UNKNOWN REMAINS by Peter Leonard


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A 9/11 widow discovers that her late husband was harboring a wealth of secrets in this unusual thriller.

In the aftermath of national tragedy and personal shock, Diane McCann discovers that she's not only a widow, but nearly broke, her Wall Street trader husband, Jack, having left her a pile of bills and a decimated bank account. Soon Jack’s company is hounding her for the money she discovers he embezzled. Worse, a pair of mob bagmen are using even nastier methods to recover the cash her hubby borrowed from them. The largest satisfaction the novel offers is that of Diane, who is both recognizably shell-shocked and far from a pushover. She’s an appealing heroine because, finding herself in a tight spot, she also discovers her own cunning and wiles. Trouble is, just when we want to settle in with her, the book cuts to the machinations of the two mob flunkies on her trail, and while their doings are central to the plot, they are also much less engaging. The daring in the book is the use of 9/11 as background for a thriller. But anyone who lived through that time, especially in New York City, remembers how it dominated every aspect of life for months after. Here, consciousness of the day comes and goes, as if, having introduced it, the author were too skittish to dig into the way it saturated every crevice of existence.

This multithread thriller is a weak Xerox of something that has been done with more distinction elsewhere.

Pub Date: May 10th, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-61902-606-3
Page count: 375pp
Publisher: Counterpoint
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1st, 2016


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