Book Jacket


rank 1680
word count 15908
date submitted 27.03.2010
date updated 31.10.2010
genres: Fiction, Thriller, Crime
classification: adult

Defending Evil

Charles Shea

A righteous vigilante is killing the clients of Travis Knight, an exceptional Criminal Defense Attorney winning high profile cases in Atlanta.


Travis Knight is an extraordinary Criminal Defense Attorney in Atlanta that has built his reputation by defending clients that many believe are guilty of the crime of murder. The young attorney's success attracts the attention of a righteous Vigilante.

The mysterious vigilante begins executing Travis’ clients soon after he wins them an acquittal. The Vigilante believes that the clients Travis is helping to put back into society are guilty, and don't deserve to live--the vigilante delivers ultimate justice. Stranger yet, not only is the vigilante executing the clients--they are being executed by the same method the clients used to murder their own victims.

The Vigilante's deadly attention quickly turns to the source of these abominations against society, the hot-shot attorney responsible for freeing the evil murders. The Vigilante, now signing e-mailed threats as the' Archangel', sends Travis an ultimatum--stop defending guilty clients, or he will be the next to be executed.

Risking his life, and his marriage, Travis refuses to be intimidated by the extortion, and continues to defend clients accused of murder.

Travis prepares for the inevitable show-down with the Archangel --a confrontation that will leave only one of them standing.

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Joe Jones wrote 438 days ago

Finally! A good thriller on authonomy. Well done. On my shelf and happy to keep it there.

PCreturned wrote 1090 days ago

Hi Charles,

I was just wandering authonomy and spotted your book. I notice you've got it published. I have to check this book out now. :)

Chapter 1: Tense start. I'm immediately on the edge of my seat and wondering who this stalker's after ;). I was surprised when he didn't go after the 2 women. Looks like he's after a man. Hmm he's following Travis and I shudder to think what he'll do when he catches the man...

Then we meet Carlos, racing against the clock to finish his work. I gasped when he saw what looked like a murder in progress. He calls the police but .... looks like he's too late. Damn.

Back with Travis, we learn his former client's up for murder. Wow this must be what Carlos just witnessed. How on Earth doe Travis sleep at night, knowing he get the murderer off last time? I'm with the detective. I think Travis is scum too. I suddenly wonder if the stalker following him is a relative of the previous victim.

Looks like Travis does actually have a human side from his reaction after the call, though. He is haunted by Alicia's death. Good. He should be.

No wonder Julie gives him the works. Travis deserves it. How can he argue he loves his job after this? I'm baffled. I could never be happy setting those guys free. Hmmm looks like his motives aren't purely mercenary, though. He does seem to want to help the wrongly accused. Maybe I'm wrong to hate him.

The powerful dream at the end of the chapter shows me he actually does have genuine remorse for his part in what happened. I'm torn now. I’m not sure if Travis is the good guy or the bad guy.

Chapter 2: Wow Travis really is seriously thinking about stopping taking the murder cases. Looks like he might be human after all. ;)

Hmmm interesting flashback. Travis saved that kid from the bully in a v clever way. Shows his heart's in the right place, even is his current job's forced him into morally bankrupt decisions. He is doing the job in the hope of being the hero more than for any other reason.

Uh oh Travis backs away from the good choice of getting away from the gutter area of law. Shame. I was almost starting to like him for a moment.

I blinked at Julie's assertion that execution by electric chair etc is wasteful as the organs could be "harvested". Wow that's cold. Yeah she's right in a way, but I just didn't expect those words from her. I thought Travis was the cold 1.

Chapter 3: I was surprised Travis went to the funeral. I didn't think he had it in him. And I almost pity his home relationship with Julie. Looks like she's making his life a bit miserable with that crappy milk :(. Again, we get a hint Travis has a conscience when he gets flowers for April.

Ah then we get to a really interesting bit. A new murder case, involving serious dollars. Sounds like Johnny's got a temper, though. He's a guy who seems more than capable of murder. Will Travis really want to defend him? Uh oh Johnny admits he did it. What the hell will Travis do now? Is he really willing to free another killer?

