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When the Devil Whistles

1 rating: 5.0
A book by Rick Acker

Allie Whitman is a professional whistleblower with a knack for sniffing out fraud in government contracts. Conner Norman is a gifted litigator and together they form Devil to Pay, Inc., a shell corporation that files lawsuits based on Allie s investigations. … see full wiki

Tags: Books, Cafe Libri
Author: Rick Acker
Publisher: Abingdon Press
1 review about When the Devil Whistles

Entertaining and Intelligent Story.

  • Nov 27, 2010
Allie Whitman had made a very comfortable living as a professional whistleblower. She and her lawyer, Connor Norman had partnered with California's Deputy Attorney General on numerous cases recovering millions of tax payer's dollars from corrupt companies. However, her latest job turns into a nightmare, when rather than finding dirt on the company she finds her secrets exposed and knowledge of a deadly plot that could cost millions their lives.

Meanwhile, the crew of the Grasp II believed they were looking for a sunken German submarine loaded with riches. Upon reaching the excavation site though, they realize the story about the German sub was nothing more than a cover. Far from their home port of Oakland and with their lives in danger, the crew was powerless to summon help or warn authorities of the impending disaster. In an intricate and intelligent story, When the Devil Whistles combines a legal drama, with an entertaining story line, a bit of romance, and an international terrorist plot to create an interesting, page turning novel.

It's been a couple of years since Rick Acker's had a novel published and I've missed his work. I enjoyed the style and approach of his previous two books and was thrilled to discover he had a new one coming out. The wait was well rewarded. When The Devil Whistles more than met my expectations, with a plot that was a challenge to unravel, fun to read and just as intriguing as the title.

I love intelligent books, with plots that are obviously well thought out and time spent researching and developing them. This book has an intricate, but cohesive plot. It didn't take long to be completely engulfed in the various story lines that were obviously going to be related, but whose relationships were well hidden. It was a good balance of revealing enough detail to keep the reader going, but not so much as to spoil the plot.

As with Acker's previous books, this one also contains a nice line up of characters. I found myself pulling for ones I certainly didn't expect to. The only weakness was Allie. She was a flawed character, which I love in fiction, but a bit too flawed without enough polish to make her someone I could easily pull for. However, the remaining characters more than made up for her weaknesses. Acker's managed to pull off a remarkable job with Connor, making him someone that could be related to even though he is likely in a different social demographic than most readers.

At the center of this story is the wonderful theme of choices. A great job was done of putting characters in tough situations and allowing them to make the right or wrong choice. This aspect of the book was executed with a grace and fluidity that kept the story moving while at the same time portrayed the difficulty of making the right choice, especially when it's hard.

There are some moments that required a healthy suspension of disbelief, but those scenes were fun to read and added a nice amount of thrill to the story. Though I'm not sure everyone would agree with me, parts of the middle were a bit slow as the romantic angle was developed. However, most will likely find these portions quite charming rather than slow.

It's good to have another book by Rick Acker. I've enjoyed each of his novels and this one was no exception. As expected, it had a nice tight, well executed plot that kept me guessing and reading. From the intriguing title to the closing pages, I enjoyed When The Devil Whistles and look forward to his next book. Hopefully it will not be such a long wait.

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December 07, 2010
Sounds like a fascinating read, Meli. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with the community.
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