Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Corruption, Compassion, and Beer

 Vern Morton is a wealthy real estate developer who made a fortune in St. Louis properties. His role in Lifetime Loser is short as we quickly learn of his death in the first few pages of the story. However his estate practically becomes its own character as it is a main focus throughout the novel. Several con artists swindle Vern’s widow by misusing a forged power-of-attorney document. The heirs to the estate lose their assets and file a series of legal challenges in civil court. This event serves as only the first example of many instances of corruption and crime in a book that shines a light on social injustice.

The readers meet Tina Ventimiglia in the pages of Finish Line. She is the attractive mother of Justin, a teen who has to pay off a debt that he incurred after a petty act of vandalism. Earlier in her life she dated Curt, the co-owner of Prairie Winds golf course. After their relationship fizzled she married another guy but Curt remained close to her son. The relationship between Curt and Justin is the focal point of the novel, as Justin works toward his debt at Prairie Winds while also learning some important life lessons that will last well past the summer.  Tina is opinionated and domineering but tremendously concerned about the well-being of her son.

Finally my readers will find Philippe Vaugh-Purdy in the pages of Pabby’s Score. The beer baron owned a large brewery in St. Louis before selling the business and starting a micro-brewery. The site of the business is three fourths of the way up the bluffs that line the Mississippi river. The readers take a harrowing trip up the river road to the site of the brewery. But a surprise awaits them. What secrets is Philippe Vaugh-Purdy hiding? Pick up a copy of Pabby’s Score to find out!

James Ross
Author of Lifetime Loser, Finish Line, Tuey's Course, Opur's Blade, and Pabby's Score
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