Reviewer Marion M. Dollar: Marion was born in Mize, Mississippi and had spent twenty-two years in the United States Navy and another twenty years at Texas Instruments. He holds BSIT/MBA degrees. He is the author of Stories from Liars, Friends and the Innocent and has stories published in the anthology, Fireflies in Fruitjars by the Red Dog Writers. In addition, he has published numerous newspaper articles. Marion also mentors new writers and is active in church and in community activities as well as being moderator on Scribophile.
Author: P D LaFleur
Publisher: RGI PRESS
You will have a hard time putting this book aside until you have completed reading it
Author: P D LaFleur
Publisher: RGI PRESS
P. D. LaFleur has accomplished the seemingly impossible by combining international intrigue with small town circumstances. As a means of obtaining desired concessions from Mother Russia, the Chechen resistance hires and international assassin to kidnap the Russian Premier’s son, Alex. Since Alex is in Florida for the Super Bowl, the plan takes fruition in the Sunshine state. The assassin, Emilio, finds a duplicate for Alex and with a little plastic surgery has an exact match. He then makes the switch with no one being the wiser with the exception of himself and his accomplices. With the real Alex tucked away, the Chechens are able to pressure Mother Russia for the demands and changes they want to see made inside their country. Mother Russia stands to gain by seeing Alex alive and well and no harm has come to him. The fake Alex in the meantime has the state side folks believing that everything is okay.
After the Super Bowl the fake Alex leaves a note in his Hotel room stating he is on his way to New Orleans. This is within the expected norm for the playboy and raises no suspicion. Being of no further use to Emilio, the fake Alex winds us as alligator bait on one of the many islands in the everglades. When he is found half eaten by gators, enter Larry Garrison, county Sheriff aided by disgraced FBI agent Toomey recently assigned to the Florida office. It doesn’t take long to connect a Russian trapeze artist, Vanya to the scheme and as a helper to Emilio. She has been living in the close vicinity for the past few years and has close ties to the Chechens and their cause. Emilio uses her as his liaison with the Chechens so he can keep as low a profile as possible.
In addition to the murder investigation, Sheriff Garrison has to contend with the county and town hooligans especially Virgil Swett, the son of the county patriarch. Riding his souped up Harley with loud pipes and always in the vicinity of any trouble in town, Garrison knows that one day he has to tangle with Swett, he just doesn’t know when or where. But when that day comes, it is a complete surprise for Garrison and one that is saved by his close friend FBI Agent Toomey.
Garrison himself has a few medical problems he must work out. He feels in his heart that something is wrong with him but has no clue as to what it may be. His once perfect score on the target range is not only getting tougher to maintain but in reality is slipping although still staying in the qualifying zone. He finds himself getting tired a bit faster and his aim a bit off as compared to what it used to be in his younger days.
Vanya, in her quest to help Emilio, has found a new field to aspire for; she likes the role of assassin. And when Emilio teaches her to shoot the Blaser, she has found a companion for life in her chosen career as assassin for hire. She envisions taking over when Emilio retires after this assignment.
Special FBI Agent Toomey finds himself disgraced within the higher ranks of the FBI and transferred to Florida where he becomes friends with Garrison. Together they work this case much to the chagrin of Toomey’s boss. Toomey no only has a lot of pull left within the ranks of the FBI that helps in the case but he develops a close friendship with Garrison’s staff member, Twanda. Initially hating Florida and the surrounding area, Toomey learns to appreciate and love the territory thanks to Twanda and her tutoring.
Emilio, the hired assassin, has an olive grove in Italy he intends to retire to. This is to be his last assignment. He believes in meticulous planning and sticking to the adopted plan, no deviations. No detail is too small in the planning phase. He has become rich by following this philosophy and he does not intend to digress from it now. He stays with the plan even though it causes him to have to face Garrison when he delivers Alex safe and sound to a park area where he will be found. But Garrison is the one with the Glock .44 pointing at Emilio and Emilio’s hands are empty. After the melee, Emilio sits in his mansion in Italy and wonders why Garrison did not shoot when he had the chance.
P. D. LaFleur has penned an absorbing story of intrigue and blended into it the attitudes and actions of a backwards and laid back town in a slow moving community in Florida. So carefully has this blending been made that the reader will hardly notice the transition from the high society halls of the Russian and Chechen suits to the lowly Sheriff’s office, mom & pop stores and the old front porches of once great men. The scenes come alive in the readers mind due to the vivid descriptors used and the way he has constructed the sentences to enhance and move the story along. You will have a hard time putting this book aside until you have completed reading it.