Cover image for The substitution order : a novel
Title:
The substitution order : a novel
ISBN:
9780525656326
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
335 pages ; 25 cm.
Summary:
Kevin Moore, once a high-flying Virginia attorney, hits rock bottom after an inexplicably tumultuous summer leaves him disbarred and separated from his wife. Short on cash and looking for work, he lands in the middle of nowhere with a job at SUBstitution, the world's saddest sandwich shop. His closest confidants: a rambunctious rescue puppy and the twenty-year-old computer whiz manning the restaurant counter beside him. He's determined to set his life right again, but the troubles keep coming. And when a bizarre, mysterious stranger wanders into the shop armed with a threatening "invitation" to join a multimillion-dollar scam, Kevin will need every bit of his legal savvy just to stay out of prison. A remarkable tour of the law's tricks and hidden trapdoors, The Substitution Order is both wise and ingenious, a wildly entertaining novel that will keep you guessing--and rooting for its tenacious hero--until the very last page. --
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Summary

Summary

From Martin Clark--praised by Entertainment Weekly as "our best legal-thriller writer"--comes a wickedly clever, tenderhearted, and intricately plotted novel about a hard-luck lawyer's refusal to concede defeat, even as fate, the court system, and a gang of untouchable con artists conspire against him.

Kevin Moore, once a high-flying Virginia attorney, hits rock bottom after an inexplicably tumultuous summer leaves him disbarred and separated from his wife. Short on cash and looking for work, he lands in the middle of nowhere with a job at SUBstitution, the world's saddest sandwich shop. His closest confidants: a rambunctious rescue puppy and the twenty-year-old computer whiz manning the restaurant counter beside him. He's determined to set his life right again, but the troubles keep coming. And when a bizarre, mysterious stranger wanders into the shop armed with a threatening "invitation" to join a multimillion-dollar scam, Kevin will need every bit of his legal savvy just to stay out of prison.

A remarkable tour of the law's tricks and hidden trapdoors, The Substitution Order is both wise and ingenious, a wildly entertaining novel that will keep you guessing--and rooting for its tenacious hero--until the very last page.


Author Notes

Martin Clark is a circuit court judge. He lives in Stuart, Virginia.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

Prominent Virginia attorney Kevin Moore, the narrator of this exceptional legal thriller from Clark (The Jezebel Remedy), is reduced to working in a fast-food sandwich shop after a drug and alcohol binge led to the suspension of his law license and the end of his marriage. He's hoping to keep his head down and wait for reinstatement, but his life is upended when he's approached at the sandwich shop by a stranger who calls himself Caleb. Caleb represents an organization that monitors the information received by "virtually every group with a disciplinary board" to identify people vulnerable to being coerced into participating in a fraud scheme. In Kevin's case, Caleb asks him to agree to a lie-that he committed malpractice a few years earlier by failing to execute a purchase order for land that cost a client millions. When Kevin refuses, he's set up for a probation violation and framed for even more serious charges. Clark does a masterly job combining Kevin's plans to get himself out from under with a powerful portrayal of human frailty. John Grisham fans won't want to miss this one. Agent, Sloan Harris, ICM. (July) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Booklist Review

Kevin Moore is paying dearly for a few months of abusing alcohol and cocaine. Once called the Clooney of the courtroom, he's on parole, with his license to practice law suspended and his wife of 18 years divorcing him. On top of all that, he's been reduced to managing the a sandwich shop in southwest Virginia. When a stranger comes to the shop and invites Moore to join in an insurance scam, Moore says no. Days later, he's set up by a state probation officer, who provides a false urine test showing meth use and puts drugs and a gun in Moore's car. That night Moore suffers a stroke. With his story of the setup hard for others to believe, Moore convalesces with an old friend and relies increasingly on his 20-year-old counterman, Blaine Richardson, a tech wizard who peddles weed on the side, as he looks to the law for justice. A retired judge, Clark veers a bit into the weeds with Moore's maneuvering of the law, but his clear prose and well-drawn characters carry the day in this solid legal thriller.--Michele Leber Copyright 2019 Booklist


