The Nickel Jolt

Retired from Marine Intelligence, Stanford Law grad Jack Kilgore moves to Key West for a quiet life of fishing and part-time security work.  When anti-death penalty activist and lawyer Lester Dodge asks Kilgore to help save a condemned murderer who is on Florida’s death row, Kilgore is reluctantly drawn into a web of deceit surrounding an old crime.  At the same time, a woman Kilgore encounters on yacht called the Nickel Jolt is murdered and her body mutilated and dismembered.  Kilgore becomes a suspect in that crime.  Now, he has two problems on his hands.

 Having done three tours in Afghanistan, Marine Captain Jack Kilgore (Stanford Law) is burned out.  After moving to Miami and working for a genetics tech lab, he gives the glamorous world of corporate security up for a quiet job as night watchman at a yacht harbor in Key West.  He wants to fish, play poker and be left alone.  Lester Dodge, a lawyer from Key Largo and poker buddy, interests Kilgore in the case of Reece Deveraux, a condemned man who is at Florida’s Starke Penitentiary, awaiting execution.  When Kilgore agrees to see Maryann Deveraux, Reece’s young sister, he is moved, and begins to investigate the circumstances of the murder of Ray Puckett, whom Reece was convicted of killing eight years before.  At the same time, Kilgore meets Monika Crockett, a mysterious young woman on a yacht with whom he begins a brief but tempestuous affair.  Kilgore has just begun to investigate the murder of Puckett when Monika Crockett is found murdered, her body mutilated and dismembered at a condo in Key West.  Because of their adulterous affair, Kilgore becomes the main suspect.  Then, Kilgore must race time to defend himself against a capital murder charge while at the same time trying to clear Reece Deveraux, or to at least produce new evidence before the man is executed.  Kilgore discovers uncomfortable facts about Reece’s brother Del, about Del’s relationship to Eddie Puckett, a punk drug dealer in Key Wet and Miami, who was Ray Puckett’s brother.  And he finds out a lot about Monika Crockett and her wealthy evangelist husband.  Will he solve both crimes in time to save both himself and a condemned man on death row?



“Are you married?” Kilgore asked her.
“On paper,” Monika said.



I’ve lived in south Florida and traveled up and down the Florida Keys, fishing, watching sunsets, snorkeling and diving.  A lot of what bubbles up in this book does so from a deep love of the Florida Bay, fly fishing its turquoise waters while the wind blows.