The Dead Hand – A Rachel Gold Mystery
“Dead hand” is the English translation of the Latin term “mortmain,” which the law dictionary defines as “the influence of the past regarded as controlling the present.” For Rachel Gold, a more accurate term would be “zombies.” In particular, the wealthy zombies who seek to control the living—and especially their families—from the grave through legal documents prepared before they died.
In The Dead Hand, Rachel represents two women—one a widow, one a divorcee—in a pair of nasty zombie lawsuits, the outcome of each of which hinges upon a clause in a dead man’s document. As the trial date approaches in each lawsuit, the threats to Rachel and her two clients begin to escalate. Zombies, as Rachel discovers, are hard to kill, and so are their lawsuits.
“Both cases spring gorgeous plot twists that keep recasting the hapless litigants in new and ever more unflattering roles. Both are ripe with the promise of legal and ethical complications that Kahn (Sheer Gall, 2015, etc.) seizes with unholy glee … A high-water mark in this inventive, ebullient series.” —Kirkus Reviews
About Michael A. Kahn (St. Louis, Missouri Author)
Michael Kahn is a trial lawyer by day and an award-winning author at night. He wrote his first novel, Grave Designs, on a challenge from his wife Margi, who got tired of listening to the same answer whenever she asked him about a book he was reading. "Not bad," he would say, "but I could write a better book than that." "Then write one, honey," she finally said, "or please shut up." So he shut up for a long time, and then he wrote one.
A former elementary school teacher, Mike is the author of The Dead Hand and 9 other Rachel Gold novels; a legal thriller, The Mourning Sexton, under the pen name Michael Baron; and The Sirena Quest (2015), a stand-alone novel that he describes, in Hollywood jargon, as "a Baby Boomer version of 'The Big Chill' meets 'The Maltese Falcon.'" His latest novel, Played!, features, as Booklist wrote, "the same sharp dialogue, wit, and clever plotting his fans have come to expect." He is also the author of numerous short stories, including the three collected in A Handful of Gold.
In addition to his day job as a lawyer, he is an adjunct professor of law at Washington University in St. Louis, where he teaches a class on censorship and free expression. Married to his high school sweetheart, he is the father of five and the grandfather of, so far, five.