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Sex, drugs and rock and roll. What more does a novel need?

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Book By Author:  Gerard Shirar

 When the Rules Don't Apply
 While growing up together in a Boston neighborhood, Timmy Flaherty and Donny Faye are as different as night and day, Timmy lives by the rules while Donny refuses to accept them. They are draw together later in life, when Donny is charged with multiple murder and Timmy, now a lawyer, is cajoled into defending him. But what no one knows is that the case is about to take a surprising turn that will change everything.
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Top thriller of the year - an absolute winner!


This novel needs to be on the New York Times Best Sellers list. When Rules Don’t Apply, by Gerard Shirar, is one of the best thrillers I have read in a long time. Shirar introduces the reader to childhood friends, Timothy Flaherty and Donny Faye through the eyes of Timothy. The pair grows up in Boston. Timothy is a regular kid but Donny is known as a “bad apple”. After high school they go separate ways but they both end up in Vietnam in the ‘60’s. Timothy survives Vietnam and leaves with his life and a law degree. For Donny, life’s troubles start multiplying when he is stationed near the East German border. What transpires next for the first half of the novel is a journey of epic proportions and tells the tale of the next three decades of Donny’s exploits. This is where Shirar, the author, excels. He pulls the reader into the mind of a murderer. He has a way of articulating the murderer’s thought processes, judgements, ranting and ravings and lucid thoughts of justification for every action. I just had to keep flipping the pages.

I was lucky enough to review his first novel, The Girl Called Princess Charlotte, which I recommend you also read. He was talented writer then, but I am pleased that he is now a seasoned pro. He could go toe to toe with many of the popular thriller writers out there.

In the last half of the novel, Timothy is contacted by Donny a few decades later to defend him in a capital murder case that is very weak. A game of cat and mouse begins between the two because Timothy is being led down the rabbit hole of deception with his unrelenting desire to believe in his childhood friend. The question of who will survive the power struggle had me page-turning right to the end. When Rules Don’t Apply is a fantastic read and it would also be an entertaining movie, hint, hint. I am looking forward to the next one!


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Author:  Gerard Shirar