Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Book Review: Death Benefits by Nelson DeMille

Death Benefits is yet another story that will come out as an ebook short tomorrow.

This is the story of Jack Henry, a once best-selling author, who lately doesn’t do so well; in fact for the past few years things seem to get from bad to worse.

Jack has written a few critically and commercially successful novels in the past, but his last two books failed miserably, with the results best-felt in his pockets; his empty pockets. He owes half a million dollars in taxes, while he has to pay up to ten thousand dollars a months for his grand mansion in New York City, and to add to that he employs a woman for the house work and a secretary. But these are not his only expenses, as he also has to pay alimony for a couple of ex-wives, while he also rents a summer house in the Hamptons for the mere amount of 140 thousand dollars for the season.

The poor man can’t help to wonder how did he come to that, but not for long, as he already knows the answer: It’s his manager’s fault. Stan Wykoff is to blame for everything, or, at least, almost everything, since he no longer gets him the deals he thinks he deserves. And then his publishers are no better, since they don’t know how to sell his books.

What is a man to do? He can avoid most of his creditors for a while, but from the IRS there’s no escape; he needs to find some money and find it as soon as possible. But where? And from whom?

Suddenly he remembers something, and that thing can prove his salvation. All he has to do is commit a murder and make it look like an accident. Oh, that wouldn’t be so difficult, not for a man of his wit, would it? The question is: Does he have the nerve to see his plan through?

Well, there’s only one way to find out, so he will invite Stan, his intended victim for a weekend of leisure in the Hamptons. The final act is about to be played, but what the finale will be, it’s not my business to reveal.

As for my verdict for the story, in my eyes, it could have been a bit better if the author had put a little more effort into the drawing of his characters. There’s some potential lost here because of the lack of complete psychological sketches of his heroes, but this is, nevertheless, a pleasant read.

The fans of the author will have the chance to get a preview of his next novel The Panther that comes out on October 16 at the end of this ebook.

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