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Out and In

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A romp through the worlds of Dallas arts society and NFL football.

Society beauty and amateur cellist Marie Donovan is in deep trouble after her Super Bowl-winning husband sails off a Dallas high rise...many say in shame after his investment scheme implodes. Just months later, Marie’s shock turns to terror when she’s charged with murdering a lecherous opera maestro. Evidence points squarely at her, but Marie swears she’s been framed.

Only her best friend believes her.

The stunning wife of renowned pro quarterback Cole Donovan is no stranger to struggle. Not only must she fight off the groupies who want to take her man, but she feels alienated in the NFL’s macho culture. When the philandering, hard-drinking Cole retires, he starts playing with high society’s money. Winning at all costs catches up with him...

...and leaves Marie on the hook for millions.

Scorned by society, charged with murder, Marie pins her hopes on defense attorney Ryan Ingles, Cole’s college football pal. Ryan’s investigator reveals a long line of victims who’ve fallen for the murdered maestro’s charms. Trouble is, most point their diamond-studded fingers back at Marie. Desperate to prove her innocence and pay back Cole’s investors, Marie, Ryan and his investigator fly to exotic islands in search of the missing millions, held captive by a corrupt Pakistani banker.

Will Marie find a way to free herself from Cole’s shame?

ebook

Published April 26, 2016

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About the author

Pat Dunlap Evans

3 books127 followers
Pat Dunlap Evans was born in Michigan, but at age two, her family moved to San Antonio, Texas, and later to Dallas, where she attended South Oak Cliff High School and Southern Methodist University. After dropping out of college to support an early marriage, Pat later completed her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in the English/Creative Writing sequence at University of Missouri, Kansas City, where her husband quarterbacked the NFL Chiefs. After a divorce, Pat stressed her way through twenty-five years of varied advertising and marketing roles before she quit the day job to write novels. Pat moved to the Lake Travis area of Austin with her second husband Bill Evans, but the pair recently followed their "bucket list" dream and moved to the Big Island of Hawaii. In Waikoloa Village, the couple enjoys golf, volunteer work, and visits from family and friends.

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Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews
Profile Image for Inés  Molina.
179 reviews27 followers
March 22, 2022
A few times i caught myself chuckling and at the edge of my seat, i enjoyed this book. It's a mystery with a bit of humor. It wasn't predictable, it kept me guessing.
Profile Image for Pat.
Author 3 books127 followers
October 31, 2021
The best review I've seen so far on this book was by Ruthie Jones, writing for the Lone Star Literary Life Book Blog Tour. Ruthie "got it" that this light mystery-thriller is making fun of society snobs and shallow women. From Ruthie's review:

Out and In hits the ground at a full gallop, brimming with murder, gossip, self-centered and entitled characters, and more than enough drama to go around. Accused of a brutal murder, Marie Donovan starts off as one of those self-centered and entitled characters, but as we get to know her better, she becomes a bit more likable with each passing page. She’s flawed, she’s made tons of mistakes, and she hasn’t guided her grown twin sons as she should have over the years. But is she a murderer? Is she a conniving thief who collaborated with her late husband, Cole, on bilking so many people of their investments in an alleged Ponzi scheme? As each chapter unfolds, layers of lies are peeled back, eventually revealing the ugly truth.

The overall plot is definitely unique and filled with rabbit holes and wrong turns, but the author’s storytelling keeps everything in focus as Marie struggles to make it through her murder trial intact (talk about drama!) and then struggles to determine who set her up and why. The pace is brisk, punctuated by Terrance Nichols’s column, Out and In, that dishes on everything and everyone at the Metroplex Opera, including Marie when she is accused of murder and subsequently demoted from her role as Metroplex Opera League President. Terrance’s column provides a heavy dose of juicy gossip and speculation that keeps the reader turning the pages to find out just exactly who murdered the notoriously promiscuous Maestro.

An extra round of editing wouldn’t be amiss, but I didn’t let that hinder my enjoyment. What stood out for me more were the ideas of weathering those inevitable fair-weather friends, discovering unlikely friends who are truer than true, and presenting a false smile to hide your feelings when you just want to let people have it. Marie Donovan experiences all this and more within these pages, and you will feel her frustration, passion, and triumphant moments right along with her.