Chapter 4: Wow looks like this was a crime of passion. Johnny saw mike with his wife. Johnny's a vindictive guy, though. He actually went away and planned how to do the murder. Premeditated. Chilling. Brrr. I can't believe he spent a month planning how to kill his wife + get away with it. And he made sure his alibi was rock solid.

Wow and he made sure she knew what was coming before he stabbed her. Johnny's really nasty. It's like he wanted to taste her fear. And the way he cut her throat to make sure was so brutal. How could he do all this to somebody he loved? All the time he narrates the story, he doesn't even seem sad. After the murder, he even had the presence of mind to make it look like a robbery. Travis seems in shock. No wonder. Anybody would be.

Chapter 5: Travis and Ray both seem shocked, but it looks like they're taking the case. I can't believe it, especially after Travis' pangs of guilt over previous cases.

Ah the stalker's back. Little segment, just enough to let us know he's following. Ominous.

Then Travis and Ray are really discussing how best to defend Johnny. I'm stunned. They're going to keep the case. They'll have a hard job of it, though. Johnny's plainly the police's main suspect. He had the motive. + he left DNA evidence at the scene of the crime.

Uh oh, as Travis leaves, the stalker has a gun and seems to be readying himself for murder. Will he do it?

Big argument with Julie over the new case. She seems really pissed off. I can't blame her. I almost cheered when she stormed out. Will this be enough to make Travis see the light? I flinched when the stranger grabbed him by the car to point out the flat. I thought that would be the stalker.

By the end of the chapter, it looks like Travis is off to meet Johnny and discuss the defence. Will he keep the client? Or will he get a sudden burst of conscience? I honestly don't know...

Well, what can I say? I think this is a wonderful and fascinating story. Unlike any other murder story I’ve read, I honestly don’t know who the good guy is. Travis has moments of conscience, but he keeps doing the wrong things. I originally thought Julie would be the loving wife who showed him the error of his ways, but her “organs” comment shows she’s cold and ruthless as hell. In some ways, the sinister stalker’s starting to look like the least bad 1 out of the lot of them!

I love the fact you make your characters so complex and morally ambiguous. By the end of chapter 5, I haven’t a clue who to root for and I have no idea what will happen next. I think it’s a v clever and unusual way to keep people guessing and reading on. Well done! : )

I can see why this is published. It’s a riveting read. I’ve rated you with as many stars as possible to try and boost your visibility. :)

Best of luck selling loads of copies,


Eveleen wrote 1262 days ago

Defending Evil
Backed with pleasure
(Turning a new leaf)

Mooderino wrote 1376 days ago

Good taut writing that moves at a swift old pace. I did get a little confused early on, not clear why the assassin couldn't finish the job just because he took a particular exit. Also the timeline confused me a bit. The guy sees the murder in the pool, then you cut back to Travis and I thought we were still hat night so it threw me a bit to find out it was the next day.

I think you reveal all the info quickly and efficiently, my only slight concern would be that at first glance (and I've only read the first chapter) many of these relationships (between the wife and husband, the cop and lawyer, the lawyer and the law) are sort of familiar. This felt like a solid genre piece, but I wasn't too sure what made it different from other similar books and tv shows. Mind you it's early days yet so my concerns may be unwarranted.

Well written piece. Backed.

drachat wrote 1423 days ago

Wow, this is real good! Read all the way to the end. I'm dying to know what happens to Johnny and the rest of the MC. Great, brilliant along the lines of James Patterson.

Happily backed

carlashmore wrote 1432 days ago

I would buy this. I'm a huge Patterson, Coben fan and this is as good as their work, infact considerably better than Patterson has been for some time. Gripping, taut, brutal, well researched and impactful. I read all five chapters and could have continued reading. Travis is a great character to lead us into your tense story and I can't find anything to nitpick. So I won't. Congratulations.
The Time Hunters

A Knight wrote 1439 days ago

This is brilliant work - gripping, intensely detailed and richly human in all the right places. You have a distinctive narrative voice which helps this stand out even further from the crowd, and I enjoyed myself immensely. Nothing helpful to say except I loved it, and I would not hesitate to buy it (and have, in fact, popped it on my "to buy" list) Travis is impossible not to like, and adds a incredibly human perspective to this gripping tale.

