Assumption of Risk

Jim Silver, Author Simon & Schuster $21.5 (0p) ISBN 978-0-684-81130-7
A pair of cold-blooded killers, one male, one female, conspire to skim millions of dollars from insurance companies in this ingenious first novel. The plot hatched by investment banker Norman Bloodstone and his partner, Dana Quinn, requires claimants to drop their claims-and, for this to happen, the pair are perfectly willing to expedite the demise of the claimants and, when necessary, their attorneys. Vietnam vet Luther Sitasy, head of the policy limits claims division of a Phoenix insurance company, stumbles onto the scheme by accident, eventually putting himself, his family and his friends in danger, especially from Bloodstone, who might as well be called Bloodlust. In a welcome twist, Sitasy, rather than playing superhero, looks for help from an old Vietnam buddy who's now an FBI agent. Silver, himself a Vietnam vet and employee of a Phoenix insurance company, creates an intriguing hero in Sitasy and a memorable villain in Bloodstone, even if he doesn't make quite all he could of the intricate relationships between the characters. His prose is vigorous and, in general, this is an impressive debut. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
Paperback - 401 pages - 978-0-595-16143-0
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