Do As I Say: David Sterling


Boys’ night out proves a little too much to handle for special agent Bennett Mills. Sometimes men will overdo and drinking too much will take its toll. Assigned to a security detail to celebrate the reelection of a senator, he falls prey to more than just a hangover and decides he needs a day off. But, this day off would forever haunt him and his guilt would overpower him as he learns from a colleague that a breech in security several malfunctions in the room that was to house the celebration and the festivities moved outdoors. Realizing that the Senator would not be talked out of cancelling the celebration back up security was supposed to be in place but no one saw where the shooter came from until it was too late. Choices we all make them and sometimes they, as Bennett learns about the assassination affect others. Feeling that if he did not call in sick he might have prevented the inevitable he decides to make it his mission to learn the truth about his death. Something does not ring true and the shooter takes his own life and the reasons behind the murder unanswered. The senator definitely had a mind of his own you might state he feels: Do As I Say: because that is how I see life: My Way! David Sterling’s debut novel will definitely blow the reader away from the first page until you find out the hidden truths.


How do you approach the wife of the man who committed the crime? How do you treat her with understanding? Her husband a War Veteran fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan, angry that so many died and he lived and yet he voted for the late Senator Billings. Trying to figure out why he killed him and how he betrayed his trust since he voted for him still remains unsolved. Added in as many men that come home from war he was jobless and had trouble finding work. This is a real issue that the author brings to light early in the novel. Getting a job driving a cab and told that if engaged in conversation with a fare to agree with the passenger’s political views in order to get better tips is quite enlightening to say the least and did prove profitable to Rodney his wife stated. Questioning had to be done with caution as his wife was pregnant and her condition quite fragile. But if you believe in fate or situations orchestrated you will understand that after the funeral and the wake Bennett goes off to see his father and a chance or definitely planned encounter with a police detective ignites more than just his curiosity as he relates a case similar to that of the Senators with circumstances that you cannot ignore. Just why would two vets go off the deep end and kill someone and then take their own lives? Why would their wives say that they were slaves to meds that would either help one of them sleep or the other feel calmer? Ed Lynch a detective on the Phoenix force enlightens him to this case and the similarities are too hard to ignore and a trip to his father would now be more like a working vacation. But, what about what his superior told him?


As Mills and Lynch come together and process the information they both learn from the articles on the net and what research they could find on other deaths, they realize that the two cases are more than just similar and there are others too. Trying to find out more about the deaths of each of the victims tied into the fact that each assailant was a vet returning from war, received an honorable discharge and asked to see a psychiatrist and entered a facility to help. But, just what happened during their stay remains a mystery as according to their research the doctors in charge of each of these men died. But, did they or was it one doctor faking his death in order to move on to take out others. What exactly was this treatment and why were all of the killings linked to prominent politicians or businessmen? What happens when Lynch and Mills start to put the puzzle or dots together where will it lead? Why didn’t Matt Webb, Bennett’s superior continue with the investigation? Was there someone in the department covering it all up and making information disappear? Dan Stone was his friend’s son and the case was personal to Lynch. The Senator was a close friend to Mills and being on his detail and having been close to his daughter made this personal too. Added in is the unsettling feeling that things might have been different if he had not gotten sick. Or was that planned too?


As the cases link together and the two men realize the connections they agree to pool their resources to find out more about who is behind the murders, who the doctor is that is faking his own death and handing out pills to vets and why these pills appear in a zip lock bag in their mailboxes and without any return address. They are just refilled. Added in when they question the wife of the man who was the killer in Lynch’s case that he handled something happens to alert both Ed and Bennett that they are being watched and that their movements are begin monitored. Added in we now meet April Lynch, who because of Bennett’s father, meets Bennett and who knows what will happen next. As Ed is shot and the shooter hit by Bennett’s father a former Chief of Police things start to heat up even more for the two investigators. A twist in the case you won’t expect as his superior enters the hospital, the discussion heats up and the suspect is dead. Security in the hospital was lax as the officer guarding the shooter and the shooter are taken out and a second attempt is made on Ed’s life as Bennett and his boss question the doctor that took care of many of the vets. What he learns is quiet remarkable the skill he uses when questioning surprising and the end result you won’t expect.


But, more deaths occur and one in particular will take its toll on Bennett. Betrayals, lies, deceits and one man who seems to be pulling all of the strings. Why would someone hypnotize vets and make them assassins? Why would someone in the bureau help this person out? Just who else is involved and how many more debts will be repaid by the man who states,” Do As I Say,” common for most giving their subjects post hypnotic suggestions. Throughout the novel we hear Bennett telling most of the story in his own words and we hear the voices of his father, April and some of the other players as they all race the clock to find out who and why so many were being killed and who is next. So, why is April a target?


When information comes to light that the mob might be involved thinks heat up even more, several more bodies are found and the one man who everyone thinks is behind it they think is dead. But, was he burned in the fire or is he a man of many faces and creates his own illusions.


Just who was behind the entire plot and why you won’t believe and just who winds up where you have to read for yourself. As the players all focus on getting the killer and the truth behind the murders comes out more lives are ruined, several surprises you won’t expect and one FBI agent named Bennett Mills what you will definitely want to see more of. Author David Sterling kept this reviewer fixed to the printed page and glued to the plot because I finished the book in less than two hours and cannot wait to see what he has in store for Bennett and maybe some romance with April. The back-stories are great and the minor characters have backbone and the FBI and police working together help to move the plot and the final resolution in hopefully the right direction. Who comes out on top? Will they get their killer? Do AS I SAY! READ IT TO FIND OUT!

Fran Lewis: Reviewer


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