What Readers are saying about Double Indemnity
“Author Zappa is both a first-rate writer and storyteller. His plot is intricate and involving, yet easy to follow. His action sequences, of which there are many, resonate with cinematic intensity. He creates characters whose motives and behaviours are not just dramatic but credible as well. Zappa uses dialogue as it should be used, with spice and bite. He increases reader involvement by making his protagonists face moral as well as physical challenges. And he does it all while keeping the pace of his story roaring ahead. You’re definitely in for enjoyment if you sign on the dotted line for this novel policy of Double Indemnity.”
– Nicole Sorkin, Pacific Book Review
RECOMMENDED by the US Review
“Jo Crowder, an attractive thirty-six-year-old, works in the homicide division and isn’t afraid of her job. She has a long list of kill numbers, and more than once, she has been accused of using lethal force and sent to the board to defend herself. Crowder suspects that Heartland Insurance, which buys life insurance policies and collects the proceeds after their clients’ deaths, is covering up something sinister. After discovering that Heartland has a suspicious number of clients, all suddenly deceased, Crowder and FBI Special agent Alex Hill uncover the insurance company’s evil connections with a research lab testing their experimental serum on animals. However, to prove they are right, Crowder and Hill must put themselves in grave danger and break a few laws along the way.
Zappa is a skilled storyteller, and fans of crime novels will find a lot to love here. As a trial lawyer himself, Zappa brings a sense of authenticity to his plotline as well as to all matters of crime in the novel. The characters are well-drawn and believable. Crowder’s character as a take-no-prisoners homicide detective is convincing, and her work ethic is easy to admire. While finding a crime novel with a lead female detective is not as difficult as it used to be, it still makes a nice change from the standard, male-dominated genre. Despite their unconventional actions—and even illegal ones—Hill and Crowder both prove to have strong moral compasses. The mounting body count and seemingly endless twists and turns in the story create an exciting, rapid pace that keeps the reader focused and interested. The dialogue is easy to follow and rings true throughout the book. Overall, this is a well-written and exciting novel that builds to a satisfying final conflict while also leaving room for another book in the series.”
– Jennifer Hummer, The US Review
Pete Trewin –
Hey, this is a cracker of a crime thriller! Set in the Deep South of the U.S.A – New Orleans, Louisiana, Alabama – this is Heat of the Night territory: with the kind of small ‘strictly whites only’ towns where ‘diversity is about as popular as a hurricane in the Gulf’.
It is well-written and cracks along at a good pace. I read it at the same time as a Robert Crais and I finished Double Indemnity first. Incidentally, Richard Zappa – what a name for an author! Searching for this book on Amazon you get Frank Zappa’s albums which took me back to dope-hazed lazy afternoons in the 70s in a student flat in Leeds listening to Hot Rats. Ah, nostalgia: Willie the Pimp and Peaches in Regalia – a good background (minus the dope, obviously) for reading this great book.
OK, to get to the point, what’s it about? And don’t say 300 pages. Well, the Heartlands Corporation buys insurance policies from the elderly and when they’re slow in kicking the bucket – how selfish can you get? – they give the coffin dodgers a little help on their way with a blood serum developed in a secret laboratory. Heartless Corporation might be a better title and Finch the CEO makes a great villain. Feisty female cop Jo Crowder and her sidekick Steele investigate in partnership with FBI agent Hill and the action culminates in double crosses, a kidnapping, helicopter chases, shoot outs: it’s all there. The author is an ex Trial Lawyer and the legal background is spot on. I like that; when the author knows his stuff and you get an insight into expert knowledge.
So any downsides? While the physical action is hot, I would have liked a bit more of an inner journey for the protagonist, Jo Crowder – more insight into her history and what makes her tick. And maybe a little more humour and wise-cracking. Then to my mind this author would be firmly in best-seller territory.