top rates."

"So now you're bribing me. Is this what we've come to?" I gave her a small headshake. "Something's going on here. This isn't just some yahoo case that dropped on your head. It's more than that."

She stonewalled me across the table.

"Isn't it?" I said.

"She was my best friend in college. In fact, we go back to childhood."

"And...?"

"We haven't seen each other in years..."

"Because...?"

"That's irrelevant."

"No, Counselor, what that is, is bad-lawyer bafflegab. Tommyrot, bushwa, caca, bunkum, and a cheap oil change. Not to mention piffle and baloney."

She stared.

"Old oil sludge," I said. "Remember those ads? Dirty sludge, gummy rings, sticky valves, blackie carbon. And a bad Roadrunner burrito."

She laughed. "Are you all through?"

"Hell no I'm not through. Help me out just a little here. Make at least some sorry stab at giving me a straight answer."

"Marshall was the first great love of my life. Is that straight enough for you?"

Copyright © 2005 by John Dunning

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach
    BookBrowse First Impression reviewers were uniformly impressed by this difficult yet heartwarming ...
  • Book Jacket: Boy Erased
    Boy Erased
    by Garrard Conley
    Growing up in rural Arkansas, Garrard Conley did not quite fit the mold of his strait-laced, ...
  • Book Jacket: The Bones of Grace
    The Bones of Grace
    by Tahmima Anam
    The Bones of Grace completes Tahmima Anam's Bangladesh trilogy. The three novels, which can be ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Underground Airlines
    by Ben Winters

    "The Invisible Man meets Blade Runner in this outstanding alternate history thriller." - PW Star

    Read Member Reviews

  • Book Jacket

    The Invisible Life of Ivan Isaenko
    by Scott Stambach

    "An auspicious, gut-wrenching, wonderful debut." - Kirkus, starred review

    Read Member Reviews

Book Discussions
Book Jacket
This Must Be the Place
by Maggie O'Farrell

An irresistible love story for fans of Beautiful Ruins and Where'd You Go, Bernadette?

About the book
Join the discussion!
Win this book!
Win Lady Cop Makes Trouble

The Kopp Sisters Return!

One of the nation's first female deputy sheriffs returns in another gripping adventure based on fact.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

Manners M (T) M

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.