Out and In is a tangled web of secrets that is incredibly fun to unravel. When the full details of greed, corruption, and murder are eventually thrown in your face, you can only laugh at the clever yet raunchy audacity of it all. In truth, the entire story mimics an Operatic Tragedy, with Marie playing the cello as her friends, family, and enemies perform their various roles to perfection.
August 10, 2016
Just finished reading "Out and In" by Pat Dunlap Evans. Loved the characters in this book especially Marie and the fluid story line. From Dallas high society to the banking world of the Seychelles to a dysfunctional family, it was a good read. Usually, I can figure out "who done it" but this book kept me guessing.
1 review
November 14, 2016
I liked the book it was a good read. The characters were well built by the author. An interesting combination of the opera scene with the NFL league as the setting for the story. A real page turner that kept you reading to find the real killer. It was filled with twist to the end. Looking forward to Ms. Evan's next one.
Profile Image for Mike.
162 reviews2 followers
September 22, 2018
Out and In combines a highly unique set of elements into an engaging story! We have some ex-pro football players, a clique of snobby, rich women who control the Dallas opera scene, a murdered maestro, a gay bar, a major investment fail, and a sleazy columnist who publicizes all of it!

Seriously, have you ever read a story with such a wide range of plot points? Yet this story has it, and Pat Dunlap Evans nicely puts all of them together into a tale that remains mysterious until the very end.

If you’ve ever wondered how the other half lives, this may be the book for you. And after reading it, you’ll probably be glad that you’re not one of them.

The Protagonist of Out and In

Marie Donovan has led a pretty glorified life – until now. A former cheerleader, she was the wife of a past Super Bowl star turned investment pro. He recently took a dive from a Dallas high rise after his shady investment scheme lost people millions, including the local opera company. With no one else to blame, the investors blame his widow, Marie, for their losses.

As Marie struggles to find her place in the ruins of her dead husband’s legacy, she is framed for the murder of the opera maestro, who has pretty much slept with everyone in town. With no money, she is forced to live off the remaining proceeds of an equity credit account.

Marie Donovan has a number of flaws, which help to make her a wonderful protagonist. Similar to a coming of age story, we see Marie evolve, shedding the skin of a wounded widow and discovering her new role in her new world order.

Technically Speaking

Despite this being a very good story, I must make note of the SPAG errors. There’s a number of them, and they seem to be more plentiful as we near the end of the story. I suppose it’s possible that the editor became so engrossed in the story, he/she didn’t pick up on the errors when it got exciting.

The pacing is somewhat sporadic, but there’s a good character arc for Marie. The arcs for some of the other main characters were there, but a little less noticeable.

I have mixed feelings on the ending. I don’t recall any hints along the way, like there are in some mysteries. The way the author presented the ending was also a bit unusual. It’s almost like an epilogue, rather than a climax. But you should form your own conclusion.

Overall, I enjoyed this story. It certainly kept me engaged throughout. The author did a great job of connecting all the pieces. I could not cover all the plot points or main characters in this review; there were just too many of them. However, I do recommend that you give this story a go – it’s very original!

(I received a free copy of this book from Lone Star Book Blog Tours in exchange for my honest review.)
Profile Image for Ruthie Jones.
997 reviews45 followers
September 19, 2018
Out and In hits the ground at a full gallop, brimming with murder, gossip, self-centered and entitled characters, and more than enough drama to go around. Accused of a brutal murder, Marie Donovan starts off as one of those self-centered and entitled characters, but as we get to know her better, she becomes a bit more likable with each passing page. She's flawed, she's made tons of mistakes, and she hasn't guided her grown twin sons as she should have over the years. But is she a murderer? Is she a conniving thief who collaborated with her late husband, Cole, on bilking so many people of their investments in an alleged Ponzi scheme? As each chapter unfolds, layers of lies are peeled back, eventually revealing the ugly truth.

