“Hill Country Greed” by Patrick Kelly is a fast-paced mystery/thriller based in beautiful Austin, Texas. Joe Robbins is lured to Austin to become the new CFO for Connection Software and lead the company through a billion dollar IPO. As part of the “core team” Joe finds himself in a perfect position – financial independence for him and his family. Connection Software has everything he needs to make that dream a reality.
Joe finds Connection Software to be quite a different type company than to what he’s accustomed – an almost casual atmosphere, where everyone plays hard and works even harder. Office affairs run rampant, beginning at the top with the charismatic CEO, Webb Elliott. The dream starts to diminish almost immediately after Joe begins his new position, when a Connection Software employee hangs herself from atop of a luxury hotel during the company’s annual ball. It seems like a cut and dry suicide but something is not quite right. Things spiral downward from there at an incredibly fast pace –the stock market plunges, a massive lay-off occurs, a board member of Connection Software is murdered, and Joe suddenly finds himself out of a job, estranged from his family and prime suspect to murder.
Action-packed is only one descriptive I can use as the story is full of lusty sexual interludes, greed, betrayal, seduction, murder, extortion, revenge – you name it – it’s part of the plot! I did not want to put this book down. The writing was absolutely brilliant, from the comprehensive cast of characters, the plot that kept the pages turning furiously, the dialogue – I loved everything about this book. Joe is a very likeable protagonist, not your typical CFO “bean-counter” type, but very well rounded including his flaws –in other words, Joe is no saint. All of the characters were very realistic and came to life for me on the pages. Vivid descriptions of Las Vegas and Austin kept me visually satisfied – I live in Austin and know all the places frequented by the characters and I found that I took an almost territorial type attitude toward the book.
Overall I highly recommend “Hill Country Greed” by Patrick Kelly. It’s hard to believe that this is his first novel. I look forward to seeing more works from Mr. Kelly in the future.