Dutton, Aug 2008, $24.95
Struggling middle class Tom and Anna Reed are good solid citizens who love one another. Their dream is to have a child, but infertility makes it impossible without expensive help. They do not have the money for some of the alternatives and those they have tried like in-vitro have proven futile.
Helping them survive financially as they pinch pennies for their next fertility try is a reclusive tenant who pays monthly rent to them. When their hermit dies, the Reeds worry about how they will survive without his income coming in monthly. They enter their late lodger’s room to clean it out only to find four-hundred thousand dollars. Unable to resist what both feel is an easy windfall that no one will know about except themselves, this will allow them to attempt again to fulfill their dream of a child. However, neither understands that their deceased boarder left behind some irate Windy City associates who believe the ill-gotten loot belongs to them; these dangerous thugs do not mind the use of force including breaking limbs or even murder and their sights are set on the Reeds.
This exciting thriller uses a typical American suburban family trying to fulfill their dream that places them in extreme danger from deadly mobsters who believe their ill-gotten loot belongs to them as the late tenant double-crossed them. Where else would a mobster hide than in the burbs; making for quite a contrast between middle class American and the mob will sort of remind readers of the haunting contrasting final scene of the Cagney film Public Enemy. Readers will appreciate this strong thriller as the American dream turns nightmarish when the Reeds become avaricious in achieving their personal quest as Marcus Sakey asks his audience would you ethically turn in $400,000 that you believe no one knows you found.