The overall plot is definitely unique and filled with rabbit holes and wrong turns, but the author's storytelling keeps everything in focus as Marie struggles to make it through her murder trial intact (talk about drama!) and then struggles to determine who set her up and why. The pace is brisk, punctuated by Terrance Nichols's column, Out and In, that dishes on everything and everyone at the Metroplex Opera, including Marie when she is accused of murder and subsequently demoted from her role as Metroplex Opera League President. Terrance's column provides a heavy dose of juicy gossip and speculation that keeps the reader turning the pages to find out just exactly who murdered the notoriously promiscuous Maestro.

An extra round of editing wouldn't be amiss, but I didn't let that hinder my enjoyment. What stood out for me more were the ideas of weathering those inevitable fair-weather friends, discovering unlikely friends who are truer than true, and presenting a false smile to hide your feelings when you just want to let people have it. Marie Donovan experiences all this and more within these pages, and you will feel her frustration, passion, and triumphant moments right along with her.

Out and In is a tangled web of secrets that is incredibly fun to unravel. When the full details of greed, corruption, and murder are eventually thrown in your face, you can only laugh at the clever yet raunchy audacity of it all. In truth, the entire story mimics an Operatic Tragedy, with Marie playing the cello as her friends, family, and enemies perform their various roles to perfection.
Profile Image for Nancy.
1,095 reviews15 followers
March 20, 2021
Marie has recently become a widow. Her husband, Cole went off a high rise apartment building in downtown Dallas having swindled many people out of their money. Marie is left with twins who though are adults don't act much like adults. The maestro of the opera has been killed with her gun and she is believed to have done the deed. One of her husband's NFL teammates who is now an attorney is defending her. She did not do it but everything looks like she did. The story takes us on a journey from the past to the now and all of the suspects who had a reason to kill him.
Profile Image for Lorilei Gonzales.
163 reviews3 followers
September 21, 2018
I have never felt such mixed emotions about a book before. I think that almost every element of this book - the setting, the plot, the characters - evoked feelings from opposite poles within myself. Take the setting: I hate Dallas; but I love the fine arts scene. Like Marie, I play the cello and love the human voice quality of it. Unlike Marie, I couldn't imagine playing my instrument naked. I don't love it that much. The plot: I really liked the mystery side of this book. Some authors hit you over the head with key details, thus ruining the surprise. Evans knows how to write a mystery and keep things mysterious. But the romance side of things, some details came down hard and bopped you on the nose. The characters: I felt compassion for Marie and her predicament but felt zero sympathy for her with regard to her spoiled "boys". I guess I found it hard to believe that a go-getter like Cole wouldn't have taught his sons how to succeed - even if that meant teaching them the wrong way to do things.

The book cover is clever and sensual with a man (is that supposed to be Luca?) drawing a bow across the back of a woman with cello strings and f holes tattooed or drawn on her back. I'm not a fan of the font used and the decision to put "a women's mystery-thriller" on the cover too. Bop! Right on the nose with that one. It's nitpicky, but I think that bass clef signs should have been used instead of treble clef signs at the beginning of each chapter since that is the clef that cellos mostly play in. Speaking of the chapters, I didn't mind the changes in point of view, but it sometimes took me a while to figure out who was talking. To be fair, there were a few chapters where Evans didn't want us to know who was talking. I really liked those chapters where the killer(s) would talk about what they have done and how they got away with it.

