Who is this Mark Zaslove fellow and why did he write this book?
Seriously, one can’t be too careful in researching authors in this age of false pretenses and fake appellations. So here goes…a long-standing writer/director/producer, Mark is a live-action and animation entertainment industry veteran, working in both movies and television. He’s done time – scratch that – created content for all the major studios, including Disney, Universal, Paramount and Warner Bros. A two-time Emmy Award winner for writing/producing, Mark also won the Humanitas Prize (for writing uplifting human values in television and movies – go figure). He also writes short fiction and right after college (where he studied astrophysics), he served as senior editor on various magazines including a couple for the notorious LFP, Inc.—google it—but from there he went to “Winnie the Pooh,” so his karma is still cool.
Finally, one day, he got fed up with the rigorous structure of scriptwriting and everyone giving him notes and decided: “WTH! Time to stretch my legs, step on the gas and write a novel for the sheer fun of it!” And voila, almost before you could say “Death and Taxes,” the book was done. What’s more, it’s just the first in a series of fast-paced thrillers following the escapades of IRS agent Mark Douglas and his band of merry revenuers as they bring justice to those in great need of same, while collecting your Federal dollars along the way. Hey, for both Marks, it’s a living.
Death and Taxes follows Mark Douglas, an ex-Marine turned IRS agent, who, along with auditing the weird and the profane, also spearheads weekend raids with his locked-and-loaded gang of government-sanctioned revenuers, merrily gathering back taxes in the form of cash, money order, or more often than not, the debtor’s most prized possessions.
Things turn ugly when Mark’s much-loved boss and dear friend Lila is tortured and killed over what she finds in a routine set of 1040 forms. Mark follows a trail dotted with plutonium-enriched cows, a Saudi sheik with jewel-encrusted body parts, a doddering, drug sniffing, gun-swallowing dog named The Cabbage, a self-righteous magician with a flair for safecracking, a billionaire Texan with a fetish for spicy barbecue sauce and even spicier women, and an FBI field agent whose nickname is “Tightass.” All of which lead to more and bloodier murders – and more danger for Mark.
Enlisting his IRS pals – Harry Salt, a 30-year vet with a quantum physical ability to drink more than humanly possible; Wooly Bob, who’s egg-bald on top with shaved eyebrows to match; Miguel, an inexperienced newbie with a company-issued bullhorn and a penchant for getting kicked in the jumblies – Mark hunts down the eunuch hit man Juju Klondike and the deadly Mongolian mob that hired him as only an angry IRS agent can. There will be no refunds for any of them when April 15th comes around. There will only be Death and Taxes.