Once again I'm featuring a debut novel, this time by a writer who lives in Connecticut. His hero is in insurance and retirement planning, as is Draper himself. The character may be the writer's alter ego but the character Randy Larkin is a believable sort of guy in this book who gets involved in a murder investigation because the victim was a good friend. Also Larkin sells insurance to police departments and individuals in the field so he has made friends who help him, and he has absorbed quite a lot of knowledge through his relationships with them.
The victim was chief of internal security for a professional basketball team in Boston, the New England Highlanders. The death is first ruled a suicide and no one seems interested in challenging that conclusion, except the victim's wife, a friend of Larkin, and her brother. The three decide to investigate and quickly succeed in having the suicide ruling thrown out. But then there's the matter of who murdered him and these three amateurs take on the quest with a little, very little, help from the cops.
There are some chapters that strain credulity pretty far, and other organizational and consistency problems with this book but I must point out that Draper has come up with one heck of a story. He's especially good with action scenes, a shootout in a park for instance, and I like his characters. The main three characters draw upon their individual skills and learn from each other, and the combination is effective. The bad guys are really bad so our hero and his friends are frequently in deadly danger. They are all three extremely brave.
In all fairness, the book could have used more editing, but overall is a good story. I think it's quite an accomplishment for a first novel. The essentials, mainly plot and suspense, are there and I hope Draper will continue to write. I would certainly read a second novel from him.
Source: I bought it.