The book could have used another pass on the editing table, but it was an entertaining read. I had a hunch about who the killer was and was surprised when it seemed like someone else murdered Luca. But then I got another helping of surprise when I realized that the story had not yet quite ended and then we finally get to find out whodunnit. I was hoping that Marie would have a drama free life from here on out, but I'm happy to see that this book is the beginning of a series. I recommend this book to anyone who thinks they can solve mysteries easily (yes, this is a challenge to you).
Profile Image for Nicholas Holloway.
Author 2 books60 followers
October 19, 2019
Mystery storytelling at its best. Dunlap-Evans delivers on character development, arcs, and struggles while simultaneously providing plot points that kept me flipping page after page after page. I will definitely be reading this one again!
Profile Image for Donna Foster.
735 reviews62 followers
November 23, 2019
A murder mystery-thriller that circles around several bad situations, experiences and a pesky gossip column.
Profile Image for Romaine Heart.
2,064 reviews18 followers
February 11, 2022
The blurb caught my attention since it referred to Dallas where I lived. I knew I had to read it. I recognized several street names, places and towns.
Marie is a widow with two sons. Her husband was an NFL quarterback who committed suicide. Throughout the story she remembers the good and the bad of being a wife of football player. Drugs, women, booze and neglect, but sometimes the love and passion for one another. After retirement her husband has a role as a financier with the opera. Beknowst to her he's allegedly involved in a Ponzi scheme. Investors think she's involved and threats are made.
When a brutal murder takes place all evidence points to her. The elite snobby wives of the NFL start coming out of the woodwork pointing fingers and accusations. It doesn't help much when Terrance writes his juicy gossip column Out and In about Marie being accused of murder and his opinions.
Marie like many of us have made mistakes in our past. Sometimes eating humble pie.
We see the struggles she has to endure not only from the wives, police and friends from the opera but also sitting through a trial knowing she could be found guilty of a murder she didn't commit. Her only true friend is Lena and her attorney. Through all of this she maintains a slight smile to keep her frustrations at hand so she won't blow her top.
As secrets are revealed and lies exposed the pieces of the puzzle begin to fall in place.
I suspected who the killer was earlier on and suspected a partner due to the victim's promiscuity. (the bar scene)
A fabulous read I highly recommend.

Thank you Booksirens and the author for a digital copy. Read and reviewed voluntarily and the opinions expressed here are unbiased and entirely my own
905 reviews6 followers
June 13, 2018
I won this ebook in a Goodreads Giveaway. It was a mystery with dark overtones. It kept me guessing. A pretty damning peek at NFL culture.
37 reviews1 follower
May 2, 2018
Awesome

Flowed nicely definitely kept you on your toes to who actually committed the murder. The lead character was also a perfect blend of hard and soft. A great read.
Profile Image for Kristine Hall.
819 reviews43 followers
September 16, 2018
From the very first lines of Out and In, readers know that main character Marie is a pragmatic, logical, and sarcastic soul. The narration is often from Marie's point-of-view, with Marie speaking directly to the reader. This approach results in a feeling that the reader is a friend -- but interestingly, not necessarily a trusted one. The narration style is only one of many aspects of the book that makes Out and In a truly unique and engaging story.

Author Pat Dunlap Evans fleshes-out some memorable characters, two of whom are dead as the story starts. Through Marie's visits down memory lane, other characters' comments and dialogue, and the deliciously biased newspaper column, "Out and In," readers are inserted into the high society scene and lifestyles of the rich, careless, and even murderous. If you are looking for people to love and relate to, this probably isn't your book, but it is highly entertaining. The characters' lack of scruples and snobbery and their oh-no-she/he-didn't moments make for riveting reading.

Much of Out and In is told in a conversational style, with the main character recounting or summarizing events. This sometimes takes the reader out of the action and being able to really experience the story unfolding. At other times, there is more dialogue and real-time action, and there is a sprinkling of chapters told from the killer’s point of view that readers will scour for clues. Evans includes some truly clever double entendres and saucy comments that will evoke some giggles. The book needs additional editing and proofreading to clean-up some clunky and too-long passages and a broad range of errors and typos that are a bit of a distraction from the story.

Overall, Out and In is a quick, fun, and JUICY story for those who love gossip and drama and a peek inside worlds to which most don't have access. I give it my beach-read seal of approval.

Thank you to Lone Star Book Blog Tours and the author for providing me a print copy in exchange for my honest opinion – the only kind I give. This full review and other special features on Hall Ways Blog
Profile Image for Amy Ingalls.
1,022 reviews14 followers
October 22, 2018
I won this book in a giveaway. I enjoyed the story, even though I figured out who did it quite early on. There were a lot of characters to juggle, but I liked that. There were some typos, not too bad, but the book could definitely have used some more editing. In chapter 27 there are 3 mentions of a Judy. Judy doesn't exist. I think Judy is Lena-- maybe the author changed the character's name and it got missed in editing. It wasn't too big a deal, but I did spend a few minutes going back over the pages trying to figure out who the heck Judy was when Marie stated that she was alone with Judy. The ending was good-- I liked that things worked out for Marie. I would read more stories containing the legal team (all that went to Seychelles). They had a great dynamic and I can picture many more adventures for them.
Profile Image for Lara.
53 reviews12 followers
March 19, 2021
An enjoyable must read

Well. I was intrigued when I was introduced to this author. Out of the blue, she came into my life, and I set out to hopefully enjoy my first book by her.

