“Cooperative Lives” by Patrick Finegan

Patrick Finegan
Two Skates Publishing (2019)
ISBN 9781733902526
Reviewed by Paige Lovitt for Reader Views (1/20)

“Cooperative Lives” by Patrick Finegan begins when the city of Manhattan is hit by a huge power failure. One of the residents, who is already down on his luck, finds himself locked out of his apartment because of his dependence on technology. Glimpses are given in the lives of others who reside there during this time. As the story evolves, connections are made and there is a greater understanding of how the main characters are linked.

Each person has his or her own story to tell, and these stories reveal a great deal of their imperfections. As the author takes us further into the main plot, the links between the characters tighten even further which adds to the intrigue. The residents range from a famous romance novelist, to a lawyer, to a recently fired IT specialist whose wife was a friend of the CIA. The drama really takes off when an elderly investor’s error on the account of one of the resident’s is discovered. He assumed to have committed fraud. The stakes go even higher when the woman’s million-dollar account is emptied. Coincidences link two of the key players in this novel to the fraud. When the story goes public, it becomes even more convoluted because the men are immediately judged to be guilty by their peers in public, not in a court of law. One of the men works behind the scenes to clear their names. Their personal relationships also continue to be heavily impacted. This creates a great deal of tension in between the walls of this old building.

If you are looking to sink yourself into a good novel, “Cooperative Lives” would be an excellent choice. The author, Patrick Finegan, has done an amazing job of creating a complex contemporary story full of intrigue and suspense. The characters are eccentric and delightfully flawed. Their interactions are fascinating to view because they come from a variety of backgrounds, yet their lives all lead them to be living together in this building at this particular moment in time.

I have often driven by huge high rises in New York and wondered about the people who live inside them. Finegan helps feed my musings, because his people are very real, and their motivations are all strikingly different from each other. Secrets from the past reveal many truths that would be better off left unsaid in the real world, however, in the world of fiction, they make for a great story!

I highly recommend reading “Cooperative Lives” by Patrick Finegan. I also recommend doing so slowly as the timelines flow out of order, so you have to pay attention. The author does this intentionally to tell his story – pay attention so you don’t get lost! “Cooperative Lives,” will stay with you long after you put it down.

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