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Risk
     

Risk

4.0 4
by Colin Harrison
 

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An honest lawyer, a Czech hand model, and a box of mysterious Christmas ornaments--each plays a part in Colin Harrison's compelling new intrigue


George Young never thought of himself as a detective, but that's pretty much his vocation--an attorney at a top insurance firm, it's his job to pin down suspicious claims. But Mrs. Corbett,

Overview

An honest lawyer, a Czech hand model, and a box of mysterious Christmas ornaments--each plays a part in Colin Harrison's compelling new intrigue


George Young never thought of himself as a detective, but that's pretty much his vocation--an attorney at a top insurance firm, it's his job to pin down suspicious claims. But Mrs. Corbett, the rich, eccentric wife of the firm's founder, has it in mind to put George's skills to a peculiar assignment. With only a few months left to live, her one desire is to know the true circumstance of her son Roger's violent death. George's investigation leads him to Roger's mistress, a cagey Czech hand model named Eliska, who can cast a seductive spell simply by removing her gloves.

Did Eliska's motives for latching on to Roger get him killed? Or did some of her shadowy and dangerous little friends take care of the job? And why were there boxes and boxes of Christmas ornaments in the dead man's apartment? George will have to take a few chances of his own if he wants to get to the bottom of Roger's death for Mrs. Corbett.

Set against a volatile and vividly drawn Manhattan, Risk is prime Colin Harrison.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

“Colin Harrison's urbane thriller, which tops out at 176 diverting pages, [is] long enough to satisfy, short enough not to overstay its welcome…. Harrison is a most captivating (as well as economical) writer. Set amid the turmoil of Manhattan, whose unique ambiance he captures skillfully, Harrison weaves an unpredictable tale of urban crime in which homicide and humor blend and whose worth is measured by quality not quantity.” —Robert Wade, The San Diego Union Tribune

“Colin Harrison writes sophisticated novels set in New York. They earn excellent reviews but aren't as well known as they should be…. Harrison views New York with a cool but compassionate eye. What distinguishes RISK is not its plot--investigation, danger, resolution--but the people, the digressions, the details along the way…. As crime fiction goes, [RISK is] a small gem.” —Patrick Anderson, The Washington Post

“[A] slim, satisfying crime novel…. [Harrison] seems to be making fun both of his own New York fetish and of detective parodies like Garrison Keillor's "Guy Noir," all the while sustaining the momentum of his story….. [a] book that will resonate with many successful urban men. The message is clear: marry wisely, then count your blessings and never leave New York.” —Amy Finnerty, The New York Times Book Review

“[An] entertaining urban noir…. the colorful narrative voice will leave many readers wishing for more.” —Publishers Weekly

“Harrison's latest (following The Finder) looks at postfinancial meltdown, post-Bernie Madoff Manhattan and not surprisingly delivers a reflective, elegiac tale. Serialization in the New York Times Magazine insures there are enough cliff-hangers to hold the attention of fans as well as new readers.” —Library Journal

“Harrison's fleet seventh novel…. If this fast-paced, surprisingly reflective yarn doesn't measure up to Harrison's more ambitious thrillers (The Finder, 2007, etc.), it's well worth its price and length.” —Kirkus

“In this latest thriller, Harrison (The Havana Room, 2004) puts the pedal to the metal and doesn't let up…. Harrison delivers a crime novel as gritty and electric as New York City itself.” —Booklist

“If you missed Harrison's delightful thriller when it ran as a serial in the New York Times Magazine last year, forget about it. This new paperback edition is sharper, longer and much more fun to read.” —Dick Adler, Barnes and Noble Review

“As an intriguing mystery about families, the power of money, and the insidious risks of living in a volatile post-modern world, Colin Harrison's seventh novel Risk is a sophisticated literary mystery that is sleek, stylish, and surprising,” —Bookloons.com

“This is the territory of high finance, and the author casts a bright light on the upper echelons of the business environment…. a thoughtful and rewarding character study.” —CurledUp.com

“A chilling, high-speed roller coaster of a ride that doubles as a sardonic sightseeing tour of the seamier side of New York City.” —The New York Times on The Finder

“Harrison writes like Rambo on meth and throws in enough black humor to prove he's more brains than brawn. . . . The Finder is a keeper.” —USA Today on The Finder

