by Phil Jason
Fatal Ambition, by Don Farmer with Chris Curle. Publisher Page / Headline Books. 315 pages. Trade Paperback $19.95.
This is a novel in which most of the characters have few, if any, redeeming qualities. It has on display the cutthroat competition in the news business; the shallowness of the hangers-on who have no real reason to expect honest success, the extremes to which dishonesty can go, and the vulnerability of women whose low self-esteem makes them easy prey. Well, there are some women waiting to take revenge.
What’s to like? The sense of insider authenticity; the ever-tightening, hypnotic suspense; and the dark humor that keeps readers laughing at screwball situations and characters.
Set in major metropolis Atlanta and boutique, upscale Naples, Florida, the plot keeps the major characters running back and forth while also touching bases through endless communication. Some are trying to pull off a big scam, and others are trying to expose it. Do you think that “tree-hugger,” the disparaging term for naive environmentalists, has had its day? Maybe so, but what about fake tree-huggers – people who raise money ostensibly to protect a threatened species or otherwise cleanse and improve the environment? What if the money just lines the pockets of corrupt, smiling event-planners for whom taking bows at a televised campaign is a way of life?
Nikki Zachos is an attention-grabbing television anchorwoman whose ambition is to be number one in her market. She seems to have a weakness for clothing made from the skins and furs of slain animals.
An enterprising but suspect do-gooder decides to exploit Nikki’s celebrity by kidnapping her and making her the arch-enemy of animal rights activists. The ransom for Nikki might help the cause, or it might just get certain reporters and station managers great airtime to boost their ratings and salaries. Also, the money that comes in might help Rudy Decker cover his addiction to booze and gambling.
Or will his money come from feeding the black marketplace for black bear body parts, a lucrative commodity?
To enjoy the full article/review as it appears titled “News That’s Fit to Fake” in the January-February issue of Ft.MyersMagazine along with bio, interview, and images. click on the following link: Fatal Ambition
You might also enjoy this review of their earlier novel. To see Headlines, Deadlines, and Death, click here: Headlines
Note: the link to the Florida Weekly page for this review is no longer operable.