Rory McEntyre is a New York estate lawyer in a reputable firm: competent, hard-working, and single. One afternoon, his new clients turn out to be his old university friends Tom and Monica Williams, with an unusual request. They’ve won a share of one of New York’s mega-lotteries, and need his help to set up a trust to smokescreen their good fortune. Rory, who still pines for Monica but thinks that the better man won her heart and hand, obliges. But then Tom dies, apparently by his own hand, and the grieving and confused widow needs Rory’s help and support in every step of negotiating the labyrinth of complex investigations and revelations resulting from Tom’s suicide.
Dead Winner is a pacy, twisty comedy-thriller. At least, I hope it was supposed to be a comedy-thriller. That’s how I read it, and that’s how I’m reviewing it. Without spoilers, let me say I read it that way because the plot was obvious to me from the first chapters, and my enjoyment was in watching Rory getting deeper and deeper into something that wasn’t going to end well for him.
Side characters added to my chuckles. The executive assistant who was an Olympic judo contestant uses those skills in a scene reminiscent of Emma Peel in her leathers. The head of security who has ‘muscle envy’ on seeing the build of the (of course) probably-Russian hitman. Each character fit their role – harried and overworked detectives, ex-cop security, cold and efficient head of the investment firm for which Tom had worked – perfectly, instantly recognizable, taking their places in the unfolding events like the stock characters of a Christmas pantomime. As in a pantomime, there were many places when I wanted to figuratively shout ‘look behind you!’ at Rory – but then again, that would have spoiled the fun.
Recommended, but not – at least for me – to be taken seriously.
Reviewed for Coffee and Thorn Book Tours.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kevin Chapman is an attorney specializing in labor and employment law. His passion (aside from playing tournament poker and rooting for his beloved New York Mets) is writing fiction. He recently completed the first five books in his multi-award winning Mike Stoneman Thriller series.
Kevin writes: “The process of writing crime thrillers involves hours of thinking about and talking about how to kill people. And how to get away with it. It also involves figuring out how my protagonist detectives might solve the case. But mostly it’s about planning out ingenious ways to murder people. My wife is a willing participant in this process (so she must trust me). My current book is more of a mystery, and a little bit of a tragic romance. But all the stories are about the characters. If you don’t care about them, then I’m not doing my job.”
TO CONTACT THE AUTHOR
Kevin G Chapman welcomes communication from his readers – including comments, ideas, disagreements and critiques. He can be contacted via any of the links below:
Author website: https://kevingchapman.com/
The Mike Stoneman Thriller Group on Facebook
Email him at kevin[at]kevingchapman[dot]com
He is also on Twitter (@KGChapman)
2 thoughts on “Dead Winner, by Kevin G. Chapman”
Thanks for your wonderful review, Marian. Kudos to you for appreciating the genre. Let’s have fun with our fiction. Is any Jack Reacher novel serious? But are they fun? Fun is the point, and if I can entertain and keep my readers guessing, isn’t that the point of escapist fiction? Thanks for laughing along. I’m interested in what other readers think and hope some of them will post here also. — Kevin G. Chapman
It was fun! And as long as a reader enjoys the book, that’s the point, right? (Is any Reacher serious? Not in my mind!)
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