Armani suits and Hermes ties probably aren't considered traditional wardrobe items for most FBI agents, but then Frank Paine isn't a traditional FBI agent. Frank is a former Hollywood actor turned FBI agent. Not even Hollywood could script that type of change. Frank's life has undergone some obvious changes since his Hollywood days. Now Frank has to determine how far he's willing to go to support the one he loves in King of Paine by Larry Kahn.
Frank isn't proud of his past and he can't let go of the idea that he let down the only person that he really cared about, Jolynn Decker. He and Jolynn had met online in a BDSM chat room and shared their lifestyle choice. Their online meetings eventually become real-life meetings until Jolynn happened to be outed by photographs taken on a clandestine trip to Mexico. Her career was destroyed, but Frank was protected simply because of the hood he wore. Frank is still feeling guilty over the fact he didn't protect Jolynn and even gave her money to never mention his participation. Frank probably wouldn't be thinking about Jolynn so much if it weren’t for the fact that she lived in Atlanta and he's been assigned to Atlanta. Well, that and a suspicious email directing the FBI to a suspected pedophile. Someone obviously knows about Frank's past and is using it to get the FBI involved.
Reporter Roger Martin has had better years. An off-and-on recovery alcoholic, he is still grieving the loss of his girlfriend from 9/11. Just when he thinks he can't possibly sink any lower, he is tossed a lifeline by a mysterious woman named Angela. She gets him to embark on an investigation on the abandoned and dying elderly. Roger isn't sure how this ties into a missing 70s rock star, but he quickly found that there are a number of elderly persons from across the US that have sold their assets and simply disappeared. Then Angela disappears.
Unknowingly both Roger and Frank's investigations intersect. Roger wants to be with Angela at all costs and uses all of his know-how to track her down in Atlanta. Frank knows that Jolynn can't really be a suspect in his ongoing investigation. He also realizes that he wants to be with her because he has feelings for her. Things then go from bad to worse when Roger disappears and Jolynn is abducted under the noses of several FBI agents.
I had problems getting into King of Paine at first, primarily because of the BDSM aspects (I'm not exactly prudish but it was a bit much for this country girl to handle). Once I got past that issue and read a little further, I become more invested in the story and wanting to see what was going to happen. Although Frank is now an FBI agent, on many levels he's still an actor playing a role. Every character seemed to have a duality of nature to them. Frank describes Jolynn as a good "Christian" girl but she works part-time in a strip club . . . I had difficulty reconciling the two ideas. Frank wants to be the good agent but he's constantly going off half-cocked in an effort to prove himself, possibly to himself as well as to the other agents. Then there's the underlying agenda that our society as a whole now longer reveres but possibly reviles the aging. Mr. Kahn has provided an insightful and adventurous suspense read with King of Paine.
Disclaimer: I received this book free for review purposes from the author. I was not paid, required or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."
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