By: JP O’Donnell
Publication Date: December 1, 2008
ISBN: 978-0595504756 (hc)
ISBN: 978-0595514090 (pbk)
ISBN: 978-0595618873 (e-book)
Reviewed by: Will Gabbett
Review Date: May 13, 2009
It’s just another mundane day in the life of Dr. Jonathan Becker. He gets up, readies himself for work, kisses his lovely wife and then heads out the door for work. Getting in his car and tuning the radio to his favorite talk show, it’s a quick drive to the medical building where he runs a thriving pediatric practice. Arriving at his office, he sits in his car for a few minutes to listen to the end of the radio show and boom! Dr. Becker is shot dead. In just two short pages, Fatal Gamble grabs the reader and begs the question, who shot Dr. Becker?
The police are quickly on the scene of the deadly crime but have few leads in the murder. When another doctor from the same building is murdered, the wife of Dr. Becker seeks out a private investigator, Daniel Gallagher, to find the person, or persons, responsible for her husband’s death. The police, particularly the lead investigator, Jack Hoskins, are not fond of Gallagher, an ex-cop, and are not willing to share crucial information on the case with the private investigator. Through his own cunning and expertise, Gallagher must sift through a series of clues and false leads to find the killer.
After a third doctor from the same office complex is found dead, it becomes clear to Gallagher that the connection the three murder victims share is their partnership in the ownership of the medical building. When the police arrest a suspect and declare the case solved, Gallagher is the only one to question the arrest. With detective work that would make Perry Mason proud, Gallagher continues to search for the assailant. His investigation leads him to Washington, DC, Las Vegas, NV and his own backyard. Will he be able to find the killer before another doctor is murdered?
Fatal Gamble is a quick reading thriller with crisp, easy writing that takes the reader directly into Gallagher’s world. There are several unexpected twists and turns in the story that keep both Gallagher and the reader guessing. O’Donnell expertly guides the reader into the underworld dealings in both Washington and Las Vegas while avoiding all the dry, dull irrelevant background text that many authors incorporate into their stories. With short, concise chapters, it is tempting to “read just one more chapter” before putting the book down for the night. Alas, for this reviewer, that “one more chapter” became two, then three, and then ten or twenty more chapters. It was a hard book to put down.
Quill says: If you’re looking for a great “who dun it?” book, pick up Fatal Gamble.
For more information on Fatal Gamble, please visit the author's website at: JP O'Donnell.com.