My first impression was, I can continue. The writing style is one I easily fell into. It is one that allowed me to become part of the story. One that allows you to get to know the characters, situations, and circumstances without being overwhelming.

I wanted to see what would happen. I felt I was learning about the characters, maybe even this new author. That hope though was dashed during A Conversation With the Author.

I'm not a mystery reader. This book has those elements, left you in suspense right to the most important moment. I was drawn to the ending for the second story that weaved it self throughout.

Enjoy your time with these characters. I'm ready to grab another Pat Dunlap Evans novel and continue this new journey.
300 reviews2 followers
February 16, 2022
What a great book.

Pat Dunlap Evans does a great job at combining some very serious content with a lot of fun.

It centers around a woman (Marie) who finds herself accused of murder and has to defend herself, but the light, quirky first-person style softens the seriousness of the book. Throw in some almost larger than life characters and unusual situations, and you get a lot of fun woven in with the serious. Be warned, though, the serious content is in there - murder, suicide, affairs, messed up families etc.

I kind of worked out the murder mystery about half-way through, but there were so many other events in Marie's life that needed to be solved or sorted out, so there wasn't really a dull moment.

Disclaimer: I received an advance review copy of this book for free but this review is my own opinion and freely given.
Profile Image for Jessica Kimbel.
699 reviews6 followers
July 5, 2022
Mary Donovan is having a bad year. First, her husband, Cole, ex-NFL quarterback turned financial manager is involved in a Ponzi scheme scandal and jumps to his death from his downtown penthouse. Next, the Dallas opera maestro is found murdered in his house using Marie’s signature hairpin and her gun, and Marie is arrested and tried for the crime. Her husband good friend, also an ex-football player turned lawyer steps up to defend her.

Filled with twists and shocks, Out and In is a great mystery read. Lots of drama, adventure, and romance make this an entertaining choice for a summer vacation book. The ending was a bit predictable, but very satisfying.
7,813 reviews56 followers
February 21, 2022
The characters are engaging and entertaining with plenty of twists throughout the pages. The well written storyline flowed easily.

I received a copy and am voluntarily leaving my honest review.
325 reviews3 followers
August 13, 2017
I liked the first part of the story - the murder trial, but then the going to the foreign islands and the trouble that ensues just seemed a bit much and added just to make the book longer. I really liked the characters.
May 14, 2018
I won this in a Goodreads Giveaway. An engaging story complete with a Ponzi scheme, a murder and the sniping of some weathly opera fans.
Profile Image for Becky Styles.
33 reviews2 followers
October 25, 2021
One of the worse books I have started. The characters were totally unrealistic. The women were petty and not nice. After avoiding it for 2 months, I quit reading it. I don't usually do that.
Profile Image for Reed L Bates.
2 reviews
July 23, 2016
Twisted Excitement at the Opera -- I loved it! I didn't want to put it down and kept thinking about it when I couldn't read it, like at work. Very well thought out, and fun. I could even see the characters on the screen, so it could be a movie, too.
July 25, 2016
Love the way Pat writes! Catches you from the start and keeps you entertained until the very end. A twist here, a turn there... Keeps you guessing!! Seems like she's lived the life. How bizarre; the world of football meets the world of opera. Couldn't put it down. Read it in one sitting!!
August 28, 2016
Out and In

Excellent character development. Several twists and turns in the story. It keeps your attention from the first page. Great Read!
Profile Image for Clipinchick.
596 reviews31 followers
Want to read
May 29, 2018
I received this book for free from the author/publisher in response for an honest review of the book. I have not had the opportunity to read this book at this time. I will add my
review of this book once I have read the book. Thank k you for allowing me the optometrist review your work. I look forward to reading this book.
Displaying 1 - 28 of 28 reviews

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