“A great read, an elegantly crafted thriller you won't want to put down.” —The Washington Post on The Havana Room

“As sharp and insidery as a Tom Wolfe opus, with the giddyup pacing of an airport-rack paperback.” —Men's Journal on The Havana Room

“Extraordinary . . . We're so in [the characters'] heads, so privy to their yearnings, their fears, that we practically become them. . . . A masterpiece.” —The Washington Post on Afterburn

“One hell of a thriller. . . Colin Harrison's smart, jagged suspense novels are nonpareil.” —The Oregonian on Afterburn

Patrick Anderson
Harrison views New York with a cool but compassionate eye. What distinguishes Risk is not its plot—investigation, danger, resolution—but the people, the digressions, the details along the way…As crime fiction goes, it's a small gem.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
In Harrison's entertaining urban noir, which has been revised since the New York Times Magazine ran it as a serial, Manhattan insurance attorney George Young agrees to help Mrs. Corbett, the widow of his firm's founder, with a minor mystery. How did Corbett's son, Roger, spend his final hours before a garbage truck struck him dead? The images a security camera captured of Roger's last moments mesmerize the amateur detective. Young's investigation leads him to Eliska Sedlacek, a Czech hand model, who was Roger's mistress for the last few months of his life. Eliska is eager to get access to Roger's possessions, which his ex-wife has placed in long-term storage. Some mundane items belonging to Roger, including an old phone book bought on eBay and some Christmas ornaments, turn out to be of interest to some unsavory figures. Harrison (The Finder) telegraphs the final reveal early on, but the colorful narrative voice will leave many readers wishing for more. (Oct.)
Library Journal
George Young is your standard modern New Yorker; he's a pretty good insurance lawyer with a pretty good marriage who enjoys a glass or two of pretty good wine in the evening. When he's contacted by the elderly widow of his mentor about her son's recent death, George doesn't feel he can gracefully excuse himself. The son's career had been on a downward spiral, and, as he was emerging from a bar, he stepped off the curb and was done in by a garbage truck. Playing detective, George obsessively reviews the surveillance tape and uncovers a Czech hand model, a stash of toy soldiers, and something that passes for a long-buried truth. The story, even with its internal psychological emphasis, clips along, with searing cameos of Manhattanites; it should appeal to readers of Patrick McGrath. VERDICT Harrison's latest (following The Finder) looks at postfinancial meltdown, post-Bernie Madoff Manhattan and not surprisingly delivers a reflective, elegiac tale. Serialization in the New York Times Magazine insures there are enough cliff-hangers to hold the attention of fans as well as new readers.—Bob Lunn, Kansas City, MO
Kirkus Reviews
Harrison's fleet seventh novel, originally serialized in the New York Times Magazine, follows an insurance attorney down a trail he wishes he'd never taken. Ten weeks after her son Roger is killed, Diana Corbett, herself seriously ill, tells George Young that she needs to know more about his last hours. It isn't his death she wants George to investigate-surveillance video shows that Roger emerged from a bar at 1:30 a.m. and got hit by a garbage truck as he paused after stepping off the curb to examine a piece of paper from his pocket-but the question of what he was doing for the four hours he sat in the bar. George, who's by no means a professional detective, can't imagine why imperious Diana has chosen him for this job. But he's done a fair amount of work investigating fraudulent claims, and he's always been grateful to Diana's late husband, his firm's founder, for plucking him from obscurity. So he begins to ask questions and in short order finds some answers, though none to Diana's liking. She refuses to acknowledge that Eliska Sedlacek, the willowy Czech hand model with whom Roger spent most of his last evening and many nights before, was his girlfriend. Instead she's more interested in the call Roger made from his cell phone minutes before he died, a call that remains as much a mystery to George as the question of what was written on the vanished piece of paper that so interested Roger. Meanwhile, Eliska has developed a strong interest in a box of Christmas tree ornaments Roger's ex-wife cleaned out of his apartment after his death. George spends a great deal of time tracking down the ornaments and figuring out why Eliska cares so much about them before he confronts Roger'sdarkest secret. If this fast-paced, surprisingly reflective yarn doesn't measure up to Harrison's more ambitious thrillers (The Finder, 2007, etc.), it's well worth its price and length.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780312428938
Publisher:
Picador
Publication date:
09/29/2009
Edition description:
First Edition
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
530,589
Product dimensions:
5.60(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.70(d)

