By: Gary D. McGugan
Publication Date: August 11, 2023
Reviewed By: Kathy Stickles
Review Date: August 15, 2023
As a newcomer to this author and series, I was not sure what to expect from Contention or from Mr. McGugan, but let me just say WOW! This is an incredible, fast-paced, edge-of-your-seat thriller that hits readers right from page one and will keep you thoroughly engrossed until the very end.
In Contention, readers are introduced, or re-introduced as the case may be, to this author's fabulously written characters as they continue their journey. Fidelia Morales is the leader of The Organization, which is one of the biggest groups to be found in the organized crime world. Howard Knight is the man who has lived a good part of his life under Fidelia’s control as he helped to scam and steal millions of dollars for this woman he might have once loved and her criminal organization. Finally, we have Suzanne Simpson, a rich, smart, and honest woman who is the executive of a huge company that seems to be caught in between Fidelia and Howard and their plans.
In this new installment of the series, Fidelia is attempting to run her huge organization, which has members leading groups in every part of the world with interests in any illegal activity you might be able to think of. While her goal is for everyone around her to pledge complete loyalty to her and the group, there is one person who wants only one thing from Fidelia and that is Howard. All he wants is to be free. To become closer to his goal he asks Fidelia to give him the opportunity to step away from her side and work on developing a new corporate espionage plan from the island of Aruba. A plan he tries to convince her will bring even more money into her business.
When Fidelia approves of the idea, she agrees to send Howard and her own longtime friend and financial wizard off to the Caribbean to start working on the new plan. Now she has to figure out a way to keep control of all that she needs to run her business while also finding a way to spy on and manipulate Howard and his new people from the outside. In addition, Fidelia is still trying to gain control of one of the world’s largest businesses, Multima Corporation, which is controlled by Suzanne - taking over Multima has been a dream of Fidelia’s for a very long time.
As these three people, and many others, work to achieve all that they want, the readers are gifted with an intricately woven and enthralling tale that is not be missed. Contention is so well-written and the author is able to keep control of all the different parts of the story and keep readers involved in every aspect of the plot through his excellent writing. The way each of the characters stories is interwoven with the others seems effortless as McGugan laces everything together and that makes the story an absolute joy to read. In addition, the characters and dialogue are excellent. Every single character, even down to the supporting cast, is interesting to read about and has a reason for being a part of the story.
Another thing that I absolutely loved was that, although this is the first story I have read from this series, there is just enough background given so that I knew exactly who each character was and how they were connected. While I would highly recommend reading the books in order...and I promise you that I am currently getting copies of the first six myself since this one is so great...it is not something that would be critical to enjoying this single book. You can begin on page one of Contention and fall right into the storyline and the background with very little effort and enjoy the book immensely.
Contention is simply the perfect book. The plot is interesting and will hold your attention easily and the characters are well-developed and fascinating in every situation. In short, this is a book and author that is definitely not to be missed. I have become a huge fan in a very short period of time and look forward to the next tale in the series.
Quill Says: Contention is an excellent addition to this series wrapped around Howard Knight. This book gives readers a riveting and suspenseful tale that they will not want to put down until the last page and one with an ending that guarantees us another installment, thank goodness.
For more information on Contention: A Novel of International Suspense and Intrigue, please visit the author's website at: www.garydmcguganbooks.com/