Backed with pleasure.
Abi xxx

crazy mama wrote 1448 days ago

Great story!! Hard to believe this is your first novel!! Well done! Backed

Owen Quinn wrote 1454 days ago

Good pitch which evokes images straight away. This is a thriller with balls and a fasinating serial killer twist. This immediately conjures up Seven, The ususal suspects and Kiss the girls. taut, very atmospheric and worth backing. Well done.

toussaint wrote 1454 days ago

Defending Evil

[Thank you for returning my backing, T. ☼☼☼☼]

I like the way you start this. From the initial focus on the stalker lying in wait, to the counterpoint of the click clack of the safety catch on his gun, ending with Travis’ unwittingly giving him the slip. Now that’s how to do it! Both Travis and the vigilante tare in the pitch and so I know where I am, if I hadn’t read the pitch I would be intrigued.

And then you deliver the goods. Gurrero murders his girl and Travis got him off an earlier charge. Congratulations, this is off to a flying start. The dialogue between Travis and Brikler is brisk and real. The exchange with his wife is also fantastic. I think I’d to on a bender if I were Travis and I think I’d get pissed off if I were his wife. And the dream at the end tops off a perfect first chapter. This is going to be a compelling read.

I am backing this, and would be delighted if you can find the time to take a look at Bokassa’s Last Apostle in return. Thanks.

DMR wrote 1456 days ago

Defending Evil is polished.. this is gripping stuff, right from the first chapter .. you have a solid, very real character in Travis, a true good guy doing what he believes is the right thing.. there is an underlying thread to this story which is extremely thought provoking, the fact that the 'justice' in following process of law - defending a client who is innocent until proven guilty - vs. the hard-line of assuming guilt and taking law into your own hands.. this fascinating stuff - the type of topic that can easily be debated for hours - Backed ! very well done

Pia wrote 1458 days ago


Defending Evil - ... She wants me out of the murder business ... Travis cares for Julie, and is a caring person all round. The 'worm incident ' is funny and goes a long way to explain the passion Travis has for saving the day for someone. The writing engages and flows well, and the pacing is just right to make one turn the page while at the same time enjoying the humor and the subtle observations. Defending evil is a great theme for a thriller, and there is the anaticipation of Travis having to put all on the line in the end. A compelling read,

Backed, Pia (Course of Mirrors)

zan wrote 1458 days ago

Defending Evil
Charles Shea

Good recipe here for thriller/crime fiction. I thought your plot was well crafted and it builds suspense and interest until your promise of that inevitable show-down - which seems like it will be a gripping confrontation. You characterise Travis well and I thought the writing flowed well. (Sorry but I don't feel competent to comment on editorial issues and simply read to enjoy the story - and you certainly have a very good one here!)

klouholmes wrote 1470 days ago

Hi Charles, Brisk and yet the replay of the murder in Travis’ mind becomes a haunting speculation of this lawyer. The premise is fascinating, that it is his competence, he tells his wife, that freed a man who would murder again. I liked how he is upset at this and he is young. Good POV with Travis and crafting of the murder scene and keeping the story going while he pondered the murder. Easily shelved – Katherine (The Swan Bonnet)

SusieGulick wrote 1470 days ago

You are fantastic, Charles! :) Thanks for backing by 2 books. :) I really appreciate it. :)God bless you.
Love, Susie :)

SusieGulick wrote 1471 days ago

Dear Charles, I got so excited when I saw that you had backed, "He Loves Me." Thanks so very much. :) Since I have already "backed" & "commented" on your book, I came to your "comment" page to help it advance more. I will also put it on my "watchlist" to hopefully help it move up (everytime someone comments/backs my book, it moves up. Could you please take a moment to back my unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories." I'd be ever so grateful. :)
Love, Susie :)

Telegraph wrote 1475 days ago

Polished charcters and diolouge that exploded onto the page. C W

Su Dan wrote 1475 days ago

no problems with writing here, and the story flows well. For now you are on watchlist.
su dan [seasons]

lisawb wrote 1475 days ago

This has a great premise and complex plot, the first chapter is good, I felt sorry for the gardener when he first caught sight of them, and wasn't sure to help or ring the police. This is such a good read as all the threads of suspense are planted and it is action paced. Well written and compelling.



