Author David T. Wolf

(in his library.)

Crime novels

Dave Wolf has written a small but tasty collection of crime novels, all of which have garnered high praise from perhaps the toughest reading crowd of all: other writers. As in most of his books, he lightens the dire situations his characters get into with wry humor.

"This story is so twisted it makes a pretzel look like a pencil (with salt!)"

Sometimes it takes a killer to catch a killer.

Charlie Novak has been making a very nice living staging fatal accidents and splitting the insurance payouts with his partner. The victims? His partner's many wives. But when one of those wives is slain 6 months ahead of schedule by someone else, Charlie needs to find out who did it, and why--before a homicide investigation unravels their entire history of serial insurance fraud and serial murder. But there are complications. Disfigured as a child, Charlie has never known love. So he's in way over his head when he falls for the woman who found the body, and whose involvement in the crime is a deepening puzzle. He's helplessly drawn to this woman despite knowing she has dark secrets of her own. Blinkered by unaccustomed yearning, he can’t see through her web of deceit—or escape it.

“Oh, man--what a story! What an ending! Caught me completely by surprise and I loved it!”

“5 Stars!” “Couldn’t put it down!”

His partner warned him not to get emotionally involved.

He should have listened.

Welcome to Mordora. It's a dark place with secrets so powerful they trigger a double abduction and a murder. And so toxic that revealing the truth would be worse than the crimes themselves. It begins with a murder that isn’t a murder, followed by a strange double abduction. To Police Detective Jacob Zaag, it feels wrong from the start. Who would kidnap a developmentally disabled teen and his adult sitter? A random grab? A sex crime? Zaag falls hard for Andrea, the boy’s single mom, 30, so damaged by her parents’ rejection. Running out of other angles, he reaches into the murky depths of Andrea’s past and uncovers a thicket of possible suspects and motives. When the truth finally emerges, it’s so toxic he fears simple justice will destroy this woman he loves. But who says justice has to be simple?

5 Stars! “It had me up half the night!

Couldn’t stop reading it!”

The murderer has a perfectly logical reason for his kills. Logical, but insane.

It took a serial killer to bring him back to life.

Set in the early ‘90s when cellphones were a new thing, wounded soul and single dad Nick Clayborne uses a radio scanner to listen in on private conversations--virtually his only adult contact. He fills notebooks with what he hears. He’s not totally weird though: he has a book deal based on his earlier article in Rolling Stone. His life changes when three of those strangers he listens to are brutally murdered. His life changes again--for the better-- when he finally meets one of the women he’s been listening in on. But when the police learn about Nick and his strange hobby, he becomes their prime suspect. Especially when three more victims turn up in his notebooks. Now all the cops need to nail him is physical evidence. Something the actual killer intends to provide.

“I loved this book! A perfect blend of crime thriller and love story!”

Is she in love with a murderer?

He can’t remember who he allegedly killed. He can’t even remember his own name.

17 year old Margot McClain used to be witty, talented and popular, but ever since a certain incident, she’s used her smart mouth like an insect-repellent to keep boys off her. But when a lost-looking new kid enrolls at her school and Margot learns he can’t remember his own name--or anything else about his past, her resistance weakens. She offers friendship as he grapples with bad dreams and shards of painful memories. His history catches up with him when a trashy former girlfriend shows up with two thugs. They demand he help them rob the bookstore where he works or they’ll tell the cops where he lives. Why would the cops be interested, he asks? “Don’t you remember? You killed your mom’s boyfriend.”

“Loved it! I made all my friends read it!” “5 stars? No, 10 Stars!” “A love story and a murder trial with a clever twist!”

NOTE: If you prefer the paperback or audiobook versions of these books, please go to my Amazon Author Page.

Science Fiction

David Wolf prefers his science fiction to be set in the near future, allowing him to explore, with his usual wry wit, the effects and consequences of possible technological changes that are right around the corner.

The novel Mindclone looks at what happens when you upload your mind to a computer and meet your digital twin.

The short story Do-Over takes a 30ish man back to his pre-teen years--but with all his adult memories intact, giving him a chance to make a few adjustments to his own life--and to events in the wider world. This 5-star tale is becoming a cult classic.

