Author: Joseph Hayes
ISBN: 9780984387946
Publisher: Synergy Books

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Actors create an illusion each time they recreate a plot, script or play. The stage is perfectly set, the camera is filming, the setting is properly arranged and the program or movie begins. Lawyers and politicians are great actors too. Lawyers prepare their opening statements, gather their evidence and face the jury hoping to convince them to find in favor of their client. Danny Moran and Blair Van Howe won a huge victory in court for their client and decided to celebrate. Danny Moran was Blair’s best friend. A recovering alcoholic hoping to remain sober and not succumb to it ever again. But, Danny Moran could not resist one night of total celebration and the end result of his indulgence with alcohol proved deadly not only for one man and his family, but for Danny too. Danny’s words and Blair’s charisma made them a dynamite team until fate stepped in and dealt Danny a dirty hand.

Danny Moran got stoned drunk and could not drive home. As a matter of fact he would never drive when drunk and his best friend knew it. Taking the keys to Danny’s brand new Porsche, Blair Van Howe was driving them home when the unthinkable happened. Blair was basking in his own light and took the final turn before Danny’s house too fast causing a fatal accident. Terry McGrath wanted to surprise his wife for her 40th birthday along with this daughter Ashley. He never did. Blair Van Howe reset the stage with different props, characters perfectly placed and the events rewritten to accommodate his new script.

Blair Van Howe would not take blame for the accident. It would ruin his political aspirations and that would displease both his devious wife and her corrupt father. Great acting skills and pretending to help his friend, Blair’s charade continued as Danny’s life unraveled as I review this debut novel by Joseph Hayes, When No One Is Watching.

Although Blair appeared to be visibly shaken by the accident his prime concern centered on his political goals and desires. After rearranging the scene, getting Danny out of jail. Blair
is successful in winning his political office at the expense of his best friend. But, secrets are not always safe and one police detective, Victor Slazak who is investigating the case, will move heaven and earth to uncover the truth behind the accident.

This is where the story takes a different turn. As Danny’s life takes a downward spiral, Blair’s begins to soar. Leaving his friendship with Danny behind, Blair becomes everyone’s perfect candidate for the next President as a man of integrity, insight and ethics.

Danny embarks on another journey to rework, revamp and change his life. Alone, disbarred, jailed, divorced and feelings of guilt, plague him. Danny does not give up and begins on the road to forgiveness, healing and caring for others as he becomes involved in AA. The feelings of remorse and guilt thinking he killed Terry McGrath haunt him.

Blair Van Howe has high aspirations. Hoping to be the next president of the United States he enlisted the help of his power hungry wife, father-in-law and the former President. Running his campaign on honesty, ethics and integrity you wonder how he could look himself in the mirror or face his constituents. His true persona and newly created façade were so perfect that no one saw through him or those around him.

As the actors resume their roles and Danny begins teaching law at a college, his daughter reenters his life and his self-esteem rises. Blair Van Howe’s political career soars and his friendship with Danny ends. But there is much more. As the detective delves further into events and learns more about what might have happened, his life is threatened and his career as a cop is over. But, he would not rest until the truth is revealed.

The final plot is written and the actors given new scripts describing how families were destroyed, loyalties and friendships betrayed, deceptions now one man’s way of life, and hard lessons soon to be learned. As the detective finds his answers and comes closer to holding the truth in both hands, unforeseen events and one man’s power over it all will end more than just careers, as the final curtain falls and the players learn their fate.

How can a tragedy turn into something positive? How can one man’s lies destroy so many? What happens will surprise the reader as the twists and turns will surprise you and endear you to both men in different ways. An ending that will bring tears to your eyes and a debut novel that brings to light how important support groups, AA, loyalty, family and friends are, this is a definite must read for everyone. One man’s daughter who never gave up on her father as we take the journey along with Danny, Allie and the members of AA who Danny helped survive, When No One Was Watching.

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