Finally I get to read a suspense novel of the good kind and I loved it. Here is For Every Action: There are consequences by Gail M. Baugniet.
Here is the summary of the book:
Pepper Bibeau’s insurance investigations for a Wisconsin-based company sometimes involve a murder, but she never thought she would cause one. Days before the 1968 Democratic Convention, Pepper arrives in Chicago to settle questionable medical claims from an elusive doctor. Her assignment also includes a background check on a life insurance beneficiary who admits to stabbing his wife. When a close friend is killed, and Pepper is hospitalized after an unprovoked attack, a homicide detective decides someone wants to put a stop to her investigations. For her safety, he suggests she return to Wisconsin, but Pepper is determined to learn why her insurance investigation has stirred up a tragic chain of events. What she discovers are the devastating consequences of one person’s greed that she must expose before someone stops her, permanently.
There are few suspense/thrillers out there which are detailed and offer a plot which gradually escalates the tension at each step while also keeping it steady, For Every Action... does just that. Although I'm not very much in times with American History or the Vietnam War (come on its bad enough learning all those names and dates about all the wars fought here in India - so don't expect me to know about the history of every country in detail) but i'll try to straighten the facts and thoughts on this book.
Pepper Bibeau, our protagonist is an insurance investigator for a Wisconsin based company which sometimes handles murder cases but she would be the cause of a murder is hard to believe. Pepper arrives in Chicago to settle questionable medical claims for an elusive doctor. Her assignment also includes a background check on a life insurance beneficiary who admits to stabbing his wife. There in Chicago some unforeseen events leads to her friends murder and when Pepper herself is hospitalized after an attack, the homicide detective decides someone wants to put a stop to her investigations. For her safety, he suggests she return to Wisconsin, but Pepper is determined to learn why her insurance investigation has stirred up a tragic chain of events. What she discovers are the devastating consequences of one person's greed that she must expose before someone stops her, permanently. An interesting plot and along we go on the ride.
Pepper is a strong woman character dealing with her own personal demons while suffering from PTSD after a stint in Vietnam where she served a 12-month deployment in Vietnam. After she returned home, she took a job with an insurance company and now investigates insurance claims. The author has a feel for the times; her social references to the 1960s are on target. She travels to Chicago in time for the 1968 Democratic Convention to track down a shifty doctor who has some explaining to do to her firm. The story also has a Hawaiian connection; Pepper was born there and her son is now staying with relatives there, so the storyline moves between the three locations, making for an intriguing read.
Within these pages the author expresses a unique writing style and cadence to the story. The premise is plausible and the book's descriptions are very well done. There are many instances where minutest of details are provided where most authors would overlook doing it. The locations are described so well that I felt I was right there in the middle of it all. The book's pacing is a unique combination of story and character development delivering hypertensive action with a relaxed pace, which is not an easy task i'll tell you.
The book is interwoven with subtle nods to historical events and landmarks of Chicago. The corrosive elements of unchecked greed and drug use result in murder, leaving no one unaffected. Though set in 1968, this mystery is as timely as today's headlines. With its colorful characters, attention to detail, and plot twists, For Every Action....will string you along and keep you guessing right up to the end.