BOOK REVIEW: MCMANSION
Ben Abbott is a realtor in a small Connecticut town. He has a sideline as a private investigator, workly mostly for attorneys in non threatening situations. He has been observing with dismay the proliferation of large, poorly designed houses dubbed "McMansions" which are being built in the area, changing the landscape for the worse and inflating the tax base, bringing harsh economic pressure to many local property owners.
When unscrupulous real estate developer Billy Tiller is found dead under the blades of a bulldozer, the young man sitting atop the huge machine is arrested immediately. He protests his innocence, clamining he was trying to move the huge machine off the injured man. Discovering that he is an environmental activist, local cops find his protests unbelievable and take him to jail.
Abbott gets involved when the defense attorney hires him to find a case for reasonable doubt. After Abbott meets the young man's father, his unease begins to grow as he realizes that no one is willing to consider that the accused kid's protests of innocence might be true. As he asks questions and searches for persons who might have had a murderous grudge against the dead man, Abbott finds that the most meaningful information does not come from Tiller's checkered business operations. Matters of the heart hold more significance.
Scott has an appealing protagonist in Ben Abbott, and he portrays the inevitable tensions and connections of a small town very well. McMANSIONS is a very enjoyable read.
REVIEWED BY WOODSTOCK
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