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Publisher: Dutton Publishing

Suspicion by Joseph Finder is a thrilling tale about a man caught in a desperate situation, torn between protecting his family and his loyalty to a new friend. Danny Goodman has had a rough year of it. He's a historical novelist living in Boston whose ex-wife Sarah has recently died of cancer, leaving his teenage daughter Abby solely in his custody. Naturally, the work on his latest book suffered while he was caring for Sarah, and his financial situation is pretty dire at the moment. Abby attends an exclusive and insanely expensive private girls' school, which was great while Sarah was alive and working for one of the board members, but now that she's gone, things have declined and Abby is about to be given the boot for non-payment of tuition. Abby has recently become best friends with a girl named Jenna Galvin, and has been spending a lot of time at the Galvins. Who could blame her, really? They live in a gorgeous mansion and are incredibly rich. Thomas Galvin, Jenna's father, is affable and a Southie boy who struck it rich, and his beautiful Mexican wife Celina is incredibly charming and warm. When Tom Galvin reaches out to Danny, saying that his daughter has never been so happy as she is now with Abby as her friend and he wants to help out, first by bankrolling Abby's school trip to Italy and then by offering Danny a loan for $50,000 to get him out of his jam, Danny thinks his problems are over, at least for the moment. Sadly, they've only just begun.

Danny then gets contacted for what at first appears to be a job, but he soon discovers the DEA is out to get Tom Galvin and they want to use him to do it. There's all this talk about money laundering and Mexican drug cartels and the fact that Danny took $50,000 from Galvin without a formal laon contract. The DEA agents, Yeager and Slocum, seem to have him over a barrel and while he doesn't want to do anything to hurt his new friend Tom, who seems to be a really good guy, he certainly doesn't like the threat of federal prison for the next 20 years or so and no one to care for Abby.

First they want him to plant a bug, but then that's not enough. Soon, they want him to access Tom's personal phone and even follow him to a clandestine meeting. Before long, Danny realizes that the situation is becoming dire and very dangerous forces are involved. As Danny feels the walls closing in on him, he also realizes that Tom truly is becoming a good friend and maybe everything isn't exactly as it seems. Who can he trust and how can he escape this impossible situation without causing irreparable damage to either his life or the Galvins?

Suspicion is a great thriller and is one that you won't want to put down once you get into it. The characters are likable and while their situations are not completely relatable (what with the mansions and all...), it is easy to feel sympathetic towards them. This is my first Joseph Finder novel, although I recently read a short story of his in the collaborative book FACEOFF and I have seen movies that were based on his books, such as the fairly recent film Paranoia. I absolutely and thoroughly enjoyed Suspicion and will definitely be reading more of Finder's books in the future. Suspicion is a perfect beach read and if you enjoy James Patterson and similar authors, you'll probably enjoy Joseph Finder as well.

-Psibabe, GameVortex Communications
AKA Ashley Perkins

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