Spinning a new twist to the legal drama, Frank Turner Hollon explores the moral and the controversial in his third novel, A Thin Difference. Jack Skinner is a criminal defense attorney in a small town in southern Alabama. His personal life has declined into a battlefield of divorces, bitter children, and tax debt, but the courtroom has always been a safe haven from his otherwise dismal life. For twenty-five years he has lived under a terrible allegation that has dominated his existence and alienated his family. One morning a stranger appears at his office with a pile of cash asking for some minor legal assistance. But two days later the stranger is arrested for the brutal murder of a rich, elderly widow, and Jack takes on the murder case. With his instincts dulled by his belief in his client's innocence, he sets out to win the biggest case he has ever undertaken. In the process, the two lives of Jack Skinner, his personal and professional, are set on a collision course and the unexpected is only the beginning. Writing this book was a new experience for me. My first two novels, The Pains of April and The God File, practically wrote themselves. They were born from emotion and personal motivation. All I had to do was keep pen and paper handy. Writing this new novel was entirely different. I set out with a clear purpose. For me, most novels in the world fall into two categories: (1) a solid plot with no real substance, or (2) lots of substance with no real plot. And then there are the exceptions, those books that contain both elements. Robert Penn Warren's All the Kings' Men is a perfect example. The plot is strong and pulls the reader through mountains of substance, in any direction thewriter wishes to go. That was my clear purpose, to try to write a novel with both essential elements. Jack Skinner is a sixty-year-old lawyer in a small office in southern Alabama. His career is on the downswing, and his personal life is scattered in all directions. Unspeakable allegations hang over his head like a black cloud, and then one day a man walks into his office, a man Jack Skinner chooses to defend in a murder trial. His personal life and career, always kept separate, become unavoidably interwined. The plot of the legal case provides the vehicle for me to explore the back roads of the human condition, and after all, the back roads are the ones worth traveling. The author Frank Turner Hollon, known as "Fat Frankie" in Southern literary circles, is an ongoing mystery to me. He is as prolific as he is talented. When he's not defending clients on trial for their lives, or raising his family, he is known to drive around Baldwin County, Alabama, in the car he named "White Shadow" wearing a green sombrero.--P.W.
Publisher: MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
Number of pages: 217
Weight: 363 g
Dimensions: 210 x 133 x 32 mm