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15 March 2010

Book Review: Final Target by Steven Gore

Title: Final Target
Author: Steven Gore
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: May 1, 2010
Hardcover: 250 pages
ISBN: 9781590587492
Genre: Mystery & Detective

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From the Publisher:

An exciting debut thriller about global finance and arms trading written by a private investigator with decades of international experience. From San Francisco to London to Kiev, Graham Gage is in a race against the FBI and Ukraine gangsters to solve an intricate stock swindle and arms deal in time to clear his friend. Gage peels away the layers of the collapse of SatTek in San Jose to find a plot that morphs into something bigger. Weaving a carefully layered tale of greed, money laundering, and European politics, and creating a great cast of characters, Gore delivers a thrilling first book in a promising new series.

My Review:

Not since my introduction to the works of Ian Fleming decades ago have I been so engrossed in an international fraud novel. Final Target by Steven Gore is his debut novel and what a debut it is, filled with double crosses, greed, corruption, international gangsters, and brilliantly written characters as well as a captivating storyline. The novel opens with what appears to be a drive-by shooting of James Burke, an International Attorney who remains in a coma and in critical condition. Graham Gage, Burke's longtime friend, ex-San Francisco Police Officer and current private investigator, becomes involved first in trying to find out who gunned down his long time friend. It is not long before he realizes Burke is a target and Gage becomes involved in trying to find out who tried to take out Burke and why. What first appeared to be a random shooting proves to be far more complicated when Gage discovers that the Assistant US District Attorney, Peterson, has made a deal with Stuart Matson, President of SatTek, which is under investigation for fraud, insider trading, selling weapons to the enemy, among other crimes. It rapidly becomes apparent that Matson is lying and setting up Burke to take the fall, but worse, DA Peterson is buying Matson's story, and he needs a conviction. Will Gage be able to prove his friend Burke is innocent or will Burke be tried before a grand jury when he regains consciousness? Gage travels all over the world, looking for answers, following leads and dead ends. Steven Gore's Final Target is expertly written, with descriptive narrative crystal clear details of London, Ukraine, and Russia down to the culture and cuisine. It is evident that either Gore himself has been to these places or he has done extensive research into the countries and the cultures. Final Target is a fast-paced thriller that will keep the reader up well into the night trying to figure out the many plot twists, turns, and ultimately, the truth. The novel is clean; there is no need, thankfully, for gratuitous sex scenes or excessively foul language. Without hesitation, I recommend this book to any and all suspense and mystery buffs. I am ecstatic to learn that Steven Gore will be publishing a second Graham Gage novel, due to be released in November; I plan to be one of the first in line for that novel.

About the Author:

Steven Gore spent his career as a private investigator in the San Francisco Bay Area. His international thrillers draw on his investigations throughout North America, Europe, and Asia. He has investigated alien smuggling in India,arms trafficking and murder in China,securities fraud and racketeering in Western Europe,political corruption in Central Europe, fraud in Mexico,triads throughout the Pacific Rim, and money laundering from Arlington to Zurich. He has negotiated with a tribal jirga on the Pakistan-Afghanistan frontier, met with drug syndicates in the Golden Triangle, tracked down an organized crime figure in Italy,and helped put four members of a corrupt narcotics task force in Federal prison. Gore has been featured on 60 Minutes and has been honored for excellence in the field of criminal investigation. He has a Masters Degree from UC Berkeley, is trained in forensic science, and has lectured to attorney and investigator organizations on subjects ranging from police misconduct to the design of sophisticated investigative databases. For more information, please visit the author's website.

I received a complimentary copy of Final Target by Steven Gore from Poisoned Pen Press as part of the tour. Receiving a free copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.


1 comment:

April said...

Great review! This sounds like a very engrossing story. I am not very experienced in this type of genre, but this sounds excellent. By the way, I LOVE your little coffee cups for your rating system! So cute and fun!!