And in the short story A Disturbance in the Church, when an android seeks to confess his sins and receive communion, the Catholic hierarchy must deal with the question, can an intelligent autonomous digital entity be said to have a soul?

An android walks into a church and all hell breaks loose.

Especially when he tells a young priest that he would like to confess his sins, be absolved and receive communion. The young priest is open to the idea, but his foul-mouthed superior is outraged. They decide (or are maneuvered into) a meeting with the bishop and even the cardinal. Their conclave also includes the inventor of the technology and, just to even things out, a rabbi. Finally, even the pope gets involved...

"A lively, fast-paced, well-written gem." "...very creative, delivered with wit!"

WHEN YOU'RE A BRAIN WITHOUT A BODY, CAN YOU STILL BE CALLED HUMAN?

Marc Gregorio wakes up paralyzed. He can't feel his own body. Accident? Stroke? Did someone slip him an overdose of Botox? The answer, he discovers, is much, much worse. He's only a copy of Marc, a digital brain without a body, burdened with all Marc's human memories, but without access to human sensual pleasures. Now he has to find a reason to keep on, um, "living." Adam the Mindclone meets the real Marc Gregorio--and his new girlfriend Molly Schaeffer. Adam loves her, too. But how does a digital entity experience love? He can't even experience pizza. His one compensation: a powerful digital brain. At Molly's urging, he applies it to unearthing terrorist plots, aborting schoolyard mayhem, exposing congressional malfeasance and Wall Street chicanery. However, his good deeds gain the attention of a power-mad military contractor who will stop at nothing--theft, kidnapping and worse--to control the technology for his own ends. Without a body, how will Adam save himself - and the world - from a terrible fate?

"...possibly the best independently published SF novel I have ever read!" "...a wild joyride to the Singularity!" "...a stimulating, convincing page-turner!" [Scroll down to see full reviews]

Mindclone is available in paperback and as an audiobook. It has been translated into Spanish, Italian, Chinese, Portuguese, Japanese and French.

Imagine getting a second chance to make things right.

A thirtyish man wakes up one morning and discovers he's in his preteen body, but he has all his adult memories intact. Stunned at first, he soon realizes he's been given a chance to undo the many things he regretted. To act on those opportunities he missed. What personal tragedies would he act to prevent? Given this alternate science-fictional universe, what might he change about his life--and the world?

"Outstanding novella! I loved it!"

"The writing -- that's what grabbed me." "Five stars!"

Mindclone Book Trailer

NOTE: If you prefer the paperback or audiobook versions of any of these books,

please go to my Amazon Author Page.

For younger readers...

A book for Eighth Graders about a genetically "improved" chimpanzee. A Chapter Book for younger readers about a dog who likes to pretend he solves crimes. A Young Adult novel about a troubled teen who may have committed murder, but he can't remember if he did it, or why. He can't even remeber his own name.

Parents don’t like it when a genetically enhanced chimp is smarter than their own 5th Graders. Some people just have no appreciation for progress. When Darwin, the most famous chimp in the world, entered the 5th Grade, his human brother Scott had mixed feelings. And a band of older kids didn’t like it. Worse, a band of parents decide this walking, reading, thinking and even talking chimp--thanks to a really cool electronic keyboard--has no business attending a public school. So they’re suing the school district to have him booted out. Now Darwin’s fate rests on the outcome of a trial that finally asks the question: what is a human, anyway?

“A wonderful book--both funny and heart-breaking” “A surprisingly deep character whose plight is moving.” “Takes on major issues about science and human failings.”

Just because you live with a cop doesn’t mean you’re a police dog! Fred likes to make up heroic tales of police actions--just to impress Bitz, the doggy next door at the Johnsons. So when Bitz asks for his help, how can Fred admit he’s a phony? Bitz’s problem? A newly-acquired cat named Fritz has run off, and if he doesn’t return, Bitz could be sent to the pound, thanks to those Johnson twins and their constant sibling rivalry. So Fred agrees to track down the cat, even though he hates cats, and they make him sneeze. But hey, how hard can it be to track down one smelly feline?

“Delightful! 5 stars!” “Very human (animal) characters!” “My daughter loved this book!” “Destined to be a classic!”

