Sleepless Nights: The Drew Smith Series
by Norwood Holland
Sleepless Nights, the first released of the four volume Drew Smith Series, is loosely based on DC’s infamous 2003 Colonel Brooks Tavern murders. The protagonist in Norwood Holland’s new novel is like no other before.
An African American attorney managing a successful solo practice finds himself enmeshed in complicated relationships and complicated cases. A stark difference from other fictional detectives Drew Smith is a distinctly new type, professional, single, urbane, a good looking playa charming the ladies, clients and Judges alike all in the pursuit of justice.
Drew Smith takes on shady clients solving cases fraught with danger and romantic intrigue. The legal wizard, while frolicking with an exotic dancer succumbs to a midlife crisis. Haunted by nightmares foreshadowing an awakening reveals an empty life prodding Smith to find solace in the arms of therapist Zoe Settles.
Life gets more complicated when the attorney is pressed into service solving a vicious robbery that leaves three dead and the city enraged. Drew Smith and his devoted sidekick Julio Mejia work to free his young client on the trail of a crazed gunman responsible for a growing body count. In the end, the gunman and the dancer combine forces to bring Smith down. When death comes knocking Drew Smith faces the fight of his life.
A break out novel, Sleepless Nights abounds with despicable and lovable characters plus all the universal elements: love, sex, jealously, betrayal, murder and revenge. It has a narrative depth that sets it apart from the current flood of Urban Fiction. The author conveys a dark hard-boiled view of the underside, sprinkled with sex and violence, elements that make the contemporary genre popular among the teen and 20 something as well as the mature readers looking for a well written hardboiled yarn with compelling characters.
Here is an excerpt from Sleepless Nights: The Drew Smith Series, Chapter 3 where the dramatic intensity and suspense ramps up and carries the readers interest through the end.
Excerpt from Chapter 3
Sunday, August 6, 5:00 a.m.
In the night’s last darkness, Drew Smith bolted up from a deep sleep. Sweat beaded his forehead and his hands were shaking. It was the dream again. He eased back, baffled and bothered. Medhat had been dead for more than twenty years and yet from time to time his old buddy would pay him these haunting visits. What was it all about?
He had never felt so alone, bereft, and shaken.
Then a thought and a smile came over him. He was looking forward to spending the afternoon with Julio, Chevy and the kids. Morning came blue-gray across Rock Creek Park’s treetops, bringing the promise of sunlight.
* * * *
Sunday, August 6, 6:00 a.m.
Not far across town, Mrs. Viola Whisonant suffered a mild asthma attack and couldn’t sleep. The octogenarian decided to sit in her rocker near the open window of her second-floor bedroom. Six a.m. according to her clock, and soon she would go downstairs, prepare her tea and toast, and then get ready for Mass. For the moment she decided to just rock and watch the sunrise, pray her rosary, and thank the good Lord for giving her another day. As she puffed on her inhaler, something caught her attention down on the street. The rocking stopped. She put on her glasses, moved the wavering sheers aside, and leaned in to watch.
* * * *
Sunday, August 6, 6:30 a.m.
Jinx and Tyrone quickly crossed the parking lot to the rear kitchen entrance of the Farragut Tavern. Each checked the other’s mask, and with an “Okay,” Jinx pulled his Glock 17 from his waistband and released the safety. Tyrone did the same. The door was open and kitchen activity could be heard. Jinx tried the screen door but it was latched.
With the barrel of the gun, he tapped on the frame and stepped back out of view. Tyrone too pressed his back against the wall. The doorway darkened as someone appeared. The latch lifted, a head stuck out and met the barrel of Jinx’s gun. Naomi’s mouth dropped open.
“Back up.” Jinx flung the door open and with the gun in her face forced her back into the kitchen.
Her fear coursed through his veins like a jolt of speed. The big dark-skinned bitch with the feisty attitude, who once gave him orders, was now taking orders from him.
“Everybody down on the floor!”
Josh the chef, Naomi the cook, and Rodney the dishwasher were the only three in the small kitchen. The intruders had interrupted the busy preparations for the Farragut’s famous Sunday brunch. Biscuit mix still covered Naomi’s hand as she tried to towel it away. Always in demand, her biscuits were a brunch staple. Jinx watched as she lowered her heft down onto the floor. Rodney and Josh did the same, all looking stunned....
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Sleepless Nights: The Drew Smith Series by Norwood Holland
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