Authors: Shelly Waxman and James Nathan Post
Publishers: iUniverse, Inc.
The following review was contributed by: John Walsh & CLICK TO VIEW John Walsh's Reviews
Lawyer Sam Cohen is one of the good guys, as a whistleblower against the excesses of Hooverian phantom-hunting and the malfeasance of government agency policing. As a result, his practice is constantly on the brink of destitution and even the ministrations of his voted and of course attractive assistant Val can scarcely save him from a daily diet of chancers, fraudsters and hopeless losers.
And so, when the delightful and beautiful Serena walks into his life – well, his office anyway – he is immediately entranced and resolves to do whatever she wants – which is mostly to talk about his past involvement in cases that brought him down. The cases centre on a mercurial man who was either or both of a brave FBI mole in the Black Panther organisation or else a ruthless turncoat playing all sides against the centre.
At the same time, Sam and Val are being observed by the barman Mel, to whom everyone talks by night and who, by day, turns what he hears into best selling thrillers and mysteries. Mel, like Sam, is constantly on the lookout for opportunities to initiate casual sexual relationships with women and the two mirror each other in various ways, much like, it is possible to imagine, the two writers of this book probably do.
This is an interesting and in some ways compelling tale of the USA in the late 1960s and indeed the current day. The background events are nicely drawn upon and the hints of involvements with CIA drugs wars, the assassination of Kennedy and other such black operations add to the sense of paranoia and lack of certainty concerning identity. Less positively, all the women characters are wet dreams personified and none of the characters really feel as if they are part of the end of the twentieth century.
This is certainly worth a look and I will be interested in seeing how the Sam Cohen case books series continues.
John Walsh, Shinawatra International University, January 2005