DEAD MAN INNOCENT [The Mark Banning Mysteries, Book 1] by Stephen L. Brooks

Tried, convicted, executed...and innocent?

One of the reasons Mark Banning had become a private detective was to help those with seemingly "lost cause" cases no one else would take, so he couldn't complain when Diedre Hammond begged him to take hers. The case seemed hopeless: DNA evidence had proven her brother had raped and killed a six-year-old.

Months had passed since Diedre's brother Sam had been executed, protesting his innocence, up to the moment of execution. But all the evidence had pointed to him unerringly. It was too late to save her brother, but not too late to clear her brother's name and see that justice was served to the real criminal, whoever that might be.

So she brought her case to Mark Banning and pleaded for his help. When he heard the case against her brother, Banning thought it was a lost cause, and he hated to take her money. But she was insistent, and lost causes were his specialty, so he accepted the assignment reluctantly.

The deeper Banning dug, the more dead ends he found. Had it been a case of mistaken identity? No, even the DNA evidence had led exclusively to Sam. Then maybe the lab had botched it?

Diedre's and Sam's family had cut all ties to them long before, about the time of Sam's arrest. The reasons for the break were vague and mysterious. Was there some long-buried secret regarding Diedre and Sam, unknown perhaps even to all or nearly all of the family as well?

Just when Banning was about to give up, he must have gotten a little close to an answer than he realized. Someone struck him down and left him for dead....

The real killer had made a mistake. He had proved Diedre was right, and he had made it personal. Banning would stop at nothing now to catch him.

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