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Thanks to everyone who helped place 'Lines of Control' on the Editor's Desk, where it was selected for review by the HarperCollins editors. Your constructive suggestions and backing made all the difference and are very much appreciated.


I am the author of "Lines of Control," a novel of healthcare and murder set in Washington, DC. As a trade publisher, editor and reporter, I have covered health care, including fraud and abuse, for more than a decade.

I have spent considerable time writing fiction, both screenwriting and now a novel. I live in Maryland (U.S.), but spent many years in California, where I was fortunate enough to be invited by the producers of several popular television shows, Star Trek: The Next Generation among them, to pitch ideas. Unfortunately, I did not break through, or I would probably be writing this from my mansion overlooking the Pacific!

A writer never dies, though, and I have now written
my first novel, which is completed.

favourite books

The Alienist by Caleb Carr
The Power Broker by Robert Caro
Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
Trinity by Leon Uris
The Devil in the White City by Erik Larson
The Winds of War / War and Remembrance by Herman Wouk

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my books

Lines of Control

Robert Sperber

Charlotte Westbrook, maverick Inspector General who investigates theft of government money by hospitals, steps outside the bounds of her office to investigate three murders.

Health and Human Services Inspector General Charlotte Westbrook, charged with investigating hospitals suspected of stealing government money, steps outside the bounds of her office to investigate the murders of three medical students on a university campus in this 96,000-word mystery. In doing so, she sets herself up for conflict with the police department and criticism from Congress, the Administration and the press.

Going her own way is nothing new for Charlotte. Ever since she entered public service, she’s had to prove herself against skeptics who think she secured her career because she is the daughter of a former powerful and well-known Senator. But there’s been a price. Her attention to her career has kept her without a significant companion throughout much of her 42 years. Now, she and her gay chief counsel and friend of many years form a modern-day Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson as they deal with a less-than-perfect police department and seek to find the murderer.


The complete book, the first in a series of Charlotte Westbrook healthcare murder mysteries, is uploaded.

Copyright Ⓒ 2009 Robert Sperber


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my comments


I wrote 1594 days ago

Erotic as hell and entertaining as all get-out. You capture the elation of a young woman so over-the-top entranced in love and lust that the reader just wants to go along with her. This takes real talent for character and for interpersonal action. Well done. Shelved. view book

I wrote 1594 days ago

The idea of talking cats who contain great wisdom and spirituallity goes back to the ancient Egyptians (and I suggest you check out authonomist Maria Luisa Lang's book, "The Pharoah's Cat," for a humorous and somewhat poignant take on this. Your book is different, more like an American take on cat... view book

I wrote 1594 days ago

This is different. That's the first thing I like. Second, your opening speaks of the plight of women in society, but rather than some strident screed, you provide a very entertaing, easy-to-go-down narrative. Third, you have established memorable characters and dialogue. Off to a good start here... view book

I wrote 1602 days ago

What sets this apart from other zombie tales are two things: 1) the sense of humor; and 2) Fred's awareness of who he is and who he was. So his little observations as he makes his way up the Turnpike are both funny and poignant. Truth to tell, zombie tales have never exactly been my thing, but t... view book

I wrote 1602 days ago

I just love your dialogue! It is so quirky, yet true to each situation and character. And the portrait you use it to paint is just perfect for little children, not to mention their parents. Each character has a distinct personalitty and sometimes quirks to match. Well done. Shelved. view book

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