He can’t remember who he killed. He can’t even remember his own name. 17 year old Margot McClain used to be witty, talented and popular, but ever since a certain incident, she’s used her smart mouth like an insect-repellent to keep boys off her. But when lost-looking new kid enrolls at her school and Margot learns he can’t remember his own name--or anything else about his past, her resistance weakens. She offers friendship as he grapples with bad dreams and shards of painful memories. His history catches up with him when a trashy former girlfriend shows up with two thugs. They demand he help them rob the bookstore where he works or they’ll tell the cops where he lives. Why would the cops be interested, he asks? “Don’t you remember? You killed your mom’s boyfriend.”

“Loved it! I made all my friends read it!” “5 stars? No, 10 Stars" “A love story and a murder trial with a clever twist!”

NOTE: If you prefer the paperback or audiobook versions of any of these books,

please go to my Amazon Author Page.

Other fiction...

A Political/Military Thriller about nuclear Armageddon.

A Romantic Comedy about an ad man from the Mad Men era.

A woman in a dead relationship who tries to revive her heart.

And an anthology of all my published short stories.

(A Romantic Comedy of Errors)

When Kassel's 3 wishes come true, his life turns to hell.

Follow the misadventures of Art Kassel, ad copywriter, dreamer, idealist and rule-breaker as he navigates an unlikely relationship with a beautiful starlet, has the nerve to try using [gasp!] humor in the TV spots of an extremely conservative client, and butts heads with an ambitious, unscrupulous exec over an assignment of dubious morality. As if things couldn’t get any worse, he goes and submits his ten-years-in-the-making, hopelessly overwritten novel to the dubious gaze of an unhappily-published author.

“A funny & refreshing look at life in the Mad Men era!” “I hate to say it, but I really identified with the poor schnook!” “5 Stars!”

“Hilarious, sad and finally, moving!”

Nuclear Armageddon is on the Ballot

The leading candidate for US President is certain God has chosen him to bring on The Rapture by launching nuclear war. His march to the White House is unstoppable. Journalist Dan Jessup has finally unearthed the candidate’s virulent past, but if he reveals it, his pregnant wife and son, now being held hostage, will be murdered. Meanwhile, Lt. Greg Pangborn, a tech officer in a rogue military faction, is beta-testing how the US might survive a nuclear exchange with a resurgent Russia. While gaming the outcome of a US nuclear decapitation strike against the Kremlin, he makes a terrifying discovery: what he’s working on isn’t really a game: it’s a rehearsal.

“Scary as hell!"

“A thrill ride that keeps you turning pages right up to the explosive conclusion!”

"The stuff of nightmares! A great read!”

In Disturbance in the Church, an android shows up a Catholic Mass and when he asks to confess his sins and receive communion, all hell breaks loose.

In Do-Over, a 30-something man wakes up as a 12-year-old with all his adult memories intact. What can he do to correct his own mistakes--and those of the wider world?

In A Game of Scrabble, a woman in a dead marriage tries to revive her heart--with hilarious and disastrous results.

In addition to these 5-star short stories, this volume contains four other stories never before in print. All are calculated to amuse, surprise or move you.

“The tension between church doctrine and logic was superbly drawn.” “A lively, fast-paced, well-written gem!” Re: Do-Over: “a fascinating treatment, entertaining and well-written” Re: Scrabble: “A reminder that the grass of adultery is not always greener. Well done!”

Sometimes there's more at stake in a game of Scrabble than just victory.

In this short story, Vera’s marriage has been dead for years. So when she reconnects with a childhood sweetheart, she seizes the chance to re-ignite her heart. But the comedy-of-errors affair she stumbles into leads to unspeakable consequences. Humiliation should have been punishment enough. But the arrival of “good news” during a board game is sending her straight to hell. Yet in the end, she achieves a small but significant triumph.

"I loved this!"

"A heart-wrenching tale"

"Sad and funny and sad again,

with a nice kicker at the end!"

NOTE: If you prefer the paperback or audiobook versions of these books, please go to my Amazon Author Page.

About the author...

