Welcome!! My name is Paul Lappen. I am in my early 50s, single, and live in Connecticut USA. This blog will consist of book reviews, written by me, on a wide variety of subjects. I specialize, as much as possible, in small press and self-published books, to give them whatever tiny bit of publicity help that I can. Other than that, I am willing to review nearly any genre, except poetry, romance, elementary-school children's books and (really bloody) horror.

I have another 800 reviews at my archive blog: http://www.deadtreesreviewarchive.blogspot.com (please visit).

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Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Versailles Conspiracy

The Versailles Conspiracy, Robert "Digger" Cartwright, Xlibris Corporation, 2010

This novel is set in present-day Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It is about a murder mystery that turns into a whole lot more.

Max Spalding is the local Building Inspector. He is also a member of the local commission dealing with a proposed addition to the local convention center. It is a very touchy subject among the local elite; any hint of scandal could destroy the whole project. One day, Max dies in a horrific car accident. As they investigate, Detectives Wickland and Graisco of the local police begin to realize that Max's death was not an accident.

His car had been tampered with just before his death. His last appointment was with Vladimir Stratavynski, owner of a local clothing and souvenir store. It had been raided by the police a number of times in the past for selling counterfeit goods, but the police could never put Stratavynski away for good. A former Russian oligarch who became "unpopular" when communism ended, he is part of a secret group looking to re-establish communist control in Russia.

Max was having an affair with Janet, his secretary. He had a huge conflict of interest concerning the convention center project. He had just returned from a week-long convention in Palm Springs, Florida. Why, during that week, did he suddenly fly to a very expensive resort in Quebec, and back again? In his safe deposit box, why did the police find over one hundred thousand dollars in cash, and a set of plans to the local water treatment plant? The police are also exposed to a Russian arms dealer, betrayal, the FARC rebels from Colombia, very large amounts of cocaine, and a local, extremely private, country club called the Versailles Country Club. It's the sort of place where, if you aren't a member, you shouldn't even bother walking through the front door.

Here is an excellent piece of writing. The plot might get a bit convoluted at times, but it has everything a good thriller story needs. This is very much worth the reader's time.

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