House Of Cardsby Theodore Jerome Cohen
Cohen’s style is not unlike that found in novels by authors such as Dan Brown, or Tom Clancy, or even the late Michael Crichton.” Gary Sorkin for Pacific Book Review. The head of one of the largest investment banking and securities firms in the United States has been assassinated on Times Square in the middle of New York City’s annual celebration of Halloween, the Festival of the Dead. Louis Martelli, NYPD, is one of the first detectives on the scene. The case rapidly spirals downward into a maelstrom of death and intrigue linked both to the financial meltdown of 2008 and international terrorism. Who is behind the murders, and why is the FBI attempting to shut down Martelli’s investigation before it even can get started? Martelli eventually learns the answers to these and other questions, but not before discovering how two Wall Street financial institutions have been complicit in funding Islamic terrorism. (Adult language)
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Reviewed by Marty Shaw for Reader Views (10/11) A seemingly random murder on Halloween leads Detective Louis Martelli into an elaborate conspiracy that threatens more than just the financial security of the world, as the FBI tries to keep him from learning the truth. "House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales" has a plot that was ripped from the headlines and then blended together with the colorful characters that were first introduced in "Death by Wall Street: Rampage of the Bulls." Martelli and his IT assistant, Missy Dugan, are once again using their combined expertise to dig through the lies and uncover the bad guy. Martelli is probably one of my all-time favorite crime-fiction heroes because he's a good cop, but he's not perfect. He's the type of guy that believes in the law, but he also believes that laws can be bent a little bit if the end result is justice being served. Missy Dugan, his partner in both law and illegal activities, is a feisty counter to Martelli's gruff demeanor, providing more than one laugh with her verbal sparring against Martelli. She might not be pounding the pavement with Martelli but she's definitely an essential member of his team. The plot moves at a steady pace, and Cohen provides plenty of depth and description to the story, allowing the reader to easily get lost within the pages. The machinations of Wall Street and the banking industry play an integral part in the storyline, and I am far from being a Wall Street guru. Fortunately, an in-depth understanding of the industries is not required because Cohen is able to walk a fine line that allows him to provide the necessary information in an easy-to-understand manner without actually talking down to us. The story took a couple of unexpected twists that I didn't see coming, keeping me thoroughly engrossed in the book as Martelli does what he has to do to uncover the truth. The FBI, depicted as the bane of local police in numerous works of fiction, are up to their old tricks once again, hoping to keep 'the little people' in the dark because there's no way they could understand 'the big picture.' The only complaint I have about the story is that Martelli's partner, Sean O'Keefe, didn't play a larger role. I understand that Martelli and Dugan are the main characters, and I wouldn't dream of destroying that chemistry, but O'Keefe often seemed to exist just so Martelli would have someone to talk to. I'm not saying the crime-solving duo needs to be turned into a trio but I think, for future stories, it would be best if O'Keefe either had a beefier role or just went away completely. If you enjoy the 'ripped-from-the-headline' stories of shows like Law & Order, then you should definitely take a ride with Lou Martelli and Missy Dugan. They'll keep you educated, informed, and entertained all at the same time. Editor's note: This novel contains adult language.
Spiced with the flavor of New York City like a Sabrett hot dog bought from a push cart outside Macy's on 34th Street, NYPD Detective Louis Martelli peels the onion investigating the murder of a wealthy socialite Matthew B. Richardson III. Shot at point blank range in Times Square by an assassin in a clown suit, all of the signs of a professional hit were blatantly obvious once the assassin himself was found in a dumpster with a single gunshot to his head. So begins House of Cards: Dead Men Tell No Tales, the latest action-packed suspense novel of the exploits of the big city detective Louis Martelli, by Theodore Jerome Cohen. An inherent characteristic of Theodore Jerome Cohen's books are they educate while entertaining, and House of Cards is no exception. The reader is expertly brought into the workings of the mortgage loan bust, where irresponsible home loans were bought and packaged into large investment paper portfolios, misrepresented as to their risk and sold to investors and capital managers worldwide. Once the investors caught wind of this through illegal insider information, the lucky ones purchased insurance from companies such as AIG to mitigate the risk, and as the pop of the financial bubble caused losses to the taxpayers needing to bail out the insurance companies, the crooked investment bankers paid themselves record bonuses. With more wealth generated by fraudulent white collar criminals since the beginning of our country, it was easy for the street gangsters to seek their share. Like moths to a flame, the situation burned up all that got too close. Louis Martelli is use to working between the administrative lines while staying off the police department's radar. Cohen brings his character to a new level of shady integrity, having him become a self-appointed judge and jury of right and wrong, good and bad. The circuitous course of events leads to a childhood friend, and their destinies collide in a dramatic climax of fate. Like poker, it's all in the luck of the draw, unless you have the deck stacked and know how to cheat! I found Theodore Jerome Cohen's references and remarks to show a mature analogist style found in classic novels by authors such as Dan Brown, or Tom Clancy, or even the late Michael Crichton. Heavily laden in terse, poignant dialog, as well as street-smart observations, the reader gets easily drawn into the book; both effortlessly and willingly. Before you know it, the book has more pages on the left side then the right, and you just can't put it down until you see what's going to happen next. Having grown up in New York, I found the references to Brooklyn to be personally nostalgic, but like a good pastrami sandwich, you don't have to be a New Yorker to enjoy one. This book would be as good on the commuter trains out of Penn Station as it would on the beaches of Cozumel or poolside in Hollywood. The appeal of House of Cards is universal to all readers, and as with any great hero, Louis Martelli lives on to fight another battle. Should you think I'm giving away the ending, all I can say is the most famous of NY expressions, "What's it to ya?"
Reviewed by Lee Ashford for Readers' Favorite House of Cards by Dr. Theodore Jerome Cohen is the second of Cohen’s novels featuring NYPD Detective Louis Martelli. When a prominent philanthropist and CEO of a major Wall Street Investment firm is gunned down in Times Square, Martelli is assigned to the case. For reasons not yet clear, the FBI suddenly appears on the scene, demanding NYPD turn over the case to them. The Mayor and Police Commissioner reject the FBI’s ‘request,’ agreeing only to work cooperatively with them. As more bodies begin to turn up, Martelli discovers the common denominator linking the murders. When he learns the FBI is withholding information, Martelli wisely decides to not trust his FBI contact, and moves ahead with the investigation. But this time, he might have bitten off more than he can chew. He’s making some mighty powerful people angry and some of them will stop at nothing to get their way. There is an excellent chance he won’t live to the end of the book. Will this be the final Cohen story featuring Martelli? House of Cards is another gem from the brilliant imagination of Dr. Cohen. As with his other novels, Cohen valiantly researched the background setting for House of Cards, tying fact and fiction together in a manner that can only be described as genius. I do have one complaint, though: Detective Martelli is only a part of the fiction. America could use a few Martellis right now. In that vein, I zealously urge you to read House of Cards, as well as Cohen’s other novels. The facts behind the fiction need to become widely known. Dr. Cohen’s exceptional Martelli novels are a most enjoyable way to learn those facts. Somebody needs to be held accountable, and you, the reader, can help make that happen. Read House of Cards by Dr. Theodore Jerome Cohen, and tell your friends to do the same. They will thank you.