Peter Tyler seems to have it all—a beautiful and accomplished wife, a high-powered Wall Street career, a sprawling house in the suburbs. But beneath this perfect surface, things are not what they seem. Haunted by an unhappy childhood, Peter is drifting further and further from his college-sweetheart wife and her ideal of family life; eventually, confused and dissatisfied, he seeks solace in a one-night stand.
Before Peter can fully come to grips with what he’s done, his house is broken into and his wife brutally murdered. When the police discover that a mysterious package from Peter’s best friend, Andrei, is the only thing missing, they rule out random robbery. When they dig a little deeper and discover Peter’s infidelity—combined with his refusal to reveal the identity of his lover—he becomes their prime suspect. To complete the nightmare, Andrei, who might hold the key to everything, has disappeared without a trace.
Forced to run, Peter will have to question everything he has ever believed as he struggles to unravel the truth behind his wife’s murder and Andrei’s disappearance before the police catch up with him. Along the way he’ll encounter an embittered ex-cop with a taste for vengeance, a conniving pharmaceutical conglomerate, the head of an underground AIDS facility with ties to the Russian Mob, a corporate jackal bent on a swindle of epic proportions, and a spectacular act of revenge that will take your breath away.
Whip-smart, lightning-paced, and adrenaline-fueled from first to last, this is a book you won’t be able to put down until you know everything.
Amazon.com Guest Reviewer: Lorenzo Carcaterra
Lorenzo Carcaterra is the author of Paradise City, Street Boys, Gangster, A Safe Place, and the New York Times bestsellers Sleepers and Apaches. He has written scripts for movies and television, and has worked as a writer and producer for Law & Order. His latest novel, Chasers, was published in April, 2007.
Peter Tyler is riding the golden wave. He's got a drop-to-the-floor gorgeous wife, a seven-figure income even on a rare off year, a house right out of a glossy high-end magazine and is smart, sharp and sensible. He's in decent physical shape and has a razor's-edge sense of humor. In other words, the kind of guy we either dislike out of jealousy and envy or throw some admiration toward followed by a few meters of grudging respect. He is a man most men would want to be and a trading of places would be a hands-down no-brainer.
Then, his wife dies.
Is murdered actually. And you've all seen enough episodes of Law & Order
to know that cops always look to the husband first. And in the case of Peter Tyler, there's a lot for them to see. Start with the fact the loving couple were living apart and toss in those troublesome finger prints and before the sun can set, Peter Tyler has gone from Master of the Universe to one hard knock of a judge's gavel away from the top tier inside a federal pen. And now suddenly, no one on the planet wants to even know Peter Tyler let alone BE Peter Tyler.
It takes Lee Vance all of twelve pages to slide this information across to the reader. And then, as if he weren't moving at a fast and skillful-enough pace, he shifts gears and ramps up the story. He lets his saga grow fast as summer weeds, introducing a former mistress with more questions than answers, a best friend doing a mystery fade, cops blood-hounding Tyler's every move, the Russian mob crawling their way into the mix, corporate sharks ready to pounce and valuable art worth the price of a life, leaving in the gulf not a single character who really appears to be on the surface who they say they are. The end result is a pure joy to read, each layer unfolding to reveal either a sinister motive or a stylish solution. It is indeed a rare treat to read a thriller (especially one by a first-time author) that is as polished, as well-written and as entertaining a tale as can be found in the rapid-moving pages of Restitution
Now granted, I could never guess the identity of the real killer in an episode of Murder, She Wrote
, but even the most astute reader will have a difficult time guessing the outcome here as the novel races along to a conclusion that would draw the envy of Robert Ludlum and Frederick Forsyth. All the while, Vance manages to draw a full circle in a reader's feelings toward Tyler. Instead of wanting to have his life then shunning the very mention of his name, we can't help but cheer him on in his quest to clear his name and bring some sense of balance back to his life.
It is indeed a difficult task for a thriller to stand out in today's book market. There seems to be a battalion of new ones packed onto shelves both high and low each and every week and most make about as much of an impact as cold rain on a window pane. Within weeks, if not days, the shiny new thriller is tossed onto remainder shelves in dusty and crowded bins, its price reduced to less than that of a cup of diner coffee. This novel deserves a better fate and it should get it. Restitution
is simply too good a book to be ignored. In fact, it should enjoy a long and healthy run on any number of best seller lists, keeping us company through the summer and into the early fall.
Besides, the smart move is to never bet against someone who knows how to deliver under pressure. This is not Lee Vance's first barbecue. He came into the thriller world right out of the leave-the-blood-on-the-floor world of high-end finance, retiring as a general partner of Goldman Sachs Group. The guy knows how to drive home a winner and he has more than done that with Restitution
So lay your money down and take the plunge. It is indeed a wise investment. (photo credit: Maddy Miller)
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