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by David Ramus
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0671041843, Hardcover)An innocent man convicted of a crime he didn't commit finds a way out of prison just before his whole world--wife, kids, and business--goes to hell. But the way out has its own heavy price: it puts Ben Hemmings between ruthless federal agent Dan Patrone, who framed him in the first place, and Rollie Shore, an Atlanta mobster who Patrone wants Ben to bring down.
Before he went to prison, Ben built state-of-the-art barns for wealthy Georgia horse breeders and gentlemen farmers. Now Patrone wants Ben to use his knowledge and contacts to retrieve the extremely valuable horse semen presumably stolen from one of Ben's former clients before Shore gets his hands on it. But Shore, who's just been released from the same prison as Ben, is a very dangerous man to cross, as Ben well knows. Ben's fears for his family's safety--and Patrone's promise to send him back to prison for the rest of his life if he refuses--make the gamble a bet he can't afford not to make.
Much of the book takes place in the Alabama facility where Ben, Shore, and Ben's gentle cellmate, Black, are incarcerated. While David Ramus's characterization of Ben Hemmings, a decent man trapped by forces bigger than he is, is outstanding, the scenes of prison life are among the best in the book. That may be due to Ramus's firsthand knowledge of the world behind bars: he was a high-stakes art dealer in the '80s who got involved in drugs, corruption, and federal investigations. Having rehabilitated himself with two other solid thrillers (The Gravity of Shadows and Thief of Light), Ramus scores a bull's-eye with this one. --Jane Adams
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:23 -0400)
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