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Monday, October 28, 2013

Quinter by C Reynolds Keller

QuinterQuinter by C. Reynolds Keller
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of **Quinter** by *C Reynolds Keller* at Net Galley in return for an honest review.

Thomas March Quinter is an attorney who once worked for the law firm of Davis-James, a prestigious law firm in Cleveland. He and his secretary, Jennifer Millieux, left Davis-James for several reasons; the most apparent was Quinter's less than amicable divorce from Nathan Davis' daughter. Davis was one of the founders of Davis-James, and he was Quinter's boss. Quinter and Millieux had begun a romantic relationship before he was divorced, and she remained with him as he began his new law firm. However, as the story opens, there is no further love entanglement between the two of them. Without any discussion, the relationship died, but Jennifer continued at the firm and kept her feelings for Quinter to herself.

Quinter is approached by an old classmate of his, David Bordman, to go to Spain for Bordman's company, Nortex. While there Quinter is supposed to acquire living arrangements for Nortex's people who will be staying in Spain to facilitate an arms deal with Spain. Bordman tells Quinter that he will be helping with this deal as well as scouting property for living accommodations. Bordman gives Quinter very little time to think about this opportunity, but as a hook, he does offer very lucrative payment for Quinter's time and expenses. Quinter accepts the job with the understanding that Jennifer can accompany him as his assistant.

At one time, because of information turned over to the Justice Department by a whistle-blower, Harry Dunkirk, Nortex came under investigation for taking illegal contract profits. Dunkirk still has his eye on David Bordman and Nortex because he believes they are still operating outside the law.

Before Quinter has time to seriously consider the offer made to him by Bordman, Quinter's office is broken into, and Jennifer is hurt by the thug who came to search the office. At first no connection is made between the Nortex company and the break-in, but later when Quinter sees the culprit again, he begins to wonder what connection these two have as well as what he has gotten himself and Jennifer into.

From this point the novel goes on to tell the story of what the arms deal entails and how it affects many more people than Quinter at first expected. There are interesting twists and turns with the emphasis being separating the good guys from the bad ones as well as those who fall somewhere in between. I thought Keller did a good job of keeping all the characters straight for the reader. It was interesting to me to read about how such deals can be made, and just who is in the position to effectively conclude them. Given the state of terrorism around the world and the sophisticated level of arms being used, I think that makes this novel very relevant today.

There was one part of the novel that rang a false note for me, and that was the relationship between Quinter and Millieux. It seemed contrived from the moment they first reconnected and Quinter seemed to forget her name in favor of worn out terms of endearment. Quinter cheated on his marriage for this woman, yet he never seems as fully engaged in their relationship as she is.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy stories of intrigue involving foreign countries. It was obvious to me that Keller wrote knowledgeably about the places his characters visited as well as the business they were trying to conduct. This book ends on a cliff-hanger that begs for a soon forthcoming sequel. I, for one, am curious as to where Thomas Quinter goes from here.

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