Tim Stutler. Dead Hand Control (2003) 311 pp.
After a turbulent childhood, Russell White vows to control his own destiny—and build a legacy. The willful working-class youth enters a top law school, and then joins a preeminent California firm. His life seems perfect. But the same desires and drive that bred White’s success also conspire to destroy him. His aggressive style spawns dangers to his home. As White’s world spirals out of his control, he becomes consumed with safeguarding his young family. The full measure of his obsession emerges when a tragedy robs his power to personally continue protecting it. Then foes mysteriously start disappearing and even dying. White’s plan to control his family’s future appears successful—until a disastrous misstep imperils his son’s life. No amount of meticulous planning can help; only a miracle will save the boy.
Setting: Berkeley; San Diego