Five Star Fraud by Margaret Cahill demonstrates a world of corruption which I think a few of us suspect but prefer it to be a matter of fiction, as are the particulars in Five Star Fraud. Neil Landers is a scientist and has been offered what seems to be a great job with an equally great boss at GB Polymers, Inc. Neil and his wife Bridget move to Charlotte, North Carolina and he commences working for Gordon Byrnes. All starts off well, Gordon even provides Neil with an expensive piece of equipment, but it all starts to unravel and once it starts it gathers speed to a point where I bet Neil was thinking why on earth did I take this job?! Gordon’s son Chadwick has been advertising their product and making false claims; a potentially dangerous situation which Neil uncovers. The product is used in nuclear plants and could lead to a nuclear disaster. Neil must do what he can to prevent the loss of lives, but by becoming a whistleblower his own life may be on the line. Welcome to world of corrupt lawyers, government agencies and people in general.
Neil is a very believable character. I’m sure there are quite a few Neils, or potential Neils, out there at the moment. He goes from having a great job to having no job, a court case against him and generally feeling like perhaps he should just throw it all in. Lucky for Neil he has a supportive wife who is very understanding and tries to tolerate him spending most of his time researching and preparing for the case. Neil also has a sense of what is right and what is wrong; he sincerely doesn’t want people’s lives to be in danger and is carrying on not just for himself but for the entire community. Neil is a good guy and it is not an easy job to take on the bad guys.
There are quite a few characters to like and dislike in Five Star Fraud. I won’t go through and discuss each individually but I will say Margaret has done a great job making her fictional characters seem real. As I was reading through I could definitely picture this happening somewhere, not just the nuclear side of things but the lawyers and the way they behave throughout the book. Don’t get me wrong, I have absolutely nothing against lawyers – in fact I wanted to be one when I was younger. It’s just that the way Margaret has worded things it all has a sense of realness about it, like you could be reading about this in the newspaper. I think it would have been easy to over-sensationalise certain aspects but Margaret has not fallen into that, she’s kept it real and therefore I think that shows good writing skills.
All in all I enjoyed reading Five Star Fraud. Obviously a lot more happens in the book than described above but if I were to start talking about all of the relationships, incidents, et cetera, I would be here for ages. However, all of the things I haven’t included in this review did add to Five Star Fraud holding my interest, made me want to turn those pages and find out what was going to happen and really rounded out the main story without taking anything away from it. Now, those bits and pieces I haven’t included…….you’ll have to buy the book to find out what they are 🙂
Many thanks to Margaret for providing me with a copy of Five Star Fraud. I must also thank Margaret for her patience with regard to waiting for this review. Thank you, Margaret!
To read the blurb for Five Star Fraud click here