Official Review: Unexpected: A Tale of Deception

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Official Review: Unexpected: A Tale of Deception

Post by bookowlie » 02 Dec 2016, 20:50

[Following is the official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Unexpected: A Tale of Deception" by Peter Alpert.]
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3 out of 4 stars
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Unexpected: A Tale of Deception by Peter Alpert is a fictional legal thriller about the ramifications of a local farmer’s truck rollover accident on a damaged country road in rural Colorado. After middle-aged George Schmidt suffers severe injuries, the county might be at fault for not posting a warning sign or previously fixing a road that was in disrepair for a long time. The lawyer he hires suspects local officials of a cover-up to limit their liability. An investigation ensues and there is more than meets the eye, especially when an insurance carrier may be pulling the strings behind the scenes.

The case is given top billing in this tale and it’s certainly an interesting one. The government’s dastardly deeds after the accident are somewhat obvious right from the start, and George is a sympathetic victim every step of the way. His lawyer, Allen Henshaw, is an experienced straight shooter and vows to see justice served. A few of the road commission workers are honorable people, but many of the bad guys are written as slimy, one-note stereotypes.

George’s character is vividly described as a middle-aged, never married farmer whose social life consists of going to church every Sunday and driving into town to have coffee with other farmers. The impact of the accident on his physical and mental state is realistically written and I was very moved by these scenes. I could picture the rural setting of Eagleton with its hardworking, neighborly townspeople and the main gathering place for coffee, where everyone knows everyone else and news travels fast.

The story is told in the first person through the perspective of George’s lawyer. I found this an effective way for the plot to unfold as Allan coordinates an investigation into the county’s shady attempts to limit their liability. Each aspect of the inquiry carries its own set of interesting details. The author is adept at giving just the right amount of information to keep the story moving forward without going off track. I felt like each chapter was a puzzle piece that fit well within the overall storyline. Although the main focus is the investigation, George’s recovery and long-term medical issues are featured periodically and I was given a clear picture of the “face behind the case.”

The writing style is a bit bland and could have used a subtle touch. The author has a habit of telling, rather than showing, the reader points that are obvious, such as the meaning of a person’s comments or demeanor. Still, the plot moves along at a consistent pace and I became completely absorbed in the story.

Although the book is well written, there are two noticeable errors in the story. One is relatively minor, stating the wrong name for the county - Clark County instead of Marlboro County. The other is a major error that is repeated a few times over several pages – referencing an incorrect amount for the defense’s initial settlement offer. The amount is first stated as $150,000; at a later point, the beginning offer is repeatedly referred to as $125,000. This is particularly confusing and distracting since the next offer is less than $150,000 yet is treated like an increase from the initial figure.

I rate this book 3 out of 4 stars. It’s an engrossing page turner with interesting characters. Fans of legal thrillers and one man vs. the government-themed stories will find much to savor here. This is one tale I won’t soon forget.

******
Unexpected: A Tale of Deception
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Post by gali » 03 Dec 2016, 22:39

Great review as always. I have read another of his books ("The Vanishing Chemist") and liked it. I am not sure I will read this one, but I am glad you enjoyed it, errors and all.
In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you." (Mortimer J. Adler)

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Post by hsimone » 04 Dec 2016, 10:55

Another great review, bookowlie! I like when author's can make their characters realistic, especially after experiencing something traumatic. Sorry about the bland writing, but I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the read, regardless. :)
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Post by bookowlie » 04 Dec 2016, 22:22

gali wrote:Great review as always. I have read another of his books ("The Vanishing Chemist") and liked it. I am not sure I will read this one, but I am glad you enjoyed it, errors and all.
Thanks! I thought the author's name sounded familiar. :) It's a shame about the two content errors because the book was free of grammatical errors.

-- 04 Dec 2016, 23:24 --
hsimone wrote:Another great review, bookowlie! I like when author's can make their characters realistic, especially after experiencing something traumatic. Sorry about the bland writing, but I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the read, regardless. :)
Thanks Hsimone! The funny thing was the bland writing seem to fit the story since the story took place in a town where not much happened. Also, the dry writing made me focus on the evidence in the case.
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Post by hsimone » 05 Dec 2016, 02:24

bookowlie wrote:
hsimone wrote:Another great review, bookowlie! I like when author's can make their characters realistic, especially after experiencing something traumatic. Sorry about the bland writing, but I'm glad that you were able to enjoy the read, regardless. :)
Thanks Hsimone! The funny thing was the bland writing seem to fit the story since the story took place in a town where not much happened. Also, the dry writing made me focus on the evidence in the case.
That's a good way to look at it. It actually was very creative on the author's part to write in such a way that would help the reader focus on the certain parts of the story. I'm glad it worked here!
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Post by bookowlie » 05 Dec 2016, 09:11

Oops...I meant to type seems to fit, not seem to fit. Hanging my head in grammar shame.
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Post by kimmyschemy06 » 13 Dec 2016, 09:54

Sounds like a great read. It reminds me a little of John Grisham's novels :) Too bad, though, about the errors. Great job on the review :)

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Post by bookowlie » 13 Dec 2016, 11:29

kimmyschemy06 wrote:Sounds like a great read. It reminds me a little of John Grisham's novels :) Too bad, though, about the errors. Great job on the review :)
Thanks! I agree that the story is a little like the plot of a John Grisham novel. Good point!
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Post by Kdonegan91 » 14 Dec 2016, 00:32

Great review! I live in a small town and can relate to the speed of gossip. Lol I am glad you enjoyed the book.
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Post by bookowlie » 15 Dec 2016, 11:49

Thanks Kdonegan! The setting of the small town was a real highlight of the story. Even the judge in the trial knew everyone.
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Post by Tommie H Odom » 29 Jan 2017, 22:20

A great review. The setting and the plot is wonderful. The story is so well told. You can feel the love and pain of the characters.

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Post by bookowlie » 30 Jan 2017, 09:35

Tommie H Odom wrote:A great review. The setting and the plot is wonderful. The story is so well told. You can feel the love and pain of the characters.
Thanks for the nice feedback. I really enjoyed this book and look forward to reading future books by this author.
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Post by Cheeky » 31 Jan 2017, 15:44

I read the sample and it was quite good, Thanks to the reviewer for such a great descriptive illustration of this book.

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Post by bookowlie » 05 Feb 2017, 01:58

Thanks Cheeky! I also enjoyed the sample when I was deciding which review book to pick at the time. The interesting sample is what made me choose this book.
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Post by JOSEPH KATERE » 08 Jul 2017, 00:12

Just a good tell story sometimes in life you have to be you.just be you and live you

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