Read an Excerpt

Risk


By Colin Harrison

Picador

Copyright © 2009 Colin Harrison
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-312-42893-8



CHAPTER 1

AN UNEXPECTED CALL


In my line of work, I've been asked to do a lot of unpleasant things over the years, and I've performed these tasks more or less without complaint. So maybe certain recent events in my life shouldn't have upset me. Shouldn't have knocked me back a step. But they did. Hey, I'm a little older now. The gray is really coming in, though my wife, Carol, says she likes it. In New York City, guys like me end up accumulating dings and bruises and scrapes, just like the banged-up delivery vans you see in Chinatown. Battered, dented, suspensions shot. Engines work but not at high speed. Run, for now. High mileage. That's me, especially these days, after what I found myself asked to do. A strange and unexpected task. Well, I did it but I can't say it was a good thing for anyone, especially me.

I got the call on the second Friday of last April, a sloppy, cold day. The price of oil was bouncing around violently, pushing gold and the dollar in opposite directions with each move. Oil down, dollar up. Oil up, gold up. Dollar down, gold up. The stock market, so recently up after being so recently down, was down again, and everyone I knew was hoping that we wouldn't all be sucked into a giant, cheap-dollared vortex of inflation. Or jolted by yet another sudden drop in economic confidence. Many of the folks in my firm had been slyly loading up on gold for months and no doubt counted themselves smart for betting against the American economy. Me, I'd done nothing slick to prepare for the fiscal apocalypse of the century. All I wanted to do was to go home and have dinner with Carol, maybe sit out on our balcony and drink some cheap wine while we ate. Usually I ask if she's heard from our daughter, Rachel, who was in her first year in college then. Or we gossip about the neighbors, speculating about their sex lives, pill habits, and overall psychic cohesion. Living in an apartment building, you learn things about people, whether you want to or not. Otherwise we'll often go to the movies a few blocks away on Broadway. Or ride the train up to Yankee Stadium, take in a game. Such is the state of our marriage these days. A lot of domestic ritual, laced with middle-aged decay. The occasional halfhearted fight, over the usual topics. Just to clean out the pipes. But neither of us stays angry too long. There's wine to drink, gossip to enjoy. Carol and I usually check in with each other around 4:00 P.M., to see what the evening's plan is, and that was when Anna Hewes called me from the other side of our floor.

"George, I just spoke to Mrs. Corbett."

"The original Mrs. Corbett?"

"Of course," said Anna. "I'm coming over to talk to you."

Mrs. Corbett's late husband, Wilson Corbett, was the founder of our firm, back in the sixties. Anna Hewes was Corbett's old secretary — and I mean old as in "former" but also as in "long past retirement age." Anna spends her time in the personnel office now; they ginned up a job for her when it was clear she was slowing down. But she still arrives early, makes the coffee on her floor, sits in for the receptionist on her breaks, alphabetizes files — that kind of thing. Back in the day she sat in the red-hot center of the universe, when Wilson Corbett was personally running thirty cases at once, sometimes on two phones, working the London bosses, the Chicago investigators, all of them. The guy was a pistol, buckets of energy. He had Anna, and she had two younger women working for her, just trying to keep up.

I'd really liked the guy, admired him. And I owed him a lot. It was Wilson Corbett who'd hired me when I was a kid, pulled me out of the muddy waters of the Queens DA's office back in the eighties. I've been here ever since, too. After Corbett retired, he showed up from time to time, trying to get a whiff of the good old days, but he slipped fast. He'd worked so hard all those long decades that not much was left. Within a few years he didn't recognize people, forgot how to get around the office. His visits dribbled down to just the Christmas party, when he'd shake hands with the people who still remembered him, and then he finally went off and died, as we all do. The whole firm attended the funeral. No one had much discussed Mrs. Corbett, figuring she had plenty of money, a couple of sons — Wall Street guys, as I remembered — and would do whatever old ladies who live on Park Avenue do with themselves at that age.

Now Anna Hewes poked her head in my office. She takes great care with her appearance. Makeup tasteful, dye job perfect, dentures glued in.

"What's Mrs. Corbett want?" I asked.

"She says please tell George Young to come up to her apartment at five o'clock today."

"That was it?"

"If I knew more I'd tell you."

