Former lawyer’s book brings mystery to Lake George

Lawyers and mystery fans have a few things in common.

“As a mystery reader, you are seeing if you can match minds with the writer and find out what he is trying to do and unravel the story. When I worked as a trial lawyer, it was the same thing. You listen to people tell stories and you try to make sense out of it,” said Thomas G. Kane.

Kane, a former trial lawyer who now restricts his law practice to acting as a mediator, recently published his first novel, “Desperate Hours: A Lake George Mystery” as an experiment to try his hand at a new venture.

“This is something I have always wanted to do, but I didn’t tell anyone I was working on it. While I was writing and my wife would come

into the room, I would shrink the page immediately. I wasn’t even sure I was going to finish it,” said Kane, who lives in Florida but also spends time in the Adirondacks.

In the novel, Kane’s protagonist Matt O’Malley awakens in his tent on Bass Island in Lake George to the sounds of moaning. After rescuing a woman who has nearly drowned, O’Malley finds himself caught in 14 hours of turmoil as he uncovers a terrorist plot scheduled for a July Fourth celebration on the lake.

“I had the beginning in mind, and I had a concept of how I wanted the book to wind up. I knew I wanted to set most of the action on the lake,” Kane said.

The author chose the setting because he felt the vacation destination still maintained a classic American spirit.

“It’s the same today as it was 30 years ago when I first started going to Lake George,” he said. “I just thought that the beauty and the peacefulness of the place served as a perfect counterpoint to the potential for violence in our world and how random it can be.”

Kane wanted the work of fiction to make people think a little more about national security.

“Part of my idea of the book is that it’s meant to be a little bit of an alert to people. We can protect the airports all we want, but there are so many soft targets – uniquely American places families come,” he said.

Since completing the first novel and getting positive comments from readers, the author is thinking about a follow-up adventure for O’Malley.

“I really hope that the character is intriguing to people and they would enjoy reading him,” he said. “I think there will be another trip to Lake George in the future for Matt. I am trying to work through some plot ideas right now.”

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Posted in Lifestyles on Friday, August 12, 2011 7:39 pm