Patrick is also not above theft and embezzlement from the construction firm where he works, if it means keeping Elaine living comfortably and safely.
When Elaine's father is accused of passing counterfeit bills and sent to prison, Elaine's world disintegrates around her, especially after Patrick elects to commit suicide rather than live humiliated and trapped in a cell.
Now completely alone and without a guardian, Elaine chooses to go back to school to join the Secret Service, having discovered an aptitude for differentiating counterfeit bills from authentic ones. She's determined to find and punish the man whose counterfeiting led to her father's arrest.
Elaine fights her way through the training and education to become a Secret Service agent. Upon her graduation, she's assigned to an office in Montana and then reassigned, after an unsavory encounter with her supervisor, to Bulgaria, where she works with long-time agent Nick LaGrange, who is not all that he appears to be.
Lust is the first book in author Mike Wells' Lust, Money & Murder series. Wells writes with exacting care and a style that reminds me, in a very good way, of Hemingway: spare, minimalist, as though he's trimmed out every fraction of extraneous information.
In keeping with the suspense and thriller genre, the writing is tight; characters are minimally described but psychologically driven; dialogue is precise and moves the plot forward with each exchange. Wells' research (or life experience, or some of each) is evident in the cultural references woven throughout the story.
In critique, the work might, in future editions, benefit from a close final proofread to ensure that the occasional typo doesn't detract from the story line.
Having been sufficiently intrigued by this offering, I look forward to the opportunity to read the other two books in the trilogy.
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Author: Mike Wells
Title: Book 1: Lust
Series: Lust, Money, & Murder
Purchase here: http://amzn.to/1vXxlOT
Disclaimer: The opinions I have expressed are my own.