"I'm surprised she even knows my name."

At this Anna gave me a little extra look, but then glanced down, as if she were keeping something to herself. I didn't give it much thought, though; Anna's been at the firm so long that she's gone a little bat-wango. I've learned over the years that 15 percent of the staff is either useless, incompetent, too old, or plain nuts. We get our occasional drunk or heroin addict, too. Anna's been in the 15 percent category for some time now, if you ask me, and frankly, I've wondered why she's still around. But this is the kind of thing the managing partners worry about, not me.

"You have the address?" I finally said.

Anna handed me a piece of paper.

"Five o'clock."

"You have any idea what she wants?"

"She didn't say much, except that her health isn't good."

"She wants me to drop all that I'm doing, prance uptown, and go see her, with no explanation?"

"Yes."

"I'd rather go another time, when it's not totally inconvenient."

"She wants you now, she said."

"I'm very busy shuffling around the fates of desperate people here, Anna."

She gave me a look. She does know the business, I'll give her that.

"It's the right thing to do, George," Anna said. Then she left.


I returned to the work on my desk. I had a lot to do. I always have a lot to do, and generally I get it done in the time there is to do it. The firm is busy, carries about 160 cases at any one moment. Not bad for a small shop. Just a few partners. Plus a handful of career pack mules like me, and the young hotshots who don't stay long once they realize not much changes at the place. Why? Because Patton, Corbett & Strode has a very specialized clientele. One client, actually, a huge, multinational insurance company headquartered in one of the major European capitals. It has a famous old name, but I'm not going to say what it is. Everyone has heard of it, but this company is our client, and we maintain their confidentiality. People hear the company's name and think, What's a few hundred thousand, a million, for a company like that? It's exactly what it sounds like: money. We protect their money. Especially these days, when there's so much risk out there.

Our client's business is simple. Some people can't get insurance. Why? They once filed for bankruptcy, they have credit problems, or they own companies in dicey industries. Or maybe they have funny friends. Maybe a criminal record. Or their nationality is a matter of interpretation. They state one thing, the fine print says another. In any case, these people can't get coverage for fire, theft, natural disasters, embezzlement, liability, et cetera. Yet they must have insurance. Must! Somebody insists they have coverage. Who? The bank that so happily wrote them the giant mortgage. Or government regulators. Or business partners. But the applicant can't get insurance through the regular domestic carriers or the mainstream brokers, so they go to high-premium coverage. They pay extra — a lot extra. The previously unnamed company headquartered in a major European capital charges them an enormous premium, all based on the actuarial probability that these customers will, someday after disaster strikes, make a claim. Risk is monetized this way. It can be a very lucrative business. Most people don't realize that the insurance industry has more than two hundred years' worth of data about what human beings do with themselves.

Wilson Corbett himself used to say as much. "People think insurance companies are just mountains of abstractions," he once told me. "But all insurance companies really do is quantify faulty human behavior. They know a very regular percentage of people fall off ladders, crash their cars, and burn down their businesses. They know people are likely to cheat and lie and steal. Can't help themselves from doing it! And one thing correlates with another and that second thing correlates with a third thing, and pretty soon the underwriters know things about individuals before these people even know it about themselves. Sounds impossible, George, but it's true. I've seen underwriters jack up their premiums because they didn't like the tie the guy wore or the kind of car he drove. And they aren't wrong, either. Pretty soon there's a problem."

That's where we come in. When our client receives an American insurance claim it doesn't like, that smells funny, we get involved. I'm not talking petty fender benders or fake slip-and-fall cases. I mean fraud, arson, records destruction. We start asking a lot of questions. How did the warehouse burn down? What exactly was in it? Can you show us the suppliers' receipts to prove the inventory? We always ask for these answers on paper, mailed to us. Why? Because if a claimant lies in his answers and uses the U.S. mail to do so, that's mail fraud. Title 18 of the United States Code, Chapter 63, to be specific. We have special archival files we put envelopes in, so that the ink of postmarks does not fade. So we can use them in court as evidentiary exhibits. When we point out that lying by way of the U.S mail is itself a federal crime, that fact often has a motivating effect on the claimants. So busy were they brilliantly falsifying some other detail that they didn't think of that. The work can be exciting and a little nasty. Which, I confess, is interesting.

