Thursday, July 28, 2011

Review: The Undertaker by William F. Brown

The Undertaker
Author: William F. Brown
Publication: William F. Brown; 1 edition (January 10, 2011)

Description: Pete Talbott is a California native and harried Boston computer wonk still grieving over the death of his wife Terri, when he found himself at the wrong end of Gino Parini's .45 reading his own obituary torn from that morning's newspaper. Talbott figured it was all a big mistake until Parini showed him his wife's obituary too, and this was a mystery Talbott couldn't leave alone.  From a funeral home in Indiana, to car chases on the Dan Ryan, a bloody Back Bay townhouse, snipers in New York City's Washington Square, sleazy lawyers, corrupt County sheriffs, mafia hit men, the FBI, an army of Chicago cops, and that unforgettable scene in the upper berth of an Amtrak Train, "The Undertaker" is a thrill ride with a touch of humor and romance.  Someone with a penchant for sharp scalpels and embalming tables is planting bodies under other people's names; and if Talbott doesn't stop them, he and his quirky new girlfriend, Sandy Kasmarek, will be next on the Undertaker's list.

My Thoughts: This was a taut, action-packed thriller that grabbed me from the first page and didn't let me go until the Epilogue. This is the story of an ordinary man who is dragged into a situation that he doesn't understand and who outsmarts the variety of villains.

Pete Talbott is just drifting through life after a series of personal blows. He loses his beloved wife after a long fight with cancer and then he loses his job due to downsizing and outsourcing. He moves from California to Boston to work with his brother-in-law at his software company. But one day, Gino Parani drops into his office, shoves a .45 automatic in his face, and makes him read his own obituary. It seems that he just died in Columbus, Ohio and was buried there. That was bad enough but the obituary also said that his wife Terri had died in the same accident. Pete is massively upset because this disturbs the memory of wife and he feels that the only thing he has to live for is her memory.

Going to a funeral in Columbus starts off a chain of events that has him targeted for death by two crime families and a rogue division of the FBI. There are lots of chase scenes and near death experiences as he tries to figure out what is going on. 

Along the way, after he has run to Chicago, he meets Sandy Kasmarek who is the former wife of another of the men who had their identity stolen in this complex scheme. She, too, has faced a lot of difficulties since her ex-husband's death but she isn't grieving. She hated the skirt-chasing loser but had to be the one to settle his estate and assume his debts. She is quirky, funny, smart, and a karate expert. Pete first feels that he is betraying Terri when he starts to have feeling for Sandy. Sandy and Pete travel together on the run from the villains and both learn to rely on each other's strengths and come to love and trust each other.

This was an excellent thriller. I recommend it to those who enjoy political thrillers with lots of action and some romance too.

Favorite Quote:
I realized this business with the obituaries, the funeral, and with Greene and Dannmeyer had lit some fires deep inside me that hadn't burned for a long, long time. I was no longer a stick-man walking. I felt alive, and I liked it. 
I received this ebook from the author in exchange for a review. You can get your copy here at Amazon. 

1 comment:

  1. I am reading this right now - my review is to post on July 31!!


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