Counterstrike: John Groh
Maps are created to help people find their way on a special road, highway or street. Using a GPS you have both a physical and voice activated directions that properly coordinate where you have to go. But, what happens when someone masterminds a plot so sinister, so cunning that you think you are going in one direction and all of your problems will be solved when in reality this craftsman has created his own map or directions for you to go in a different way. Blindsiding you and making sure that you do not reassess what is being said, what you might think or see you fall into a deadly trap wider than a chasm caused by a deadly earthquake. Counterstrike: an attack made to counter an enemy’s attack after several strikes: Two brothers both positioning themselves with their resources and their own financial arsenal hoping to counteract what the other has planned.
Imagine receiving a phone call on your cell that your wife was killed in a deadly car crash. Imagine the unfeeling you sense from the caller even though it’s your brother. Organized, cold and clinical he explains what he thinks happened and then goes on to state he has handled the funeral arrangements. From the start you realize that Spencer and Boyce might be brothers but in name only. Their work ethics so different both in real estate yet both using whatever techniques it takes to win a bid, steal an offer that the other made and to undercut the other person wherever possible. Both brothers deal with real estate one in the commercial end and the other more residential. At every turn they argue, battle and neither one seems to care that they are brothers. Greed, power, self-worth, self-esteem and pure revenge with a strong dose of vengeance are just some of the issues that come through in this powerful novel.
After assessing what he learns about the accident and going through his wife’s things Boyce finds a poem that would trigger his thoughts, senses and alert him to a harsh reality that would send him over the edge in more ways than one.
Boots Billings spent many years in battle in Vietnam and as you get to know him better you realize that his mind and thinking have suffered and been greatly tampered with. Boots is smart. He is much smarter that both brothers realize as Boyce enlists him to find out more about his wife’s death, check into his brother’s whereabouts and learn more about the accident and what caused it. Could his brother have played a hand in his death? What message did his wife send in the short poem? Child abuse is not something foreign to Boyce yet his animosity towards his brother goes back even further as their father’s trust comes into play and when Spencer turns 40 they share it. Imagine inheriting 30 million dollars? Imagine finding ways to make it your own.
Reliving the accident, seeing the car first hand Boyce notices two important details: white powder residue and a bent rim causing him to think the car was tampered with and someone wanted Millie out of the way. Pressing the investigative officer or Sergeant on the case yields nothing. Stating his wife must have lost control might have been on her cell phone or just got distracted causing the accident where she was the only victim. Yet, as upset as Boyce claimed to be why turn to another woman, no less your ex-wife for comfort. Belinda is sharp, cunning and conniving having her own private agenda in mind. The author shares his visit to Belinda, their breakup and the history behind their failed marriage. Impulsive, angry and at times not really thinking things through Boyce teams up with Boots, his old friend and second father to find the answers he needs. Two brothers caught in web of lies, betrayals, deceits, greed and much more as they wheel, deal and hope to increase their millions and not throw away their money.
But, this is more than most would expect as Boyce attends his brother’s daughter’s birthday party, his gift is unwanted and the next think you learn is that someone sent his niece a rubber doll whose arms and shoulders were cut off leading readers to believe that this was yet another hint as to what might have happened to someone else. A Llama’s neck cut at a 90 degree angle and the remains in his pool, opening his wife’s grave at midnight, learning the truth about what happened to her and bribing the country tax assessor, Boyce played every angel except one.
Cutthroat attitude, childish pranks that prove dangerous, undercutting each other and never stopping to consider the consequences author John Groh takes readers inside the minds of two disturbed men who will stop at nothing to make a deal, get the property, find a loophole to out fox or swindle the other and never see the real enemy hiding in plain sight. Scenes that are graphically depicted and one man hungry to have his fun with young girls, just who can be trusted, who is really the murderer and who feeds on the anger, hate and desire for power of the two brothers.
When Boyce asks Boots to look into the financials of his brother why does Boots decide to play both ends of the spectrum? What is his real motive and what does he do to turn the tables in another direction? Blackmail is the name of his game and although both brothers have something that could hold over his head he does not seem to care. An ending that is horrific, terrifying and quite compelling as the true killer is revealed, his thoughts unfold, the loss of life not worry of his reflection and the end result you decide who wins. Visions of dead people come into play, hearing his own thoughts and that of whom he killed, can a killer come to terms with his actions or will he pull a Counterstrike? Counterstrike: Just who is the last and final victim in his diabolical plot? Using his expertise in real estate and finances and the help of Boyce’s assistant Barbara we enter the world of real estate, join them on the boardroom, hear the voices of creditors and bank officials as two brothers fight for control and decide which one will finally Counterstrike and win.
Within the structure of this family we see a child who has Down syndrome and whose parents are trying to provide for her needs. We see many who are not tolerant of those with disabilities need some reeducation. An uncle who has a lack of tolerance and whose primary goal are money, greed and power. Confronting their own demons, allowing someone to manipulate them, dealing with those that play both ends of a two headed coin, Boyce and Spencer never learn the true meaning of the word Brother, family, loyalty and love. Dead animals on his lot turning the pool a bright red, threatening messages, blackmail, hacking someone’s finances and gathering so much info that no one sees the blindside coming. Counterstrike: Whose force is more powerful? Counterstrike: John Groh: Read it to find out!
Fran Lewis: Reviewer