The First Estate is the clergy.

The Second Estate is the nobility.

The Third Estate is the general population.

The Fourth Estate is the press.

Then there is…



A late night knock sends writer SEBASTIAN WREN mentally back 30-some years because the woman at the door resembles his former lover, MORGAN O’CONNOR. It is Morgan’s born-out-of-wedlock daughter CHELSEA. She came to solicit Sebastian’s help to get back her kidnapped mother. Sebastian realizes Chelsea could not be his daughter, but the twin mysteries of her parentage and her mother’s abduction, along with a scant clue on a cell phone, send the pair to L.A. where Sebastian is reunited with several old friends from his college days.

The reunion introduces friends to help the pair on their journey. A phone call demands a ransom to be paid in Seattle—where Morgan had moved to ensure Chelsea’s father would have no knowledge of her. The couple trek up north only to face kidnappers that manage to pull a switch; Morgan is free, but Chelsea becomes captive, and the action switches back to L.A. where a plot more sinister than kidnapping and simple ransom is finally revealed.

Sample Chapters

To download sample chapters, right-click/Control+click/long-press on the appropriate file below and select “Save file/target/link as” and open in your ereader’s native program, or on your computer.

The Kindle file (.mobi) is for Amazon Kindle and the Kindle App.

The .epub file is for all other ereaders (Nook, iPad, Kobo, etc.) and their apps.

The .pdf file is for all computers that have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed.

Available now in paperback, Kindle, and Nook editions.

Reviews of The Fifth Estate

“Mystery novels aren’t known for their charm, until The Fifth Estate. A magical trip down the rabbit hole into the wonderland of the Sixties and Seventies, with all your friends; then emerging into the ‘reality’ of The Fifth Estate. Very worth the read.”

— Wick Downing whose award-winning, mystery-suspense novels range fromThe Player, published in 1974 to his latest, The Trials of Kate Hope.

“A clever, entertaining, plot-twister! The Fifth Estate begins when an aging hippie goes missing, then takes an exciting plunge down memory lane that will leave the songs of the Beatles, Janis Joplin and other greats of the era ringing in your head. Steven R. Berger has written a not-to-be-missed mystery.”

— Margaret Coel, author of the Wind River mystery series.

“A clever, intelligent, literary crime novel with something for everyone—the ’60s, rock and roll, today’s techy existence, with a twist that adds an international flavor. Savor the read!”

— Christine Goff, author of the bestselling Birdwatcher’s Mystery series.

Book Clubs

If you would like to have me visit your club or group to chat about The Fifth Estate or other projects, please email me. If possible, I am glad to appear in person. However, schedules—especially out of town—are tough to manage, but it would be my pleasure to join you via Skype, FaceTime or phone.

Volume Discounts

Also, if you order five copies or more of The Fifth Estate directly by emailing me you will get a 10% discount off the cover price of the books. Do not include credit card or other payment information.

Autographed Copies

Autographed copies of The Fifth Estate are available at no additional charge directly from the author. For details, EMAIL ME. Do not include credit card or other payment information.

Music from The Fifth Estate

It isn’t too often that a book has a soundtrack. The Fifth Estate is filled with music from the ’60s and ’70s and, thanks to Spotify, now has a soundtrack. Enjoy!


Chelsea Morning—Joni Michell You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere—Bob Dylan (The Basement Tapes album) The Eroica Symphony (#3)—Beethoven Le Secre Du Printemps (The Rite of Spring)—Stravinsky Bob Dylan’s Dream—Bob Dylan Not So Sweet Martha Lorraine—Country Joe and the Fish You Can’t Always Get What You Want—The Rolling Stones Suite: Judy Blue Eyes—Crosby, Stills and Nash Hey Mr Tambourine Man—The Byrds Different Drum—Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys Suzanne—Leonard Cohen Sad-eyed Lady of the Lowlands—Bob Dylan God Bless the Bastard Kings of England—Oscar Brand Imagine—John Lennon Sunday Morning Coming Down—Kris Kristofferson Don’t Go to Mexico—B.W. Stevenson Stealin’—Arlo Guthrie Come Together—The Beatles Bat Out of Hell—Meatloaf Take it Easy—Jackson Browne On the Road Again—Willie Nelson Long Thin Dawn—Gordon Lightfoot Coming into Los Angeles—Arlo Guthrie Lawyers, Guns and Money—Warren Zevon Try to Remember—from the Fantasticks Soundtrack, Jerry Orbach Get Together—The Youngbloods Wings—Tim Buckley Angel From Montgomery—Bonnie Raitt Willing—Linda Ronstadt