New York Review of Books Review

Have you heard the one about "a legal thriller" being an oxymoron? Like most lawyer jokes, it works because it's (sort of) true. Lawyers aren't known for their daredevilry. However, in a good legal thriller, the law itself propels the narrative as intensely as any single character. By that definition, Martin Clark's "The Substitution Order" is not merely a good legal thriller; it's a great one. Kevin Moore was once a beloved attorney in the Virginia bar, but now he's broke, on probation, disbarred and managing SUBstitution, a knockoff sandwich shop using meat that's nearing its expiration date faster than Kevin. Maintaining his sobriety while still recovering from the shell shock of his addiction-fueled downfall, Kevin is approached by a nefarious stranger who demands his participation in a multimillion-dollar insurance scam. All he has to do is admit a nonexistent act of malpractice so a former client can collect a cool $5 million from his professional-responsibility policy. The only problem is that Kevin's a stand-up fella and refuses to play along. What follows for Kevin is one disaster after another, as the nebulous bad guys (their identities never seem to matter) set him up for a failed drug test and plant contraband and a gun on him to boot. He's arrested - thrice - and is facing multiple felony charges in addition to his original drug case, a lawsuit and impending divorce. Even worse, thanks to his original sin of falling into the criminal justice system, no one believes the once irreproachable attorney. Kevin knows better than anyone that the law, "fueled by biases and assumptions," rolls on "bent, slanted tracks." As he says, "Once you make a single mistake, everything else you do is viewed through a warped lens, and any new narrative begins with the assumption that you're simply up to more of the same." Through the system's tunnel vision, even Kevin's best deeds, like a contribution to a worthy kid's college fund, are twisted to look inculpatory. Kevin compares the justice system to a "'70s-model Snapper Comet mower," a "creaky contraption" with "three basic blade settings," unable to respond to the labyrinthine hustle being unleashed against him. The law is not the only broken system in "The Substitution Order," and Kevin is not the only victim of injustice. Insurance companies pay off bogus con-man claims while searching for ways to deny health care to the infirm. Corporate distortions of the economy force humble people to sell family land they can no longer afford to carry. Government officials hand over taxpayers' dollars to swindlers while smiling for the cameras. A hardworking teenager struggling with college tuition has his carefully hatched plans derailed by the incompetence of school administrators. At each turn, Clark writes with compassion not only about those exploited by callous institutions, but even about the paper pushers who do the bidding. "It's just a severely screwed-up system," one worn-out bureaucrat observes as he's about to quit his job. "Nothing personal." For readers who don't get chills from Cobra claims, competing case precedents and the distinction between void and voidable court orders, Clark's attention to legal detail may prove a tad too careful. But lurking among the technicalities are the tools that savvy Kevin might use to save himself - and the clues that Clark cleverly weaves together for a truly thrilling ending. Maybe some lawyers are unpredictable after all. ALAFAIR BURKE'S most recent novel is "The Better Sister."


