Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Consumed, A Bad
Reviewed by Maria Beltran for Readers' Favorite Consumed, A Bad Divorce Can Be Murder is a fast paced thriller written by Michael W. Bugni. The story unfolds as divorce lawyer Les McKee takes a picture of a hot air balloon that suddenly explodes near his house. This sets off a chain of events that leads to his client, Beverly, and her husband, Byron Wells, and to the perverted lives of Seattle’s leading high tech personalities. The couple is in the middle of a bitter divorce suit and at stake is a multi-million-dollar fortune. Beautiful, seductive, and a former college sweetheart of Les, the twice divorced Beverly is the best friend of his wife, Marcia. Byron, on the other hand, is entangled in a case with his former employer, Digitron, that is now accusing him of conspiracy in selling classified source codes to a competitor. As the incident turns into a murder investigation, Les McKee finds himself in trouble as he succumbs once again to Beverly’s deadly charm. Consumed, A Bad Divorce Can Be Murder is one of those novels that can easily consume the undivided attention of the reader as one conspiracy after another is revealed. It has all the elements of an excellent thriller; a beautiful and cunning woman, a susceptible admirer, a meticulous investigator, huge amounts of money, and a lot more. As author Michael W. Bugni weaves the story, the excitement steadily builds and just as one thinks that the conspiracy is now exposed, he comes up with another piece of the puzzle and we are back to square one again. This is perhaps the reason why it is difficult to stop reading this story of intrigue, friendship, betrayal, love, and greed. The story also provides an interesting glimpse into the select world of corporate high technology but, above all, it exposes the weaknesses and strengths of human nature.
April 30, 2014
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Michael W. Bugni¿s C
Reviewed by Lit Amri for Readers' Favorite Michael W. Bugni’s Consumed is a fast-paced, multifaceted thriller that centers on Seattle’s high-tech elite. Les McKee is a divorce attorney, a devoted husband and a doting father, but his peaceful life is about to hit the bumpy road – all thanks to Beverly Wells’ multi-million dollar second divorce from Byron Wells. Byron was the head of Digitron’s Virtual Reality division. Sharp-tongued, brilliant and rich, Byron and his colleague Dietrich were accused of selling company secrets to Akira Nakamura, lead engineer for a Japanese-based corporate giant, Vortex Video Games (VVG). It was claimed that Nakamura had paid them handsomely to give him cloud technology from Digitron. Thus, Byron and Dietrich were fired from the company. With the husband grabbing headlines for the wrong reasons, it seems inevitable that the divorce process will be messy. However, Les McKee gives the impression that he could rise to any challenge as a lawyer. That being said, his feelings towards Beverly suggest otherwise to me. Beverly and Les used to be college sweethearts, but Les chose to marry her best friend, Marcia, instead. When Byron dies in a horrific hot air balloon ‘accident,’ I pictured Beverly as a python that keeps tightening its grip on Les’ neck. From that point on, things get worse for Les. Bugni’s crisp prose, clever plotting, and believable dialogue all add up to a fascinating read – albeit one that assumes some general knowledge of the law system on the reader’s part. I appreciate the perfect length of each chapter and the brisk pacing of the story. Overall, Consumed is an excellent crime-thriller with substantial suspense from start to finish.
April 30, 2014
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite Love can be the
Reviewed by Lisa McCombs for Readers' Favorite Love can be the root of all evil. At least that seems to be the lesson that divorce attorney Les is surrounded by in his daily legal practice as well as his daily life. According to Michael W. Bugni, the author of Consumed, “Cheating spouses were commonplace…though in the case of Beverley and Byron’s marriage it was not another woman, but the intoxicating power of an online world gone mad.” When Les witnesses the fiery explosion of Byron’s hot air balloon from the balcony of his expensive home, he is forced to confront both a dangerous murder case as well as his own latent feelings for the widow. Until this time, virtual reality only dealt with the multi-million dollar business of the gaming world. As Les delves deeper into the mysterious death of his colleague, he also finds himself irresistibly drawn to the allure of Byron’s widow. Even with the impending demise of his own marriage and career, Les refuses to stop fighting for the innocence of a woman who holds his lusty heart within her destructive grasp. Michael W. Bugni creates a suspenseful tale of deceit and adultery in this novel that refuses to be put down. Each time the reader believes to have solved the crime and put an end to this roller coaster ride, another twist creates fresh questions in the reader’s mind. Consumed contains a plethora of gaming and technology terminology, but remains very readable for the novice “techie” with its strong plot that appeals to readers of the crime genre.
April 30, 2014