Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Kings of Providence

By S.D. Livingston
$3.99 at

With Kings of Providence, S.D. Livingston has written a successful modern-day thriller.

Protagonist Paul Hewitt isn’t a former Navy SEAL or Marine or CIA operative. He’s an ordinary family man. He’s young and successful and wants to stay on top at his Manhattan investment firm, which means working nights and weekends and staying in favor with the boss.

The downside is that he doesn’t spend as much time with his wife and five-year-old son as he might. But there will always be time later—or so he rationalizes.

One morning, as he’s on his way to an important client meeting at headquarters, a colleague tells him an aunt had just been killed in the collapse of a building in Hong Kong.

Later that day he gets an angry voice mail from a client he had steered toward investing in an office complex in Rio de Janeiro—one of the buildings collapsed.

The following week a building collapses in Manhattan. The cause, first believed to be a terrorist attack, remains unresolved over several weeks.

Then another of Paul’s clients calls about huge repair bills for one of his investment properties in Houston. The foundation of the building appears to be faulty.

When Paul’s wife and a colleague separately wonder if there’s a connection between the building collapses, Paul begins doing a little computer research. Turns out that for more than 20 years, with increasing frequency, buildings around the world of all kinds--high-rises, schools, apartments—have collapsed, and a number of sinkholes have swallowed others.

What the heck is going on here? Before Paul can begin to figure it out, a subway tunnel collapse affects him directly and tragically, and his life is turned upside down.

After a month away from work, Paul cannot focus on his job because he’s become obsessed with the building and subway collapses. Why did they fail, and are the failures linked?

When he calls the police and various city departments for information, all he gets is the runaround and the word that the federal government has taken over the investigation.

Paul approaches Julian Wolfe, the author of an article he found online. Wolfe, a geology graduate and teaching assistant at a local college, at first is skeptical of Paul’s theories. But as he looks into them deeper, he becomes a convert to Paul’s way of thinking.

Kings of Providence has been a good read to this point, but now the action really picks up, and the book becomes almost un-put-down-able.

Paul and Julian go to extraordinary lengths to prove their theory of what’s bringing down the buildings. And they learn that those they always thought were the good guys watching out for the well-being of citizens are in reality bad guys who will go to any lengths to keep them quiet.

Anyone who picks up this book has a good read in store.

Click here to link to Kings of Providence.

Davilynn Furlow

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