Mark Zvonkovic is a writer who lives in Rosarito Beach, Baja California, Mexico, with his wife Nancy and their two dogs, Finn and Cooper. He has written three novels, A Lion in the Grass, The Narrows, and Belinda, and he also regularly writes book reviews and essays for various  publications. Before retiring to Mexico, Mark practiced law for 35 years at 3 multinational law firms in Houston, Texas, and New York City. He attended college at Southern Methodist University and Boston University, and his law degree is from SMU School of Law. Mark grew up as an oil company brat and lived in Latin America, Texas and New York.

ABOUT THE BOOK

Belinda “Lyn” Larkin is at a crossroads. A beautiful and experienced attorney who is married to the law, faces the end of a long and successful law practice at the hands of the “men in suits” who run her firm, when a man once her lover suddenly appears after a long and mysterious absence. Set in the conference rooms of white shoe Houston law firms and the stunning coastline of Baja California, Belinda is the story of a woman’s bravery and resourcefulness as she navigates the end of her career (forced retirement is a real thing, especially for women lawyers) and a complex world of international intrigue, legal infighting, and unexpected romance. 

Belinda also explores questions of dedication, loyalty and love as Lyn contemplates what’s next in her life. Is it too late for love? Is justice possible when the legal players are corrupt? During a week of surprises and confusion, will Lyn begin to see beyond her life of singular dedication and open herself to new possibilities?

This character-driven book involves several characters who appear in Zvonkovic’s earlier novels, A Lion In The Grass and The Narrows, but Belinda is easily read as a stand-alone. In particular, Raymond Hatcher broke the spy’s cardinal rule by writing his classified secrets in a journal for seventy years. After he is murdered, the man he had mentored, Jay Jackson, who is Lyn’s love interest in Belinda recovers it and suddenly Jay, and inadvertently Lyn become the targets of a man wanting to recover the journal. The appearance of characters who appear in several novels is a technique similar to that used by Larry McMurtry in his “Houston Novels.”

TALKING POINTS

  • Belinda is about life changes caused by events unavoidable in most cases, such as aging, retirement, misfortune, and, yes, unexpected romance. Fans of TS Eliot’s The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock will enjoy Belinda’s thoughts about her life and the implications of her decisions. Why would a man write about a woman’s perspective facing these changes?
  • Attorneys who become authors – Mark can speak to how much of a real life legal career seeps into his novels
  • Main character and Belinda’s love interest, Jay Jackson’s past comes back to haunt him. Can a spy retire?
  • One of the lawyers in the novel is “ethics challenged” on account of competition and greed. Has the situation become commonplace in law firms and similar professional institutions?
  • Belinda contains or refers to characters who also appear in Zvonkovic’s two earlier novels, A Lion In The Grass and The Narrows. How difficult is it to tie the characters together across several novels, but still make them readable as “stand-alone” novels? 

ADVANCE PRAISE

“A spy thriller meets legal fiction meets romance novel.” Kirkus Reviews

“Zvonkovic’s third novel is a compelling legal drama with heart, driven by character and offering complex corporate scheming and suspense. In Belinda, Zvonkovic layers in the tension and twists that will keep even a casual legal thriller reader’s interest piqued.” BookLife Reviews

“When the past bleeds into the present, a lawyer and an ex-spy reunite, risking the unknown in this entertaining romantic thriller.” Clarion Reviews

“Readers familiar with Zvonkovic will see the novel Belinda as a continuation of The Raymond Hatcher Stories.  But those who have not read A Lion in the Grass or The Narrows will find it compelling on its own, as it presents new characters who bring fresh blood and new skill sets to the Hatcher saga.  Fans of characters such as Tom Clancy’s John Clark, as well as others who are interested in the techno-thriller genre, should find Belinda to be a thoroughly captivating and satisfying read.” —David Loux, author of Chateau Laux

Belinda is a thrilling novel with gripping layers of legal and corporate intrigue, but it’s Zvonkovic’s character work and timely themes that propel the narrative to new heights. Part romance, part legal drama, Zvonkovic blends genres and defies expectations with each turn of the page, ultimately creating an emotional exploration of justice, purpose, and legacy.” James Wade, Spur Award-winning author of River, Sing Out

“Zvonkovic creates a masterful story of intrigue, transformation, and analysis based on a spy’s rationalization process, a woman’s secret, and new visions and revelations.” —Diane Donovan, Midwest Book Review

TIMELY TIE-INS

JULY

  • National Share a Sunset with Your Lover Month
  • Paperback Book Day (30)