Double Down: CJ Axelrod
Stardom and fame so many want it but at what price. Alex Cole is a movie star and adored by his public and staff. What happens when this same star is target for a killer not once but twice or a third time? Shot in the arm and the again in the leg a second time but not before receiving a note that says Next time you will die! Who is after him and why? The second time is more serious, and his leg seems to be permanently scarred so the solution his managers, his staff and publicist hire a double or stand in for public appearances. Aaron Peterson is a dead ringer for him but when hired and trained and given lessons in how to act in public as Alex he takes the role too far and you begin to wonder what’s his angle and why he does not adhere to the script he was told to memorize during several public appearances. Abusive at times to several of the women, pretending to be Alex when its not called for and rude to the staff working for Alex many complaints are hurled but why isn’t done? Getting to know Aaron the author flashes back to his childhood, his mother’s abusive attitude and his father defends him but never any hugs or warmth. Alex begins to realize that Aaron might be dangerous and other people close to him feel the same. There is something off about him, his mannerisms, what Larry learns from his contact about his past and then the assistant manager of the hotel where he is also an assistant manage relates information that might enlighten them as to his past.
A stand in for Alex when in public and hoping to protect the star in case the killer or someone else tries to hurt him. Alex has a learning disability we learn when the author flashes back to his past, how he gets a significant role in a school play, the young Black students that helps him learn his lines and the result will it affect the way others treated him growing up. In the present we realize that even Alex has an odd feeling about Aaron and when you witness his behavior and hear the final words of the assistant manager you too might not want him around much longer. What about him makes him dangerous we are going to find out?
Lives are in danger as one-man plots to take over the identity of the other and then events spiral out of control as Aaron has his own agenda. We get an up close and personal meeting with Larry and another cop to uncover Aaron’s past and what he learns alerts him to the fact that this man is not who he says he is and is dangerous. Aaron had his own agenda in mind, kidnapping Alex, someone set up for the murder of Larry, hidden pasts that could destroy someone’s career and not everyone is who they claim to be, and Alex stands in the center of it all. Kidnapped by the shooter, locked away he tries to escape, and someone is taken to the hospital with serious injuries and the result you won’t believe.
What happens when someone is desperate? What happens when others are blindsided? What happens when an author creates a plot, so devious, so cunning and so intricate that you won’t see the unusual twist at the end. Sometimes endings are odd beginnings? What is the fate of each one? What about Alex do you agree with his decision? Lies, betrayals, fights, one man thinking he’s in control, another just wanting to survive, someone blamed for the death of Larry was he framed? Pasts play a huge role in the lives of all the characters, police reports and evidence could ruin someone close to Alex. Fatal injuries, flashbacks and the author create an ending you won’t see coming and the reasons you won’t believe for a murder that well did someone a favor to hide the past in the present. Wild parties, drugs, extortion, deceptions, betrayals, deceits and murder all wrapped up in one person’s past and present as you think you know who the killer is, you think you know the reasons why Aaron wanted to be Alex. Money, power, women, fame and the fun of being who and what he felt he deserved to be. What happens when Cindy meets Aaron, and he tries to attack her? Why didn’t he know Tina? An ending so terrifying that author C.J. Axelrod makes you wonder who is safe, who is dangerous and who would want to change places with Alex?
Will the real Alex please stand up?
Fran Lewis: Just reviews