This was the business that Wilson Corbett pulled me into all those years ago. I'd soon realized I had to be tough-minded and professionally distrustful. But I liked the work, and it had paid my bills for a very long time now. I owed him a lot, and I try to keep my accounts in order. If Wilson's widow had asked for me, I really did have to go see what she wanted. Plus, if I didn't go, she'd ask someone else in the firm and it might get around to the managing partners that I had turned her down. That was part of my motivation, too, I admit it. Not that it does me any good now, though.


I slipped out at 4:30, not a bad time to get a cab uptown from Rockefeller Center, and by 5:00 was standing in the marble lobby of Mrs. Corbett's apartment building. The tall bellman was a piece of fossilized Irish timber, and his white hair and stiff blue uniform made him look like a retired admiral.

He was hesitant, inspecting me. "Mrs. Corbett, you say?"

I nodded. Maybe this meant she didn't get many visitors.

He dialed. Listened. "Yes, Mrs. — Yes, of course, right away."

The bellman set the phone down, then eyed me. "Now, can you do me a wee favor?"

"What?"

"Keep an eye out for candles. She's been lighting them lately and forgetting. We've had a couple of incidents."

"And if I spot any?"

"Just let me know as you leave. I go up myself to blow them out."

A moment later I rang her bell. The door opened, and a thin, white-haired woman stood there, not smiling, not shaking my hand.

"Mrs. Corbett," I said.

She dropped her eyes down from my face, over my suit and tie and shoes. She'd seen a lot of lawyers in her time, and I suspected they didn't much impress her.

"So you came," she allowed, with no discernible tone of gratitude.

Mrs. Corbett turned and slowly led me back to the living room, a cave of pillows. The place had that sick old-person smell, which was not masked by the candles, their flames flickering. She sat back in an immense sofa.

"Mr. Young, my husband always said you were one of his smartest young fellows, and so I'm depending on him, you see."

"I liked Mr. Corbett a great deal," I told her, glad to say it. "He built the firm."

She settled in, preparing herself. Her ankles were swollen in the way of older people. "I'm going to try to tell you everything," she began. "I'm eighty-one years old. Life isn't exactly what it used to be. It becomes a series of shocks, Mr. Young. Things you never expected." She took a breath, and as she exhaled, she said, "My son Roger died a few months ago."

"I'm sorry to hear that. I don't think the firm got the news."

Mrs. Corbett nodded in a way that meant she preferred not to become emotional. "He was only fifty-one. Divorced, I'm afraid. There had been some business problems. He'd been married about twenty years. I really do like Roger's wife a great deal. Ex-wife, I mean. She's been very good to me, like a daughter. Did you ever meet him?"

"Maybe, if he came to any of the firm parties."

She sighed. "Anyway, Roger was killed in an accident. A plain old stupid accident. I don't want to describe it to you, but all the information is in that big green envelope over there." She pointed to a mahogany table. "He'd just walked out of a bar. He'd been sitting there alone for almost four hours. That much I do know. He wasn't a heavy drinker, absolutely not someone who spent a lot of time in such places."

"Right."

Mrs. Corbett was looking at me intently now. "Mr. Young, the next thing you need to know is that I'm due to have surgery for a very leaky valve in my heart in six weeks. They say that if I don't have the surgery, I'll be dead in about three or four months. Dead as a doornail, my husband used to say. Or if I'm lucky and not actually dead yet, then I might as well be." She smoothed her old hand across a pillow. "So I'm going to do what the doctors tell me. But the operation is almost never done at my age. An old body doesn't take surgery too well. They give me a forty percent chance of surviving."

Bad odds, but she had to take them.

"The operation was only done two times last year in Manhattan on someone my age. One was to that nasty what's-his-name, very rich, trades in his wives every ten years or so. Has that awful orange hair. My husband used to play golf with him, said he cheated when he hit the ball in the rough. Well, he lived, unfortunately. The other man, a fine fellow, went kaput on the table."

"So either you die sometime this summer or you have the operation and have a chance to live awhile."

"Maybe even as long as five years. I'll get to see my grandchildren move along. That would be pretty darn good; that would make it all worthwhile, I hope. Now, I called you because I want to know something before I have the operation." She paused, looking at her candles. "I want to know why my son sat in that bar for four hours." Her voice held frustration, even anger, and she twisted the gold bracelet around her wrist. "I want to know what Roger was doing."

