CONSUMED is a high-energy free-fall through the twisted inner sanctums of Seattle’s high-tech elite. In the center is Byron Wells, head of Digitron’s Virtual Reality division. He’s brilliant, conniving, fifthly rich… and out of the picture by the end of Chapter One.
Enter Less McKee. A divorce attorney who hates divorce, Les is a devoted family man who can’t sweep Byron’s wife from the darkest corner of his heart. While reading on his deck one perfect Sunday, he photographs a magnificent hot air balloon as it prepares to land nearby. Without warning, it explodes in a horrific ball of flames. All on board, including Byron, are killed.
His mysterious client, Beverly, is Byron’s seductive, alluring but soon to be ex-wife. From the time they were college sweethearts, Beverly has been a part of his life, though he chose to tie the knot with her best friend. He handled her gut-wrenching first divorce from a shady nightclub owner who won’t stop haunting him. And now her multi-million dollar second divorce from Byron Wells has erupted into a massive murder investigation.
Byron had been grabbing headlines for a year, embroiled in litigation and accused of conspiring to join forces with Akira Nakamura, another defector from the Japanese-based Vortex Video Games. As Les investigates, he catapulted into the shark-infested waters of cutting-edge technology. Along the way he finds himself accused of murder. Six men are dead, forty-four million dollars have vanished, and international manhunt is underway and the evidence point to Les.
With each reluctant step, deeper into darkness, Les teeters on the edge of losing his marriage, his career, his life. If only he could know the heart of his enigmatic client. She controls him. She repulses him. And like the flames that swallowed both her husbands, she reaches for Les, consuming him.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.81(d)|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Consumed, A Bad Divorce Can Be Murder is a fast paced thriller written by Michael W. Bugni. The story unfolds as divorce lawyer Les McKee takes a picture of a hot air balloon that suddenly explodes near his house. This sets off a chain of events that leads to his client, Beverly, and her husband, Byron Wells, and to the perverted lives of Seattle’s leading high tech personalities. The couple is in the middle of a bitter divorce suit and at stake is a multi-million-dollar fortune. Beautiful, seductive, and a former college sweetheart of Les, the twice divorced Beverly is the best friend of his wife, Marcia. Byron, on the other hand, is entangled in a case with his former employer, Digitron, that is now accusing him of conspiracy in selling classified source codes to a competitor. As the incident turns into a murder investigation, Les McKee finds himself in trouble as he succumbs once again to Beverly’s deadly charm. Consumed, A Bad Divorce Can Be Murder is one of those novels that can easily consume the undivided attention of the reader as one conspiracy after another is revealed. It has all the elements of an excellent thriller; a beautiful and cunning woman, a susceptible admirer, a meticulous investigator, huge amounts of money, and a lot more. As author Michael W. Bugni weaves the story, the excitement steadily builds and just as one thinks that the conspiracy is now exposed, he comes up with another piece of the puzzle and we are back to square one again. This is perhaps the reason why it is difficult to stop reading this story of intrigue, friendship, betrayal, love, and greed. The story also provides an interesting glimpse into the select world of corporate high technology but, above all, it exposes the weaknesses and strengths of human nature.
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Michael W. Bugni’s Consumed is a fast-paced, multifaceted thriller that centers on Seattle’s high-tech elite. Les McKee is a divorce attorney, a devoted husband and a doting father, but his peaceful life is about to hit the bumpy road – all thanks to Beverly Wells’ multi-million dollar second divorce from Byron Wells. Byron was the head of Digitron’s Virtual Reality division. Sharp-tongued, brilliant and rich, Byron and his colleague Dietrich were accused of selling company secrets to Akira Nakamura, lead engineer for a Japanese-based corporate giant, Vortex Video Games (VVG). It was claimed that Nakamura had paid them handsomely to give him cloud technology from Digitron. Thus, Byron and Dietrich were fired from the company. With the husband grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons, it seems inevitable that the divorce process will be messy. However, Les McKee gives the impression that he could rise to any challenge as a lawyer. That being said, his feelings towards Beverly suggest otherwise to me. Beverly and Les used to be college sweethearts, but Les chose to marry her best friend, Marcia, instead. When Byron dies in a horrific hot air balloon ‘accident,’ I pictured Beverly as a python that keeps tightening its grip on Les’ neck. From that point on, things get worse for Les. Bugni’s crisp prose, clever plotting, and believable dialogue all add up to a fascinating read – albeit one that assumes some general knowledge of the law system on the reader’s part. I appreciate the perfect length of each chapter and the brisk pacing of the story. Overall, Consumed is an excellent crime-thriller with substantial suspense from start to finish.
