“Parker’s Choice” by Mike Nemeth
BROWN CHICKEN BOOKS an imprint of SOUTHERN FRIED KARMA, MARCH 2021
In Mike Nemeth’s third crime thriller, John Parker is a former entrepreneur, data analytics savant, and ex-con embroiled in two seemingly unconnected crises. On one hand, he uncovers a plot by his employer (India Business Solutions) to deceive insurance companies into moving their customer service jobs overseas based on fraudulent data. On the other, his failing marriage becomes especially complicated when he suspects that his wife has murdered his deranged former business partner. Through an extraordinary set of plot twists, he learns that his many troubles are mysteriously linked complicating the choices he must make.
Nemeth unabashedly shows off thriller influences from masters of crime fiction such as Gresham and Le Carré. His character development for the protagonist is a compelling study in the differences between moral and ethical choices, self-preservation, and doing what’s right, giving the anti-hero an honest quality that becomes perhaps his biggest flaw.
Well researched and backed up with doubtless personal experience in the IT and business world, the story, at times, reads like a travelogue taking the reader on a trip through Atlanta’s upper-middle-class suburbs, Florida’s ritzy St. Pete beaches, and the decadent streets of New Orleans (the setting of a pedicab chase scene!).
Though often burdened with stereotypes, cliché, and unneeded characters, the story is easy to follow, entertaining, and quite suspenseful. Parker’s relationships with the women in his life—his estranged wife, his college-aged daughter, his ex-business partner, and his sultry colleague—can at times be a bit cringy, but in the end, it seems to work for this off-beat, quirky thriller where every choice has a consequence.
Pick up a copy of Parker’s Choice at your favorite local bookshop or at the Amazon link below: