Lust, Money & Murder - Book 1 by Mike Wells

Lust, Money & Murder - Book 1
by Mike Wells

Genre: Mystery, Suspense

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. The opinion in this review is unbiased and reflects my honest judgment of the book.

This novella is about a Secret Service Agent named Elaine Brogan. The story begins at Elaine’s birth and evolves all the way to her finally being hired by the Secret Service. We learn about all the forces that drive Elaine and what exactly put her on the path that she ultimately follows. She grows up in Pittsburgh with blue collar parents. She has a doting father who will do anything for her. Her mother abandons the family when Elaine is young.

I found this book to be quick paced but engaging. The writing is clear and concise. Author Mike Wells manages to put a lot of story into a short novella without making you feel as if depth is lacking. Elaine’s father was a hard working man who wanted to give her the world but he was by no means perfect. This tale is always at its darkest when expressing the actions which her father thought were necessary. This was a poor man who wanted to give his daughter an expensive education and basically did this by whatever means necessary. One frustrating aspect of the story is Elaine’s naivete, especially as it relates to her father’s actions. When the story begins and starts to develop the reader almost expects the main character to be a streetwise, no nonsense girl. But, she remains innocent and na├»ve into her college years. This characteristic results in her ending up in a compromising position. And this is where her life begins to unravel. Ultimately, this story is about a young girl who is taken advantage of, has a tragic loss, and then perseveres.

When Elaine reaches adulthood and heads off to college the reader becomes more in tune with her personality through a series of fumbling sexual encounters. We have our first laugh out loud moment when she shares her experience with her roommate. After college Elaine is selected to become a Secret Service agent and we follow her on her difficult journey through their rigorous academy. There is a hint that we may now see some action when she has to take a martial arts exam however the action in that scenario is anti-climactic. I would say that my one complaint about the story is the lack of action. I can say from personal experience that the life of a law enforcement officer is much more mundane in real life then portrayed in the movies or on TV. But, since this novella is a fictionalized version of what law enforcement officers do I was hoping for some edge of your seat thrills. Her first assignment goes horribly wrong and she is transferred to Bulgaria where things heat up. It’s on this assignment that she really gets to do her job and show off her talents. This is also where she meets a fellow Secret Service Agent named Nick who she proceeds to fall madly in love with.

I did enjoy this story overall. Elaine is a smart girl who you come to care about. Her journey is easy to relate to and you want to know what will happen to her in the future.

The Bookie Monster's Rating:

This book begins with a young and naive Elaine Brogan as she initially pursues her dream of a career as a photomodel. After becoming entangled with a sleazy modeling agency, she decides to become a Secret Service agent, struggling through the arduous training academy. After her first disastrous assignment, she is transferred to Bulgaria. There, she meets Nick LaGrange, the love of her life.

Mike Wells is an American bestselling author of over 20 "unputdownable" thriller and suspense novels, including Lust, Money & Murder and Passion, Power & Sin. He is also known for his young adult books, such as The Mysterious Disappearance of Kurt Kramer, The Wrong Side of the Tracks, and Wild Child, which are used by English teachers in high schools and colleges worldwide. Formerly a screenwriter, Wells has a fast-paced, cinematic writing style. His work is often compared to that of the late Sidney Sheldon, with strong and inspiring female heroes, tightly-written scenes, engaging action/dialogue, and numerous plot twists. He currently lives in Europe and teaches part-time in the Creative Writing program at the University of Oxford.

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Length: 106 Pages
Published by: Amazon Digital Services
Publication Date: Jan. 18, 2014

Where to Buy:
Barnes &  Noble