Written by Doug Richardson — This author’s background is in writing screenplays, and among the films he’s worked on are some big pictures including Die Hard 2, Bad Boys and, most recently, Hostage. To date, these pictures have grossed over $800 million worldwide. In 1997 Richardson’s debut novel Dark Horse was published by Avon/Morrow. He has since written two other books – True Believers and The Safety Expert. Blood Money is his latest novel and is self-published.
This book is the story of Greg Beemer, who is making his way from Reno, Nevada to the Port of Long Beach, driving a stolen refrigerated tractor trailer loaded with frozen blood product with a tight schedule to keep. Things start to turn sour when he’s pulled over in Kern County by a young deputy asking for help at the scene of an accident. Beemer panics upon realising that he is now a witness to the accident, meaning the police will take his statements at the scene with follow-up interviews at a later date. He’ll be asked to produce his identification, current address and occupation and at some point might be asked to explain what he’s doing driving an 18-wheel refrigerator rig southbound on Highway 395. This is far too much information to spill, so Beemer shoots the young deputy in the head and tosses a flare into a growing puddle of gasoline, killing the young accident victim Pepper Ellis and her boyfriend.
The next chapter flip to the story of Lucas ‘Lucky’ Dey. It is the middle of the night and he’s fast asleep when his telephone rings. No stranger to being awakened with bad news, Dey answers the call, except this time, the voice on the phone tells him that his younger brother has been shot at the scene of an accident. Heartbroken and out for revenge Lucky vows to hunt down and kill whoever murdered his brother. He jumps into his car and chases Beemer into the heart of Los Angeles. As Dey follows a tip from his old friends in the LA Sheriffs department he is assigned LAPD detective Lydia ‘Gonzo’ Gonzales as a partner and chaperone. Lucky is out for revenge, and so is Conrad Ellis, the multi-millionaire entertainment mogul, who is the father of murdered Pepper Ellis. Conrad hires a private detective to track down Beemer so he can enact his revenge. Both Lucky and Conrad get close to their wish when Rey Palomino, the man who has agreed to export Beemer’s product, contacts the FBI. Is this the end for Greg Beemer? Will Lucky Dey get the revenge he deserves?
Blood Money is an exciting and unpredictable read. The chapters skip across the array of different storylines, from Beemer’s story to each of the characters wanting to track him down, including Lucky Dey, Lydia Gonzales, Conrad Ellis, Rey Palomino, Deputy United States Attorney Lilly Zoller, FBI Agent Dulaney Little and famed Hollywood security guru Garvin Van Der Berk. All these characters make for interesting variation, but they also bring with them confusion. The constant skipping between voices makes the plot hard to follow at times. Greg Beemer is an exciting villain whose constant battle with his ‘inner idiot’ will keep you on your toes. I was left constantly wondering what Beemer would do next and whether he would ever get caught. Lucky Dey is an unusual main character. He doesn’t convey the typical emotions you’d expect from someone who’s lost a brother. However, his desperation to find the murderer, coupled with his loneliness at the prospect of returning to Kern County, somehow managed to pull at the heartstrings.
Velvet Elvis Entertainment
CFL Rating: 3 Stars