BLOOD IN THE WATER by Wilson Smith


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What if the government and big business cashed in on a natural disaster at the expense of those hardest hit?

Wilson’s believable fiction about post-Katrina New Orleans–in the novel, the storm is called Hurricane Bret–is a chilling saga of how the possibility of easy money so easily corrupts. Here, the corrupted include a young mortgage broker hoping to cash in on the disaster, and an ill-equipped president and his cronies who delay a response in order to hand out lucrative favors to friends. Andrew Savoie and his best friend Paul Parent are 20-something mortgage brokers primed for success. Prospects look particularly good for Savoie when his boss, Jerry Bisantz, the snarky CEO of A&B Mortgage, introduces him to hot middle-aged businesswoman Virginia “Ginny” Bard–wife of mob affiliate Sheldon Bard–who has her own designs on shattering the glass ceiling. Then the storm hits, and Savoie has an epiphany as he and Ginny head for the higher ground provided by one of her posh residences, while the hoi polloi struggle and die in the storm and its violent wake. Swindling the desperate is a cinch as the clean-up begins, since most people will agree to just about anything to get back into a home. But sometimes the numbers don’t add up, especially for those living in areas where condos and townhouses are destined to replace the public-housing villages where even Savoie has roots. Even though he’s enjoying the rising profits and his lover’s insatiable sex drive, Savoie begins to rediscover his conscience, and is no longer able to ignore the toll that the trendy urban renewal is exacting on the delta’s most destitute citizens. Enter civil-rights lawyer Gus Montiero, who urges Savoie to help him follow the money to expose the corporate and political greed that is compromising the relief effort. Just as Savoie starts on the road to redemption, however, more bodies begin to surface.

A twisty, compelling fiction about a tragedy still fresh in the national consciousness.

Program: Kirkus Indie
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