Author: Jac Wright
Publisher: Soul Mate publishing
Part of a Series: The Reckless Engineer
Type of book: Engineering, England, murder mystery, who did it? suspects, figuring it out, wealth, manipulation, adultery, marriage of convenience
Year it was published: 2013
Love is a battlefield.
The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.
Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when sexy Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.
Jeremy Stone brings London's top defence attorney, John Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.
Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile? Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law? Is the divorce from Jack's first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?
The cast of characters is made even more colorful by the supporting entourage: the big Scott and his gang, Hosé and Heineken, who carry out Douglas McAllen’s “troubleshooting;” McAllens' bumbling solicitors McKinley and Magnus Laird; Caitlin McAllen’s handymen, Cossack and Levent; and Jeremy’s sidekick, the gay black actor working in the London West End.
While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister John Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense saga of love, desire, power, and ambition.
It often seems that the book is overflowing with different characters, which can be a good thing because the reader doesn't get bored, but on the other hand it can be a little overwhelming in remembering who's who, especially when most of them potentially played a huge role in killing Michelle and her child. The main character is Jeremy Stone who happens to be an engineer and is friends with Jack Connor who is facing a murder charge. Jeremy is described as loyal, steadfast and as the title of the book hints, reckless in doing whatever he can for those he cares about. Jack Connor strikes me as sort of resigned to life, or else extremely unhappy despite the much agreed things that should make him happy such as wealth, a wonderful job and connections to power. There are women players as well, although I think they played minor roles in the story, although they are well written and atypical. There is Caitlin, Jack's wife who also seems to have settled down in life and tries her best to be happy with the trappings of society when in fact her heart desires someone else. There is also Sally, a very dedicated engineer who also had a brief affair with Jack, and Michelle who bullied and manipulated everyone around her. With a cast of characters such as the ones I described, be prepared for a roller-coaster ride.
I feel like the theme should be something like "be careful how you treat others," and you don't know the human being's limits.
The book is written in third person narrative from multiple characters' points of views, although the main character is Jeremy, an engineer that is helping out in trying to prove his friend's innocence. I think the pacing and the story are the strongest points of the book, because it is interesting in seeing who did it and why. Even if its a story about engineers, strangely enough there is little technical language, and I was a bit surprised that the mystery ended in first book when a trilogy was promised. I kind of thought it would stretch out towards the other two books.
April 19, 1973
About this author
This is a pretty impressive case of who did it, which is where the mystery lies. The story includes an interesting cast of characters, each having a motive for committing the horrible deed towards Michelle Williams and her unborn child. There is Jack's wife by the name of Caitlin, then Caitlin's ex and real love of her life, Jack's children, Caitlin's family members, and Jack's rejected lover that was bullied by him and Michelle by the name of Sally from Australia. Not until late in the book it is revealed as to who had done it and why. What I also liked was the lack of culture shock. While the book took place in England, it can be read and understood by anyone who knows the English language. I did have some confusion with the book, one is that I didn't understand what it meant when the case related to a crown? I also found it a bit comical when the suspected killers hired so many people to follow Michelle and Jack before the murder. I did have some trouble keeping in mind who's who in the book and their importance, such as Jeremy's friend the lawyer, although I understood why Jeremy got involved in the first place with the investigation. I also think its best to read this book in a few settings as possible so one won't get lost in the countless characters.
Quick notes: I would like to thank the author for the opportunity to read and review the book.
4 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)