LUST, MONEY, & MURDER (BOOKS 1, 2 & 3): A FEMALE SECRET SERVICE AGENT TAKES ON AN INTERNATIONAL CRIMINAL, BY MIKE WELLS
PUBLISHER: FOR READERS OF SIDNEY SHELDON, JAMES PATTERSON, JACKIE COLLINS, JANET EVANOVICH, SANDRA BROWN, AND LEE CHILD PUBLISHING CO.; 1 EDITION; JANUARY 18, 2014
One of my favorite things about reading, reviewing, and blogging about books is circumstances such as this, with Mike Wells’ crime/suspense/thriller, Lust, Money, & Murder (Books 1,2,3). I took a look at the synopsis and thought, “yeah this looks pretty good, and it’s not my go-to genre, so I’ll give it a shot.” However, once I started reading I realized that this turned out to be one of the most exciting, fast-paced novels I have ever read! Elaine Brogan grows up in Pittsburgh in one of the worst neighborhoods, her mother has taken off, but she has a father that will do anything for his beloved daughter. Elaine is smart, beautiful, and a Daddy’s girl, but once she is taken advantage of and her life is turned upside down, she makes it her life’s goal to work in the Secret Service and take down the man who ruined her life. Elaine graduates from college and survives Secret Service training, then goes from Montana to Bulgaria, back to the United States, to Moscow, and Italy all in different roles of her area of expertise – she is an expert at spotting counterfeit money. This novel is a whirlwind of battling good versus evil, trying to figure out who is good or evil, and about resisting the allure of illegal practices.
First and foremost, I loved Elaine in this novel. She is intelligent, beautiful, and determined. As mentioned in previous reviews, I am also a self-proclaimed Daddy’s girl so I respect her drive to find the man who caused them such misery and do what she could to stop counterfeiting. I also love that when faced with yucky men, she always kept cool and tried to calculate ways to get beyond their crap. What can I say about Nick LaGrange? I absolutely loved Nick. Anyone that could make working for the Secret Service in Bulgaria that fun and exciting, gets high marks in my book. Nick is the first man that Elaine has ever had strong feelings for and experienced passion with, but is unfortunately tricked by Gene with the Treasury Department into thinking that Nick is involved in illegal activity. Later she meets Giorgio Cattoretti who is master at copying and counterfeiting endless things from money to clothing to jewelry. I have to admit that I initially kind of liked Cattoretti, criminal or not. But of course, being a bad guy, his true colors eventually shone through. There are so many great characters in this novel and so many twists and turns it’s impossible to describe it all without giving too many spoilers.
I could go on for days about everything I loved about Lust, Money, & Murder (Books 1,2,3), but I highly recommend that you purchase it for yourself if you have not read it, and get ready for a wild, exciting adventure with the government and crime, often interchangeable. Wells’ writing style is sophisticated yet realistic, making you forget that you are reading a novel rather in a character in all of the excitement. As soon as you hit the first page, you won’t want to miss a single word, and will be amazed at the action and suspense. This was my first time reading Mike Wells, but will definitely not be the last. I look forward to reading more of this series in the future, and can’t stop thinking that we should really see this in a movie theater at some point. I will cross my fingers that Elaine and Nick make it to the big screen someday 🙂
Want to learn more about Mike Wells? Visit: http://mikewellsblog.blogspot.com/
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.