- File Size: 1427 KB
- Print Length: 268 pages
- Publisher: Atreus Books (February 9, 2014)
- Publication Date: February 9, 2014
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00GVGJWLA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,296,234 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Top customer reviews
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Enter Detective Graelik, one of the NYPD's best, yeah, not really. This police detective is one of the worst I have ever read about. He never looked into the murder. He instead looked into the theft of a set of priceless drums that happened at the same time.
You would think that the murder of a former U.S. Diplomat would bring in the FBI or some other Federal Agency. It for sure should get the attention of the NYPD. But no, Detective Graelik is more concerned with the loss of drums, the sex life of Sexton, the wealth of those involved and many other mundane things.
The book hardly ever returns to the murder of the diplomat until the end. Instead it takes us through a history of drums. It takes us through what different drum sets are. It takes us through who the best drummers were. And, it takes us through the whims of a neurotic millionaire sister-in-law of the dead diplomat.
Why not solve the murder? Instead we read mundane trivia about a police detective, lost drums and the shattered lives of over indulgent people.
Sorry, I didn't get it. Should have called it a book about the history of drums instead of a book about a murder mystery.
The writing was over indulgent. It went on and on and on (almost like my review) to the point where you are sick of reading and just push through to the next chapter hopeful that we will return to the murder mystery.
Well, sorry, I just didn't like it. I doubt I will be inclined to read another novel by Gabriele.
Tautly written, "Dangerous Illusions" has plenty to keep you guessing exactly "whodunnit" and why. Briefly, the novel revolves around award-winning economist Eliot Secton's latest work, where he describes the failure of the current banking system. At the pre-launch book release party two things go horribly wrong:
* The first is the murder of Eugene Livingston, brother of key character, Charles and key to the vast Livingston holdings.
* Then there is Charles' greedy gold-digging wife Kate, wife, also a lawyer like her husband, who has decided that she deserves the Livingston holdings.
Though the family decided where everything should go:
* Giving the family manse to The National Historic Trust, for example
* Donating a $75 million load of first edition books to the right spots (father Livingston was a library curator and book-lover and wanted to make sure the books ended up in the public domain).
* A $50 million cellar full of fine wines.
Kate decides she deserves everything. Tough she is being given a seven-figure living, she finds a new concept called luxury penury. (Because she is rich, she not only deserves her millions, but everyone else's, as well her own so she will inevitably try to break the will).
Meanwhile, our hero, Eliot is told she is going of this plan to break the will, written before Eugene's untimely demise in Eliot's office.
Eliot has been chosen as executor of the megamillion dollar empire that includes first editions of rare books, rare musical instruments, property and more. He is also considered a suspect Eugene's murder, though, at the time of the murder he was hosting a party and then later he was living out every man's fantasy, working with his mistresses and having fun. His alibi seems air-tight.
If you've seen any TV murder mysteries, you know there has to be a motive, so what is Eliot's? He has more money, it seems than Croesus and though his taste in women runs to beauty, current marriages notwithstanding, why would he do in his friend? So, just what was the reason for Eugene's demise?
Did Eliot have it in for Eugene, though he was named executor of the estate? That seems unlikely as the executor must be someone trusted and above reproach. So, if it isn't Eliot, even as the police seem to be trying to prove that it is (why let the facts stand in the way of a good arrest?)!
Was it the last-minute codicil changing the beneficiary list?
Kate thought it was aimed at her, but it was actually to be a wedding gift for Eugene's fiancée, whom he was going to name at the party.
Then, of course, the single Eliot is having multiple affairs - all very above board, as the mistresses know each other and their family troubles.
(The police detective doesn't look kindly on a man having affairs with married women, single women, his editor (Blair) and others.
That would be Detective Garelik, often the subject of DA and other probes because there are times he has more confessions than he has suspects, who is out to prove two things, Eliot stole a very valuable set of drums from himself to collect the insurance money (although logic would dictate otherwise! Since Eliot is also wealthy why would he do both deeds? There was no need, but in Det. Garelik's tunnelized view of the world, Eliot was the chief suspect, even with all the mitigating facts and an air-tight alibi (he was hosting a party).
Det. Garelik, who has a spy among the building doormen, has a real problem with proper procedure and tramples peoples' rights. He doesn't care as long he gets results.
There are so many possible perps in this book that you need a score sheet to keep track of who the "suspect of the hour" may be.
Gabriele's talent is enough to do two things:
1. Keep you reading until you've reached the end of the book.
2. Drive yourself batty trying to figure out who did it (we do find out in the end, but you'll have to read this work to find out).
For a first work, Gabriele has written a taut, suspense-filled murder/theft mystery with more suspects than a Sherlock Holmes classic. You would never know that he has never written a fiction work before, as he is a natural, although we suspect it took him lots of effort to make the book so good. It always takes lots of work to make things look easy.
His characters are fully formed and the characterization and dialogue are excellent. Yes, a guy living every man's fantasy life is a bit much, but he can be forgiven that because this is just one good novel.
We suspect we'll continue to hear good things about Gabriele and hope there are other works in him that are just as good as this one.
Gabriele offers us many insightful often unusual descriptive details about things and events often in a clever and humorous way. He reminds me of many famous writers whose early books were not sparse, but who later developed the practice of writing clearly, forcefully, and to the point. I enjoyed the tale and how it developed despite some over-writing; and as I wrote, it made me think he has a good chance of becoming a very good writer.
I will give one example. He takes a couple of pages to describe the attack by two police dogs against a woman who was wearing a fox-head scarf, while the police officers looked on without acting. The story was not relevant to the plot, but it was composed in a fascinating manner, so much so that I thought about it even several days after reading it.
The story opens during a party at Eliot Sexton’s Park Avenue apartment where a theft and the murder of Eugene Livingston, the Deputy Commissioner for Cultural Affairs for the City of New York, occurs. Deceit and betrayal hampers the investigation. In my opinion, Gabriele indulged big-time with the description. Some paragraphs went on at length that had absolutely nothing to do with moving the story forward. I ended up skipping many of those. You could probably cut the book by at least seventy-five pages and it would read much better.
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