G. Chapman is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law.
He is a past Chair of the Labor & Employment Law Network of the
Association of Corporate Counsel, leading a group of 6800 in-house
employment lawyers. Kevin is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal
Education seminars and enjoys teaching management training courses.
passion (aside from fantasy baseball, golf and tournament poker) is
writing fiction. Kevin’s first Novel: Identity Crisis: A Rick
LaBlonde, P.I. Mystery, was self-published through Xlibris in
2003, and is now available via Amazon.com as a Kindle e-book. His
second novel, A Legacy of One, published in 2016, was a
finalist for the Chanticleer Book Review’s Somerset Award for
Literary Fiction. A Legacy of One is a serious book, filled
with political and social commentary and a plot involving personal
identity, self-determination, and the struggle to make the right life
decisions. Kevin is currently working on a re-writing and re-editing
of A Legacy of One, scheduled for re-launch in the summer of
current project is a crime-thriller series that will have a least
five installments. Book #1 -- Righteous Assassin (A Mike Stoneman
Thriller) -- has some serious sub-themes, but it's a serial
killer chase and it's intended to be enjoyable and easy to read. It
was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2019 by the Kindle
Book Review and a finalist for the Chanticleer CLUE award for
mysteries & thrillers. Book #2 in the Mike Stoneman Thriller
series, Deadly Enterprise, was published on December 2, 2019
and was named one of the top 20 Mystery/Thrillers of 2020 by the
Kindle Book Review and is currently Short-Listed for the 2020
Chanticleer Book Review CLUE award. Book #3, Lethal Voyage,
was published November 22, 2020 and is already generating stellar
reviews and is Short-Listed for the Chanticleer CLUE award.
has also written several short stories, including Fool Me Twice,
the winner of the New Jersey Corporate Counsel Association's 2010
Legal Fiction Writing Competition, which was the genesis of the
character Mike Stoneman, the protagonist in Righteous Assassin.
Fool Me Twice is available as a stand-alone short story free
on amazon.com, or you can get it free from Kevin’s website. He has
also written one complete screenplay (unproduced so far) and has
another screenplay and two more novels currently in the works, one of
which is a sci-fi space opera epic.
is a resident of Central New Jersey and is a graduate of Columbia
College (‘83), where he was a classmate of Barack Obama, and Boston
University School of Law (’86). Readers can contact Kevin via his
website at www.KevinGChapman.com.
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blog post / Article / re: Fatal Infraction (draft working)
days, the subject of how police officers treat suspects – particularly
non-White suspects – is very much in the news. What factors cause police to
have conscious or unconscious bias against Blacks and other minority groups?
How to we deal with this as a society? Tough questions, for sure. As a writer
and reader of crime fiction, I’m very much aware that stories about cops (in
books and in movies and TV shows) mostly portray the “bad” guys as guilty and
the cops as the “good” guys who strive to protect the public and uphold
justice. Sometimes the cops are corrupt and are really “bad” guys, or they have
drug or alcohol problems. Sometimes the criminals have ambiguous motives. But
few stories, my own included, include “good” cops behaving in overtly (or even
subtly) racist ways. It doesn’t make for great fictional storytelling, in most
I started working on the outline of my newest book – installment #4 in my Mike
Stoneman Thriller series – I decided to address the racism issue, as well as
others, within the context of my existing characters. When my readers first met
NYPD homicide detective Mike Stoneman in book #1 (Righteous Assassin),
he was giving a hard time to his new, young, partner – a newly-promoted Black
detective named Jason Dickson. Mike called him “Kid” or “Rook” and treated him
with distain at times. Jason pushed back and their relationship was tense. We
found out that Mike thought Jason was the unfair beneficiary of a departmental
affirmative action program that gave him the promotion to detective when he
didn’t deserve it. Other candidates who were White scored higher on the
detective’s exam, but Jason jumped over them so that not all the new detective
promotions would be White. Mike thought that was unfair. Later in the story,
Mike’s very recent love interest, medical examiner Michelle McNeill, points out
that Jason didn’t do anything besides apply for the promotion and score as high
as he could on the exam. It wasn’t his fault that he got selected.
the end of Righteous Assassin, Mike and Jason had fully bonded into a
partnership. Jason, despite Mike’s sometimes harsh treatment, learned from his
experienced partner, and in the end had his back. Mike recognized that Jason
could have thrown Mike under the bus, but he didn’t. Then, in book #2 (Deadly
Enterprise) we learn along with Jason that Mike had another reason for his
treatment of his young partner that had nothing to do with discrimination or
racism. I won’t spoil it for you, but it explained a few things. Still, the
undercurrent of Jason’s struggle to be a great detective while also being the
only Black detective in the upper Manhattan homicide division is always there.
