Told from the perspective of both killer and cop, DEAD of KNIGHT is a cat and mouse thriller sure to delight fans of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta or Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch.
DEAD of KNIGHT A Jack Staal Mystery
Your next birthday could be murder!
Believing he is a soldier of justice, a misguided young man begins a callous campaign of terror murdering women on their birthdays. Convinced of his righteousness he continues his brutal crusade forcing the citizens of Hanson B.C. to acknowledge a serial killer active in their rural community.
The Mounties always get their man…but not if Jack Staal gets him first!
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police put their Integrated Homicide Investigation Teams into action. Detective Jack Staal and the rest of Hanson PD are invited to support the RCMP. However, Staal, the once elite major-crime investigator reduced to small-town detective is desperate for redemption. He ignores protocol to work a case that is not his to solve.
Told from the perspective of both killer and cop DEAD of KNIGHT is a cat and mouse thriller sure to delight fans of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta or Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch.
The first review.
Author William R. Potter takes the reader into the heart and soul of his protagonist and into the warped mind of a psychopath. Potter’s first full length novel, Dead of Knight is told from the point-of-view of Detective Jack Staal and from the perspective of a killer who murders women on their birthdays.
Through clever use of back story, we learn that Detective Staal is suffering from post-traumatic stress after a horrific shooting. Unable to shake the horror of that day, Staal has left his position with the Vancouver PD’s homicide squad and has resurrected his career with the police service in a fictional country town called Hanson, British Columbia.
Anxious to work the biggest case of his career, Staal is forced to the outside when the Royal Canadian Mounted Police’s Integrated Homicide Teams are assigned to the case. Not one to sit on the sidelines, Staal convinces his colleagues to follow his lead and pursue a serial killer the media has dubbed Birthday Boy.
Believing he is a soldier of justice, a misguided young man has begun a callous campaign of terror. Damian Knight (Birthday Boy) is convinced of his righteousness and continues his brutal crusade of revenge. As his death count mounts, so does Knight’s courage and he soon turns his anger on a fatigued Staal. Staal and Knight play out a cat and mouse thrill ride that culminates with an epic, one-on-one meeting of cop versus killer.
Potter has created an intriguing police procedural with a strong main character, a terrific supporting cast, and a plot with twists, turns, and plenty of red herrings. I have read many books in this genre featuring a main character that is a bullet-proof, womanizing Neanderthal. However, Potter’s Jack Staal takes a pounding, both physically and emotionally. This is one author who isn’t afraid to show his hero breaking down or making mistakes. Potter has penned a captivating tale filled with plenty of tension and conflict, crisp dialogue and an unrelenting pace. He puts us in the story with vivid descriptions and scene-painting narrative.
I highly recommend Dead of Knight-A Jack Staal Mystery. It is sure to delight fans of Patricia Cornwell’s Kay Scarpetta or Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch.
I was born in the late 60's in a suburb of Vancouver, Canada called Burnaby, and haven't moved far from home over the years.
My very active childhood imagination and knack for making up stories often got me into trouble. Perhaps this is where all writers get started? Shortly after watching the first remake of King Kong, around the age of ten or eleven, I decided to write a “book.” I remember something about a monster crab attacking Vancouver.
Throughout my teens my mind was in a state of unrest and I used poetry to journal the ups and downs of those difficult times. Later, my work was published in a poetry anthology.
I returned to my love of storytelling in my twenties, writing numerous short stories; and now at forty, I am re-working two full-length novel manuscripts for publishing. Many more book ideas are at the researching and outline stage, keeping me busy at the PC.
When I’m not writing or working I am playing with my two children, aged three and five.
My wife Erin is very supportive and I am truly fortunate that she understands my passion for crafting fiction.
LIGHTING THE DARK SIDE won the 2009 Allbooks Review Editor’s Choice Award for short story collections.
Highly Recommended! June 15, 2008
The book jacket claims these tales will exercise our emotions, capture our imagination, and challenge us to think in new directions. Well, I’m here to tell you all that the author delivers on all that¾plus much, much more! These novellas and short stories are definitely page-turners, but what impressed me the most was their character-driven force. Potter skillfully intertwined succinct narrative and some natural, fast-paced dialogue to present characters so real, they leapt right off the page and captivated me immediately.
Lighting the Dark Side is a collection of three novellas and three short stories, including plenty of action, thrills, suspense, mystery, and even romance. We start with an engaging story of an improbable romance between an obsessive-compulsive geek and a drop-dead gorgeous woman, seemed doomed from the start. Next, there’s an artist trying his best to thrive and find love in spite of overbearing, cruel parents. Following that, Potter changes directions and we’re treated to a well-done, hard-boiled police procedural with a nice twist. An end of the world by approaching comet thriller is on tap after that, with some great flash-forward writing as well as another ingenious plot twist. Now, these are all wonderful tales, but I believe Potter saved the best two for last. The title, Blessing or Curse is self-explanatory, referring to a big lottery win. A kidnapping for ransom follows and we’re treated to some of the author’s best dialogue. It’s hugely entertaining and there are virtually no wasted words¾Elmore Leonard style. And finally, Potter ends (all too soon) with a heart-warming tale of a wayward teenage street girl and a gentleman with a rescuer complex. It’s a great, intertwined plot where all the characters come together, in the same spirit of the Academy Award winning movie, Crash. Once again, Potter showcases his writing skills, this time with skillful interspersing of critical backstory in such a way as to avoid slowing the plot.
