“Murder, mystery, corporate greed and a paper chase turned killing field. This book has it all to please legal thriller and mystery fans. The writing snaps, the action crackles and the climax goes pop!” –Carole Nelson Douglas, best-selling author of the Irene Adler and Midnight Louie mystery series.



Book Summary

The thing about cancer is it’s hard to prove somebody gave it to you on purpose—but Chloe Taylor can prove it. In fact, she proves it for a living. She sues oil refineries that would rather save a buck than comply with safety regulations designed to do important things like, you know, keep people alive.
Chloe had a successful career until circumstances forced her to move to the bass-ackwards town of Kettle, Texas (human population: 4,000; gun population: 34,356). Big Oil industry giant PetroPlex employs half of Kettle’s population, and there’s no question the judge in the town’s got oil stains on his hands. It’s no wonder she’s been on a losing streak lately. She suspects she’s been litigating on an uneven playing field, but when her star expert witness turns up dead less than 48 hours before a make-or break hearing, she knows.
What she doesn’t know is the key piece of information that got her expert killed. It turns out PetroPlex is harboring a shocking secret—one that has the potential to skyrocket gasoline prices, spark an energy market meltdown, and trigger riots, chaos, death, and destruction on a global scale. Chloe must discover the secret and expose the villains before she is permanently silenced, all while juggling a troublesome ex-fiancé and a tantalizing new flame along the way.

Read an Excerpt:

I didn’t even know how to use a gun before yesterday, and I certainly hadn’t become a crack shot overnight. That didn’t bode well for my chances of survival at the moment —especially since I was currently staring down the wrong end of somebody else’s barrel. What was I supposed to do? Duck? Shoot first? Run?
Maybe the decision would have been easier if I hadn’t loved the guy pointing the gun at me. I watched his trigger finger tense as the smoky, toxic air around us seemed to grow even thicker. Walls shook and the floor rolled beneath me as an explosion thundered through the building. The PetroPlex flagship oil refinery was fast on its way to becoming nothing but a memory.
The doorframe buckled before my eyes—my only means of escape. Sharp orange tongues of flame lapped at me from above, sending down a rain of fiery particles as acoustic ceiling tiles disintegrated overhead.
That’s when I knew that gun or no gun, I was going to die.
>>Read More

Is this the year’s best new legal thriller?

Here’s what people are saying:
“Diane Castle is a fresh and original voice in the publishing world. “Black Oil, Red Blood” has a well-paced plot, engaging characters, and witty dialogue. Castle has written an entertaining novel based on all-too-real corruption in one of the world’s largest industries. Looking forward to reading more of this author’s work!”
“I could not ask for a more effective reader’s hook than the Prologue of “Black Oil, Red Blood.” No possible way a reader could turn away from this novel after reading just the first few sentences-but even better, the entire Prologue rocks with excitement, danger, and potential fatality, with character, revelation, superb plot and setting. Amazingly, this is Author Castle’s debut novel! It’s almost too much to expect to find great writing, enjoyable characters (some of which inspired me to laugh out loud despite the serious circumstances), plotting whose torque is tightened till it almost squeaks (that means darn good plotting and layers upon layers of concealed secrets), a setting that is drawn with such attention to detail yet with subtle brushstrokes it makes this reviewer want to shout “Hallelujah!” What all this comes down to is: do NOT miss this novel, Gentle Readers! I don’t care what your position is on Big Oil, the economy, natural resources, or litigation-you simply must read this book.
“Attorney Chloe Taylor hoes a hard row in the petroleum backwater of Kettle, Texas, a tiny town where Big Oil is King-and Queen-and Emperor. Kettle is a community where the most a person can look forward to is finding out which type of cancer will be one’s demise, because if you work at PetroPlex, which fully half the town does, you’re going to come down with some kind of terminal health crisis. Chloe’s game is to win damages on wrongful death settlements, but she’s playing David to an enormous Goliath-and PetroPlex doesn’t want to pay out, and especially not to air its secrets. If Chloe isn’t extremely careful-well, the next wrongful death just might be her own.”
“I LOVE that the author of this book chose to give a voice to the Gulf people! Like it or not, BIG oil is choking the life out of us all. Diane’s book is comprised of a unique blend of both fact and fiction. You will be in suspense from start to finish! She gave it enough fiction to keep it interesting and enough facts to make you want to research more of what big oil is doing to us all. Being a refugee from the disaster in the Gulf, I know enough to know a great deal of the facts in this book to be true. I hope you will read this book right away and start to learn more about what you can contribute to making us all less dependent on oil. The future of humanity depends on it!”
“This book moves quickly, has plenty of action and a touch of romance. A dangerous and yet alluring mix! You will absolutely enjoy the ride–and the read!”

>> See More Reviews on