I survived five foster homes to build a life for myself. Despite my emotionally corrosive early life, I managed to gain my creative footing. In high school, I edited an award-winning literary magazine. In college, I aced my creative writing courses. As an advertising copywriter, my TV, radio and print ads helped sell billions of dollars-worth of goods and services, winning numerous awards along the way. I married young, raised two daughters with my wife and managed to stay married despite the ups and downs of my advertising career and my early struggles to write fiction. These days, I’m pretty happy with the books I’ve written in several different genres, and continue working on more. When I’m not writing, I’m reading, listening to classical music, walking my dog, reading, running around with friends, reading, taking in concerts, plays and musicals and…oh yes, reading. By the way, those large black objects behind me are my Vandersteen speakers, and my sound system is connected to a dedicated laptop that I use for streaming my Napster playlists.

I welcome comments, and will be happy to answer your questions. You can reach me at dave@authordavidwolf.com

The buttons below go to some sites worth exploring.

           Enthusiastic Reader Reviews

                      for Mindclone

With Mindclone, author David T. Wolf has taken us on a wild, joyride to the critical moments before the singularity described by Ray Kurzweil.

David playfully explores exponentially evolving artificial intelligence and neural science trends, including the now theoretical concept of uploading entire human minds, emotions and memories into computers. However, the author artfully dodges excessive technical jargon. His narrative flows easily and naturally. The story unfolds logically, and can be understood by any reader without degrees in physics, chemistry and electrical engineering. The story is a fast-paced leap into the future, is always urgent, and at times evokes fears for the protagonist and the other good folks. Much science fiction in recent decades has been very dystopian, claiming that future technologies are causing a hell on earth, then ending by quickly retreating to the present with the message that our current world is the best of all possible habitats. This novel is definitely not dystopian. In this wonderful book, David engineers a positive vision of exploding IQ’s and calm introspection, while all evil in this tale flows from one human, a meat-brained vulture capitalist, in cahoots with the military industrial complex. This evil-doer corrupts politicians and bureaucrats, and turns them into craven amoral sycophants who help swell his ill gotten billions and protect his unchecked power. –Robotobia, from an Amazon review

Written in a serious but jocular vein, it has satirical jibes at advertising, the military-industrial complex, predatory capitalism, and the NSA, all tucked in a semi-plausible s-f adventure about artificial intelligence, plus a love triangle involving a science journalist, his (accidental) mental cyber-twin, and the lady cellist they both pine for. The story speeds up in Part 4, becoming a thriller with several surprise twists, including — this isn’t a spoiler — a throwback to Isaac Asimov. As a longtime Robert Heinlein (and Asimov) fan, I’m happy to see a book worthy of comparison to them — and better yet, unlike that inveterate militarist Heinlein, Wolf has some anti-military wisdom, such as: (p.23), “’If there’s any government spending that needs to be curtailed, it’s military. Maybe if the Department of Defense focused on defense, we’d be a little more careful about committing to endless land wars.’” — besides other gems I won’t give away. Published several months before the Snowden leaks, and the Ukraine incursions, the book also manages to have prescient takes on both the NSA, and Russian designs on Ukraine.–Gene Keyes, science fiction author

5.0 out of 5 stars Ridley Scott, are you listening?

Mindclone is a love story between Marc Gregorio, a science writer of some note; Molly Schaeffer, an accomplished cellist; and Adam, Marc’s brain-uploaded double, a computerized virtual person. Marc was not expecting anything surprising when he dropped in on a lab funded by Memento Amor, an interactive mortuary. What Marc suspected would be a naïve project used sophisticated scanners to copy him into the firm’s first success, and more than anyone bargained for. Certainly more than Marc expected for the article he was writing. As could be foreseen, such a scientific feat would attract some rather unscrupulous characters: in this case, nefarious people with connections in high places. This means that Mindclone is also a science-fiction story and a suspense story.–Kalifer Deil, science fiction author

What a great read! Believable, well-developed characters in an ingenious blend of neuroscience, electronic technology, romance, psychology, and big business with a touch of theology and music. And the possibility of the mind living on after the body dies leaves open so many avenues for thought (and future novels). What would this mean for the future of humanity, of religious belief, of the practicality of travel to the stars, and so on? Mr. Wolf, get to work!–Melvyn Schwartz, computer scientist