SusieGulick wrote 1476 days ago

Dear Charles, I love the suspence in your story is a good read because you create interest by having short paragraphs & lots of dialogue, which makes me want to keep reading to find out what's going to happen next. I'm backing/commenting on your book to help it advance. Could you please return the favor by taking a moment to back/comment on my TWO books, "He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not" & the unedited version? "Tell Me True Love Stories." Thanks, Susie :)

Alecia Stone wrote 1477 days ago

Hi Charles,

I already backed the book but have returned to comment. A very convincing pitch. This is a good start; it grabbed my attention and made me want to read on. The characterisation was believable and I think the drive of the story.

It was a compelling read.

Shinzy :)

Euphemus wrote 1477 days ago

Hi Charles, A great start for a book. Intrigue and suspense.
it has graet potential. I will back it.
David (Flawless Murder)
i will be pleased if you will take a look at my book.

bonalibro wrote 1477 days ago


I'm backing your book to speed it along to its inevitable date with the Editor's Desk. This has all the ingredients needed for a thriller, and your style is accomplished and readable.

My book is currently in a very competitive position at 10. I would deeply appreciate it if you would have a look at it.

Tim Chambers
Moonbeam Highway: With Apologies to Miguel de Cervantes.

bonalibro wrote 1477 days ago


I'm backing your book to speed it along to its inevitable date with the Editor's Desk. This has all the ingredients needed for a thriller, and your style is accomplished and readable.

My book is currently in a very competitive position at 10. I would deeply appreciate it if you would have a look at it.

Tim Chambers
Moonbeam Highway: With Apologies to Miguel de Cervantes.

Micki Attridge wrote 1477 days ago

Probably the best pitch I have seen on Authonomy! Great premise for a book and, from what I have read so far, great execution (if you pardon the pun).

RichardBard wrote 1477 days ago

This book is a page-turning winner. The pitch is well-crafted with an excellent hook, and the story that follows doesn't disappoint. But it's the wonderful characterization that makes this story compelling. Travis is an endearing character and his wife Julie plays well off him. The murder scene, with the gardener looking on, is chilling. Well done.

Richard Bard

chuckylivesinme wrote 1478 days ago

This is one of the best things i have read lately. Its a fasinating story line, well thoughtout, v well written !
I would buy ths book!!

Backed 100%
Left Behind

Brian W Caves wrote 1479 days ago

Hi Charles, only managed the first chapter (time pressing as always) and what a terrific start to what is obviously a very well written story. I will come back for more later.

Brian - The Brotherhood.
PS - My very best wishes to your sons who are doing one of the toughest jobs on the planet - keep them safe.

Ransom Heart wrote 1479 days ago

Darn those defense lawyers with hero complexes. "I am the champion of the world." Especially when his wife comes on to him.
The novel is developing from an old formula into a distinctive prism. Keep up the idiosyncrasy. Give me more of Hot-lanta.
Marianne (Saint Paddy and the Sundial)

Linda Lou wrote 1479 days ago

hullo Charles. I am impressed and continued to read. Nice flow, accurate charecters. very good. Killers are just that, killers. Already shelved and backed. If you haven't forgot to take a look at mine, please do. thanks
Linda Lou Long
Southern dis-Comfort

Famlavan wrote 1480 days ago

Defending Evil

The sensory start to this is fantastic (think you only missed gustatory), sign of a good book. You have built very credible characters that drive this story so well. You have created one of those addictive books that are hard to put down.
And the initial signs from the opening, where right!

yasmin esack wrote 1480 days ago

Very thrilling as thrillers should be. Grasping read and mystery abounds in this story. Sure to be a winner..
Backed days ago

The Lord of the Dawn

Andrew Burans wrote 1480 days ago

I love the story line that you have devised - a brilliant lawyer and an angel of death. Your dialogue is crisp and clean and the reader is quickly sucked deep into the book.

Backed with pleasure.

