by Peter Spiegelman
Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 1400040752
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
If anyone knows the price of fame it is John March, a former upstate New York law enforcement official. John gained his fifteen minutes of distinction when he solved a serial killer case, but at the cost of the murderer killing his spouse. Leaving his job to drown his sorrow and guilt with the bottle, John eventually relocates to Manhattan to work as a private investigator.
College friend attorney Mike Metz arranges for John to help investment banker Rick Pierro. Someone is blackmailing Rick using documentation from as late as eighteen years ago that alleges the financier was part of a money-laundering scheme. The culprit threatens Rick’s career by aborting a major promotion to the executive committee if the allegations became known. Rick wants John to find the extortionist in order to strike a deal until the selections are made in five weeks. Though accounting forensics is outside his lane, John accepts the case. However, the FBI tells him to stay out or else face charges of impeding a federal investigation while John’s inquiries go nowhere except to a missing financier.
BLACK MAPS takes the white collar out of the financial mystery by placing it inside an urban noir private investigative tale with a blue-collar attitude due to the hero. The story line is somewhat complex because of the fiscal dealings, but more so because of John who swims in a salty sea filled with tuxedo sharks with he being a fresh water guppy. Though his angst and guilt at times feels overwhelming, the lead character is a strong individual. Peter Spiegelman needs to write more adventures of John in the land of Wall Street.
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