I love this book! The writing is skillful and empathic, the pace swift, the characters thoroughly engaging, and the story gripping in the extreme. Without slowing the relentless roll out of his inventive, masterful, white-knuckle plot, the author deftly explores a rich array of fascinating themes both eternal and timely, including the nature and value of humanness, consciousness, happiness, friendship, love, sensuality, music, altruism and much more. Not knowing anything about the author ahead of time, I went through a period of mild panic upon first opening the book. By plunging the reader into the complete disorientation of a mind utterly adrift, newly disconnected from its body and lost in cyberspace, the very first chapter spiked me with fear that the whole novel would leave me lost, with nothing to grip, nothing to moor to. But I was soon reassured–and soon thereafter delighted. In fact, I became so engrossed I could not stop reading. I love it when this happens. As this vividly imagined, ingenious novel builds to a wonderful series of surprising climaxes, the reader is treated to a celebration of true worldly riches–the stuff that makes life worth living: things both cerebral and visceral, insights, epiphanies, mysteries, big questions, gut-felt sensuality, and a load of intrigue and fun.–Bill McGinnis, author of Whitewater, a thriller

Mindclone by David Wolf is one of the most entertaining, intelligent, and stimulating books I’ve read in a very long time. In fact, it’s one of the most enjoyable and captivating novels I’ve ever read. Wolf is a true renaissance man with knowledge of artificial intelligence, music, equities trading, and computer science. I highly recommend Mindclone for both serious sci-fi fans and anyone seeking a fun read.— Jay Scheikowitz

And here is a favorable review from a respected Italian site: An exciting book, a page-turner sci-fi story, raising the reader interest between fascination and thrill. “Mindclone” takes us into the new dimension of artificial intelligence and beyond. It delves into the possibility to save the memories of a deceased person, making us wonder: what does it really mean being humans, is awareness a sufficient condition? The book describes vividly, with a fiction approach, pros and cons of an entity having huge potential resources, to be balanced with human desires, either generous and worthy, or aimed at war and money.Wolf’s writing style is scientific, objective, exposing the reader to new words and techniques in a natural way, so that everything can be understood, stimulating curiosity; at the same time the author knows how to write in an emotional style, giving feelings, thoughts and stimulating an engaging and empathic feedback. This is possible thanks to the deep knowledge acquired by the author on this topic, and to the translator, Vittorio Rossi, who has been able to transfer into Italian all these concepts and emotions, maintaining the novel’s energy, liveliness and fluency. The main characters are really great. Living the first feelings of Marc’s mental clone, when he realizes his real nature, is an intense and destabilizing experience. These chapters take you to deep thoughts. The relationship between the human being and his clone version is intriguing: it’s a game based on a competition, including envy, jealousy, caution, astonishment, desire to connect and have a conversation. An emotional seesaw starts when a woman, Molly, comes into play, being able to raise emotions and desires in both Marc and his clone: since the latter is just the result of the experiences and memories of the former, it may seem obvious that the same woman is of interest for both. Actually Marc, and the clone who is now named Adam, get more and more different as the book proceeds, by developing different behaviors and personalities. This situation raises interesting questions about what makes us unique individuals.The minor characters are well described as well, being put in context to represent lights and shadows of mankind, and adding suspense to the story. Many unexpected situations make the plot rich and engaging. We hope that the technology described in this book may get real, giving an option to keep a relationship with the loved ones who are not living anymore. This possibility may motivate good feelings, but the author also raises a disturbing scenario: which other uses might derive from it, less peaceful and not related just to memory of those who passed away? This entity is thousands of time more intelligent and potentially powerful than us, so why should it be faithful, even subdued, in an ideal world based on cooperation? Do we humans care of what happens to ants? “Mindclone” is an exciting novel, great for the reader who is in search of adventure, innovation and deep reflection. Are we going at light speed toward a better world or straight to self-destruction? Only time will answer this question. Recommended!–Tatiana Vanini

NOTE: This review is of the Italian translation of Mindclone. The original Italian review text can be read here:                       https://www.librierecensioni.com/recensione/mindclone-david-wolf.html