Meet Robert Bailey author of the McMurtrie & Drake Legal Thriller series
His last challenge: live long enough to save the lives of those he loves.
Cold-blooded killer JimBone Wheeler blames Tom McMurtrie for putting him on death row. He once vowed that he’d bring “a reckoning” on Tom and everyone the southern lawyer holds dear. When Wheeler escapes from prison, he aims to fulfill his promise. Victim by victim, he’s getting closer to his ultimate target. But for Tom, who’s dying of cancer, the role of savior and protector is a struggle that is becoming more desperate by the hour.
As the body count mounts, Tom, his partner, Rick Drake, and his best friend, Bocephus Haynes, brace for a confrontation like nothing they have ever faced before. This battle will be waged not in a courthouse but on the streets and fields of north Alabama. With all those he loves at risk, Tom must save his family, his friends, and his legacy from a killer whose hunger for retribution knows no bounds.
Now, as time ticks down and fate and vengeance close in, who will survive Wheeler’s final reckoning?
What was your creative process when you wrote Tom McMurtrie?
ANSWER: I was daydreaming in a law school class one day about what would happen if my professor actually had to try a case. It was very much a smart aleck idea at the time, but it stuck with me. Soon, I was imagining this legendary professor who would return to the courtroom with a former student and I had the situation that would form the basis for The Professor.
What type of law did he teach in book one, The Professor?
What’s the relationship like between Tom McMurtrie and Rick Drake?
ANSWER: Tom was Rick’s Evidence professor and trial team coach when Rick was in law school. During a trial team competition, Rick and Tom got into an altercation, and the publicity from this incident cost Rick a job with a prestigious law firm and forced him to hang a shingle and become a solo practitioner. In The Professor, Tom refers a longtime friend, whose family has been killed in a tragic trucking collision in Henshaw, Alabama, to Rick for representation. He makes the referral because Rick is from Henshaw but also in the hopes that the case would give Rick’s career a boost. The two men’s estranged relationship eventually resolves and they team up to take on the trucking company by the end of the story. For the remaining three books, they are partners in the law firm of McMurtrie & Drake.
Who is Bocephus Haynes and how did he meet Tom?
ANSWER: Bo is also a former student of Tom’s as well as being Tom’s best friend. Bo is an African-American attorney practicing in Pulaski, Tennessee. Bo met Tom after an injury derailed his football career during college. After being mentored by Tom, Bo decided to go to law school and went on to become one of the finest trial lawyers in the state of Tennessee.
In The Last Trial, what’s the story behind Tom and his old nemesis Jack Willistone?
ANSWER: Jack Willistone was the ruthless trucking tycoon from The Professor, who is arrested at the end of the story. Jack makes a brief cameo in book two, Between Black and White, and is murdered at the beginning of The Last Trial. The person accused of the crime, Wilma Newton, is represented by Tom in the ensuing murder trial after Wilma’s oldest daughter begs Tom to take the case.
In The Final Reckoning, who is Jimbone Wheeler?
ANSWER: JimBone Wheeler is a death row inmate who blames his imprisonment on Tom. At the beginning of the story, JimBone escapes from incarceration with the help of a rogue nurse.
What are his motivations in this story?
ANSWER: To bring a reckoning on Tom and everyone Tom holds dear.
What kind of cancer is Tom McMurtrie dealing with in The Final Reckoning?
ANSWER: State IV lung cancer
What is he fighting for in this story?
ANSWER: Tom is literally fighting for his life and the lives of those he loves, as he tries to stop JImBone Wheeler from obtaining his reckoning.
Robert Bailey was born in Huntsville, Alabama, the son of a builder and a schoolteacher. From the time he could walk, he’s loved stories, especially those about Coach Paul “Bear” Bryant and his beloved Alabama Crimson Tide football team.
Robert obtained a Bachelor of Arts in History from Davidson College in North Carolina. Law School at the University of Alabama followed, where Robert made Law Review, competed on the school’s trial team and managed to watch every home football game.
For the past thirteen years, he’s been a civil defense trial lawyer in his hometown of Huntsville. He’s married to the incomparable Dixie Bailey and they have two boys and a little girl.
When Robert’s not writing, practicing law or being a parent, he enjoys playing golf, watching Alabama football and coaching his sons’ little league baseball teams.