The Killdeer Connection (Lawyer David Thompson Thriller Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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It's five stars from me.
Lawyer David Thompson is an independent lawyer, who has been retained by a man named Ben who lost ability to use his hands while on the job transferring Baklen oil off a train cargo . Handling oil has many dangers but this particular oil has a dangerous avoidable tendency which the oil company Hemsley wants to downplay so that will not be liable for any problems.
I got very interested in this book because of this issue--- transportation of dangerous elements near populated areas, as we in my local area on that same Hudson river in the book had to request that the Coast guard 're-evaluate the need to park oil barges on the Hudson, especially when it would upset the fragile ecosystem which was just recently becoming sustainable for fish and wildlife. We didn't want to 're- pollute the Hudson river.
The novel is set in Albany, New York and discusses also the suburbs of Albany which are close to the prison and airport in area plus the school system. The railroad runs on the river side of Albany, which is also has an active pier, as this city is situated as a hub for transporting goods in all directions. Being that the Hudson river has a beautiful scenic vista, viewing it on a boat is on my bucket list, since there is a fall foliage annual boat cruise.
David has a crude oil specialist to speak at trial of the hazards of Beklen oil and the danger of transporting it in containers made for transporting maple syrup.
This particular oil has a tendency to have a chemical reaction when shooked which then causes a gas build up which can explode into flames and release a toxic gas at close range. The oil is also toxic to any soft tissue and melts away any part of body it's spilled on. This is what happened to David's client Ben who had been doing a routine offloading of oil when the couplings broke loose and the oil spilled onto his hands, melting them. He had not been forewarned about how dangerous this oil was and nor was he given protective equipment for the handling of the oil.
David in one of his visits to see Hajar , the oil expert, who also helps with the baseball team whom David is head coach of, has to use his keys to enter the apartment because he had been requested to come by. He finds his friend dead standing up in a room being held up by piles of boxes. He called his friend Pete who's the sheriff to tell him what he discovered. David had been also retained by the dead man to execute his will but when he went to file for probate found that another newer will had been written and filed by his lawyer friend Jim.
From Jim, he finds out that he is the sole beneficiary of the estate and insurance policy. He is also given a sealed letter which he reads and shares with Jim which tells him location of the dead person's laptop and the direction to follow the Killdeers.
While trying to clean out the apartment which is piled all over like a hoarder, he discovers a pattern to the mess and realizes that he has to take a trip to North Dakota to a small town near Fargo which is near a railroad line. His first day and night is spent sleeping in his car in a Wal-Mart parking lot along about 20 campers with trailers. Because of the oil boom, housing is hard to find and hotels are full due to a convention which he managed to slip in to attend because one of the speakers works for the Hemley oil company and David wanted to take notes of the speech. From this, David gets to meet an old doctor friend of the deceased, who tells David about the parents and his wife who all died from exposure to chemical released when the oil company fracked the land they were living on.
There's a law in that area that defines ownership of land in two ways--- the top layers to build and farm on and the beneath level which can be owned by another, in this case, the oil companies. Believe me when I say this, you are going to feel reactive reading about how the big oil companies abuse the little poor people.
But the title of the book does refer to Killdeer birds who live successfully in this harsh environment. David brings a spreadsheet of Killdeer birds to a Sheriff who also knows birds and their patterns and notes that this species of birds has thrived despite all hazards of terrain. David makes one more stop at a park mentioned in the Killdeeer journal as a good view spot to count them. It is there, he is attacked and suffered a concussion. When he wakes up in the hospital, he rapidly checks himself out and heads to a Minnesota airport to fly home. He calls one person, FBI agent Moore who has been checking up on him and tells him what he has discovered and why his friend was dead. When he arrived back in Albany, he is arrested and has to spend 9 days in jail until he negotiated a release so he could do the deposition for Ben on Monday to which he brings agent Moore.
Being a crafty lawyer, he is able to get a excellent settlement for his client and solve the mystery of the Killdeer counts in connection to the death of his friend.
If this a first in series with lawyer David Thompson from Albany, New York, I look forward to reading the next novel.
HIGHLY RECOMMEND!!! :)