John Martel includes his hometown in his books, whether consciously or unconsciously. An article in the Modesto Bee by Jane Bannerman caught the author on a visit.
At the age of 70, Martel has written his fourth novel, "Billy Strobe." The article says that his books are lumped into the legal thriller category with those of John Grisham and Scot Turow, but Martel prefers to call his work character-driven suspense fiction. All four novels are centered around the justice system, "which he defends, and about which he feels compelled to educate his readers."
Martel is a 1948 graduate of Modesto High School and a 1950 graduate of Modesto Junior College. As an athlete he went to the University of Oregon on a track and basketball scholarship. His college career came to a "quick halt" because of the Korean War.
He later attended UC Berkeley, got a degree in creative writing and enrolled in law school. He was a partner in the law firm of Farella, Braun and Martel in San Francisco.
From his website:
"John is a modern renaissance man. While writing Conflicts of Interest, he took time off to become the1997 National Masters Champion in the high hurdles, running the fastest time in the world that year. In his 'spare time,' John, a singer/songwriter with nearly one hundred compositions, has performed his original country-rock songs under the pseudonym 'Joe Silverhound' at numerous Bay Area clubs and such venues as the Troubadour in Los Angeles and the Palomino Club in North Hollywood."
Link: John Martel Website
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