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Robert Lane Books In Order

Publication Order of Jake Travis Books

The Second Letter (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Cooler Than Blood (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Cardinal's Sin (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Gail Force (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Robert Lane is American author of suspense, mystery and crime novels famously known as the author of Jack Travis novels. His literary crime novels layer packed drama, action, timeless themes, compelling characters, and tropical setting. Lane’s debut novel, The Second Letter received positive acclaim globally winning a Gold Medal in Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA) and Benjamin Franklin Award for the best new voice in fiction. Robert Lane holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Maryville College, where he majored in English and was an editor of the university paper. He is a resident of West Coast Florida.

The Second Letter

The Second Letter is the debut novel in Jake Travis series by Robert Lane. The story won 2015 Benjamin Franklin Award and a Gold Medal winner of the Independent Book Publishers Association.

The story kicks off in the early 1960’s in the wake of the Bay of Pigs fiasco and the start or possibly the continuation of American efforts in helping other countries adopt their American model of democracy. Lane introduces readers to a lady whose her deceased husband was a secret service agent even before such men existed, and in particular this day it was 101 days since her husband’s (Jim) death. His good friend and partner show up at the home of the widow near Boca Ciega Bay. Dorothy’s young gardener Angelo not only cares about the landscape but is also very protective of Dorothy.

Ted Sullivan pays Dorothy a brief visit before requesting her to keep a letter as safe as he worries that something bad might happen to it and believes that it should be preserved. He informs her that she can read the letter if she wants, but Dorothy does not wish to. After Ted leaves, both Angelo and Dorothy think of a safe place to hide the letter- outside in a hole that Angelo had been trying to figure out what to do with.

Fast forward fifty years later; we meet Jake Travis living a double life in Key West. His disguise is that of a repossessor of automobiles while in reality, he is a contract worker working for a government agency. His next mission is to retrieve a letter that has just surfaced and is being used by a thief known as Rayden Escobar to blackmail the IRS into overlooking his debt of over $7 million. Additionally, Dorothy’s house is now a museum, and an outside corner of the museum has been vandalized, and Jake’s superior thinks that is where the letter came from and therefore he wants it back. There are several ways that Jake can go about this, and there are people in his life and also his work who help him. His girlfriend is in the witness protection program. Jake and his partner Garrett try to blackmail Escobar so that he can turn the letter over- but their blackmail leads them to find more than they expected.

The first book in the series is a beautiful read and brilliant series debut novel. Robert Lane’s characters are witty, sharp and have a depth that many other writers can or don’t often give them. The main character in the novel is Travis, a tortured soul. Throughout the story, we get a glimpse into his past through his actions and the comments he makes. He is the kind of man who trends softly on alcohol as if it must have been a challenge for him at one point in life. Then there is Escobar the type of character you will love to hate. He is a man with an unusual soft side that shows up when it is least expected. There is a fantastic tie-in to the 60’s with Escobar’s choice of music. It is like a soundtrack to the novel, constantly reminding the readers where the narrative took off and where it will circle back to end.
Robert Lane also used vivid descriptions and dialogs beautifully. Sarcasm and humor go hand in hand when Travis speaks, and this often gets him into some does trouble but he does not mind.

Cooler Than Blood

In the second novel in Jake Travis series, we again meet Jake who uses his undercover training skills to help those who need his services as a private investigator. He is the type of man who does not think twice when it is about crossing the line but when only necessary. His humor is sharper than the knife he conceals, and he is never afraid to use either as well. When he receives a call from Susan Blake, he ignores it at first not wanting to create any form of misunderstandings with his new girlfriend, Kathleen until when he discovers that Susan’s niece is missing.

Jenny Spencer, who’s just completed her high school, studies left home without informing her step-father and her mother. She moved in with her aunt based in Florida. Deserting her home before what she termed as bad could get worse; Jenny felt safe staying with her aunt, Susan. Unfortunately, a brutal encounter with a man on an isolated beach quickly turned her world upside down once more and then she mysteriously vanished.

The cops are not concerned with the disappearance, claiming that if she ran away once, then why worry when she runs away for a second time? Apparently, this is Jake’s first response as well until he discovers that Jenny left her mobile phone behind. Not a single teen would leave his or her mobile phone for a few hours much less ran away from home without it. Hesitantly Jake agrees to search for Jenny. He phones his partner, Garrett to help him with the cases as well as a few friends.

Jenny’s trail is not an easy one to follow as it appears as if she is one step ahead of them. However, the big question is that, who actually has her? Could it be a mobster with ties to Chicago or a crazy drug dealing family from Ohio? Alternatively, could it be someone from her past or maybe she ran away like she did before? All in all, Jake Travis needs to find her before she soon outlives her usefulness.

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