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Stephen L. Carter
bookicon
The Emperor of Ocean Park
paperback
886 pages
An exceptional and rather lengthy legal thriller. When law professor Talcott Garland's father dies
mysteriously he inherits "the arrangements." He doesn't know what these are but it seems that someone wants them badly enough to commit murder for them. Talcott is thrust into a dangerous game that eerily echoes the chess problems his father loved to resolve.

When the brilliant and controversial black judge, Oliver Garland, is found dead in his study, not everyone believes it was a heart attack. Mystery, secrecy, and misfortune seemed to surround the judge during his life. His daughter was killed in a hit-and-run car accident and his nomination to the Supreme Court was rejected in a scandalous public hearing and now that's he's dead the mysteries only deepen.

He has left his son Talcott, professor of law at a prestigious New England University, a set of cryptic instructions regarding his "arrangements.". It seems his father was certain Talcott would be the only one able to resolve his clues and therefore find them. Unfortunately Talcott doesnt have a clue as to what the instructions mean, and at first he decides just to ignore them. His sister Mariah however is certain that their father was murdered and produces one conspiracy theory after another to prove it, whilst his wife, the beautiful, ambitious Kimmer, who is up for her own Appeals Court nomination, just wants Judge Garland and all his undying controversy to go away. Jack Ziegler, friend of the judge and rather shady underworld figure whose friendship with the Judge was the main reason the Judge lost his election for the highes post, demands that Talcott deliver the "arrangements" to him, or else...

Caught in the middle, Talcott sees his a marriage unravel and his career in the University go down the drain, whilst he desperately tries to cling on to his sanity, trying to figure out his father's sins and secrets.

But The Emperor of Ocean Park is more than a thriller, thrilling as it undoubtedly is. It is also an insightfull story of American culture, the complex interactions between law, religion, politics, wealth, race, and family in modern society. The result is a smart, fast-paced novel that not only probes the mystery surrounding a father's death but also the larger puzzle of how to live a meaningful life.

Captivating read!
9/10
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Nick Carter
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Operation McMurdo Sound
harcover
160 pages
Cold war thriller about a secret agent dispatched investigate a disaster at a antartic base.

Usual fare, decent read.
7/10
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Running Apache