Wednesday, January 10, 2018

The Perpetual Summer by Adam Walker Phillips

HR executive Chuck Restic is back, fighting for his life, and his work life. Adam Walker Phillips manages to combine amusing stories of Human Resources in the corporate world with the dark world of an amateur sleuth.  The Perpetual Summer brings back a few characters from The Silent Second in the second novel set in Los Angeles' diverse community.

When Restic's boss retires after forty-five years, and gives a speech showing how his entire career has been worthless, Chuck realizes he feels the same way. So, he isn't sure he wants to fight for a promotion. Then, he receives an offer that's harder to refuse. Real estate mogul Carl Valenti is a power in L.A. He's planning a museum to exhibit his art, and he actually seems more interested in that than in his request of Chuck. He offers him $100,000 to find his missing teenage granddaughter. And, he provides Chuck with his own driver, Hector. Valenti may say he trusts Chuck, but Hector will report back to the old man.

Restic is threatened by a gun-toting young man who faces down Hector, who only has a knife. He finds himself confronting a Chinese landlord and wannabe power broker. Time after time, he's defeated by that teenage girl and her boyfriend. Even as Chuck tries to hunt for her, he realizes he doesn't know the entire story. While she seems to be asking her grandfather for money, someone else seems to pushing for money as well. Worst of all, the sleep-deprived, busy Chuck finds himself failing at work opportunities. Now, he realizes he doesn't want his co-worker to get the promotion.

As I said before, the work aspects of Chuck Restic's life are amusing, and recognizable for any of us who have worked for a corporation or governmental agency. But, The Perpetual Summer has its dark side as well, including murder, and the hunger for power and revenge. Even Chuck find himself caught up in that trap. You can read The Perpetual Summer for the dark suspense, the amusing details, or, for the fascinating character of Chuck Restic, a man who recognizes his own flaws.

Adam Walker Phillips' website is

The Perpetual Summer by Adam Walker Phillips. Prospect Park Books, 2018. ISBN 9781945551123 (paperback), 280p.

FTC Full Disclosure - I received the book to review for a journal.

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