Well, you’ve probably guessed that I am highly recommending Lighting the Dark Side. As I said, all the stories are captivating but more than that, I urge you to take note of the writer’s skill at character development and I’m sure you’ll be impressed. In fact, I shouldn’t think it’d be long before a major publishing house snaps Mr. Potter up because he belongs on the bookshelves with the likes of Jeffery Deaver and Peter Abrahams.
Highly recommended by reviewer: Jan Evan Whitford, Allbooks Reviews.
Something Very Different July 2, 2008
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (7/08)
"Lighting the Dark Side" contains a collection of six refreshingly different short stories. Each one is very unique and cannot be compared to the others. I really enjoyed reading the stories. They are about human nature and how we deal with hardships. Sometimes we overcome them, sometimes we obliterate them and sometimes we just make adjustments in ourselves to live with them.
What I discovered really interesting is that in almost every story, I found aspects of myself in the characters. This allowed me to feel like I could relate to what they had going on inside themselves. Some of these aspects ranged from a desire for vigilantism in situations with no other way out; a desire to help others by going way beyond what is expected; and that need to ask myself why I allow things to happen when I know the outcome ahead of time. Kind of like, why did I do that again? The examples in the stories are so much more interesting than any story that I have possibly lived.
Each short story or novella is very complete within itself, however, I found myself wishing that the stories would go on longer. I wasn't ready to leave the lives of these interesting characters. This is what made the book even more fun because I found myself thinking about the stories later on, wondering what happened to people that never even existed. The characters are very well developed and intricately woven into their plots that they seem very real. Their humanity is expressed through their shortcomings, and their need to change their situations.
This book, "Lighting the Dark Side," by William R. Potter, will definitely be enjoyed by all fans of fiction. I think that it would make an excellent selection for a reader's group or for a college course. I would love to hear the interesting discussions that will be held about these stories.
An Excellent Group of Short Stories, September 23, 2008
Reviewed by Kam Aures for RebeccasReads (9/08)
“Lighting the Dark Side: Six Modern Tales” consists of six short stories, all of which are very different and unique, spanning the full gamut of fictional genres. The six short stories included in the book are: “Bent, Not Broken,” “In the Gray,” “Prominent Couple Slain,” “May 18, 2010,” “Blessing or Curse?,” and “Surviving the Fall.” After reading all three of the novellas and all three of the shorter works, I can honestly say that I enjoyed each and every one of them.
My favorite novella in the book was the very first one, “Bent, Not Broken.” It is about a man named Dwayne Johnson who is plagued by severe obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). We watch Dwayne struggle as what are normal day to day activities for most of us are much more challenging for him. His anxieties are compounded by the fact that his co-workers gang up on him by moving things in his cubicle that he needs to have just so. You can’t help but to feel for the poor guy. Dwayne meets a girl and falls in love with her, but his many issues will be the cause of much strain and difficulty in the relationship.
It is in this first novella that the meaning of the title of the book, “Lighting the Dark Side,” is revealed as well. Dwayne’s girlfriend Dee-Dee is in a mud bath reflecting and meditating. On the phone to Dwayne she tells him that she is “just spending some time lighting the dark side.” She says, “everyone has a dark side” which is “that ugliness about our personality that scares the people who see it.” What we need to do “is to fight it, to turn a light against it.” (p. 65)
Each story draws you in within the first few sentences and will hold your attention through the completion. All of the characters are well developed and seem very real. I became so involved in each tale that I found myself wishing that these weren’t short stories and that each work was a full-length novel instead. Don’t get me wrong, the writing was very thorough and the stories were not lacking anything, but I enjoyed the characters and the writing style so much that I just wished that they were longer! In the author’s biography that was sent along with the book it states that he is “re-working two full-length novel manuscripts for publishing” and if these works are anything similar to “Lighting the Dark Side: Six Modern Tales” then I can’t wait to read them!
By Cassandra Mae (Wisconsin)
The author (Potter) has written an engaging book. The characters are so well-developed that you can "feel" them.
My favorite short story is the first one (Bent, Not Broken). It captured me as I see a lot of the main character's actions the same as my own. Thankfully, as I read on more and more I found out I am not as OCD as he is.
For the life of me, I could not put this book down until I finished it in one day! This is only the second book in my 43 years that that has happened to me.
A Captivating Read
By Heather Shockney (Greensboro, PA USA)
William Potter has done an excellent job of writing six short stories that draw you in from the beginning. Mr. Potter makes you feel so connected to the characters. You feel like you are right there with them, going through the same things they are.
My favorite story was Bent, Not Broken. I have dealt with OCD my whole life and I could relate so much to the way Dwayne felt each day. Dee-Dee was such a special person for accepting Dwayne as he was.
I would recommend Lighting the Dark Side to everyone. They will be hooked from the start. It takes a great author to keep my attention when reading a book. Mr. Potter has done that wonderfully. I was not able to put the book down until I was done reading the last page.
This is a great book!,
By C. Eversole
I'm so glad I decided to get Lighting the Dark Side. I love books that are compiled of short stories, so this one was right up my ally.
While I realize there are many people out there who truly deal with OCD, I also believe that everyone has their own...tendencies. This piece really shed some light on what people deal with on a day to day basis, as well as being told in a riveting, entertaining way.
Bent, Not Broken
By R. Malove
This was one of the most unusual pieces of fiction I have read in quite a while. The stories displayed the characters in all of their dysfunctional glory, but my favorite was Dwayne-he reminds me so much of me sometimes! Readers will enjoy this realistic view into lighting the dark side, and they will fall in love with the men and women brought to life just like I did.