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Death Pact
Death Pact
Author: William Manchee
Richard Coleman has made partner in his law firm in record time. Despite his success there is little joy in his life having recently lost his wife in an auto accident. It's been over a year now and he has tried to adjust to the loneliness and emptiness in his life with little success. Then he meets Erica Fox, the 17-year-old daughter of the firm...  more »
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ISBN: 351202
Publication Date: 2011
Edition: Abridged
  • Currently 3/5 Stars.

3 stars, based on 1 rating
Publisher: Top Publications LTD
Book Type: Audio CD
Members Wishing: 1
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3.0 out of 5 stars Predictable but entertaining,

This review is from: Death Pact (Audible Audio Edition)
This audio MP3 of Death Pact is described as a romantic mystery. I would definitely agree with that assessment and I enjoyed listening to this predictable but entertaining book while driving in my car. The novel is about a 30-something lawyer, Rich Coleman, who is put into the position of trustee for 17-year-old Erica Fox when her divorced, wealthy father dies in a skiing accident.

Though she is not of legal age, Erica and Rich begin an affair and he breaches his fiduciary duty on both moral grounds and because of the reckless way he handles the estate left to Erica. Though they try to keep their relationship a secret, they are found out by Rich's partners at his law firm who fire him, as well as by Erica's Aunt Martha and her son Arnold and who both try to get control of Erica and her money. During the course of the contest over the trustee situation, Aunt Martha is found murdered and Erica is arrested and goes on trial. Erica plans to plead temporary insanity but is afraid she will be convicted and urges Rich to enter into a 'death pact' with her -- if she is found guilty, they will both swallow cyanide capsules and thus be together for eternity.

The audio-book, read by Jeffrey Kafer in a capable manner, is not particularly suspenseful and I didn't find surprises or unexpected twists though the author definitely tries to set up some red herrings. The character of Rich seemed a bit immature but I did think it implausible that he would become embroiled in this situation with an underage charge, and his constant unnecessary references to God and going to Mass and such seemed a bit forced for a person who was going to commit suicide and who was having this type of affair. Erica was portrayed as being older and wise beyond her years thus seeking and gaining emancipation, but I did find the love affair a bit disconcerting. The fact of this affair (actually statutory rape) and the breach of fiduciary duty, however, were what set up the focus of the plot -- who really killed Aunt Martha?

I really liked that the entire book was recorded on one CD rather than having to constantly be changing out disks while also attempting to drive. I noticed there was a second book in the series, Plastic Gods (Rich Coleman Novels, 2), and read the blurb before I finished this one so I knew they didn't kill themselves! I don't know if I will read that one or not because of it being so far into the future of Rich and Erica and not focused on them. As an aside, I did find the fact that this book was set in the late 1970s to be a bit disconcerting as certain plot points would have been impossible with cell phones and other present day technology. I also noticed that the author has another series featuring a character named Stan Tuner, and I wonder if they are set more in the current time. I may or may not check them out.

All in all, I'd recommend this book for a quick and easy read (or listen) on a plane, train, or in the car.