Kirkus Review

A disgraced attorney encounters a threatening stranger who demands that he join a multimillion dollar insurance scam."I deserve better than this misery," says Virginia attorney Kevin Moore in Clark's (The Jezebel Remedy, 2015, etc.) entertaining legal thriller. But that's not entirely true. Kevin has earned his trouble after a three-month cocaine and booze binge that led him to cheat on his wife with a stripper and land in the middle of a police raid. Now he's sober, on probation, facing divorce and disbarment, and making sandwiches in a cut-rate sub shop. One day a stranger shows up and urges him to participate in a multimillion dollar legal swindle. When Kevin refuses, the threats begin, and soon he's arrested on new (and trumped-up) charges. As if that's not grim enough, he suffers a stroke. But Kevin isn't about to become a victim, and he can wield the law like a weapon, so he puts a plan for payback in motion. The author of four other clever, amusing legal novels, Clark is not nearly as well known as he should be. A retired Virginia circuit court judge, he knows his way around the system, using the law as a foundation for novels that never rely too heavily on action or courtroom pyrotechnics. Instead, he explores the rural South and the people who live there. He writes with hilarious insight about subjects that include but are not limited to the legal and medical professions, trucks with "Southern by birth, Rebel by the Grace of God" bumper stickers, and the impossibility of the presumption of innocence for anyone who has ever been arrested. "Once you make a single mistake, everything else you do is viewed through a warped lens," Kevin laments.After a mistake, revenge is deeply satisfyingand so is this book. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Chapter One For years, I was an excellent lawyer, as honest and effective as you could ever want, and I'm a decent enough per­son, and despite my mistakes, which--I concede--were hella­cious, I deserve better than this misery. It's the middle of June, hot and stagnant, especially behind the counter here in the restaurant, a Subway knockoff called SUBstitu­tion, and the heat will soon become worse because Luther, the owner, insists that we switch on the old oven at noon and then again at six, as if we were really baking fresh bread. Twice daily, when the big lunch and dinner crowds are waiting in line, I cover my hand with a mitt and slowly slide the store-bought decoys out of the oven, a sham show that allows a two-hundred-degree belch to escape and loiter and clot the air. Sometimes, to entertain myself, I quick-drop the lukewarm silver tray, pull off the mitt and shake and blow on my fin­gers. The few minutes of fake-bake dries and hardens the prop rolls, but I'm able to stash them in the refrigerator and use them over and over for weeks, until the first greenish-gray mold spots appear. Today, the first customer through the door is a Sutphin girl from the apartments down the street. She's wearing flannel pajama bot­toms, the fabric pilled and grimy. Her hair's a mess, straight, dirty and brown. She's hardscrabble bony, pasty white, braless under a T-shirt and covered in tats, none of them worth a damn, amateur ink that some dolt applied with a safety pin and a cigarette lighter. This is exactly how she looked when she went to bed on a floor mattress last night, exactly how she'll look the entire day, exactly how she'll look tomorrow. She's brought along a kid, and the poor little toddler is shoeless, and, of course, why bother with any kind of shirt or shorts when a disposable diaper will do just fine. A scrawny boyfriend is also with her. He's high and slit- eyed at eleven in the morning, and he's mumbling dopey slang and jibber- jabber into an iPhone. His tennis shoes are new and untied and at least a size too large. His half- ass Afro is uneven, way out of whack on one side. A gauze bandage is taped across his wrist. He flops into the booth closest to the door, the phone against his ear. I'd speculate that the child is his, given the lad's beautifully blended skin and their matching eyes and mouths. "Good morning and welcome to SUBstitution." Kevin M is felt- tipped on my white plastic name tag. My khakis are dotted with faint mustard stains, but the pants are laundered and ironed and presentable. The Sutphin girl looks at the wall menu behind me. "I want a twelve- inch steak- and cheese with double meat. Regular bread. Toasted." I nod at the kid. "And for the young man?" "He'll be okay," she says dismissively. "I'll pinch him off some of mine." She glances down at the child. "He's done had cereal and a Little Debbie." I shake the meat from four cardboard tubs onto a sub roll, add cheese slices and put the sandwich in a toaster oven. I smile at the boy, and bless his heart, he grins big back at me. "What would you like on it?" I ask his mama. "Tomatoes and extra, extra, extra mayonnaise." I hover the squirt bottle filled with Lowes generic mayo over the length of the sandwich, strangling the plastic with both hands so the dressing coils onto the cheese dense and thick. "More! Extra means you can't see no yellow under it." "New rule for me," I say. "Guess I need to read our manual again." I hear Blaine come in behind me through the rear