So, tackling the subject in book #4 was not a huge stretch.
main plot of book #4 (Fatal Infraction) is the murder of a Black NFL
quarterback named Jimmy Rydell. Jimmy was already a lightning rod of
controversy for taking a knee during the national anthem to protest police
brutality toward Blacks and racial justice in general. (Sound familiar? Jimmy
is not supposed to be Colin Kaepernick, but in a very real way, the NFL
“murdered” Colin’s career by running him out of the league for his protests.)
Naturally, one theory about who might have murdered Jimmy is that it was some
racist who was out to get him because of his protests. The story includes a
player on the team who is a good ol’ southern boy with KKK roots and a racist
background. He also threatened to kill Jimmy. Yep, he’s a suspect. So, racism,
protests for social justice, and violence against Blacks are all built into
this story line.
Mike and Jason investigate the case, I have an opportunity to have Jason (and
others) show Mike how racism creeps into things, and how Mike may not be as
non-racist as he thinks. I have Mike attend a mandatory training course on
unconscious bias. I have a scene where Mike deals with overtly sexist (and
perhaps less overtly racist) behavior within the police group toward a Black
female detective who was recently promoted. Mike has to confront every day
incidents of racist behavior that he had been overlooking. Then, he has to
confront his own failure to do anything about them. All this gets baked into
the plot and gave me the opportunity to explore the issues a little bit,
without making them the focus of the book. Mike’s not perfect, and by the end
of this story, he is more aware of how imperfect he is. Going forward, he has
to make a decision to be better and not just think about it. Both Jason
and Michelle tell him this.
challenge for a fiction writer is how to avoid making your hero protagonist
look unsympathetic. He’s your hero. You can have peripheral characters who are
racists and who can get their comeuppance, but that’s easy. They were “bad”
guys. The hard part is to have “good” guys who aren’t always part of the
solution. And you know the saying – if you’re not part of the solution, you’re
part of the problem. The good guys can become part of the solution – but first
they have to recognize the existence of the problem. The problem, I would
argue, is not the bad, racist cops who beat the Black suspects (or shoot them).
The problem is that they are allowed to get away with it and are not called out
by the supposedly “good” cops, who tend to protect their fellow cops rather
than weed out bad behavior. I’ve written about a bunch of corrupt cops – even
cops who murdered innocent people to protect themselves. But in all those
cases, the bad cops got caught and punished (or were killed themselves). What
about the bad cops who get away with it because other cops protect them? Now
there’s a story – but it’s hard to write it and still be entertaining. I’m not
writing literary fiction with a serious dramatic edge. I’m writing
crime-thrillers intended to be escapist entertainment (and maybe a Netflix
series?). But, that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little big of edge.
allowed me to get a little serious within the confines of my characters and
their fictional universe. I’m pleased with the final result. I’m hoping that
the small percentage of overly-sensitive (or racist) readers who will give me
poor reviews because they don’t appreciate the subtle acknowledgements that
systemic racism is real will be balanced out by readers who appreciate the
reality baked into this book. I hope you will read it and enjoy it – and also
think about it a little bit. If I get a few people to think, then I’m happy.
the other three books in the Mike Stoneman Thriller series are available as
ebooks, paperbacks, and hardcovers from Amazon, and as audiobooks wherever
audiobooks are sold (including Audible). Book #5 in the series, Perilous
Gambit, will be out in late 2021.
the tour HERE
for special content and a giveaway!
Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,
set of The Mike Stoneman Thrillers – 1 winner,
set of The Mike Stoneman Thrillers – 1 winner,
of Righteous Assassin – 3 winners!
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