A sign of a good mystery novel is one that keeps the reader guessing until the end. A brilliant author is able to successfully “go where no (wo)man dare go. ” Michael W. Sherer has managed to accomplish both in his novel “Death is No Bargain. ”
Emerson Ward, former stock broker, spends his days as a freelancer. For the most part he picks up freelance writing at a tolerable pace and spends the rest of his days in a relaxed and laid back pace having made enough as a stock broker to keep him comfortable between jobs. It’s his other freelance work, however, that seems to keep him living close to the edge. By doing more favors for friends than actual jobs, Emerson has a knack for attracting himself to danger.
A year before Emerson had run into a disoriented young girl and brought her back to recoup and recover at his place before convincing her to find her way back home. Now her father has showed up on his doorstep ready to kill him for seducing and harboring his daughter who has once again run away. After escaping the near-death experience he finds himself unable to deny his help to the saner ex-wife. In the twists and turns of the ensuing events, Emerson soon finds himself dedicated to solving the mystery of her disappearance.
Michael W. Sherer tackles the complexities of pregnancy, abortions, adoptions, and shady connections to a Catholic convent. Although these events are at the forefront of the novel they are presented in a brilliantly uncontroversial way – simply as details for the reader to ponder and digest while diligently trying to determine “whodunit. ”
“Death is No Bargain” brings more to the reader than the thrill of a good mystery. It is brimming with controversial subject matter successful in transporting the reader to a higher level of intellectual stimulation. As the battles in Emerson’s world ensue – so too do the battles within the reader.
Death is No Bargain by Michael W. Sherer Five Star (2006) ISBN 1594143684 Reviewed by Regan Windsor for Reader Views (10/06)