entrance. He's been working at the restaurant since he was a junior in high school, and he's twenty now, smart as hell and a pleasure to have around. When I check over my shoulder, he's leaning against the wall next to the oven. He's a sizable man, over six feet tall and a weight lifter. "Hey," he says to the girl, "we're not the food bank. It's already Deepwater Horizon on your sandwich. Leave Lawyer Kevin alone." "Screw you, Blaine," she snaps. "I'm reportin' you." "To who?" Blaine snorts. "God forbid Luther demote me to assis­tant assistant manager." I slapdash squirt another line of mayo, step sideways and land the tray and food beside the register. "Anything else? A drink? Chips or cookies?" Unlike Subway, we keep the sodas behind the counter so people can't steal them. "Mountain Dew Code Red," she announces. We're in Stuart, Virginia--the county seat, though only fourteen hundred people live here--so we have plenty in the cooler, the large size, twenty ounces. Luther hauls it to the restaurant from a Sam's Club in Greensboro. I set the red bottle on the tray. "Okay--your twelve-inch, double-meat sandwich with complimentary extra mayo and the large Code Red will be eleven dollars and fifty-six cents." She dips into the T-shirt's breast pocket and hands me a credit card, but as soon as I take it, I notice it's an EBT card. "We don't accept food stamps," I tell her. "Why?" "Because we don't. It's not allowed. I'm pretty certain you know as much." "There's nearly twenty left on it," the girl claims. "I could sell it to you for what I owe, then you can pay Luther and keep the rest." "Which would be illegal," I inform her. "Drop the legal juju on her, Lord Mansfield." Blaine is smiling. He waves and wiggles his fingers at her as if casting a spell. "Behold the majesty of the law, citizens." "Either of you have any money?" I pull the tray away from her. "We could pay next month, after the third," she offers. "No," I inform her. "Are you seriously trying to use this welfare card? Really? " "So you ain't goin' to give me my sandwich?" she demands. The child has heard this tone of voice before and understands nothing good is coming. He starts to cry--not a bawl or an outburst, just steady tears with his miniature arms flat against his rib cage and his eyes fixed on his mother. I frown at her. "I'll gladly sell you the food if you can pay for it. Simple as that." The boy reaches up for his mom, who ignores him. "Kiss my ass, Kevin. Least I ain't no loser fixin' sandwiches for Luther Foley." She makes a splashy, oh-snap gesture with her index finger, air-writes an angry S to emphasize the insult. "You ain't even from here," she idiotically adds. "Adiós," I say. "See you again when you have twelve dollars cash to your name." "Kiss my ass," she repeats. She snatches her son's hand. "Shut up, LaDarius. Quit cryin'." "In your case, Malik," Blaine says, addressing the spindly boy­friend in the booth, "you'll need to show up with an extra fifty, right? You're already runnin' a tab, aren't you?" "Whatcha talkin' bout, bro?" Malik replies. "You trippin', Blaine." Weary as I am, I feel sorry for the sobbing child. I'd planned to slip him a cookie or an apple, but his pissed-off mother is fussing and glowering and dragging him out the door by the wrist. Malik hesi­tates at the exit and half-turns toward us. "Later, bitches," he says, the words clipped and high-pitched. The sandwich is wasted, a loss. I jot a few lines explaining the incident in the spiral-bound notebook we keep in the junk drawer, and Blaine and I flip a quarter to see who gets to take the steak-and-cheese home. I win the coin toss and begin scraping away the mayo with a plastic spoon and a paper towel. "Malik's into you for fifty bucks?" I ask Blaine. "Viper account?" "Yeah," Blaine answers. "He's a worthless piece of shit. Trifling. So is she. I went to high school with both of 'em. Every fuckin' week my eight-fifty-an-hour check is docked for taxes so I can subsidize their blunts and flavored vodka and meth jones and protect their right to never hold an honest job." Blaine's one of three kids. His employed parents can't afford college expenses, despite the significant scholarships a nearly perfect SAT earned him, so he's living at home and saving thousands by attending Patrick Henry Community College. He'll transfer to Vir­ginia Tech as a junior and cut his education bill in half. A genius with computers and math, he's self-deprecating about his schooling, refers to himself as a "super-senior" and jokes about mastering the "fourteenth grade." "I thought you were a better businessman," I tell him. "In your trade, credit's a poor idea." Blaine sells pot, and heck, more power to him. Truth be told, I've done what I could to help with legal precau­tions, sat him down in a corner booth and gave him quality advice several months ago: Never sell dope to the out-of-town "biker" with a long beard and Harley do-rag who's introduced to you by some marginal friend. He's an undercover cop, and the friend bringing him around is being squeezed by the police. Never sell more than a half-ounce and risk a felony conviction. Never keep the goods on you or in your car or your house. Always wear gloves; you don't need your prints on any baggies. And, finally, understand that pot sales can't