Books & Other Writing
Tell No Lies
"Good will, like a good name, is got by many actions, and lost by one."
- Lord Jeffrey
For assistant district attorney Jack Hilliard, the protagonist of Tell No Lies, truer words have never been spoken. When Jack finds himself simultaneously seduced by a dream job and a tempting woman, his moral compass starts to falter and he soon learns that bad decisions have even worse consequences...
Jack appears to have it all: intelligence, good looks, a great job, and a solid marriage with his wife, Claire. But he finds himself at a crossroads in his life when, on the same night his boss announces his resignation as DA, his subterranean flirtation with his enigmatic lawyer friend Jenny bubbles to the surface.
Jack soon learns how easy it is to compromise his values and comfortable life for ambition and desire. Despite Claire's counsel to stand by his beliefs, Jack misrepresents his position on the death penalty to secure the top spot at the DA's office. As the pressures of the campaign mount, he struggles to deny his growing obsession with Jenny, who supports his ambitions at whatever cost. When Jenny becomes the main suspect in a shocking murder, and Jack is the only one who can prove her innocence, he faces an excruciating choice: save Jenny by speaking out, or save his marriage and career by remaining silent.
"Compton's debut is a taut, tense cautionary tale complete with courtroom drama and a surprise ending."
- Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"[A] strong debut from a writer who knows her law, and more importantly, can depict the ebb and flow of relationships, the conflict between love and desire and the irresistible urge to self-destruct of a 'man who has everything'."
- Publishers Weekly
Keep No Secrets
After the ultimate betrayal, which is more important: trust or forgiveness?
After surviving the private and public fallout from a one-night stand four years before, St. Louis DA Jack Hilliard wants nothing more than to be trusted again by his wife, Claire, and to earn back the respect of the community he serves. Since the day Claire accepted him back into the family, he's vowed to be true to these goals, and so far he's succeeded.
But all of Jack's efforts begin to crumble when the woman involved in his earlier downfall, Jenny Dodson, returns to town claiming threats on her life and asking for his help, and resurrecting for Jack long-buried emotions and questions of her guilt for the murder of a client. Just when he thinks the pressure can't get any worse, his son's girlfriend, Celeste, accuses him of sexual assault, and he suddenly finds himself on the wrong end of a criminal case, battling for his freedom.
Can Jack trust his freedom to the legal system on which he built his career? Or will the ghost of his one-night stand four years before come back to haunt him, causing him to be convicted on the mistakes of his past?
A "powerhouse legal thriller... [A]t once a morality play, psychological drama and legal puzzle. Difficult to classify, Keep No Secrets is very easy to like. It's a true page turner."
- Florida Weekly
"An engaging legal thriller that brings to mind the intelligence and ambiguity of The Good Wife."
- Kirkus Reviews
When Olivia Mayfield first arrived in Florida, hoping to escape her rich, powerful father and her controlling ex-boyfriend, the attraction between her and protagonist Anders Erickson was immediate and mutual.
To Anders, a biker who spent his life drifting and working at jobs that belied his intelligence, Olivia was a beautiful, down-to-earth woman who saw beyond his blue-collar life and appreciated his simple ways. For Olivia, the carefree Anders represented an oasis of kindness and tranquility.
But after the two are involved in a horrific motorcycle accident, Anders finds himself plunged into a terrible nightmare. The severely injured Olivia disappears from the hospital, and her father will stop at nothing to prevent Anders from discovering the truth. When he embarks on a quest to find answers, Anders uncovers not only Olivia's traumatic past, but evidence that her very life could be in danger.
In a desperate search against time that takes him all the way from his Florida home to the quaint New England town of Olivia's youth to the wild, haunting African savannah of her birth, Anders is tested to his limits. As he struggles to save the woman he loves, can he reconcile the demons of his own past and, in doing so, save himself as well?
"Compton's intense, entertaining second novel involves a horrifying coverup and a powerful new drug... [S]he pulls off a super-satisfying resolution to this romantic thriller."
- Publishers Weekly
"[A]n absorbing novel, sharp, tightly plotted and sexy, with strong, believable characters and an emotional edginess that sets it apart... [A]n absolute page-turner."
- National Public Radio, WGCU 90.1, "Florida Book Page"
Flying Lessons, a short story
Two teenage brothers. One girl. Only one of the boys knows the burden she carries. “Flying Lessons” is a coming of age short story of two Midwestern boys growing up in the early Eighties, untouched by conflicts raging in another part of the world until an enigmatic girl named Lisa walks into their lives.
"Point of View"
A short story published in SHOW & TELL, by William Greiner
Photographer William Greiner presented writers with a trio of photographs, asking that they choose one on which to base a story. Twenty-eight photographs and some 46,000 words later, the collaborative results make up his new book.