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Black Maps
by Peter Spiegelman

Category: Fiction / Mystery
0 pages; ISBN: 1-4000-4075-2

Rating: 10/10  (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Kevin Tipple


In this debut novel, author Peter Spiegelman has created a complex and entertaining character, John March, who hopefully will be at the center of many mysteries to come. John March is now a private investigator three years after his life collapsed with the death of his wife thanks to a serial killer he was stalking on behalf of his employer at the time, the FBI. The pain is still fresh as are the constant and well-meaning efforts from family concerning his chosen profession. After all they reason, when one is born to money one should stay in a money field to make more and what he does for a living is so unseemly.

But March goes his own way as most loners do and at the request of a friend takes the strange case of Rick Pierro. Rick is wealthy by anyone’s standards and is being blackmailed. From documents the blackmailer supplied and is threatening to use, it appears that Rick was a small part of a massive money-laundering scheme years ago. Part of the scheme has come to light in the last year or so and multiple investigations are underway. While Rick admits to doing business deals with the principals named in the documents, he claims that the documents themselves are fakes and that all his deals were and still are legit. With his job on Wall Street in jeopardy, Rick wants to pay off the blackmailer once, if the person can be convinced not to come back for more. Rick can’t afford a hint of scandal should anything come out but has no intention of being bled dry either.

March thinks the whole deal is strange and problematic at best but agrees to do what he can. Before long, he suspects that Rick is lying to him and that Rick isn’t the only one that the blackmailer has blackmailed. But the blackmailer, who takes offense at being looked for isn’t the only one that has resources to deal with March. So too does a Federal Prosecutor and her task force which have to show result from months of investigation and at this point, they don’t care how they go about it.

Hammered from all sides, March works the case in this complex and enjoyable novel. March is multi layered and complex as are many of the supporting characters. These characters were not cut out from cardboard but are instead created and soon come alive in the reader’s imagination as the work moves forward.

At the same time, the storyline continually twists and turns as the novel works towards a conclusion hidden in the shadows. Nothing is what it seems or appears to be and as things move forward, events and characters get murkier and murkier in this gritty novel. This is an amazing book that this review does not do justice and is well worth the read.

Book Facts:

Black Maps
By Peter Spiegelman
Alfred A. Knopf
ISBN # 1-4000-4075-2



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