be a career choice in a rural community--sooner or later, word will reach the sheriff's department. "True enough," Blaine answers. "Lesson learned. Not a debt I can really enforce, huh? You'd think, though, the shitheel wouldn't just swagger in here." The door alert tones, a two-beat, electronic ding and dong, and I check to see who's there. A stranger is standing on the frayed entrance mat, a chubby fellow with nicely groomed, chemically white hair. Albino Platinum Ice would have to be the color on the Clairol box. He's wearing a lumpy black suit and a dull necktie. There's a red carnation pinned to his lapel, so I wonder if he's been to a funeral. He scans the restaurant, looks at every booth, then settles on me. He smiles. I lay my hand on the .38 under the counter, the pistol right below the cash register. "Morning," he says cheerfully. He dips his head slightly, ratchets the smile tighter so it's all lips and no teeth. "Good morning," I reply. "Welcome to SUBstitution." "You're Mr. Kevin Moore?" he asks, still chipper. "Yep. I am." "Any chance I could have a minute or two with you?" "No offense, sir, but whatever you're selling, I'm in no position to buy it." I say this nicely, with no barb. I appreciate that the guy's just doing his job. I don't want to waste his time. "Understood. No worries. I'm not a salesman." "Oh, okay." I've finished scraping mayo off the steak-and-cheese and close the roll. "You from probation?" I ask. I'm tending to the sandwich, my eyes lowered. "No sir. My news is actually very positive." "I'll hold the fort," Blaine offers, then shrugs. "Who knows? Not a salesman, not a probation officer. Me, I'd want to see what's behind the curtain." I focus on the lapel flower, and--bingo--it hits me: He's a preacher or tract-pusher wanting a donation, or to post a flyer for some revival or gospel singing or youth rally. Luther's all for hanging the flyers, but he has a zero-tolerance policy when it comes to char­ity dollars. "Thanks," I say to Blaine. "How about a quick turkey-and-cheese to go, six-inch, plain, no dressings, no toppings, wheat bread, and I'll meet you over there," the man says, gesturing toward a booth. He stands and waits while I make his sandwich, wrap it in clear plastic and fit it in a white bag, and then I follow him to the table underneath the stereo speakers. We have to play 104 FM, a dread­ful contemporary-country station that loops mostly lift-kit odes and three-chord tales of how we small-towners live to blow our stunted paychecks on liquor drinks at the local roadhouse. I sit so I'm facing the entrance, and he jams in across from me, has to swivel and butt-hop a couple times because he's heavy through the middle. His belt buckle scrapes the Formica. I hear change bounce in his pocket. "I'm Caleb," he says. "Nice to meet you." I push his sandwich bag toward him. The order is so basic I assume he's just being polite, same as buying a pack of gum when you take a leak at the filling station. "Likewise." He props his elbows on the table and joins his hands together. "Thanks for seeing me. I'll try not to take too much of your time or keep you from your job." "Fine," I say noncommittally. "I'm here on business. A chance for you to perhaps put everything behind you. Not that there's anything wrong with working here. I'm certainly not demeaning you or your job." His speech is crisp, assured. His hands stay locked in front of his face while he talks. "Business? Me?" He adjusts the red flower on his jacket, then clasps his hands again. "You deserve better than this. It's time for you to get back on track. Move home to Roanoke. You've paid enough dues. Half of 2016's gone already. You've served more than a fair punishment." "No kidding," I answer, the words coming almost automatically, on their own. "I'd like to include you in a business project. A chance for some solid cash and, more important, perhaps, an opportunity to see your law license reinstated." "Who exactly are you? You seem to know a lot about me and my circumstances. What kind of business?" "Am I correct that you'd like to earn more than your current res­taurant wages? How much could that possibly be?" I stiffen across my shoulders. "I make what I make. I also have a second job." "A shame," he says sympathetically. "Forty hours should be enough." Instead of responding, I pull a paper napkin from the holder and fold it in half. "My team and I invest in distressed situations. We make your negative situation positive." "What's your last name, Caleb?" I ask. "Where're you from?" I fold the napkin again and tuck it into my shirt pocket. He drops his hands. He smiles, but it's stern, mostly a scold. "Today, right now, my last name is Opportunity. I'm from elsewhere." "So listen, Caleb Opportunity, I'm on probation, with a felony conviction waiting for me if I screw up. I'm already feeling a con or scam. Or some kind of test from the state, though this seems too sophisticated for the apparatchiks in Richmond. They'd still be hav­ing meetings and filing memos on the color of your flower and which billing code to use with the florist." "The loss of your attorney's income would have to be a real blow. I want to correct that." "Well," I tell him, "I'm planning to play by the rules for a year, keep my nose clean and hope for the