Saturday, November 27, 2010

When No One is Watching by Joseph Hayes

When No One is Watching by Joseph Hayes. Synergy Books. October 2010. 320 pages. ISBN No. 9780984387943.

This is the story of an all-too often true accident that devastates the lives of everyone involved for far too long. Celebrating their legal victory in a lawsuit for a big business company in Chicago, they drink their way far into the night. Only Danny Moran has been having trouble with his drinking for a while, awakening many a morning with no memory of the previous evening. On this night, his best buddy Blair Van Howe, after announcing he is leaving the legal work to campaign for a Congressional seat, hauls Dan into his Porsche. Blair is thrilled to be driving this magnificent machine of power and prestige. Deciding to give it one more burst of energetic speed, he starts to tear around a corner and fails to see an oncoming car which veers to avoid him and winds up crashing into a tree. Blair sees the very injured man and a little girl in the back seat hugging a toy. Realizing this could mean the end of a career of a lifetime, he makes some changes which will put the blame on Dan and leaves.

The results are obviously devastating as the man soon dies and Dan is torn with self-hatred and guilt. Blair meanwhile protects himself as only a campaigner controlled by his capable father-in-law could do and proceeds to a successful political career. Seduced by his own success, he quickly leaves behind his guilt, that is until a very savvy detective who was shunted out of his career when the accident happened decides to take action before Blair can climb politically higher to the ultimate government job, that of President!

Can there be a redemptive end for anyone within such a tragic and horrifying account? In a sense, all the wrong people grow from this event and all the right people lose in the end. Justice is shown in all of its skewed faces, leaving a dramatic effect on the reader as well as characters.

Joseph Hayes has written what would be a tremendous thriller were it not for the all-too familiar scenario within its pages. These are pages for all to read and ponder. This is what drinking and driving do.

A very important and well-written novel, Joseph Hayes!

Buy it and never forget it, readers!

To Desire a Wicked Duke by Nicole Jordan

To Desire a Wicked Duke. Nicole Jordan. Random House Publishing. February 2011. 384 pages. ISBN No. 9780345510099.

In this final Book 6 of The Courtship Wars series, Tess Blanchard is initially caught giving a passionate kiss to the man, Patrick Hennessy, who is, unknown to Tess, supposed to guarding her. It's not a serious kiss at all but it appears as such to a suddenly appearing and angry Duke of Rotham, Ian Sutherland. As usual the Duke is arrogant, pompous and insulting as he questions and threatens Tess over this seemingly innocent act, and she responds accordingly. Having been engaged to a man who died in war, she is ripe for scandal to which the Duke for some reason is determined she will not know.

Later, her godmother, Lady Wingate orders Tess to marry the Duke and says she will withdraw all her monetary support if Tess refuses. So Tess proceeds to obey but intends this to be a marriage in name only, for she is truly a match to the man who does little to indicate other than scorn.

However, things begin to very slowly change as Ian shows he is capable of protecting her and even instructing her in the amatory arts. Finally, after Tess discovers some horrific things about the Duke's past, she escapes to Cornwall where there is a hint of a ghostly presence, one that enters her room on her very first night there.

After Ian follows her to Cornwall, the passion between them grows and some very dark, startling secrets are revealed involving someone very close to both of them.

Nicole Jordan's most recent romantic novel is a delight for all of her fans as well as new readers. There are plenty of surprises that keep the reader turning the pages with riveting attention and the romance is hot, hot, hot!!!

Great story, Nicole Jordan!

Rich and Lost in Prosperia: A Tropical Tale of Market Economics by Doramas Jorge-Calderon

Rich and Lost in Prosperia: A Tropical Tale of Market Economics. Mill City Press, Inc. April 2010. 296 pp. ISBN No. 9781936107728.

This most unusual novel begins with two men, Richy and Losto, who decide to begin a small business in handcrafts and music respectively. They know absolutely nothing about business and are initially only interested in making enough money to have an easy life. But as their inquiry and start-up businesses begin growing, they are about to discover that many elements contribute to economic success and that that flows over to affect numerous individuals who either produce or purchase products.

So begins this economic novel, which explains the complex world of business in a readable, clear manner. As the chapters progress, Richy learn that value comes from scarcity rather than having a surplus of products, that value comes from the worth of a product which transfers to all who contribute to its production, that producers will make what brings the highest profit rather than what sells the most in quantity, that trust is absolutely necessary and cannot be guaranteed without some type of controls, and so much more.

Yes, one must even plan on those who would cheat, those who would monopolize as well as who is legally able to do that and who is not and how that is achieved, those who seek and make subsidies for certain products that actually drive up the price for said products, and on and on and on.

For those entrepreneurs who are interested in starting up a new business or even those who are in business and finding they need to learn more in order to be successful, this is the book for you. It actually would be a great idea for all consumers to buy this book so as to understand the forces of economy that push the cycle of production, sales, profit, value, scarcity, and so many other economic factors usually taken for granted by the average non-business oriented consumer. All in all, this is market economics for everyman!

Very nicely done, Doramas Jorge-Calderon!

Blood of My Brother by James LePore

Blood of My Brother by James LePore. Published by The Story Plant, 2010, 352 pages; ISBN No. 9780981956886.

Jay Cassio and Dan Del Colliano have been best friends since childhood, years consisting of having to be tougher than the brutal neighbors surrounding them in their Newark, New Jersey home. After Jay's parents die in a plane crash, it is Danny who inspires him to rise above despair and enjoy life as it is. Jay immerses himself in law and Danny becomes a private investigator. Danny, however, is always living on the edge, constantly just staying afloat of huge debt and wheeling and dealing with unsavory characters that put him in the path of threats to his life and well-being.

Then Jay represents a woman in a divorce case who is found beheaded and her husband is killed as well. It's a pretty high profile case and all of a sudden Jay is supposed to stay out of it because the FBI is handling the investigation. Jay, however, is at first curious why this is important to the government and then determined to get to the root of it all when Danny is found murdered in Florida.

Isabel Perez is an orphan who is suddenly adopted by an "Uncle" who immediately turns her world into one where every order, including those involving satisfying other men's sexual needs, must be obeyed. After years of assisting in money laundering for drug dealers and others involved in financial schemes, Isabel is beginning to realize her own value and asking herself questions about such a dire future. Only with a sudden liaison and its consequent deaths does she realize that she is next for the elimination list, not so much for betrayal as simply for knowing too much.

Meanwhile, anyone connected to the murders is winding up either dead or proclaiming absolute silence, but that doesn't stop Danny from going to Florida and getting closer and closer to not only the top man behind the crimes but also an even larger criminal and political element.

Isabel's discovery of her real father's identity comes after her electric collision with Danny. The ending is more than a surprise about revenge and how even the worst of possible circumstances can have a somewhat satisfactory ending.

Blood of My Brothers is a fast-paced thriller with twists and turns that defy reason. James LePore has again written a novel of suspense showing his maturing style is in even better form. A best seller for sure for those who love thrillers and a good mystery!