Friday, February 05, 2010

Shake Down by Andie Ryan

by Andie Ryan
Lenox Road Publishing © 2009
ISBN 978-1-935365-05-1
Review by Steve Glines

Every Saturday morning our editor arrives with a bag, or on a bad day, a box of books to be reviewed. The poetry books are grabbed first, most of the Bagel Bards are poets and a chapbook is a quick read and an equally quick assessment and review. A quick thumbs up or down. The books that remain on the table are eyed warily. They are large, they are fiction, they are novels. They are daunting. The last book on the table carried the title “Shakedown.” A few picked it up, thumbed through it and put it back down. Some snickered, some just skimmed a paragraph or two, and some read the blurbs on the back. I picked it up. Someone rolled their eyes and said, “It’s about a company called ‘Sledd Payne’.” I put it back down.

As our meeting ended our editor, waving “Shakedown” in the air said, “OK, who’s going to review this book?”

When no one answered I said, “I will.”

It’s an hour long train ride back to my house in the burbs, enough time to get a feeling for what a book’s about:

• A murder mystery set in the 1970’s involving a Sledd Payne employee.
• Someone notices that things don’t add up, is money be4ing embezelled?
• A man named Hollister, a senior executive at Sledd Payne is on the case.
I almost missed my stop. At home I opened the book again, reading through dinner, through the 11 P.M. news, well past 3 A.M.:
• A young rising executive discovers hidden accounts with huge sums that are traded daily.
• She’s mysteriously killed.

I won’t go on. The story is a gripping who done it. We know who the villains are and we think we know who the good guys are but the twists and turns make this novel a great read and anyone who’s followed the ENRON or WorldCom story this story is completely plausible. It makes you wonder what skeletons are hidden inside the boardrooms of America’s major corporations.
This book is recommended for anyone who likes a good light thriller.

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