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Stephen Douglass's knowledge of the Oil and Gas Industry is woven into a plot similiar to John Grisham's tales of lawyers,judges,and the law. Both are terrific at storytelling at a brisk pace coming with a knowledgeable background. You will be educated as to the Oil and Gas Industry, especially the dark side of money making,and entertained by a romantic engaging action story. This book belongs in a class with "Unbroken", "Lost in Shangri-La", "In the Garden of the Beasts", other five star books that I have enjoyed this summer.
From the Author
For Stephen Douglass, writing was an accident. When his friends in Muskoka and Florida became aware of the story of his incredible life in the Canadian oil business, they encouraged him to commit it to writing. They insisted it was a story that must be told. Reluctantly, he did, and after more than twenty years the story of AN ENDLESS AND CONFLICTED LOVE, A MAN WHO PLAYED WITH FIRE AND NEARLY LOST HIS LIFE DOING IT, and ONE OF THE LARGEST AND MOST AUDACIOUS THEFTS IN CANADIAN HISTORY, was finally made public. Stephen has entitled the book: The Bridge to Caracas, for reasons that will quickly be obvious to readers. The genre is romance crime fiction, if there is such a genre.
The Bridge to Caracas totally captured my imagination! There are many aspects of this book, but they all weave together seamlessly to create an exciting thriller; a story of crime, vengeance, a love triangle and the reunion of an estranged father and daughter.
Jim Servito was a draft dodger who snuck into Canada. He ends up in Toronto, pumping gas for Pop Williams, who has taken a liking to him and lets him sleep in a room at the back of the office. Pop’s is happy to teach Jim the honest rules of the gasoline business. Jim is looking for an opportunity to move on and make big money. Then one evening he is approached by Jerry Allison, who tells how he can make big money by buying “bootlegged” gas to sell in the pumps. This fated meeting opens the door for Jim. Eventually, he buys Pop Williams gas station, then he corners Jerry and forces him to tell him the who, where and how of the scheme Bob Bushings runs. He tells Jerry that they will be partners and he makes him take him to Bushings place of business. He knows too much, and Bushings realizes that Jim will ruin him if he doesn’t go along with what he proposes. Jim Servito is now on the road to riches, fueled by corruption and ruthless greed.
Karen Taylor was a stewardess. She met Mike King when she leased an apartment on Toronto’s St. George Street, directly across from Mike’s fraternity house. At the time Mike was studying medicine—he was going to follow in his fathers footsteps and become a Doctor. He and Karen have a torrid love affair. Then Mike decides that he doesn’t want to be a doctor. Instead, he is going to travel and figure out what he wants out of life. Karen wants to go with him, but he says this is something he has to do alone.
Karen is broken hearted and decides to take a vacation. She and Patti Arthur go to Europe. As they are leaving Athens, their plane is hijacked by terrorists who demand that the pilot fly them to Syria. When the plane landed, Karen and Patti are among 5 hostages that are taken off. The terrorists as they are leaving the site, and it is presumed that all the passengers who had boarded it are dead.
Four months after he left, Mike returns to Toronto. He has found a purpose, and he is longing to see Karen. He is stunned when her mother tells him that she is dead. Eventually, Mike moves on. He is introduced to Barbara Larkin by a friend, and they eventually marry and have a daughter, Kerri. Sixteen months after being held as a political prisoner, Karen is released. All she has thought about is getting back together with Mike. He is shocked to discover that she is alive, she is stunned to realize that her dream can never be fulfilled because he is married and has a child.
Eventually, fate brings Jim, Mike, and Karen together. Their journey is painful, filled with passion, deceit, corruption, revenge, and murder. It forever changes their lives.
I loved this book, and immediately downloaded “The Tainted Trust” to my Kindle. For me it was non stop reading of the King Trilogy!!
This is an awesome story written by Stephen Douglass who has worked in the petroleum industry in Canada for decades. His story deals with money laundering, fraud, manipulation, with a very driving force of true love. There's something here for everyone. The main character is Mike King, who leaves the school of medicine to explore the world for a year, then returns to major in chemical engineering as inspired by an oil magnet friend of his father. The second character is Karen Taylor, daughter of wealthy parents, who loves Mike King. But while he is on his one year sabbatical, Karen and her friend Patti Archer are on a hijacked Boeing 707 which winds up in a devastating explosion near Damascus. Mike is devastated to think Karen has been killed, goes back to school, and soon marries Barbara Larkin. The third character is Jim Servito who has a brilliant mind, is cynical, and one of the most ruthless characters that Mike and Karen will have to face. He's blackmailed his way to riches and through money laundering, and without remorse, he will strike down anyone who stands in his way.
This book reveals the roots of the gasoline wars and shortages of the early 70's. It deals with Mike's failed marriage and also his success of rising from being an employee to having his own oil company. It gives one a first hand, factual look at how big businessmen wheel and deal to increase their profits ... or to prevent losing them. This story would make a powerful movie, if Hollywood had the courage to get it to the silver screen. There's only one actor I envision playing the ruthless Jim Servito ... Al Pacino! This is a stellar story one which you won't be able to put down, and one you will never forget.
This is one of the fastest moving suspense novels I have read in a while. Underneath it all GREED is a powerful motivator which can ultimately grab in it's clutches both criminal minds and seemingly good and honest people. The oil industry with it's billions to be had in profits is where the action takes place. Within this story there are a couple of star-crossed lovers. Although this could conceivably happen-and may have partially according to the authors bio-I truly think that regulating the oil business is a VERY good and worthwhile occupation for governments! Without giving out any more of the plot I will leave you with this thought. After I read the last page I high tailed it back to Amazon and purchased the next two books in this series which I will be reading and reviewing at a later time.
I received the pdf version of this book for free, I paid for the audible version. If I had not paid for the Audible version I probably would have chucked it early on. The background of gas and oil in Canada seemed pretty boring to me. About the first third of the book is really pretty slow but after author developed the "villain" the book got better and better. The author certainly knows how to create a character that is totally evil and creates a strong reaction of hate of the villain in the reader. My absolute disdain for the evil Servito kept me in the book as I wanted to see him get his due. I wanted to scream at Mark for not realizing what was going on. I gave 4 stars because although by the end it was a 5 star to me. It took until the end to find out how the title connected to the book! Even after listening to the whole book I still don't get how the unlawful sale of gas,oil and kerosene worked to make the villain so rich and why no one figured out what he was doing. The government had to be pretty stupid to see how they were being cheated, but oh well, I guess that is not unusual for governments. The book is well written because there is actually no mystery in the book, but the author's ability to create a character so despicable that the mystery was "will Servito" ever get what is coming to him.