Title: King of Paine
Author: Larry Kahn
Page Count: 562 KB (Kindle format)
Publisher: North Atlanta Press
Copy for review provided by the author in anticipation of an honest review
A desperate patient. A rumored cure. How far would you go to find the fountain of youth?
Frank Paine is not your prototypical FBI agent. He's an ex-Hollywood stud with a kinky past, an irreverent wise ass who craves forgiveness from the woman he loves. When a ruthless stalker uses Frank's indiscretions to ensnare him in a sultry cat-and-mouse death match, his investigation points toward a missing biochemist. His hunt for her secret haven takes one tragic turn after another, until he finds himself facing an impossible dilemma. Someone will die as a result of his decisions, and it may be his soulmate. Or him.
This intricately-plotted whodunit will keep readers turning pages into the wee hours. More than just a mesmerizing story, King of Paine offers fully-rendered characters who grapple with a range of intriguing end-of-life issues while everything they care about is at stake.
Readers who liked The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo or the novels of Greg Iles will enjoy settling in with King of Paine for a sexy, thought-provoking ride.
King of Paine is different from other novels of its ilk- there are a lot of elements in play here and many threads to keep track of, and the characters are deliberately drawn imperfectly, which means having to take your own position and stand by it and see for yourself how that affects the story.
As the synopsis states, Frank Paine is not your typical FBI agent, nor is he similar to any other narrators of that flavor that are out there. He's making a pretty drastic career change, from Hollywood star to law enforcement, and he desperately wants this transition to go well and for his second career to be long and productive, and not quite so dramatic as his first one.
You see, Frank has something of a secret. He was a secret superstar on the BDSM scene at the same time that he was churning out mainstream blockbuster movies; his secret identity couldn't be revealed or his backers and handlers would drop him like a flaming bag of dog doo. To that end, he puts his own wants and desires ahead of those people whom he's supposed to care about, and then feels guilty about it ever after.
Frank doesn't realize it, but his sense of entitlement is of truly epic proportions. He has a lot of trouble separating personal preferences and issues from other areas of his life, and he spends a lot of time judging people when he needs to spend more time keeping his mouth shut and focusing on not treating people like things. I'm not talking about the dimensions of his BDSM relationships either; he truly believes that people should behave the way that he wants them to simply because he wants those things, and doesn't take into consideration that other people might want something different.
This unclear sense of self is what permits a truly creepy bad guy to push Frank's buttons pretty much from the onset of the story. You wouldn't expect a story that starts off with a newly minted FBI agent trying to figure out how to keep his personal past separate from his new professional life to take the path it does, but there are lots of issues to be explored here. What is the difference, truly, between fantasy and reality and what role does the anonymity of the internet play in that? At what point does a person's health and well being trump their self-determination? What role do outsiders get to play in that determination? There are lots of issues to think about here and it adds depth to the story.
I'll be honest and say that the twists and turns of the relationship between Frank and Jolynn didn't do it for me, but that's a personal preference; even if Frank's devastation of Jolynn's feelings and personal life were accidental, or at the very least not deliberate, I just couldn't accept that they could do a complete 180 like they did. This is personal preference though, and there are plenty of other elements to enjoy here.
I will say, also, that this is a thoroughly adult novel, with adult themes and elements, and it makes no apologies for that. I didn't mind it at all as a reader but others may want to be informed.
This book epitomizes some great things about reviewing indie books- this is a story I may not have discovered on my own but now that I've read it I'm happy I did. At $.99, it's a good bargain too- what's not to like?
Larry Kahn is doing a full court press to promote King of Paine and as a grand prize is giving away a Kindle Touch 3G! There are a ton of entries up for grabs just for helping to promote the story! Larry's website has the entry form and loads of other ways to enter, but you can get ONE entry just for commenting on this post! Yes, any comment on this post is an entry in the giveaway! Larry will be drawing a winner for all the prizes on December 22nd. You can get one entry for commenting on each post of Larry's blog tour:
12/1 What Book Is That?: Review & Snowed in with Indie Authors December Giveaway Festival
12/2 From the TBR File: Book Giveaway & Review
12/3 Live To Read: Guest Post “Researching An FBI Story”
12/4 The Write To Make A Living: Review, Book Giveaway & Guest Post “Writing Thought-Provoking Suspense: Social Themes”
12/5 Thoughts In Progress: Guest Post “Who Are You Chatting With?: The Dangers of Anonymous Internet Communications”
12/6 Boekie’s Book Reviews: Review & Author Interview
Owl Tell You About It: Review
12/7 Owl Tell You About It: Guest Post “Researching the Psychology of BDSM”
12/8 All the days of: Book Giveaway & Guest Post “Crafting Intricate Plots: My Writing Process”
12/9 The Top Shelf: Review & Author Interview
12/10 Darlene’s Book Nook: Book Giveaway & Guest Post “Rooting for a Flawed Protagonist”
12/11 Larry Kahn: Interview with Frank Paine “Getting Inside The Mind Of A Madman”
12/12 Full Moon Bites: Book Giveaway & Author of the Week Interview
12/13 The Book Diva’s Reads: Review & Guest Post “Buried Treasures: Treats for the Watchful Reader”
12/14 Alive On The Shelves: Guest Post “When Eye Candy Fights Back: Adding Depth To a Love Interest”
12/15 The Enchanted Book: Review & Guest Post “What Can You Expect From A 99-Cent E-Book? ”
12/16 Opinions of a Wolf: Book Giveaway & Review
12/17 Black Diamond’s Book Reviews: Book Giveaway & Review
12/18 Thoughts In Progress: Review
12/19 CMash Loves to Read: Book Giveaway & Guest Post “My Inspiration For King of Paine“
12/20 Goodreads: Live Q&A With Larry Kahn (1-2pm; 7-8pm)
12/21 Purple Jelly Bean Chair Reviews: Review, Author Interview & Book Giveaway
That's 22 entries right off the bat, and a great opportunity to discover some new blogs and support a good book!
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