Title: The Reckless Engineer
Author: Jac Wright
Series: The Reckless Engineer #1
Publishers: Soul Mate Publishing, New York
Date of Publication: 19th Oct, 2013
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Length: 400 pages
My Source: e-book from the author
Love is a battlefield.
The aftershocks of an affair reverberate out to those in the lives of the lovers, who will NOT take it lying down.
Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering of Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's extreme engineering company in Oil & Gas. He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor. Their delicately balanced lives are shattered when sexy Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.
Jeremy Stone brings London's top defence attorney, John Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.
Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a untraceable mobile? Has powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame his brother-in-law? Is the divorce from Jack's first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their vast inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?
The cast of characters is made even more colorful by the supporting entourage: the big Scott and his gang, Hosé and Heineken, who carry out Douglas McAllen’s “troubleshooting;” McAllens' bumbling solicitors McKinley and Magnus Laird; Caitlin McAllen’s handymen, Cossack and Levent; and Jeremy’s sidekick, the gay black actor working in the London West End.
While Jack is charged and his murder trial proceeds in the Crown Court under barrister John Stavers’ expert care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend's life, if he is in fact innocent, in a tense saga of love, desire, power, and ambition.
I received a copy of The Reckless Engineer from the author Jac Wright in exchange of an honest review. I hadn't heard Jac's name before when he approached me, but as the blurb seemed to be interesting, I took this ARC request and I'm quite happy that I did.
This is the story of Jack Connor, a womanizer and the unfaithful husband of Caitlin McAllen, beautiful and elegant daughter of a wealthy businessman. The story begins when Jack is arrested and accused of killing a woman, Michelle, his colleague and also pregnant with his child. Jack calls his friend Jeremy for help and Jeremy's friend Harry Stavers, one of the London's top criminal lawyer, takes charge of Jack's case.
As Harry works on Jack's defense, Jeremy investigates what happened and tries to untangle the mess Jack has put himself and his family in by having multiple affairs with women at work. The action follows Jeremy to the McAllen English estate and Scotland where Caitlin's family still lives and works.
The story-line of the book is very interesting and the mystery is solid. Jeremy who is an engineer by profession, attempts to find the murderer before Jack is convicted and sent to prison. Jeremy is also trying to keep his engineering firm solvent, reconcile with his ex-wife, be loyal to Jack's ex-wife and his current wife, and keep a good working relationship with the McAllens, who have hired him to run the company in Jack's absence.
This is a well-written mystery and I was having a hard time guessing who actually killed Michelle until it was revealed. I think some part of the book, like Jeremy's attempts to get back in the relationship with his ex-wife, Maggie could have been excluded as it has nothing to do with the main plot. Also, some of the Engineering stuffs seemed a bit unnecessary. However, since this is the first book of the series, perhaps the author plans to elaborate the relationships even more in the sequels.
One positive thing about the book is its character building. All the characters are well and vividly described. The narration (its a third person narrative) is good too, the scenes are properly described.
Overall, it was an enjoyable read. I'd recommend it to all who love reading mystery/thrillers. And lastly, I want to thank the author for approaching me to read and review this book. It was worth reading.
Jac Wright is a published poet, a published author, and an electronics engineer educated at Stanford, University College London, and Cambridge who lives and works in England. Jac studied English literature from an early age of three, developing an intense love for poetry, drama, and writing in Speech & Drama classes taken every Saturday for fourteen years, and in subsequent creative writing classes taken during the university years. A published poet, Jac's first passion was for literary fiction and poetry writing as well as for the dramatic arts. You will find these influences in the poetic imagery and prose, as well as the in the dramatic scene setting and deep character creation.
These passions - for poetry, drama, literary fiction, and electronic engineering - have been combined to create the first book in the literary suspense series, The Reckless Engineer. There are millions of professionals in high tech corporate environments who work in thousands of cities in the US, the UK, and the world such as engineers, technicians, technical managers, investment bankers, and corporate lawyers. High drama, power struggles, and human interest stories play out in the arena every day. Yet there are hardly any books that tell their stories; there are not many books that they can identify with. Jac feels compelled to tell their stories in The Reckless Engineer series.
Jac also writes the literary short fiction series, Summerset Tales, in which Wright explores characters struggling against their passions and social circumstances in the semi-fictional region of contemporary England called Summerset, partly the region that Thomas Hardy called Wessex. Some of the tales have an added element of suspense similar to Roald Dahl's Tales of the Unexpected. The collection is published as individual tales in the tradition of Geoffrey Chaucer's Caterbury Tales, Charles Dickens' The Pickwick Papers and Thomas Hardy's Wessex Tales. The first tale, The Closet, accompanies the first title in the author's full-length series, The Reckless Engineer.
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