Author: Ernesto Patino
ISBN: 987-160318-124-2
Publisher: L  & L Dreamspell

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Joe Coopersmith is a Private Investigator who spent twenty years in the Federal Bureau of Investigation as an investigation assistant. His bum knee kept him from passing the rigid physical which in turn kept him from the coveted agent status. After retiring, Joe opened up his P. I. business in Miami.

Joe was on the stocky side, fiftyish, with a ruddy complexion and spoke with a trace of a Boston accent, having been born there. His wife had died five years earlier and he was still in the throes of try to get over her memory; so much so, he limited his trips to every three months to put flowers on her grave. Joe lost himself in his work to the point to where he was thought as being the best there was when it came to Private Investigators. He had built up quite a reputation around Miami as being the best in the business.

Sarah Baker is happily married to Mark who is up for a big promotion. One day Sarah gets a phone call from a blackmailer threatening to tell everyone her father is black if she doesn’t pay him ten thousand dollars. If she does pay, then she will never hear from him again. Sarah, prodded by her husband because he is afraid he will lose his promotion, pays the money, but later hires Joe Coopersmith to dig into her background. She feels she has to know her roots.

Coopersmith digs through the history and finds enough clues to direct him to certain areas outside Miami near the everglades. People get nervous. Coming back from Key Largo while working on another case, Joe’s life almost threatened when someone tries to run him off the road but is unsuccessful. As the man lies dying, he mentions a name to Joe which Joe eventually identifies. Bingo – Joe finds the blackmailer of Sarah and a plot so deep it is baffling; and it has been documented complete with dates and names and pictures. The only trouble is the original set of documents has been stolen by someone. AS Joe drives away, the blackmailer shoots himself and his sick wife.

Now Sara’s sister Kate, married to Mafia boss Sal, is threatened with blackmail. As you can imagine, Sal doesn’t take it lightly and when the blackmailer tries to collect, his pickup pigeon is nabbed and put to the test by Sal and his goons. Sal quickly realizes what has happened and lets the kid go, but he is livid with the entire thing and vows to get the blackmailer.

Sarah’s brother Brewster, a radio personality in Atlanta, about to be promoted to a better and higher paying position in New York receives his blackmail call. None of these people knows anything about their background or their relatives until they receive a call from the blackmailer. Brewster hires a Fixer. He doesn’t want to lose that job in New York.

In the meantime, Joe finds the dark skinned brother of the family, Daniel, in prison. A visit with Daniel  reveals a great reluctance on Daniel’s part to meet with his sisters even though he has never seen them. He feels he has been raised black and they have been raised white and the gap is too wide to ever be narrowed even by family blood. Joe cannot convince him otherwise. But Daniel does want to meet his father if Joe locates him.

Cassandra Karaman lives in Mobile and is a cousin to Jerry Anderson. Jerry is a brother to Sarah Baker but was given up for adoption at birth like the rest of Jerry’s and Sarah’s siblings. Jerry now has the briefcase with the stolen documents and pictures. When the blackmailer called Cassandra and tried to blackmail her, she sent the money by Jerry and further told Jerry to punish the guy a little bit. Jerry got carried away; he killed the guy, kept the money and the briefcase. Then he called Hal Brewster in Atlanta and tried to blackmail him. Brewster called a Fixer.

Jerry called Hal Brewster to up the ante while he was in a strip club and drunk. From the background noise, the Fixer deduced where he was. As Jerry left, the Fixer put three .40 caliber rounds in him. But Jerry lived – for a while anyway.

While all this is happening, Joe is successful in finding Sarah’s father. He is not too awful keen of seeing any of his children but agrees to meet Sarah the following day. But before the appointed time, someone puts three bullets into the back of his head. Now Joe must find out why and who killed Sarah’s father.

Ernesto Patino’s book has 195 pages in it and yet I have only covered a brief outline of what is going on in this book. It is literally chocked full of mystery, intrigue, action and suspense. As the title suggests, it is a web of secrets that slowly get unraveled and when the surprising ending is revealed, you will wonder why you did not see it all along. Ernesto Patino has written a truly wonderful well penned book in Web Of Secrets.         

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