A story told against the backdrop of the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center, and kudos to Peter Leonard for his mesmerizing plot and character creation.
Jack McCann is a Wall Street Trader working out of an office in the World Trade Center and in the process of cleaning out his desk when he is shaken up by a big bang. Jack is in financial trouble with the mob and can’t see a way out of his difficulties. He manages to escape the destruction caused by the terrorist attack and decides to fake his own death as a way out of his insurmountable difficulties.
Jack’s wife Diane learns about his death. Distraught with grief, she is visited by a grief counselor and also the mob the day after the tragedy. She learns that there are things about her husband that she was unaware of. Most important is the fact that Jack owes $750,000 to the mob, and they are transferring the debt to her. She quickly finds out that their personal bank accounts have been emptied and she is broke. The insurance company carrying a policy on Jack’s life want proof of death before they will pay, and his body has not been recovered.
Leonard presents us with an inventive crime story, twists and turns in an imaginative tale and people with stakes in the scheme. We are led logically and inexorably to an ending that is keeping with a fascinating plot. Very well done indeed.
5/16 Paul Lane
UNKNOWN REMAINS by Peter Leonard. Counterpoint (May 10, 2016). ISBN 978-1619026063. 375p.