A first release by a dynamic new voice in the world of mystery, The Second Letter has garnered high advanced praise. In a five star review, Foreword Clarion Reviews praises the novel's "solid structure and fast pace, along with a standout sleuth" and adds that the "...sparkling characters could easily remain relevant for years to come."
Robert Lane's debut novel opens with a sealed letter being delivered to Dorothy Harrison in 1961. Dorothy and her husband had recently escaped Washington D.C. for the tranquil west coast of Florida. In the nation's capitol she was the center of social circles while her husband, Jim, was a CIA agent long before the world knew that such men existed. His final mission ends in his death and is shrouded in mystery.
Over fifty years later, Jake Travis is contracted by his ex-Army colonel to retrieve the stolen Cold War letter. It is in the possession of Raydel Escobar, who owns a respected carpet business as well as three Tampa Bay gentlemen's clubs. Jake, and his girlfriend Kathleen, attend a fundraiser at Escobar's house for a local congressman. Kathleen and Escobar's wife, Sophia, form a quick relationship. Jake and Escobar spar over a chess game, and Escobar is suspicious that his guest masks ulterior motives. As Jake and his partner, Garrett Demarcus, pursue the inscrutable Escobar, Jake soon discovers that Escobar is involved in more than brokering a deal with the IRS in exchange for the letter.
Jake's motivation, however, is rooted in more than simply executing a command. He needs to settle a debt with the colonel. Kathleen's husband was murdered and his mob affiliated business partners were starting to question her knowledge of their affairs. The colonel was instrumental in arranging a new identity for her. Jake believes that by securing the letter, he can erase his personal debt to the colonel.
In his reckless pursuit, Jake nearly loses Kathleen, unveils the fate of those who first touched the letter, and comes to grip—much like the man did who over fifty years ago penned the letter—with the core of his life.
Mason Alley Publishing, Paperback, December 2013, ISBN: 978-0615841885