Tom Wallace is the award-winning author of six mysteries featuring Lexington, Kentucky Detective Jack Dantzler—The Poker Game, The Fire of Heaven, The List, Gnosis, The Devil’s Racket and What Matters Blood. He also wrote the thriller, Heirs of Cain.
In 2010, Tom’s novel, Gnosis, won the prestigious Claymore Award at the Killer Nashville Writers’ Conference. Gnosis would go on to become one of the most downloaded e-books on Amazon in 2013. In 2007, The Devil’s Racket also took home a top prize, capturing the Mystery Novel Award.
A graduate of Western Kentucky University’s outstanding Journalism Department, Tom spent many years as a
From 1986 until 1993, Tom worked for the legendary broadcaster, Cawood Ledford, serving as editor for the successful sportswriter in his native Kentucky. From 1983-86, he served as sports editor for the Gleaner in Henderson, where he twice was honored by the Kentucky Press Association for writing the best sports story in the state.
Cawood on Kentucky, a weekly publication covering UK basketball and football. During that time, Tom also wrote many of Cawood’s TV and radio commentaries. He also helped put together and write Cawood’s Comments.
As a free-lance writer, Tom has authored five sports-related books, among them the highly popular Kentucky Basketball Encyclopedia, an in-depth history of the University of Kentucky’s legendary hoops program. He has also written books with former Wildcats Travis Ford and Jeff Sheppard. In addition to those books, Tom and the late John McGill wrote Embracing the Legend with former UCLA coach Jim Harrick.
Tom, a Vietnam vet, lives in Lexington and is an active member of Mystery Writers of America and the Author’s Guild.
Legendary homicide detective Jack Dantzler has never failed to solve a murder. Thirty-three killers apprehended, tried, convicted. Perfect, like God’s soul. But Dantzler’s perfection ends when three college women are brutally murdered, victims of a serial killer who strangles his prey, decorates their bodies with a St. Jude medal and photo of Michelangelo’s Pieta, then lacerates the jugular post-mortem. The series of murders reawaken Dantzler’s memories of his own mother’s murder when he was still a young boy. As he delves deeper into the case, haunted by thoughts of his mother, Dantzler must first regain control of his own emotions. What Matters Blood presents Dantzler with his ultimate challenge, entering into the dark and twisted mind of a cunning adversary, who will stop at nothing to prevail in what he calls this “Waltz of Death” with the great detective.
Murder, mystery and redemption are at the heart of “Gnosis.”
Detective Jack Dantzler has no clue why he has been summoned to the prison to meet with the Reverend Eli Whitehouse, a man convicted of committing a double murder twenty-nine years ago. He is stunned when Eli claims to be innocent and wants Dantzler to prove it. But Eli only gives Dantzler a single clue—look at the obituaries in the local paper for a specific two-week period. Reluctantly, Dantzler agrees to look into the case. As he does, two more people are brutally murdered. And although Dantzler isn’t aware of it, he has become a target for the killer. Dantzler goes back to Eli and pleads for another clue. All Eli says is, “think of Jesus’s empty tomb.” It will be this whispered utterance that unlocks the mystery and reveals the killer’s identity. But this isn’t just any ordinary killer. This is a man with a dark and bloody past, a man with connections to the highest levels of organized crime. Dantzler is now on the trail of an ice-cold assassin, fully aware that one slip will mean instant death.
Sometimes having too much knowledge can lead to deadly consequences.
Detective Jack Dantzler always believed his father was killed by a sniper in Vietnam. Dantzler’s world is rocked when a stranger shows up and informs him that his father died in Laos, and was killed by the CIA. Dantzler asks the stranger how he can uncover the real truth. The stranger tells Dantzler there is only one man who can help him—the legendary assassin called Cain. Dantzler contacts Cain, and Cain agrees to help. But when a U.S. general is assassinated in Las Vegas, Cain’s priorities change. He knows who killed the general, and he knows the names of the men who ordered the hit. He also knows they must pay for their sins, and he’s the one who will collect the bill. Cain and Dantzler are on the trail of dangerous men who will stop at nothing to save their empire, an empire built on greed, treason and murder. But what Cain doesn’t know is that a Russian assassin has him in her crosshairs. The hunter has become the hunted. The List is a fast-paced thriller that takes readers on a deadly journey, and proves once again why Night Owl Review called Tom Wallace a “powerful and compelling” writer.
Lexington Detective Jack Dantzler is asked to look into a death that has been ruled a suicide. When he learns how the person died-cyanide poisoning-he immediately suspects that the victim was murdered. Although the death occurred in another county, Dantzler agrees to look into what is a closed case. However, before he can begin his investigation, a medical clinic is bombed and a woman dies in the blast. Within days, the owner of the clinic is murdered. As Dantzler digs deeper into these cases, he begins to suspect that the murders are somehow linked together. But how? And who is the link? Dantzler’s list of potential suspects grows, and so does the body count. Suddenly, Dantzler is scrambling to bring down the killer-or killers-before more blood is spilled. It’s a race he cannot afford to lose. The Fire of Heaven features a cast of memorable characters, headed, of course, by Dantzler, the gifted detective critics have compared to Michael Connelly’s Harry Bosch. Critic Natasha Jackson said it best: “The Fire of Heaven pulls you in right from the very first paragraph, and Tom Wallace does a great job of creating a world-class detective in Dantzler.”
Judge Leonard Kurtz presides over a Saturday-night poker game fifty weeks each year. But this is no ordinary game—it begins at precisely seven p.m. and lasts exactly twelve hours, and to sit at the table, each of the six players must have ten-thousand dollars in cash. But then, on a warm summer night, five players are brutally murdered, victims of a single gunshot wound to the head. Veteran homicide detective Jack Dantzler is faced with the task of finding the person—or persons—responsible for the crime. His initial questions are, which of the victims was the primary target, and what is the name of the missing player? Was that player lucky, or could he be the killer? As Dantzler begins to peel away the many layers of this baffling case, the answers he finds are not what he expected. They put him on several different paths, including one that will bring him face to face with the only murderer he has failed to catch.
When Jack Dantzler gets word that a former detective has committed suicide, he isn’t particularly shocked. After all, it’s a well-known fact that cops have a notoriously high suicide rate. A few days later, Dantzler learns that a second ex-cop has apparently taken his own life. But this time, when Dantzler takes one look at the scene, he realizes this is no suicide. This is murder. Things become even more troubling when it is discovered that each of the dead detectives were in possession of more than one-hundred thousand dollars, more than enough to cause Dantzler to wonder how two former cops could come up with that much cash.
Julie Bradley, author of two successful True Crime books, has been told by a source that a young woman was murdered in Lexington fifteen years ago, and the crime has never been solved. She is also given the names of six former cops who, she is told, “will be at the heart of your story.” But as Julie undertakes her research for the book, two more men are murdered, including her source for the story. Making matters worse, suddenly, Julie’s own life is in danger.
As Dantzler begins to peel away the layers surrounding this confusing mystery, he finds himself on a dark journey that leads him to a truth that is as personally shattering as it is unexpected.
Murder by Suicide proves once again why critics say “Tom Wallace excels in his ability to make his characters come alive.”