The Million Dollar Demise
Simon & Schuster, Sep 2009, $24.00
Freddy Ford blames Nate Kenny for the loss of his girlfriend Kia, his unborn child when Kia chose abortion, and the house he and his mom were living in so decides retribution is in order. He executes Nate and his woman Monica. To complete his eye for an eye belief, Freddy, unaware that little Layla is asleep in the house, leaves with Nate’s three year old son Nathaniel. He heads to Atlanta where he knows Joni will hide him, but is unaware that Nate’s brother Tim arrived in time to get the victims to a hospital where Monica remains in a coma but Nate is awake.
Freddy informs his best friend Lewis Waters what he has done. Lewis is stunned as he knows Nate extorted and bribed Freddy to set Lewis up in the MILLION DOLLAR DECEPTION to keep him away from Monica. On the road Freddy kills a cop while Nate and Lewis meet when both visit comatose Monica. They work a deal to rescue Nathaniel, to get Freddy arrested, to allow Lewis to have custody over his biological daughter Layla, and to exchange some money. Lewis also meets pregnant Daphanie Coleman, whom Nate tossed aside for Monica and they work a deal while she also begins a second round affair with Nate.
The deceitful treacherous Nate is at the center of a firestorm as his actions in the previous thriller (see THE MILLION DOLLAR DIVORCE) seems to have caught up with him when a deranged Freddy arrives at his mansion with a gun. The ensemble cast is as always in an RM Johnson novel three dimensional with the flaws making them treacherously human. There are several major subplots (more than just above as for instance Trevor has some action too) occurring with seemingly everyone having a backstabbing play going on; but none take prime charge of the novel. Thus that leads to a rather sudden convergence crash in a twisted finish.