Hide and Be by Gary L. Stuart – Spotlight and Giveaway

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will be awarding a print copy of Hide and Be and its immediate sequel, My Brother, Myself to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Twin brothers Arthur and Martin suffered horrible abuse as children, forcing them to survive by seamlessly assuming each other’s identities. Living each other’s lives provides protection from the trauma of their past. But when tragedy strikes, one of the brothers plummets into a dissociative crisis that leads him down a murderous path.

As the body count rises, two cases end up in the courtroom, where judges, lawyers, and psychiatrists try to piece together which twin is the suspect and which is the victim. Everyone in the courtroom strives to bring the victims to justice–but how can justice be served when no one is sure who the defendant truly is?

Enjoy an Excerpt

United States Magistrate Judge Eli Hightower’s entrance into the courtroom had instantly hushed the small group of lawyers huddled near the podium. A plain but hardly simple man, he always walked to his bench without the usual pomp attached to the comings and goings of judges. As he climbed the single step up to the clerk’s platform and then the second step up onto the judge’s bench, everyone in the room could hear him wheeze. At two-hundred and fifty-five pounds, Judge Hightower was a force to reckon with, both physically and intellectually. His long-standing battle with cigars accounted for the wheeze, and his fondness for Snickers bars and A&W Root Beer mocked his daily promise to lose weight.

“Take your seats, please,” he said in a voice that softened the scowl on his face. “I thought, with sixteen years under my belt, or should I say under my robe, I’d heard it all. But the docket calendar says we’re here to conduct an identity hearing. Whose identity is at question here? And better yet, why is there nothing in my bench book that lends the slightest clue as to what an identity hearing is? My clerk tells me that this is a joint request by the government and the defendant.

“Your Honor, we are here because we are not in agreement about the identity of the defendant. If I might, Judge, maybe I could summarize the situation. I represent the government in its case against Martin Cheshire on the arson murder of his brother, Arthur Cheshire. Martin Cheshire was initially arrested by the FBI in Portland, Maine, seven weeks ago on an embezzlement charge. His statement in that case led the FBI to open a second investigation. The defendant denied he was Martin Cheshire. He told them he was Arthur Cheshire, Martin’s twin brother. But Arthur Cheshire died, as we contend, in an arson fire in Mexico, fifty-six miles from here eight weeks ago. The FBI believes that Martin Cheshire killed his brother, Arthur, to cover up the embezzlement in Maine. But before we can proceed with an indictment, Mr. Kemper and I agreed that the confusion and doubt about exactly who the defendant is warrants this court’s intervention. We’ve discussed it in chambers with Chief Judge Sharp, to whom this case is assigned. He sent us to you. We need this court to order a psychiatric evaluation to establish the actual identity of the defendant. That’s why we agreed with the defense that the first person you should hear from in this case is Dr. Lisbeth Socorro.”

About the Author I am a retiring lawyer, a working author, and a preserving blogger. I was a full-time trial lawyer for thirty-two years in a large Phoenix firm. I was a part-time law professor for the last twenty-nine years. As of summer, 2023, I am writing, publishing, and blogging full time. My first book was a textbook published by the Arizona State Bar Association. My first novel was published by the University of New Mexico Press. I’ve written ten novels and eight nonfiction titles as of July 2023.

From the day I entered law school, I’ve been reading cases, statutory law and writing about legal conundrums and flaws in our criminal and civil justice systems. I’ve always read novels, nonfiction, and historical fiction by great authors who were never corrupted by the staid habits of trial lawyers. I write long-form, interspersed with the occasional blog, op-ed, or essay. One of the unexpected benefits of reading the law is learning how to write about it. Somewhere along the trajectory from a baby lawyer to a senior one, I became intoxicated with blending nonfiction with fiction in books, rather than legal documents. After spending thirty years in courtrooms trying cases, I started writing about them. That led to writing novels while borrowing from famous historical settings and lesser-known characters. My courtroom days were chock full of ideas, notions, and hopes about ultimately becoming an author. I organized and memorized critical information for judges, juries, and clients. Now I use that experience to write vivid fiction and immersive nonfiction. I moved away from trial practice to teaching law students how to use creative writing techniques to tell their client’s stories, in short form.

F. Scott Fitzgerald said, “All good writing is swimming under water and holding your breath.” The same could be said of my transition from trying cases to writing crime fiction. I’ve been holding my breath for twenty years waiting for galley proofs and book reviews. Anais Nin spoke for all of us when she said, “We write to taste life twice.”

My first novel, The Gallup 14, won a coveted starred review from Publishers Weekly. I won a Spur Award from Western Writers of America in 2004 for my first nonfiction book (“Miranda, The Story of America’s Right to Remain Silent”). I won the 2010 Arizona Book of the Year Award, The Glyph Award, and a Southwest Publishing Top Twenty award in 2010, for “Innocent Until Interrogated—The Story of the Buddhist Temple Massacre.” My third nonfiction title (“Anatomy of a Confession—The Debra Milke Case”) was highly acclaimed. My nonfiction title “CALL HIM MAC—Ernest W. McFarland—The Arizona Years” was widely and favorably reviewed. My latest nonfiction crime book, “Nobody Did Anything Wrong But Me, was published by Twelve Tables Press, one of America’s most distinguished publisher of law books about important legal issues. No New York Times bestsellers, yet.

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  1. Thank you so much for featuring HIDE AND BE today!

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