Brown’s debut caper is a tale of insurance fraud gone wrong.
When Boston-based insurance company detective Tony Tauck learns that a friend’s insurance policy may have been purchased by some shady characters, he wastes no time in booking a flight to Palm Beach. Tony is a guy, though, so he finds it difficult not to focus on visions of the gorgeous, available and scantily clad women he’s likely to find there. He wastes no time getting to work: He immediately identifies the shady characters and gets his hands on some damning evidence. Soon enough, however, he finds himself distracted by Gabriella, who catches his eye and his heart. Gabriella is more involved in the insurance scam than she first lets on, but Tony—ignoring the advice of a friend and his own inner voice of reason—becomes increasingly involved with his new Italian girlfriend. The author skillfully builds tension and creates excitement as his protagonist gets closer to the truth, yet the book falls short of being a true whodunit. The muderous drama occurs at the conclusion and there’s no real mystery as to who is behind it. Likewise, the insurance plotline proceeds in a predictable fashion, offering the reader no real surprises. Extensive, detailed description paints a realistic portrait of Palm Beach, with many scenes taking place in some of the city’s popular restaurants and bars. More modest readers will appreciate Brown’s old-fashioned quirks: Violence is witnessed indirectly, the few instances of profanity are signified with dashes and steamy romantic scenes between Tony and Gabriella are left up to the reader to flesh out the details.
A fast-paced, predictable read that will appeal to readers hoping for a brief escape to sunny Palm Beach.