Today I will be reviewing The Grand by Dennis D. Wilson.
About the book
Chicago cop Dean Wister takes a forced vacation when he is on the brink of a breakdown after the death of his wife. During his summer solstice in Jackson Hole, where he met her years before, he is called in by local police to consult when a notorious Chicago mobster is found dead in the Snake River. What has drawn the hit man west to murder a popular local citizen and pollute the pristine mountain enclave of the rich and famous—is it love, sex, money, or power? Or is it somehow related to the Presidential campaign of Wyoming's favourite son? Dean's investigation threatens to uncover the secrets of a group of memorable suspects, ranging from rich tycoons to modern day cowboys, with political consequences reaching far beyond the small resort town. As Dean follows the leads in the case from Jackson Hole to Chicago to Washington D.C., he also struggles to cope with the personal loss that threatens his mental stability, as the nocturnal visits from his deceased wife suppress his will to let her go and make him question his purpose in life. The climactic scenes contain reveals the reader will never see coming. A funny, romantic, sexy, roller coaster thriller!
The story starts with an interesting situation, but one that is wholly believable: a Senator with his mistress, and the Senator has grand ambitions that cannot afford to have a tarnished reputation because of dalliance with his hidden lover.
When the property manager accidentally stumbles onto the premises and figures out that it is a very important man with his red-headed companion, he unfortunately makes his presence known and sets off a series of events that drive the action of this story.
And, there is quite a bit of action. The story is fast-paced and has a lot of clever and interesting characters. I liked Dean Wister quite a bit, and I would see the parallels between many of the characters (particularly the politicians) and real world events that are happening and have happened on a regular basis.
Dean is dealing with stress of his own, but he is asked to help look into some unexplained deaths and help find out what is going on. My only real complaint with the story was that there was a lot of backstory developed that didn't feel wholly necessary, and a few of the side characters weren't necessary. That being said, the writing was good and the characters were multi-dimensional, so I did enjoy it.
I will rate this 4-stars because there were a few slow spots, but it was still a wholly enjoyable novel. I haven't read anything about Dean Wister before, but this makes me want to check out the rest of the series and follow-up with the character.
About the Author
DENNIS D. WILSON After a career working in an international consulting firm and as a financial executive with two public companies, Dennis D. Wilson returns to the roots he established as a high school literature and writing teacher. For his debut novel, he draws upon his experiences from his hometown of Chicago, his years of living, working, hiking, and climbing in Jackson Hole, and secrets gleaned from time spent in corporate boardrooms, to craft a political crime thriller straight from today’s headlines. Dennis lives in suburban Chicago with his wife and Black Lab enny, but spends as much time as he can looking for adventure in the mountains and on his motorcycle. Keep up with him at dennisdwilson.com.