best." "Let me give you an overview. You can just listen. No crime or probation violation there." I start to speak, but he waves an open hand in my direction. "My partners and I search for various profes­sionals who have complications. You fit the bill. We also strive to discover people who've recovered from their problems and are once again reliable citizens. We do not want to partner with junkies, flakes or layabouts." "A speaking gig?" I ask sarcastically. "Self-help, motivation kind of deal? Bringing my inspirational story and unique brand of encour­agement to hotel conference rooms throughout the South?" "Self-help for sure," he says. The door chimes, and we both watch a lady head to the counter, where Blaine greets her. It's difficult to hear their conversation from our corner, especially with the radio noise. "I'm not interested," I tell him and slide to my left, ready to stand. "Good luck, sir." "Do you recall a client from a while ago, a Miss Melanie Culp?" I stop where I am, still sitting, but at the end of the bench, my trunk twisted away from Caleb, my palm flat on the table's edge, ready to push off. "I couldn't say," I answer. "She visited you for legal advice at your Roanoke office during, uh . . . your troubles." "If she did, that would be confidential." I do remember her. I have a remarkable memory. A routine appointment about a real-estate purchase on the parkway. "I won't be discussing any of my legal business with you. It would be unethical." He nods at me. "Understood. That kind of judgment and professionalism is why we want you on our team. I wouldn't expect you to break a client's confidence." "I'm already on the SUBstitution team. I'm the manager here, king of the condiments and cold cuts. And I'm also a member of the commonwealth's probation team. I can't imagine me signing up for any other teams." I stand but stay close to the table. "Sorry. If you're from the state bar or the justice system, I hope you'll report that I'm walking the straight and narrow. And if you're a real hustler, you need to hit the bricks." Caleb doesn't seem upset or rattled. "It's not so simple." He sounds calm, amicable. "We've already invested in you and this proj­ect. We have limited resources, and we'd hate to see this come to naught." "What the hell is it that you want?" "Well, as much as it pains Miss Culp to press the issue, you com­mitted malpractice when you handled her case. Because of your negligence, she lost millions of dollars." "Bullshit." I glare at Caleb. "Are you a lawyer floating some bogus claim? Because--" "Oh, no," he interrupts, leaning toward me. "But we can and will make this a profitable situation for us all. We're allies, not adversaries." "If I've truly wronged a client, I want to address it and make it right. But I haven't." "Miss Culp scheduled an appointment with you in July of 2015," Caleb notes. "The morning of the thirtieth." His voice stays mea­sured, his features and posture relaxed. "I'm sure there's a file in your former office. She has a receipt signed by your secretary prov­ing her payment to you on that day. One hundred dollars for a basic consultation. A very fair charge." "So what?" "She had an option contract to buy 173 acres in Meadows of Dan, adjacent to the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also near the much-celebrated, five-star Primland resort." "Okay." I'm still standing. I'm tapping my foot. "You were to evaluate the option, contact the seller and execute the deal. Those were her clear instructions to you." "You're making up crap as you go." I raise my voice. "I can't get into the specifics with you, but that never happened." I sit again, balanced on the edge of the bench seat. "Are you this lady's relative? Husband, maybe? Brother?" "Despite her precise instructions," he continues, "you, because of personal distractions, failed to timely exercise the option, and she lost her opportunity to purchase this valuable piece of land. It was soon sold to another buyer for millions of dollars." Caleb sounds so confident that I run through Melanie Culp's visit in my mind: She was a scheduled appointment, she asked me to review an option to buy a piece of property, I read the docu­ment while she waited and told her it was legal and valid. I'd done cocaine--a lot--the night before but was steady enough to interpret a basic three-page option. End of story. There was absolutely no mention of closing the deal or notifying the seller. "Untrue," I say forcefully. "At least the part about my being instructed to contact the seller and set a closing." "Miss Culp had an option to buy the land for $975,000. You didn't do your job, Mr. Moore. You let the purchase deadline pass. Thereafter, the local owner, a Mr. Eugene Harris, sold to a company named MAB Incorporated, for the same $975,000. A few months later, MAB was approached by a development company, FirstRate LLC, which bought the tract for six million. In sum, your negligence cost Miss Culp five million dollars and change." "And let me guess, Caleb, you want me to admit my error and not contest the claim when she sues me." "Exactly," he says, fiddling with the flower for a second. "Exactly, my friend." Excerpted from The Substitution Order: A Novel by Martin Clark All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.