ABOUT THE BOOK

Addiction on Trial: Tragedy in Downeast Maine is a medical murder mystery/legal thriller that centers around who murdered Downeast “local” Annette Fiorno. Is “outsider” and relapsed drug addict Jimmy Sedgwick responsible or did Annette’s addiction to drugs kill her? What part did Annette’s boyfriend, Travis, play and did his drug addiction in any way contribute to her demise? Can the team of lawyers hired by Jimmy’s father, Adam, an Emergency Room physician living in Kansas City, prove Jimmy’s innocence? Unassuming Maine lawyer Robert Hanston and Boston big shot attorney Shawn Marks attempt to discredit the evidence of both Jimmy’s and Annette’s blood all over the dashboard of Annette’s car. Even while juggling an array of female companions, Attorney Marks never takes his eye off the legal challenge.

This novel is set in the fictional small town of West Haven Harbor, located on the real Mount Desert Island in Maine. The main characters are Annette, a likable transplant who has a cocaine addiction; her boyfriend Travis, who performs a heroic act as a crew member on a scalloping boat despite the fact he is using an illegal prescription drug to treat his heroin addiction; Jimmy, Travis’ childhood friend “from away", who lost his mother in a tragedy at an early age and who has been in and out of addiction recovery treatment; Adam Sedgwick, Jimmy’s father, an emotionally distant and enabling parent who never recovered from losing his wife but who stands by his son during the trial; lawyers Hanston and Marks; newscaster Sally Jenkin, Marks’ female foil; Venla Hujanen, the testy district attorney; and various health professionals, townspeople, and family members involved in the murder case. Just when the trial is reaching a crescendo, startling revelations come to light causing last minute legal maneuverings as Jimmy’s life hangs in the balance. “Travis was fighting for his life, Annette had lost hers and the locals were screaming for Jimmy’s.”

Addiction on Trial sends a powerful message through the medium of fiction via the outcome of a trio of characters with opiate and cocaine addictions. The messages of societal discrimination toward drug addicts and misunderstanding of what drug addiction really is – a chronic illness requiring a similar treatment approach as other chronic diseases – is woven into the intrigue of this thriller. The reader is exposed to psycho-social and biological nuances through the characters' actions and from gripping snippets of testimony at Jimmy’s trial.

The novel is a complete work, but with an ending that begs for a sequel; thus it is the first in a series that revolves around the murder cases of Shawn Marks, an egotistical yet likable high-powered Boston attorney who loves the ladies but may have met his match in Sally Jenkin. In the sequel currently under development, Lost To Addiction, the adventures continue, taking Marks from his legal entanglements in Maine to locations in Europe and the seedy underground of drug distribution centers in Guadalajara, Mexico, in an attempt to solve a horrific murder and to exonerate the son of a wealthy client.

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