Andrew Burans
The Reluctant Warrior: The Beginning

soutexmex wrote 1480 days ago

Thanks for the SHELVING - you are SHELVED, my friend!

The Obergemau Key
Authonomy's #1 rated commentator

Teric Darken wrote 1481 days ago

Greetings Charles!

Kudos on Defending Evil! Your descriptive terms and vivid imagery injected into the storyline are gritty and superb- the drowning scene with Carlos throwing up the acidic bile like a molten volcano is a perfect example. Travis Knight reminds me- just a touch- of the old Punisher comics: A vigilante of sorts who metes out street justice on the guilty who slide around the law. Brilliantly executed, and wonderful premise! Backed.

Teric Darken

(K - I - L - L FM 100: "Music to Die For!")

gillyflower wrote 1481 days ago

This is a fast paced thriller with a pretty unusual and original plot which grabbed my attention. Travis and Julie are a great couple, with lots of interesting interaction which brings them both to life. The scene with the gardener, Carlos, watching the murder is chilling and gripping, and forces us to read on. I thought it was an excellent, up-to-date idea to have him take photos on his cell phone, as well as using it to call for help. Your book moves forward quickly, drawing us in, making us eager to read more. Your writing is smooth and professional. Backed.
Gerry McCullough,
Belfast Girls.

Melcom wrote 1481 days ago

Read the first two chapters because of time restraints, but what I did read was tension filled and reall page turning quality.

Great characterisation and your premise appears to be a winner.

Nice clean, fluid writing too.

Happily shelved


DKTD1 wrote 1482 days ago

I like this. I see dialogue addressed below, so I'll leave that alone, but you've got the makings of a great story here.

Demons and Other Inconveniences

John Booth wrote 1483 days ago

Hi Charles,
Interesting story and well written - shelved.

I read the first three chapters and they read pretty well to me. I was a little concerned about the dialogue and would recommend you read the story out loud and check that it's what people would actually say.

My big concern was with the pitch. If a couple of clients on murder charges had been murdered themselves I'm pretty sure that lawyer wouldn't have any clients left. The pitch suggests that all Travis's clients are idiots. You may have a totally reasonable logic for this happening but it doesn't come across in the pitch. My suggestion would be to say far less in the pitch. It's not supposed to be a synopsis, its supposed to get people to read the book.


John Booth

Suzannah Burke wrote 1483 days ago

Hi and welcome, you have crafted an tense thriller here, and the air of impending death as the "Archangel' stalks Travis is very well done.

The first chapter is fast paced and perfect length.

The second chapter draws out a little bit too long IMO..the drinking and scene with his wife could I think be carried out with more snappy, fast, dialogue; rather than long periods of narrative. So--yes, you need to establish the conflict between Travis and his wife, and her apparent lack of support for Travis at a difficult time, perhaps this could be done with more movement to pick up the pace..instead of having Travis describe his wife as a door slammer...have her actually storming off and slamming the door.

The insights into Travis are good..defending the underdog when still in school, his climb up from the bottom feeders to his current position... thats well handled, perhaps the narrative describing things like his office decore, and fishing trip could be shortened a little keep the pace tight.

I am delighted to have backed this work, and you have done a fine job of plotting. As with any comment on the site please disregard or utilize the suggestion as you see fit. This is your baby.
Suzannah Burke
Dudes Down Under

Burgio wrote 1483 days ago

I often wonder what would happen if someone grew angry because a defense lawyer managed to keep so many people out of jail - and this author must have had a similar thought because here's a story about that. You've added an overall ominous tone to this. Along with good characters, it makes this a good read. Burgio (Grain of Salt).

Charles Shea wrote 1483 days ago

Thanks for the 411 on "Backed" Virginia!

Charles Shea

Lol! Backed means voted for you! And I just did!
Virginia Owen
It Never Rains In Paradise

Charles Shea wrote 1483 days ago


Thanks for the kind words!

I'm new here, so what does "backed" mean?


Wow - you have an incredible imagination and the talent for putting it into words! BACKED with pleasure!

The Cheech Room

lizjrnm wrote 1483 days ago

Wow - you have an incredible imagination and the talent for putting it into words! BACKED with pleasure!

The Cheech Room