Dead Man of the Year Review

Dead Man of the Year Review
It’s 1994 and Brian Durston recently joined his Uncle Rod’s ad agency when offered a future partnership. Uncle Rod was a major stockholder in the firm, and Brian’s advancement was all but secure. Unfortunately, within a very short time, Uncle Rod was found dead at his desk with a gun lying near his hand, an apparent suicide.

knowing his Uncle Rod as well as he did, Brian knew there was no way he would commit suicide. After the police finished their investigation sticking with their original decision, Brian knew he must find the killer. Finding a typed suicide note in his uncle’s printer tray didn’t help Brian’s theory that his uncle was murdered.

If he could prove it was murder, Uncle Rod’s wife and daughters could receive his life insurance and Brian could keep his job. Brian needs his part of the inheritance so that he can purchase his shares in the business to the tune of $500,000.

In the midst of this tragedy, the agency’s major account has opted to open a review allowing other agencies to also apply for their account. If The Durston Negus Agency loses their largest account, many people will lose their jobs, including Brian.

There is any number of possible suspects both personal and work-related. Brian is determined that if he finds out who benefits from Uncle Rod’s death, he will find the killer. The obvious answer – the surviving partners.

As Brian starts looking into the lives of the four remaining partners, he finds unexpected help from agency copywriter Nickie D’Agostino who offers to assist him in finding the killer. Although Brian has different plans for the beautiful Nickie he soon wonders if she is the one responsible for his uncle’s death.

Brian is on a deadline as he must find the real murderer before his shares revert to the surviving partners, or he becomes the next victim.

Dead Man of the Year was written by award-winning author Stephen Hawley Martin, co-founder of the highly successful The Martin Agency. He is widely published with dozens of books under his name as well as a ghostwriter and editor of many other books.

In this novel, it is obvious he loves to write. Martin has given Brian, and readers who like to figure out the mystery, numerous suspects from which to choose. Some are difficult to rule out as a possible murderer as they have several reasons each why they would want their senior partner’s dead.

While some readers may be turned off by the occasional harsh language, this page-turner provides an insiders look at an ad agency without becoming boring. There is always something going on that will keep the reader intrigued. The storyline flows smoothly, emotions stay high, and the ending is just plain cool!

A special thank you goes to The Oaklea Press for providing a galley proof of Dead Man of the Year for our review. If you are interested in purchasing this book, you will find a copy at

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