Rating: 3.5 Stars (EDIT: I have decided after a lot of thought to go with 3.5 Stars. The main character, Paul, really just got on my nerves too often to be 4 Stars.)
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review from the author, Michael Sahno.
I was debating for a long time between 3 and 4 stars. I thought about 3.5 and then kind of figured out what my deal is with fiction: I read so much non-fiction about extraordinary people doing extraordinary things and that makes me expect too much from all fictional characters. Like, I expect all the fictional characters I read about to do grand and amazing things. I realize this is just not possible, so I have to accept that sometimes fictional characters are going to be like regular people and irritate me, and go on with my day.
I like the premise of the story. Paul, the main character, stumbles across two strange accounts at the insurance company he works for and eventually discovers that his boss is stealing from the employees' 401(k) plans. He has to decide if he is going to do something about it and turn his boss in, or keep quiet. The story is told from multiple perspectives of those involved; Paul, the one who discovers something is not right, his immediate boss Graham, the perpetrator of the crime, and James, the head honcho who runs the company.
I won't give much more of the plot away because it would involve spoilers and I really try not to do that with fiction, but over the course of the book Paul meanders from being so gung-ho about investigating what is going on, then suddenly a couple months go by and he's just kind of put the little 'project' to the side. Then after that, he dilly-dallies about whether or not to tell his higher up boss what is going on, and eventually the police. Basically, he just drags his feet about the whole thing and while I was reading I wanted to shake him and tell him to man-up. At one point the girl he is dating, Suzanne, calls him out for that very thing and she was not wrong.
Speaking of Suzanne, I just could not deal with her last name. Beidertyme. Like Bide her time? The word play with character names came up a couple times, whether intentional or not. One would have to think it was. There was also a character named Cora Gable; the story takes place in Florida. Funny little things like that throughout.
The story is also a bit like the movie Go, in that there are multiple little subplots going on, but they are all connected by common characters (no raves though, sorry?). I enjoy stories like that and seeing how everyone knows one another and how the whole thing fits together in the end. The own of the company, James, had a brother who worked at the family law firm and was totally scummy and gross and due to his scummy ways, ended up losing his condo to his ex-wife and sleeping on their parents' couch while having to move out. He leers at all the females it seems, including James' daughter's nanny, who is friends with Suzanne, who dated Paul. A friend of theirs, Mercedes, was in love with a local weatherman and honestly his part of the story was least connected, but we also see the cook that James and his wife employ and his relationship with a girlfriend who was jealous of the nanny. Basically, all the characters' lives were interconnected somehow and those webs are always interesting to me.
One thing that I did not understand was why the police did not begin investigating themselves when told about the scam that Paul's immediate boss had been running. I guess I do not know a lot about police procedure, aside from what I saw when I used to watch SVU before Christopher Meloni left and I had a baby (while I wish those two events were connected, sadly, they are not. Christopher Meloni is not the father of my child). It just seems odd that the crime was reported but they said a private investigator might be able to get more information. Who knew.
Overall, it was an interesting story and one that I breezed through pretty quickly. Be prepared for a main character who may irritate you at times though.The story wraps up well for the most part and I found it an interesting read.