"You want to know why he died?"

"No. I know the accident was in fact an accident, but it happened just after he came out of the bar. He was in that bar for a reason."

"You want me to figure this out?"

She nodded.

The city was crawling with retired NYPD detectives trying to pay child support, augment their twenty-years-and-out pensions. "Why not hire someone who —?"

"I did, Mr. Young. He was highly recommended. He got some of the information that's in that green envelope. But he couldn't do it. He said he tried but it couldn't be done."

"I don't know why I —"

"My husband thought you were very capable. Said you were tenacious. I stay in touch with Anna Hewes. I know who's doing what there, you might be surprised to know."

I doubted Anna knew more than what she heard around the coffee machine on her floor, but then again, that might be enough.

"I realize your time is valuable," Mrs. Corbett went on, "and that this might take quite a bit of it, so I'm more than willing to pay whatever you think will be —"

I was already shaking my head. "If I help you I won't accept any money. We can call it repaying an old debt of gratitude to Mr. Corbett, okay?"

She seemed pleased to hear this. I, meanwhile, felt pretty glum.

"That envelope has some other things about Roger. His address, things like that. Some papers and keys."

I had a lot of questions, but Mrs. Corbett eased herself up, overly aware of how much strength it required. She kept one hand on the arm of the chair. With the other she handed me the large green envelope.

"I'll need to think about this for a few days," I said. But we both knew I was going to do it.

In the lobby on my way out, I saw the admiral. "Six candles," I told him. "Five in the living room, one in the hall."

He touched the brim of his blue cap. "Much obliged."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Risk by Colin Harrison. Copyright © 2009 Colin Harrison. Excerpted by permission of Picador.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Meet the Author

COLIN HARRISON is the author of six novels. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.

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Risk 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Manhattan insurance attorney George Young agrees to help Widow Mrs. Corbett because she was married to the late founder of the firm where he works; he always felt he owed the late Wilson Corbett for rescuing him back in the 1980s from the muddy Queens DA Office. Mrs. Corbett wants George to investigate the last few hours in the life of her son Roger before he was killed in a freak accident by a garbage truck. George starts with a security camera video that capture the final moments. Afterward, he visits Roger's mistress Czech hand model Eliska Sedlacek to see what she can tell him. Eliska makes it clear Roger had some items that she wants; Roger's former wife placed everything in storage. George is taken aback when seemingly nonentities like an old phone book bought by Roger on eBay has garnered interest by people willing to break into joints to gain possession. This is a terrific Manhattan Noir in which the audience knows what is happening ironically much earlier than George does; the fun is watching George change from confident successful professional lawyer to bungling unconfident amateur sleuth as he begins to put the shocking puzzle together. Filled with twists including one great spin, fans will enjoy George's efforts to learn the whole truth, nothing but the truth. Harriet Klausner
BookAddictFL More than 1 year ago
This short novel was a fun, light read. I thought it was well-written. George Young, the main character, is a lawyer who finds himself caught up in a little more danger and intrigue than he's used to. I enjoyed the dialogue and the mix of humor and mystery. I was immediately drawn in and didn't skip a word, which, to me, equals a good book!
MikeDraper More than 1 year ago
Attorney George Young works for a New York insurance firm where his work is to analyze suspicious insurance claims. He's called to the home of the widow of his company's founder. Mrs. Corbett is in ill health and facing an operation. She wants George to look into what her son, Roger, was doing prior to the time he walked into the path of an oncoming truck and was killed. Since her husband was the one who gave George his start, he feels obligated to give this job his best effort. He learns that Roger had a girlfriend, a Czeck named Eliska Sedlacek. This woman had a relationship with a Russian man and carried items into the United States for him. The items were in the shape of ornaments and were very valuable. On the Russian's last trip, he asks Eliska to bring in a much larger quantity. She did and she hid this in Roger's apartment. We learn that the Russian man was murdered and some men have contacted Eliska and have told her that her old boyfriend took something that didn't belong to him and the men want it back. George continues his investigation, even though he learns that he is at some risk, himself. During the search for answers, George finds something of his own history that is significant. George Young is a sympathetic character. He's a nice guy who stays on the job and gets help from a wife that loves him and is loved by George in return. I enjoyed the novel and would recommend it to others.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago