The Whistleblower: A Short Story (Last Act #0.5), by Brad Parks

Eight stars

Trying a new author, I thought I would venture in slowly with a short story. Brad Parks seems to have quite the accolades attached to his writing and so launching into a new series seems to be the way to go. Mitch Dupree is a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, with a nice family and a fairly straightforward way of living. Hired to work in the Latin Division of the Union South Bank, he oversees many transactions every year. When a collection of Mexican transfers appear somewhat sketchy, he tries to alert his superior, but is only rebuffed. Further investigation makes it appear there could be cartel involvement and some money laundering, though no one else seems to notice or care. After doing his research, Dupree is prepared to blow the whistle on all of this, but begins to notice odd things happening around him. He prepares to go to the authorities as things heat up, though there is something he could not have expected waiting for him around the bend. An intriguing introduction to Parks and his writing, with this short story serving as a series prequel. Recommended to those who like a quick bang for their buck (no pun intended) and the reader who can handle a little financial thriller.

I enjoy finding new authors, especially when they have a collection of work from which to choose. Brad Parks is one such author, having won many awards for his writing. This new series looks to have a legal and financial angle to it, something that I know well and another area that remains foreign to me. Mitch Dupree is an interesting character and seems to want to do the right thing. In the world of banking, it is profit that drives the overall direction. But, must there not also be a degree of ethics? Here is where Dupree finds himself straddling two worlds. His determination to do the right thing can get him into more hot water than simply looking away. Dupree is sure to have some interesting follow-up in the first novel of the series and I am eager to see more of his character development. In a short story, it is more difficult to connect to non-protagonists, as was the case here. However, these secondary characters do serve a great purpose, fuelling an interesting story of financial intrigue and dubious laundering. Dupree’s character is complemented by these others and there are surely some great threads left untied, allowing storylines to continue into the novel. The story was strong, even with it being short, and left me wanting more. What will happen to Mitch Dupree and will the fallout from the end of the short story develop into a chance for vendetta and retribution?

Kudos, Mr. Parks, for a great start to a series. My initial introduction to your writing is surely positive and I cannot wait to continue.

This book fulfils Topic #5: Short is Not Bad of the Equinox #8 Book Challenge.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: