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Perilous Gambit: A Mike Stoneman Thriller Reviewed by Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com
Norm Goldman --  bookpleasures.com Norm Goldman -- bookpleasures.com
For Immediate Release:
Dateline: Montreal, QC
Monday, October 25, 2021


Author: Kevin G. Chapman

ASIN : ?B09HT232BP

Though Kevin G. Chapman’sPerilous Gambit: A Mike Stoneman Thriller unfolds with ahomicide of a U.S. Senator in Rapid City, South Dakota on December22nd 2019, the action, predominantly that follows, is set in LasVegas, Nevada.

The opening scene has Senator Harlan Bushfield IIIdriving home with his wife Loretta on a bitter winter night afterattending a fundraiser.

The SUV Harlan is drivinghas a flat tire. He telephones Triple-A for help. After a brief wait,a fellow with a thick black beard wearing a sizable down coat and abrown fur hat shows up. He tells Harlan to get out of the SUV andcome with him to his tow truck. Harlan complies, and in the ensuingsequence of events, he is tasered from behind, paralyzing his nerves.

The man yells out to Harlan, “you should have played ball.” Thevan with a barely conscious Harlan pulls onto an isolated road andrides past the SUV, to Loretta’s astonishment. We later learn thatHarlan has been assassinated, and his body was spotted lying on iceunder an overpass over Rapid Creek.

Crimes of this varietydon’t crop up very regularly in Rapid City. Why did someone wantHarlan dead? Loretta did recall that her husband was unusuallyfidgety and uneasy over the previous few weeks. She associated thatto some upcoming votes in the senate.

The scene shifts to New York onDecember 26th. We meet senior homicide detective Mike Stoneman of theManhattan North Division, and his sweetheart, Dr. Michelle McNeill,the county medical examiner.

We are also introduced toMichelle’s best friend Rachel, who is about to wed Mike’s friendand partner, Detective Jason Dickson.

Michelle is terribly upsetbecause she just found out that she is pregnant. She is worried thatJason will have an adverse reaction and also doesn’t want to havethe baby before she is wed.

Michelle is relieved when Jason isthrilled that the couple will be having a baby and both agree thatthey run off and marry in Las Vegas instead of the big, lavishwedding they had planned.

They invite Mike and Michelle to travelwith them to Las Vegas.

The narrative jumps back to Rapid City, whereFBI agent Derek Dumm and his junior partner Chelsea Anne Shields areinvolved in struggling to solve the murder of Bushfield.

Dummcommunicates with his boss and informs him they have very few leadsexcept for an embarrassing photo found on Bushfield’s phone.

Dummis warned not to contact Bushfield’s wife about the image, and heis to make certain that it will be kept a secret.\

The photo shows threeshowgirls with Bushfield in an embarrassing position. It suggests itwas used to blackmail him, which Dumm surmises from the note attachedto the message dispatched to Bushfield.

Maybe whoever was trying toblackmail Bushfield was attempting to manipulate votes in Congress.What is this about?

The FBI agents are at a loss when and where thephoto was taken. They again are baffled as to the identity of theladies in the picture.

We later learn that two individuals in theimage were two black drag performers and the other a pole dancer. Theagents also don’t know what legislation involving Bushfield wouldbe of interest to the blackmailer.

As the story furtherunfolds, Mike and Jason’s superior is contacted by the FBI,requesting the support of the N.Y. police department in tracking downthe individuals in the photo.

Mike and Jason are presented with apicture of three women, dolled up like showgirls or Carnivale dancerswith a “dude” whose identity is not divulged. They are told notto let anyone copy the photo or even bother with the identificationof the “dude.”

Another character thatChapman throws into the plot is mobster Freddy Costanzo. The latterhas set up his criminal activities in Las Vegas.

Freddy is notthrilled that someone is blackmailing him to the tune of one-hundred-thousand- dollars.

The blackmailer claims to have evidence oflinking Freddy to the murder of Senator Harland Bushfield, and hesaid he would turn it over to the FBI.

To add insult to injury, theinitial undertaking by Freddy’s Lieutenant, Rick “The NeckGaretti” and his two further attempts to grab the culprit arescrewed up.

We subsequently learn thatone of the young women in the photo is a pole dancer who, sadly, iskilled. Another member of the trio, a drag queen, is likewise killed,leaving one left.

This person is the brother of Rachel, and he windsup being in considerable danger.

Chapman takes us on aroller-coaster ride as he deftly weaves together an assassination ofa U.S. senator, a photo of the senator in a compromising position, adetective who is about to be married in Las Vegas whose futurebrother-in-law is embroiled in the photo, extortion, two othermurders, a mobster who is being blackmailed, and a corrupt Las Vegasdetective.

The narrative’s pacing is outstanding, its tautlywritten plot is full of surprises. Clever characterizations aretailor made for an action-oriented audience. In the end, readers areleft with a heart pounding nail-biter keeping you on the edge of yourseats.


 Norm Goldman of Bookpleasures.com

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Name: Norm Goldman
Title: Book Reviewer
Group: bookpleasures.com
Dateline: Montreal, QC Canada
Direct Phone: 514-486-8018
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