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John Morelli
Intended Consequences
John Morelli, author
In INTENDED CONSEQUENCES, Bill Arena’s family is threatened due to his unethical actions in obtaining a large block of shares in Campbell Computers, the world’s leader in the computer technology field. Bill’s oldest son Tom is kidnapped. With the help of his assistant, former Marine Ranger Vince Reismuller, Bill sets out on a quest to rescue his son, discover why his son was taken and to protect his family from future harm. Because the police are slow to respond, it is up to Bill and Vince Reismuller to locate the kidnappers and try to bring Tom Arena home alive. This is a novel of revenge and redemption as well as the consequences of greed.
Vince Reismuller, a battle-hardened Marine veteran and security factotum for the wealthy Arena family, must rescue his employer's kidnapped son Tommy even as it becomes clear that a murder and more may connect with his employer's shady past. In addition, Vince has to protect the Arena daughter, Morgan, from a young man harassing her and figure out if Tommy is guilty of a crime himself. The various strands start coming together, amidst deadly violence, even as Vince and Morgan struggle with their growing feelings for each other. Vince navigates through stock fraud, greed and hatred to protect the Arenas and come to terms with himself and his violent past.

Morelli places the emphasis heavily on action, and he's a master at choreographing the fight scenes. Vince doesn't pull any punches and neither does Morelli when describing the scenes. "This is only the start of how much I am going to hurt you," Vince explains to an antagonist. In a terrifically staged scene, Vince and his associates attack a house, and readers will find themselves in Alistair MacLean territory, holding their breath until the wind-up. Morelli has clearly done a lot of research, and occasionally he shares more than some readers may want to know about firearms or mountain lions, slowing the pace, but overall the book moves rapidly toward a satisfying conclusion.

However, the action is not the whole story. Morelli has elevated the theme, giving his tale a richer background than is usually found in this genre. Behind all the conflict is stock-market manipulation and other corporate chicanery, and the financial theme provides an effective contrast to the street fighting, while making the characters less black-and-white. Morelli also does a great job fleshing out Vince's character. The police detective on the case, Jerrell Troy, is a former comrade-in-arms, and their rocky yet close friendship comes across as very real. Readers will hope to meet Vince in a sequel.

Takeaway: Two-fisted novel of revenge, told with breathless suspense.

Comparable Titles: Lee Child, Alistair MacLean.

Production grades
Cover: A-
Design and typography: A-
Illustrations: N/A
Editing: A-
Marketing copy: B+

Reader's Favorite

Reviewed by Jennifer Ibiam for Readers' Favorite

Bill Arena became a multi-billionaire after inheriting a considerable portion of the Campbell Computer Company stocks through dubious means. The Arena family held the secret to his wealth, but it had dire consequences for them. Bill's son, Tom, went missing on a typical workday, and things went south. They found a corpse in Tom’s office, his gun on the table, and no one to tell what happened. Tom was a suspect or victim, and Vince Reismuller must find out. Former marine Vince worked for the Arenas and was loyal to them. And like his past battles, Vince dug deep to dismantle complex schemes from the past while watching out for the fatal shot. Who has Tom? Can Vince save him in time? Find out in Intended Consequences by John Morelli.

Intended Consequences by John Morelli is a fantastic novel that kept me on the edge of my seat. The author had his foot on the figurative pedal and sustained the momentum from the beginning to the end. I saw the damage caused by greed and the rough side of the corporate world. There is action, suspense, crime, law, politics, and some flirting. I loved the story’s uniqueness, plot, and character development because they were not cliched. There was substance and something new to discover in every chapter. The author incorporated actual places and past events into the plot which gave the novel authenticity. Vince and Parker were my favorite characters. I wonder why no one arrested Tonya and hope Vince and Morgan take it to the next level. John did a fantastic job with this novel, and I encourage him to continue writing.