Apr 8 2013 8:30am

Fresh Meat: Untold Damage by Robert K. Lewis

Untold Damage by Robert K. LewisUntold Damage by Robert K. Lewis is a dark mystery debut featuring a drug-addicted former cop (available April 8, 2013).

Mark Mallen is a former undercover cop for the San Francisco Police Department. Now he’s a heroin junkie, estranged from his wife and nine-year-old daughter. He spends his days shooting up, scoring, and making kites for the daughter he never sees.

He woke up with a needle in his arm.

Waking up with the pin still in him was something new. First time, actually. Made him think of how Vodka was the last drink a chronic drunk can take. Because their stomach’s given out from all the abuse heaped on it. Vodka was the last stop before a coffin. The last line in the sand, crossed.

When Oberon Kane, a cop that Mark had worked with in the past, shows up at his place, Mark is instantly ashamed of his appearance and living conditions.

Oberon opened the notebook. It was then he caught a look at the crook of Mallen’s right arm. His gaze then traveled up to Mallen’s face. Like he was seeing him for the first time. Mallen put his left hand over the track marks, trying to hide them, only drawing more attention to them. Oberon glanced around the room again, like it all of a sudden made sense.

Of course, Kane comes bearing bad news. His former friend, a man he’d gone to the Academy with, Eric Russ, has been shot and killed, and he had Mark’s address in his pocket. Mark desperately wants to get to the bottom of what happened to his friend, but his addiction is sure to hold him back. When he attempts to dig a little deeper, he gets arrested, and even if they can only hold him for a day, he’s near panic.

His mind raced. Panic was firmly in place now. The Need was already awake, crying for its needle. He was going away for at least a day. Maybe that’s not such a bad thing, again whispered the quiet voice inside. He found himself not disagreeing with that voice as much as he thought he would. Maybe this was it. Maybe this was the real bottom of the well. Had to admit, his crash-out appeared pretty fucking complete.

When Kane tells him what a great cop he used to be, back in the day, Mark finds his mind wandering back to better days.

Yeah, he’d been good all right. Lots of times better than good. And then he suddenly realized he wanted to be good again. At something. Anything. But he never would be, not if he stayed hooked.

The addiction was a huge chasm, and he needed to get over it to the other side. Could he finally find a way to jump that gulf?

With the help of a new friend, Mark starts down the road to recovery, and his cop instincts are returning, along with sobriety. It’s not going to be smooth sailing, though. There are a few folks from his undercover days that know who he is, and more importantly, what he was, and they’re out for blood. Meanwhile, it turns out that his friend Eric had some secrets of his own, and he won’t be the only one to die.

While Untold Damage is indeed a crime thriller, at its core is the story of a man desperately trying to get clean and regain not only his dignity, but his sense of place in the world. The author effectively paints a portrait of a man in crisis, who must use every bit of strength he has to dig himself out of the hole that he’s been in for the last four years. Untold Damage is an interesting crime debut, but it’s the story of Mark’s redemption that reeled me in.

This Sweepstakes has ended. Check out current opportunites at our Sweepstakes feature page.

To enter for a chance to win one of two trade paperback copies of Untold Damage by Robert K. Lewis, make sure you’re logged in as a registered member of the site, and then simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. A purchase does not improve your chances of winning. Sweepstakes open to legal residents of fifty (50) United States and the District of Columbia, who are 18 or older. To enter, fill out entry at beginning at 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) April 8, 2013. Sweepstakes ends at 9:29 a.m. ET on April 15, 2013 (the “Promotion Period”). Void outside of the 50 US and DC and where prohibited by law. Please see full details and official rules at Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010

See coverage of more new releases in our Fresh Meat series.

Kristin Centorcelli reviews books at, loves a good mystery, and is a huge fan of boxed wine. You can also follow her at @mybookishways.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
2. Jean Oram
Great overview. Now I'm extra eager to get my preordered copy!!! Come on Canada Post!!
5. kamandi
Sounds like a good read.
I'm interested in reading this.
Steven Wilber
7. dragonreader
This looks like a good book. Can't ait to check it out.
Barbara Bibel
9. bbibel
Sounds interesting-a very complex character.
Bob Alexander
11. rx_alex
The winding road of life is always a thriller.
Becky Hantsbarger
14. BeckyIA
Yes, I could definitely see me reading this. Please!
17. mosaix
Tell me the damage! Yes!
erin f
22. efender1
sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing.
Joshua Atkins
23. atkinsj
Sounds like a great read. I can't wait to check it out.
Mary A Johnson
26. MaryA
Sounds very dark and intriging ...
Karen Arrowood
27. msakma
THis sounds intriguing... a crime thriller with a dark, conflicted protagonist. I would love to win it. Thank you for the opportunity.
29. mary m
Sounds like an interesting book.
30. Rose Milligan
This sounds like a good book. Thanks for having the giveaway.
Joyce Mitchell
31. JoyceLm
Thanks for the great review & the chance to win.
Rebecca Boukikaz
32. RebeccaBoukikaz
This sounds like a good book and possibly a new series. Thank you for the chance to win it.
Charles Fraker
34. CharlieF
Sounds like an interesting read. Thanks for the contest!
Sally Winkleblech
36. sallyw
The "sneak peek" has me intrigued. I would like to read this book.
vicki wurgler
37. bison61
a drug addicted former cop that sounds like a good read
susan beamon
38. susanbeamon
the struggle against an addiction is enough for a book by itself. to wrap it around a crime thriller is very interesting. count me in.
39. Kathleen Peterson
This sounds like an exciting and excellent read! If I win a copy I'll donate it to my local public library after I'm done enjoying it.
42. aquariusmoon5
Undercover heroin-junkie ex-cop...oh my gosh! Sounds i-n-t-r-i-g-u-i-n-g...
Jeffrey Malis
43. bravejam
Terrific tease! Looking forward to reading this... I appreciate the chance!
cheryl stillwell
44. nylne
Thank you for the oppotunity to win a copy of Untold Damage
46. Neroon
Not my usual read but I like to try new things.
Carolyn Dileo
48. cbdileo
Sounds intriguing. Count me in.
Thank you,
Dolores Maxwell
49. doloresmaxwell
I would to read this. It sounds like it's worth my time and attention. Thanks.
50. Regina Ma
Looking forward to a great read.
alyce poalillo
51. alycep
Looks riveting and would love to spend a few evenings reading it this summer
53. Donna L
This sounds like a good read.
I love to read stories about recovery and redemptiom and struggling from the bottom to the top.
Laura McLendon
55. LMcLendon
Here is my entry!! Thanks for the chance to win another good read :)
carol bondell
59. csbondell
thanks for a great contest, this looks like a great book
Brenda Tucker
61. rango3
Seems like a good read - I know he can be a good cop again.
Cindi Hoppes
64. CindiHoppes
This author is new to me and I would love to give this
book a read and then share it...
Many thanks, Cindi
Kimberly Hilbert
71. asketcher2
Sounds like a great read. Thanks for the preview!
Susan Smoaks
73. susansmoaks
i enjoy your book reviews and i hope to win!
Shawn Andree
76. andreect
This sounds like a really good book. Would love to read it.
78. RKLewis
Wow! Good luck to everyone who entered! You've all made my day! :)
Clydia DeFreese
79. clydia
It's always fun to read new authors!
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