Yes folks it’s finally arrived – the Alex Sedaka thriller that you’ve all been waiting for – and it promises to be the legal thriller of the year!

SWITZERLAND – the Jungfrau Region: A wealthy young man dies in a skiing accident.

SAN FRANCISCO: A few months later, two homeless men stagger into a bar. One of them leaves his friend there, but minutes later the friend is stabbed by another homeless man: George Stone.

Arrested at the scene and charged with murder with special circumstances, Stone asks for Alex Sedaka to represent him. However, it soon becomes apparent that this is anything but a straightforward case of violence between homeless people. After all, how many homeless people have $2000 on them. And why would a homeless killer leave such a large sum on his victim? Also… why is the British Prime Minister taking such an interest in the murder of a homeless “John Doe” over five thousand miles away?

But when Homeland Security becomes involved and an attempt is made on the accused man’s life, both Alex and the DA realize that matters are running out of control. And as powerful forces up the ante, Alex also has to face the fact that his client isn’t the only one in danger.

You can buy Hello darkness, my old friend (an Alex Sedaka thriller) from Outside the UK, it is available from





The launching of Mercy in America has been a huge success with some 20,000 copies downloaded in six weeks.

It’s also been getting some good reviews – along with some bad ones. One person gave it one star whilst admitting that he hadn’t read it. Another gave it a five star review before she had finished it. But that is different. She at least was in the process of reading it. The other one was antagonized by the fact that he thought the preceding seven reviews were fake. One wonders what he made of the five five-star reviews that followed in short order, several from verified purchases?

But that’s a burden we writer’s have to bear.

Anyway, it seems to have made a bit of an impact and quite a few readers have bought the second Alex Sedaka book No Way Out.

Now I’m hard at work on the third in the series.

Cover B


The Kindle edition of Mercy is now available in the USA. And for two days – Wednesday 29th February and Thursday the 1st of March – it is available absolutely FREE!!!!

So click on the link and get it while you can and review it and tell all your friends what you think about it!

Oh, and while you’re here, let me know which of these two covers is better.


David Kessler


The prices of the Kindle editions of Mercy and No Way Out have been reduced to £0.99 – making them some of the most attractive bargains for summer reading. You can get to them by clicking on the links above. But they will only be held at this price for one month. In September they will go up to £1.99 – still a bargain, but why wait?

Just a brief recap on what they are about. Mercy introduces the lawyer Alex Sedaka, and his faithful sidekick Juanita, in a race against time to save a client on Death Row who is due to be executed in fifteen hours time! No Way Out has Alex pulling all the stops to defend a black man on a rape charge in a racially sensitive case in which nothing is quite as it seems.



“This will have you on the edge of your seat”


Readers will be interested to know that Mercy was not my original choice of title for my first book in the Alex Sedaka series, or indeed my choice at all.  I originally wanted to call it You think you know me pretty well.  Contra to  popular belief, I think that long titles do sell books, precisely because they are so memorable. Think The Curious Incident with the Dog in the Nighttime or The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society or indeed – my own personal favourite: And to my Nephew Albert, I Leave the Island What I won off Fatty Hagan in a Poker Game .

However, my publisher’s disagreed, and on this matter (like many others) they have the final say.  That may not be the case for writers like J K Rowling or Dan Brown, but it is for mid-list writers like me.  So I suggested Missing Evidence, a pun on the fact that (a) a person was missing and (b) certain evidence was overlooked – hence they were “missing” the evidence that was before their eyes.

However, my publishers didn’t like this either.  They decided after much discussion that because the book begins with the governor of California (no, not Arnold Schwarzenegger) offering clemency to a man on Death Row, they were going to call the book Mercy.  There were seven other books with this title, that I could find – some even in print – but the publishers assured me that this was no problem.  I tried to make it clear to them that I didn’t like the title.  But they assured me that they did, and that it had followed much discussion.

I would have preferred if I had been a party to those discussions, but I wasn’t invited to participate.  And when I was told the decision, it was made clear to me that it was a “done deal” – in other words, further comment by me would be useless.  I don’t know if their decision had anything to do with the fact that the imprint wanted to get it books into the supermarkets, where the majority of the customers are female (I know I am straying into dangerous territory here).  This also led to considerable problems coming up with a suitable cover design – and that’s a story and half!  But it is worthy of note that neither the German nor the Israeli publishers who acquired the rights are going to use the English title.  The German publisher has chosen the name 15 Stunden (which means “15 Hours”) and the Israeli publisher of the Hebrew edition is inclining towards The Race Against Time.

In fairness to the publishers part of their reasoning for rejecting my original title was that it was the first line to a song by Neil Sedaka (get it? Neil Sedaka/Alex Sedaka?).  Indeed, I was hoping to use the song (The Other Side of Me) at the beginning of the movie – yes I had big dreams in those days.  The idea was that the movie would end with another Neil Sedaka song: the poignant Our Last Song Together.  The second book was going to be called by the first line of Don McLean’s The Pride Parade and the third was going to be called by the first line of Simon and Garfunkel’s Sounds of Silence – to use the original title that us pedantic oldies persist in using.

Anyway, the publishers said that because I wanted to use first lines of songs as titles rather than the song titles themselves, it might be problematical from a copyright point of view.  The law is that titles are not copyright, but the songs themselves are.  And so using a line from a song as a book title might be a copyright violation.  I am not sure that they are right, but it was clear that they were determined.

They decided that instead they wanted to use terse, sharp one-word titles.  So quickly, albeit reluctantly, adapting to their idea, I suggested that we call the second book Violation or Guilty or Accused.  They rejected the first two, but very nearly  went with Accused,  However, when they discovered that a book by Mark Gimenez with the same title (and a remarkably similar cover design) was due to be published three months before mine, they decided to change the title as well as the cover design.

They decided to call it No Way Out.  So much for one word titles!