Buy this book at
To Past Reviews Index
Back to Last Page

Act Normal
Stan Turner Book 8

William Manchee

Average Review Rating Average Rating 9/10 (1 Review)
Book Details

Publisher : Top

Published : 2007

Copyright : William Manchee 2007

ISBN-10 : PB 1-929976-40-2
ISBN-13 : PB 978-1-929976-40-9

Publisher's Write-Up

In this 8th episode of the series Dallas attorney Stan Turner struggles to keep his practice going in the wake of the tragic loss of his son and his rapidly disintegrating marriage. Stan, who has been recruited by the CIA for its ultra top secret Tarizon Repopulation project, gets his first assignment to defend a woman accused of murdering her children and alien husband. The alien husband, however, is not from Mexico but Tarizon, a planet in another solar system. Stan must not only prove his client innocent but also make sure nobody finds out that the government is allowing aliens to live and propagate on Earth.

While Stan is busy with his CIA project, Paula is asked to defend the accused in the arson-murder of a prominent scientist and his family. While a bitter feud between neighbours over a barking dog and a chain link fence appears to be the motive for the crime, Paula discovers several others who have benefited from Chester Brown's death.

In the midst of the two murder cases Stan is lured into a dangerous relationship with an alien woman assigned to him as a legal assistant. He soon learns that the women of Tarizon are even more mysterious and dangerous than those on Earth.

Author Website -

Column Ends


Reader Reviews

Why not Submit a Review your own Review for this book?

Review by Molly Martin (310313) Rating (9/10)

Review by Molly Martin
Rating 9/10
The narrative opens with Stan sitting in his office pondering his being recruited by the CIA following the abduction of his son Peter by aliens from a planet called Tarizon. The date is August 1992, Stan is trying to follow the directive to act normal, although, in view of the recent circumstances what IS normal? A year has passed since Peter disappeared as part of the Tarizon Repopulation Project. When the telephone rang it was Ben Stover, a long time friend and client. Ben’s statement that he had a problem was followed by a telephone call from Mo, the man who had recruited Stan for the CIA. These two incidents were to set in motion a chain of events from which Stan muses he might never recover.

Stan must help with a ‘botched extraction.’ It was staged as a parental abduction, but a nosy PI is causing problems and the Tarizon, Kulchz, has come to Stan with an unsettling command. Stan must represent the woman and stop the private detective. Kulchz knows that if the detective continues he just might stumble over the real reason for the disappearance, and if that takes place the Tarizonian measures will need to be undertaken. And that might be the man being exiled to Tarizon or having his memory erased. Stan is going to have his hands full. The prosecutor for the district attorney’s office is Stan’s partner Paula’s husband. Kulchz won’t take no for an answer, Stan must represent Charlotte Wenzel and that is that. Charlotte Wenzel took out a two million dollar insurance policy on her husband just days before he and their children disappeared. The policy also includes $200,000 for each of the children. Not only that one of the Wenzel neighbour’s says the Wenzels were having marital trouble; Janet Kaufman told the police that Mrs Wenzel often seemed disoriented and complained of having blackouts.

Paula’s husband Bart loses his job, Stan’s wife Rebekah is in the doldrums since the disappearance of Peter, Gary Shepherd is undermining everything he can, Stan tries to help old friends who have just suffered loss from an embezzling employee, Stan’s daughter Marcia is having a hard time coping with life now that her parents are drifting apart due to Peter’s disappearance, and to top it all off, late at night Stan gets a call from Walter Stanley of the Collin Commons Homeowner’s Association; one of the townhouses has burned, the fire department say arson and Stanley is the first best suspect. Things just go from bad to worse in this latest Stan Turner mystery. Paula’s husband joins the firm, Tehra, a Tarizon is sent to serve as Stan’s intern, Stan tells Rebekah the truth concerning their son Peter’s death, the CIA muddles into the situation and the Tarizon’s seem able to track Stan’s every move.

Author Manchee’s writing just continues to get better and better. I had wondered how he would pull together a tale peopled with out of world and earth characters and told in alternating chapters first by Stan and then by his partner Paula; however, he manages and very well. Writer Manchee continues to grow as a writer. Act Normal is a highly developed original. Hard hitting fast paced dialogue is filled with compelling nuances and serves to propel the narrative forward in plausible manner. The narrative moves smoothly from Stan to Paula as they delve into personal situations, interactions with clients, CIA operatives and Tarizon agents. Writer Manchee has managed another great environment filled with forceful characters, dilemma and gaffes.

The tale Manchee weaves on the pages of Act Normal compels the reader forward as part time detective/full time lawyer Stan Turner and his law partner Paula Waters try to unravel the tangles and snares, keep their marriages intact and not lose their touch with reality. As always Manchee has a story to share, and he does so in the fast paced, action packed thriller we have come to expect. There are plenty of twists and turns to please and perhaps hoodwink even the most perceptive reader. Watch those red herrings! Don’t be caught napping.

Act Normal is a good choice for the personal pleasure reading library as well as the high school library shelf. Minimal profanity and modest reference to sexual intrigue makes this a good choice for the mature teen as well as adult mystery readers.

Enjoyed the read, happy to recommend.
Molly Martin (31st March 2013)

Back to Top of Page
Column Ends