In this romantically-charged environmental legal thriller, two teenagers die after swimming through chemicals illegally dumped into the Susquehanna River. Mike Jacobs, a young environmental prosecutor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is assigned his first big case and must find, and stop the dumpers.
Mike’s alluring new friend Sherry Stein, an ambitious young Deputy Attorney General, is investigating the man running against the Governor. Another of Mike’s friends, Patty Dixon, ‘the girl next door,’ is his mother’s nurse and Mike wonders whether she is being blackmailed. Their lives intersect. Danger strikes—who will die? Will Mike discover the treachery before the midnight dumper kills again?
Joel Burcat is the author of environmental legal thrillers, speculative thrillers, and imaginative stories about everything from beer to murder.
“Author Joel Burcat’s credentials reassured me that Drink to Every Beast, with its plot centered on the illegal disposal of dangerous chemicals, wouldn’t be a flight of fictional fantasy…and it wasn’t. Not only is it a captivating legal thriller, but it’s also a rather delightful look into the romantic side of human relations, and Burcat handles both his main plot and the romantic subplot with admirable skill. From the word go, Burcat rivets us with his very frightening depiction of two happy teens diving into toxic river waters and the horrific consequences. The main plot is up and running in no time as members of the department of environmental protection search not only for the toxic waste dumpers but for the boreholes into which they are dumping. Of course, ultimately it’s all about lack of conscience and greed, a theme that carries over in different forms into other minor subplots involving politicians, crooked lawyers, and cops on the take…and it makes for exciting, eye-opening reading.
“Giving readers a break from the mounting thriller tension is the protagonist’s unplanned involvement with two beautiful women at the same time. Mike is a nice Jewish guy, not as confident in dealing with affairs of the heart as he is with environmental issues. Lacking the courage to tell either woman about the other, he goes back and forth between the two, fully aware of the complications should each find out about the other. When they do, the fallout is almost as deadly as that toxic waste. Apart from giving readers a captivating primary plot, Burcat’s strength lies in the realness of his characters. Unless we’re made of granite, we can relate to Mike’s ambivalence about the two women in his life, and even more to how these two women, Patty and Sherry, cope with Mike’s bungling. It’s all so very human and credible. With excellent handling of dialogue, description, characterization, and plot, Drink to Every Beast is quite a feast and a wonderful debut novel.”
-Viga Boland, Readers’ Favorite
“The opening passage (of DTEB), in which a terrible tragedy occurs, feels so real that it is almost impossible to go on to the next page. But of course you have to go on, because you feel someone really, really has to pay for what happened.”
-Sam Rockford, New Thriller Writers
“Burcat packs his story with enthralling subplots and characters.”
– Kirkus Reviews
“DRINK TO EVERY BEAST provides a great look into an uncommon thriller subject…Overall, the idea was intriguing, and I believe that Burcat has a wonderful chance to examine a current and pressing concern less frequently explored in crime fiction.”
-Keshena Hanson, Reviewing the Evidence
“When a young couple dies after swimming in a toxin-laden river, Environmental Protection attorneys Mike Jacobs and Roger Alden are charged with finding the “dumpers,” only to discover that corruption and deadly enemies are everywhere and that nothing is as it seems. A fast-paced and compelling story.”
– DP Lyle, MD, award-winning author of the Jake Longly and Cain/Harper thriller series
“DRINK TO EVERY BEAST is a fast-paced environmental legal thriller with smart, engaging characters and a level of complexity that serious readers of the genre will undoubtedly enjoy. Joel Burcat knows the science and the ins-and-outs of the law, but he truly understands and captures human nature, with all its strengths and weaknesses. DEP lawyer Mike Jacobs is an exciting protagonist readers will want to follow in this compelling debut and into future books in the series.”
– Jeff Gunhus, USA TODAY bestselling author
“Joel R. Burcat’s novel, Drink to Every Beast, is an environmental thriller ripped from the headlines of today’s newspapers. Burcat uses his extensive knowledge as an environmental lawyer to serve up a mix of toxic waste, corruption, and greed to launch a spine-tingling thriller that will make you want more.”
– Don Helin, award-winning author of Devil’s Den and Secret Assault