Award-winning author uncovers shocking big pharma conspiracy in new tension-filled thriller

Fans of Kyle Mills and Alyssa Cole will devour this twisty murder mystery scandal

Chicago, IL NYC Big Book and Best Book Award-winning author J. Lee is back with a tense new mystery inspired by his real-life work in the pharmaceutical industry. “The Deadly Deal” (Moonstone Cove Publishing, Sept. 12, 2023). This big pharma corruption thriller follows a junior businessman who is thrust into a world of deception and accusation when his best friend’s tragic death is exposed as a cold-blooded murder. 

“The Bottom Line: A perfectly crafted conspiracy thriller with a truly noble hero at its core, The Deadly Deal is the twisty tale we’ve been waiting for. Highly Recommended.”

– Best Thrillers Book Review

David Centrelli is just an average junior business development executive at a pharmaceutical company in Richmond when a knock on the door reveals that his best friend’s death two weeks earlier was no accident, and his buddy has a message for him from the grave. As skeptical as he is, clues keep coming, and soon his own home is engulfed in flames. When the perpetrator contacts him, he learns that the accusations are legitimate–and that people trained to eliminate problems have labeled him one. 

Blackmailed by decisions he made years ago, informed that his brother has been kidnapped, and threatened with a future not even his worst nightmare could imagine, the temptation to give up what he knows and disappear into affluent anonymity grows stronger by the second…until he learns that millions of lives depend on him doing the right thing. But can an ordinary guy really escape death from experts trained to administer it, and prevent a colossal calamity already set in motion by the highest levels of government?

“The Deadly Deal”

Lee | September 12, 2023 | Moonshine Cove Publishing | Mystery/Thriller

Paperback | 9781952439582 | $19.00 | Ebook | B0C5WB52PJ | $6.99

Early Praise for “The Deadly Deal”

Regardless of how you feel about the pharmaceutical industry, this book is a must read. J. Lee pulls you into a fast paced thriller of good vs. evil that never lets up. Tight writing, intricate plot, believable characters and a sharp, fast-moving dialogue that gels it all together. Put this one on your reading list!” 

– Jesus Leal, author of “True Diversity”

“J. Lee is a must-read new talent.”

– Mike Lawson, Edgar Award Nominated author of the Joe DeMarco series.

“The Deadly Deal is a fast-moving, page-turning thriller propelled by rapid scene changes, frequent plot twists, and an enemy that grows more powerful and menacing as the full extent of the conspiracy. Fans of plot-driven thrillers will find plenty to like…

– Windy City Book Review

J. Lee does it again with “The Deadly Deal”.  Fans of mysteries and thrillers will love this new cliffhanger. I was immediately hooked as the story began to unfold and this fast-paced and intriguing mystery kept me guessing until the very last page. Impossible to put down, I finished the book in days and loved every minute of this captivating read!”

– Nicky Steinberg, Publisher of  Downers Grove Living Magazine

“Action packed and sharply written. Grabbed me from the start and wouldn’t let go. I’ve already made room on my nightstand for the next J.Lee thriller.

Davin Goodwin, author of “Paradise Cove” and the Roscoe Conklin Mystery Series

“‘The Deadly Deal’ is my kind of thriller. Clever premise, complex characters, a pulsating plot and a satisfying, but in no way predictable ending. Easily J. Lee’s best work, and that alone is saying something.”

– Drew Yanno, author of “In the Matter of Michael Vogel”

“’The Deadly Deal’ evolves superb characterization, satisfying twists of plot, and a focus that will keep even seasoned thriller readers guessing about its outcome.”

– Midwest Books Book Review

“A terrific follow-up to The Hubley Case and The Silent Cardinal.  In ‘The Deadly Deal’,  J. Lee lays out an explosive tale of political intrigue, government conspiracy, and murder. If you haven’t yet read Lee’s thrillers, it’s time to jump aboard the bandwagon.”

-Alfred C. Martino, author of “Pinned”, “Over The End Line”, and “Perfected By Girls”


“Set yourself some time to read  The Deadly Deal , because once you start, you will NOT want to stop turning the pages.

– Pamela S. Wight, author of “Twin Desires”, “The Right Wrong Man”, “Flashes of Life”, “Birds of Paradise” and “Molly Finds Her Purr”

J. Lee is the author of The Hubley Case, The Silent Cardinal, and The Deadly Deal. He graduated from Duke University with degrees in Engineering and Sociology, and lives in the western suburbs of Chicago with his family. To learn more about him or his award-winning novels, please visit

Follow J. Lee on social media:

Facebook: @authorJ.Lee

Twitter: @JLeeauthor

Instagram: @j.leeauthor

In an interview, J. Lee can discuss:

  • His real-life experience in a pharmaceutical environment that with personal research inspired the plot of the story
  • The themes of the book that apply to real-life corrupt big pharma companies and how he went about researching the possibilities
  • Using multiple perspectives and characters in a way that doesn’t feel overwhelming, but rather adds to the suspense of the story
  • Writing well-written, multi-layered leads thrust into a dangerous situation
  • Balancing work life with writing mysteries, while also overcoming writer’s block and rejection in the writing industry
  • The difference between writing a series and writing a standalone
  • Generating ideas as an author, editing work and rewriting storylines over and over

An Interview with


1. How has your professional life, working with a pharmacy automation company, inspired “The Deadly Deal”? 

In my first job out of college, I got some high-level exposure to the FDA’s drug approval process. While this is certainly a work of fiction, that baseline knowledge and experience ultimately served as the impetus for the book’s storyline. Times and processes have changed, but the premise still intrigued me enough that I wanted to update it and pursue the idea. 

2. You mentioned you wrote this book 16 years ago! What made you want to release this novel now?

In a lot of ways, it feels like my writing baby. It had a different title back then, but I’d obtained a literary agent and was ready to go. Shortly after signing, and one week before he was set to reach out to publishers, my agent was diagnosed with cancer and subsequently passed away. When that happened, I put the book in the proverbial drawer and proceeded to move on in life and wound up publishing two others along the way. But the concept has always fascinated me, and I suppose deep down I believed (and hoped) that this day would come.  

3. Let’s talk about your characters. What is the inspiration behind them?

Ironically, one of the most interesting aspects of the protagonist to me as I wrote was that he’s an “ordinary” working professional who has been thrust into an extraordinary situation. In my previous novels, the main character is a Marine specially trained for the types of dangerous situations he encounters in the book, but this time writing the suspense was more challenging and intriguing because I didn’t have the crutch of him being so well trained. 

4. What are some tips for writing a twisty mystery that keeps readers guessing?

Every writer has his or her own style. For me, the only way to successfully keep the readers on their toes is to outline the story first, so that I can see it from start to finish, before I allow myself to write the first page. That lets me insert twists and turns, red herrings, and various clues that serve the overall plot. And I learned that the hard way. When I don’t outline at first, I have to rewrite a lot and usually end up creating one before it’s over anyway. I know some authors who have the ability to just start writing freestyle and hammer out a really great story, and I envy them. It’s just not me. 

5. Is there anything else in the works for you as an author?

Thanks for asking. I’ve got some thoughts about continuing the Ben Siebert series, and some fans have asked about that possibility. There’s also another standalone storyline I’m toying with that, similar to The Deadly Deal, I find extremely intriguing. If history is any judge, I’ll have to pursue that too…

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