|The lives of three people collide over mass murder at a Kansas City residence that Special Agent Jack Davis has carefully staked out for weeks. Kate Scranton, whose job is spotting lies for high-priced courtroom lawyers, is convinced that mild-mannered Latrell Kelly knows something about the crime. But Latrell is hiding far more than Kate can guess. And with Jack half-blinded by an imploding personal life, and someone on his own side leaking crucial information, they're headed straight for the ultimate danger zone—where truth lies at the heart of betrayal.
"Well, at least in this section I get to write about a Kansas City fellow who got himself published by a New York press. Goldman has done well, producing several suspense books over the last few years that have gotten good notices. This one is no exception. Publishers Weekly has praised the "surefooted plotting." A KC drug dealer is murdered, and the FBI agent trying to deal with the case is dealing with a physical malady of his own. Here's why Kansas City mystery lovers should put Shakedown on their nightstands: Goldman, a "nuthin' fancy" kind of writer, tells a story at a breakneck pace—but better yet, you can trust him to get our geographical details right: "Quindaro, a rundown quadrant in northeast Kansas City, Kansas." Or his observation that KCK, despite its history as "the disrespected punch line to jokes told by people living south in Johnson County," has "turned the corner" with its NASCAR track and attendant development." —Kansas City Star, Editor's Choice of Spring Books
"A killer identified via a fleeting facial expression and behavioral cues turns a middle-aged FBI agent dealing with a disruptive disability into an unexpected hero in Goldman's latest terrific thriller (after Deadlocked). After the brutal murder of Marcellus Pearson, a notorious Kansas City drug dealer, the collateral damage includes his cronies; his young son, Jalise; Jalise's mother (and Pearson's girlfriend); and an older woman who witnesses the killer fleeing the crime scene. The shooter is Pearson's mild-mannered neighbor, Latrell Kelly, who harbors more than a few dark secrets behind his soft-spoken ways. FBI Special Agent Jack Davis understands secrets—he has seizures he's been able to hide until the Pearson crime scene makes him erupt into visible tremors. Davis must take medical leave, but conducts a private investigation that connects to another chilling puzzler involving his missing daughter, Wendy. Is her significant other, Colby Hudson, an undercover and possibly corrupt FBI agent, responsible? Davis's new girlfriend, jury consultant Kate Scranton, helps him deal with both cases by teaching him how to "read" faces using the Facial Action Coding System. Goldman's surefooted plotting and Davis's courage under fire make this a fascinating, compelling read." —Publishers Weekly
"Shakedown is a really fine novel. Joel Goldman has got it locked and loaded and full of the blood of character and the gritty details that make up the truth. Page for page, I loved it." —Michael Connelly
"Shakedown is a chillingly realistic crime novel— it's fast-paced, smartly plotted, and a gripping read to the very last page. Joel Goldman explores—with an insider's eye—a dark tale of murder and betrayal." —Linda Fairstein
"Joel Goldman is the real deal." —John T. Lescroart