The Safety Expertby Doug Richardson
Ben Keller lives life by one simple rule. Safety first. Ben is keenly aware of life’s hidden dangers. Ben never smokes. Ben always uses the crosswalk. Ben always drives within the speed limit. He has to because safety is his business. From his home in Simi Valley, California, one of the safest cities in the United States, Ben works hard at living a perfectly… See more details below
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Ben Keller lives life by one simple rule. Safety first. Ben is keenly aware of life’s hidden dangers. Ben never smokes. Ben always uses the crosswalk. Ben always drives within the speed limit. He has to because safety is his business. From his home in Simi Valley, California, one of the safest cities in the United States, Ben works hard at living a perfectly normal, perfectly uneventful, perfectly safe life.
And life is good until the past reaches into the present. In the dark of the night, a man crosses a lonely intersection and is struck by a car, setting events in motion that will unravel the finely stitched strands of Ben’s cocoon, from a recently retired porn actress who is desperate to be a mother to the butch cop determined to shield her young son from the whisperings of the queen bee moms at his private school to the addict who is clawing to hold onto the sobriety which cages the violence within him.
A long dismissed demon has resurfaced, presenting Ben with a most unsafe dilemma: preserve the haven he has carefully built for himself or confront the evildoer who decimated his carefree young life all those years ago.
Ben is in danger. Ben’s world is unsafe. Ben’s life will be changed forever. Again.
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Aside from the fact he is married to my cousin--- Doug once again writes a great novel. The narrative flows so well and is driven with such suspense, you cannot put it down! I mean, torture and murder of a wheelchair bound man in a pool? This stuff is great. The man can write-period. Keep em' coming and we'll keep reading! Kiss Karen for me.
It's been a long time since I was drawn into a thriller so compelling, I couldn't put it down. Even the latest by some of the masters of the genre have left me flat. But THE SAFETY EXPERT is a different animal. One of the things I loved, something I felt untraditional for the genre, was that the plot did not center and accelerate around big reveals, but was propelled by smaller reveals about the characters themselves. I found it fascinating to walk in the shadows of these characters as they discovered new facets of their humanity, or rediscovered deeply buried aspects of their nature, dislodged and raised again to the surface by circumstance. But, don't think for a second this is a simple "man (men) pushed to the brink" story - It's a story about being forced to look in the mirror, both rear view and full length, and making peace with what stares back, no matter the cost. I love how just about every character tried to sweep the past under the rug, only to find it seeping out the sides. THE SAFETY EXPERT is just terrific. I can't recommend it enough. Bonus...Doug Richardson is also a working screenwriter in Hollywood (DIE HARD 2, BAD BOYS, MONEY TRAIN, HOSTAGE) and has a blog where he speaks to his experiences navigating the Hollywood waters. Also extremely entertaining. [...] RB
Imagine living your life in a safe manner, being mister reliable and totally dependable, obeying all the rules and not taking any chances. When out of the blue you receive a cd through the post, from a dying convict telling you that he knows who killed your first wife and twin daughters, naming him and giving you his address. All this happens to Ben, it affects his life in a big way and his current wife suspects he is having an affair but the lady in question is a police officer who is helping Ben with his quest. On receiving information Ben decides to visit the murderer undercover at his workplace, but after his visit the murderer, Stew, gets suspicious and starts his own investigation. This leads to Stew's downfall to drink and drugs and he starts murdering to get to our hero, Ben. Ben's marriage starts to crumble along with his business, his obsession to catch Stew takes over and he is no longer safe, reliable or dependable, which he now finds exciting. Ben is not the only one with an obsession as Stew is intent on taking out Ben, which costs him his marriage and business. Who will win, Ben with the help of the police officer or Stew who is totally out of control on drugs and alcohol? The author challenges the way and manner we all live our lives, are we happy knowing what is safe and predictable or do we want excitement. In the search for excitement or change will this upset the balance, causing doubt, secrets and dishonesty, which also leads to the road of ruin. In the portrayal of the characters we see this happening, how one mans obsession turns not only his life but the lives of the people who rely and trust them. The storyline and language is well versed and the plot is excellent, only slight negative is that I found some parts long winded, but this does not retract from being an excellent book.
Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers Favorite Ben has morphed into a safe person after a violent crime takes his family from him. Reserved, quiet and so in tune with safety that he sells his service as a safety consultant to businesses and corporations. He has settled into a vanilla life, marries another survivor in her own right, becomes father to his new wife's three girls and doesn't see any reason to change. That is, until he receives a piece of communication from an inmate right before death that reveals more than he ever thought he would regarding the loss of his first family. Through twists, surprises and a lot of angst, his life unravels; vengeance is his breath, his blood source and nothing will ever be the same for him. Doug Richardson is a talented suspense writer who draws the mind's eye into his scenes, his characters. I forgot to breathe in a few places, reading as fast as I could so as to get to what would happen next. Characters are designed in such a way that you will be seeking the good guy, booing the bad guy and trying to figure out where everyone else in the cast fits in. There was not one part that did not pique my curiosity, let my own mind play out what could possible happen . . . only to be disturbed, delighted with what the author brings next . . . every single time! Anybody who has a taste for suspense will absolutely enjoy this book. I would love to listen to it on audio book!