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Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review - The Safety Expert by Doug Richardson

Book Review
 The Safety Expert
by Doug Richardson

About the Author
Doug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then- Governor Ronald Reagan’s office, just to get a handful of jellybeans.

Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made: in the writing.

After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug’s first feature film, the sequel to DIE HARD, DIE HARDER, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash BAD BOYS and, most recently, HOSTAGE. To date, Doug’s features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide.

In 1997, Doug’s debut novel, DARK HORSE, was published by Avon/Morrow in hardcover, followed two years later by his follow up, TRUE BELIEVERS.  Doug continues to write and develop for feature films and television.
He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children and four mutts.

Book Description
Ben Keller lives life by one simple rule. Safety first. Ben is keenly aware of life’s hidden dangers. Ben never smokes. Ben always uses the crosswalk. Ben always drives within the speed limit. He has to be because safety is his business. From his home in Simi Valley, California, one of the safest cities in the United States, Ben works hard at living a perfectly normal, perfectly uneventful, perfectly safe life.

And life is good until the past reaches into the present. In the dark of the night, a man crosses a lonely intersection and is struck by a car, setting events in motion that will unravel the finely stitched strands of Ben’s cocoon, from a recently retired porn actress who is desperate to be a mother to the butch cop determined to shield her young son from the whisperings of the queen bee moms at his private school to the addict who is clawing to hold onto the sobriety which cages the violence within him.

A long dismissed demon has resurfaced, presenting Ben with a most unsafe dilemma: preserve the haven he has carefully built for himself or confront the evildoer who decimated his carefree young life all those years ago.

Ben is in danger. Ben’s world is unsafe. Ben’s life will be changed forever. Again.

Book Review
Imagine living your life in a safe manner, being mister reliable and totally dependable, obeying all the rules and not taking any chances.  When out of the blue you receive a cd through the post, from a dying convict telling you that he knows who killed your first wife and twin daughters, naming him and giving you his address.  All this happens to Ben, it affects his life in a big way and his current wife suspects he is having an affair but the lady in question is a police officer who is helping Ben with his quest.

On receiving information Ben decides to visit the murderer undercover at his workplace, but after his visit the murderer, Stew, gets suspicious and starts his own investigation.   This leads to Stew's downfall to drink and drugs and he starts murdering to get to our hero, Ben.   Ben's marriage starts to crumble along with his business, his obsession to catch Stew takes over and he is no longer safe, reliable or dependable, which he now finds exciting.

Ben is not the only one with an obsession as Stew is intent on taking out Ben, which costs him his marriage and business.  Who will win, Ben with the help of the police officer or Stew who is totally out of control on drugs and alcohol?

The author challenges the way and manner we all live our lives, are we happy knowing what is safe and predictable or do we want excitement.  In the search for excitement or change will this upset the balance, causing doubt, secrets and dishonesty, which also leads to the road of ruin. In the portrayal of the characters we see this happening, how one mans obsession turns not only his life but the lives of the people who rely and trust them.  The storyline and language is well versed and the plot is excellent, only slight negative is that I found some parts long winded, but this does not retract from being an excellent book.

Our Rating

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