Wednesday, November 6, 2019


Back Story: JUSTICE DELAYED IS JUSTICE DENIED by Preston Howard #backstory

Back Story: Justice Delayed is Justice Denied
by Preston Howard

November 8, 2016 was the date that made me first think about our book, the day when Donald Trump was elected. After the topsy turvy Republican campaign and his election, I knew that he was fodder for a book; I just didn’t realize how much of a target he would be for insult and comical relief. Then, I thought it might be a clever idea to juxtapose the possibility of assassinating the president or instead, three corrupt Austin TX police detectives who my alter ego, Preston Howard, saved from a capital murder charge ten years before.

The use of a red herring seemed to work well in the development of the plot. This story is my first stab into a noir crime thriller…a very different writing experience than my first autobiographical fiction novel, The Sheltering Palms/

I am, of course, a little nervous about my several references to the possible assassination of the president and a visit from the Secret Service; they might haul me down to their office for an interrogation. Will they water board me? Actually, the Secret Service showed up in my book, a comical scene. If the grey men form the Deep State do show up for a visit, maybe it would sell more books!

In this new book, I needed a counterpoint, someone who could play off the story and Preston Howard, and thus provide a different perspective of his many issues: retirement, divorce, obsession with murder, alcoholism, and a love interest. I spoke with my daughter Anne Howard, she bought into the idea, and became my co-author. Anne also becomes embroiled in Preston’s murder plot, along with two other people.

The issues of alcohol addiction, and the exciting criminal trial of the three police detectives required the assistance of people who specialized in alcoholism, criminal law, and police investigations (the latter two related to the trial of the three corrupt detectives). My good friends Susan Gay, lawyer Greg Zaney, and detective Anthony Nelson came through like champs, filling me in on information about which I was sadly deficient.

In my first novel----The Sheltering Palms-----there was no female love interest because it didn’t fit the storyline. In the Justice Delayed book, it melded well with the plot. The lady’s name is George; and I actually met a woman called George at my local gym, just like in the book. I felt George would spice up the plot a bit, and she did for sure. As far as the prototype for her, I actually met her, just like in the book, at a gym. I used her physical features as the construct for her character, and then added a whole lot of pizazz to her personality, none of which applies to her…I think. Fortunately, the real George enjoyed the book and still speaks to me.

After finishing my second novel, I have truly gotten the bug to continue sitting on my laptop and cranking out more stories. What a pleasure to dream up ideas and put them into words!

meet the author

Preston Howard has retired from his rewarding profession as a labor lawyer, where he represented law enforcement officers not only in Texas but across the country. As a renowned expert, he spoke at meetings and conferences about topical labor law issues not only in the United States, but in other countries as well.  He now lives in Hot Springs, Arkansas, where he spends his time writing novels.
His first book, “The Sheltering Palms,” was highly praised. One reviewer said, “…had me hooked right from the start.” Another person wrote, “…storytelling at its best.”
His latest effort, “Justice Delayed is Justice Denied,” tracks his struggles with retirement: a divorce from his wife, alcoholism, and thoughts of murder either of the president or three corrupt police offices he represented ten years before. As he wrestles with these concerns, he also dips his foot into the dating scene, meeting an attractive senior lady. As in his first novel, Preston Howard’s observations about the human condition are hilarious and on point.

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inside the book

Author: Preston Howard & Anne Howard
Publisher: PHP
Pages: 335
Genre: Noir Crime Thriller

Retired attorney Preston Howard obsesses about the newly elected, bombastic and narcissistic president, and three corrupt Austin police officers whom he represented and saved from capital murder charges and execution ten years before. After his wife divorces him and his drinking reaches gargantuan proportions, Howard’s thoughts turn to murderous impulses as the only way he can stamp out one, or both of his fixations. Howard and his co-author, daughter Anne Howard, tell the story, often with hilarious observations, of compulsion, addiction, love, and in the end, the search for justice.

“I thought Preston Howard’s first book was terrific, but Justice Delayed is Justice Denied is a home run! One of the best books I’ve read in years.” – John P. Davis, Knoxville, Tennessee
“Preston Howard’s writing and insights into politics and the legal system keep getting better and better. Justice Delayed is hilarious and on point!” – Amy Margulies, Austin, Texas

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