The Simeon Chamber Author:Steve Martini Lawyer Sam Bogardus's client believed her natural father died years ago in a bizarre accident. But now, she's received word that he's still alive and tied to a hidden fortune. Sam's investigation uncovers a web of conspiracy so shocking that it's enough to make the lawyer take the law into his own hands. — Publishers Weekly — If one can be cheerfu... more »lly jaded, Sam Bogardus, attorney-at-law, fits the bill in this intriguing first novel by Martini, a lawyer himself. Using his professional skills to authenticate the slick plot, he captures the reader's attention in a chilling prologue to this provocative murder mystery set in the San Francisco Bay Area. Bogardus is the law partner of his former lover, though the relationship is now platonic. Bored, he takes on elegant Jennifer Davies as a client. She has fallen heir to an ancient, valuable document belonging to her father, which surfaced 33 years after he mysteriously disappeared in a 1942 Navy blimp crash. When Bogardus discovers the literary legacy is probably an excerpt from lost diaries of 16th century explorer Sir Francis Drake, word of the find leaks out and the net closes on Davies and Bogardus. Willing to kidnap, maim and kill to possess the papers, his covetous adversaries unwittingly lead the counselor to San Simeon, William Randolph Hearst's castle, where he unearths a startling wartime black-market scandal. Events that stretch the imagination emerge here, but Martini's enthusiasm keeps the reader engrossed. A fast read, the novel provides a peek at the Bay environs, its interesting past and, finally, "history's cruel irony," which brings the story to a stunning finale.« less
This is one of Martini's earlier works. Even though the main character is an attorney, this is not his usual court room drama. Popular authors usually get better with more experience, but this one is a winner. It has more twists and turns than a southern Indiana back road.
I normally love Steve Martini's books, especially the Paul Madriani series, but this one was too dry with two-dimensional characters and unbelievable plot developments for my taste. I had to force myself to finish it.