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite Love can be the root of all evil. At least that seems to be the lesson that divorce attorney Les is surrounded by in his daily legal practice as well as his daily life. According to Michael W. Bugni, the author of Consumed, “Cheating spouses were commonplace…though in the case of Beverley and Byron’s marriage it was not another woman, but the intoxicating power of an online world gone mad.” When Les witnesses the fiery explosion of Byron’s hot air balloon from the balcony of his expensive home, he is forced to confront both a dangerous murder case as well as his own latent feelings for the widow. Until this time, virtual reality only dealt with the multi-million dollar business of the gaming world. As Les delves deeper into the mysterious death of his colleague, he also finds himself irresistibly drawn to the allure of Byron’s widow. Even with the impending demise of his own marriage and career, Les refuses to stop fighting for the innocence of a woman who holds his lusty heart within her destructive grasp. Michael W. Bugni creates a suspenseful tale of deceit and adultery in this novel that refuses to be put down. Each time the reader believes to have solved the crime and put an end to this roller coaster ride, another twist creates fresh questions in the reader’s mind. Consumed contains a plethora of gaming and technology terminology, but remains very readable for the novice “techie” with its strong plot that appeals to readers of the crime genre.
Reviewed by Kathryn Bennett for Readers' Favorite Consumed: A Bad Divorce Can Be Murder by Michael W. Bugni enters into the world of Seattle’s high tech elite. Les McKee is a divorce attorney, who really does not like divorce at all, but it is his job and so he does the work. Beverley is a client he has worked with in the past and was working her through her second and multi-million dollar divorce when the man involved, Byron Wells, is killed in a stunning blaze of fire in a hot balloon accident. Les finds himself embroiled deeper into issues he never thought possible, including being set up and accused of murder. Through all of this, Les finds himself being consumed by his client, and even though he has a wife of his own his client controls him and he isn’t sure if he can get out of it. I haven’t read a thriller on my Kindle that was this good in a long time. It was not just thrown together like so many of them seem to be these days. This is a well thought out thriller that keeps you snared in its story from the start of the book until the end. The first chapter hooked me into the tangled web and by the end I was wishing that it was not the end of the book. You will hardly be able to set this book down once you start reading it. Author Michael W. Bugni has truly created a triumph of thriller fiction. I would heartily recommend this one to anyone who loves thrillers.
Reviewed by Ray Simmons for Readers' Favorite Consumed by Michael W. Bugni has all the elements of a good murder mystery. In Leslie McKee we have a rarity, at least according to current popular thinking. Leslie is a divorce lawyer who is also an ethical and moral man. He is not perfect and has had a nasty experience operating on the shady side of the law, but he learned from that and is in a place in his life where he tries to do the right thing. Part of the pleasure of reading Consumed is watching Leslie as he navigates through an emotional and legal quagmire. The story opens with Leslie watching a hot air balloon crash from the deck of his house. He doesn't know it at the time, but this accident is going to turn his life upside down. I like Consumed. I like Leslie McKee and his determination to do the right thing even when it's not easy. I like the portrait of life in the state of Washington among the successful high-tech community, their families, and of course their lawyers. Michael W. Bugni is the best thing to happen for honorable young lawyers since John Grisham. He has crafted an excellent story here. His instinct for portraying the right scene at the right time is perfect. If he has a few more stories like this inside him I predict a future of considerable commercial and critical success. I love finding a book like this to review. If you like stories about lawyers, you will love Consumed.