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Designed to Kill [Paperback]

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Item description for Designed to Kill by Chester D. Campbell...

It's no vacation that brings Greg McKenzie and his wife, Jill, to the glistening white sand beaches at Perdido Key, FL. Architect Tim Gannon, son of the McKenzies' closest friends, is found dead of a gunshot wound. Self-inflicted, says the deputy who investigated, a clear case of remorse over a design flaw in a beachfront condo that caused a balcony collapse, killing two people. It looks otherwise to Greg and Jill, who find plans missing, an obstinate contractor, a too-slick developer, and an inspector angry over a disrupted love affair. After two hoods work him over, Greg realizes Jill is in danger, too, and if this is a murder case, he had better solve it without delay.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   283
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.06" Width: 6.08" Height: 0.88"
Weight:   0.83 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Mar 15, 2004
Publisher   Durban House
ISBN  1930754469  
ISBN13  9781930754461  

Availability  0 units.

More About Chester D. Campbell

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Chester D. Campbell currently resides in Nashville, in the state of Tennessee. Chester D. Campbell was born in 1925.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Literary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
4Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Mystery > General
5Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > Suspense

Reviews - What do customers think about Designed to Kill?

Chester Campbell Delivers another Winner!  Apr 7, 2007
In an age where you are afraid to recommend books to friends due to bad content, I can without reservation recommend this book to Mystery Lovers everywhere. A gripping novel with a fast-paced plot that will keep you guessing to the end. Chester Campbell has done it again!
Designed To Kill Delivers  May 12, 2006
When a close friend's son, an architect, is found dead in a seaside park shortly after a balcony he designed collapsed, killing two people, the police assume it's suicide. But the dead man's parents and Greg and Jill McKenzie don't buy it. He was staying in Greg and Jill's Florida condo at the time of his death. When they go to investigate his death, they discover his original plans are missing: the hard copies stolen and the digital form deleted from his hard drive. But the "copies" in the hands of the developer and the general contractor show inferior materials and structure supports. Is this what the deceased designed? Were the plans altered to save costs? If so, by whom? Questions abound: Why did the inspector approve the inferior rebar and the defective concrete pour? What was a woman's jacket doing in Greg and Jill's condo, when the deceased was married and his wife was back in Tennessee? Why is the New Orleans mob trying to kill Greg?

Jill is Greg's ace in the hole in this fast-moving mystery. But he's got only his Beretta when the chips are down.

Chester D Campbell's DESIGNED TO KILL is one of the better mysteries I've read this year.
Great mystery with lots of twists and turns  May 25, 2005
Greg McKenzie and his wife Jill are asked by friends to go to Perdido Key, Florida, to investigate who killed their friends' son Tim Gannon. The police believe it was suicide.

Tim was an Architect/Engineer in charge of construction of a beachfront condo complex called "The Sand Castle." At a recent party, the balcony of the penthouse unit on the fifteenth floor collapsed killing and injuring people. He tried to help rescue people, but the police feel he was depressed from the collapse.

Greg is not a private investigator, but he was an agent with OSI (the Air Force office of Special Investigations) and an investigator with the DA's office in Nashville. So he has experience.

As Greg starts investigating, he soon finds out there are missing plan, an obstinate contractor, an inspector who is angry over a disrupted love affair, and a very slick developer. Plus Greg is worked over by two thugs. Greg realizes Jill is in danger and that he'd better determine if this is murder and if so, get it solved quickly. But can he do it without either being hurt further or Jill being harmed?

I really enjoyed this book. It was the first in the series that I have read. Jill and Greg are terrific characters, and I would love to read more about them. The Florida setting was very enjoyable as well.

I liked all the twists and turns that the plot takes. It keeps you guessing right up to the end. He does a great job of tying up all the loose ends as well.

I highly recommend this book and look forward to reading more in this series.
Partners Sublime  Jan 17, 2005
Campbell's story is a seamless fabrication deftly enhanced by fact. The plot, unlikely to inspire copycat crimes, is perfectly feasible, and well unfolded. The dialogue that drives the story rings true in every detail; if anything could be added here, I think readers would enjoy longer conversations between the McKenzies, some of whose remarks are definitely collectible.
It can be said of most literary sleuths that they'd be great to have around in a crisis; these characters, should they step off the page, would be welcome visitors anywhere, any time. I finished the book wanting to know more about them.
The author's subtle humor put me in mind of Agatha Christie's "Partners in Crime," but Tommy and Tuppence were contrived as mannequins for parody. There's nothing contrived or imitative about Greg and Jill. Campbell has obviously wrought them from observation and experience, nor has he stinted on the research necessary to guide their footsteps convincingly. I look forward to the next in the series!
A Worthy Read: "Designed To Kill"  Dec 15, 2004
Designed To Kill
By Chester D. Campbell
Durban House Publishing Company, Inc.
ISBN # 1-930754-46-9
Large Trade Paperback
$15.95 US

Following up on his novel "Secret of the Scroll" author Chester D. Campbell brings back Greg McKenzie and his wife Jill for a case that hits too close to home. Both are recuperating from the events of the last book, which are frequently referred to in this novel. Jill is dealing with painful rehab following her surgery for a torn rotator cuff in her left shoulder while Greg is dealing with his guilt over allowing her to be hurt and not being able to prevent it. But all that becomes secondary on the news of the apparent suicide of Tim Gannon.

Tim Gannon was an Architect/Engineer overseeing the construction of a new beachfront condominium complex known as "The Sand Castle" in Perdido Key, Florida. Striking in appearance, it was also striking in a totally different way thanks to a patio collapse from the penthouse unit at the fifteenth floor. The deaths and injuries were soon followed by the discovery of Tim's body in his car at The Gulf Islands National Seashore located nearby.

Found dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot, the news is shocking for the Mckenzies. Not only because he was using their condo at Perdido Key but also because he is the son of their closest friends in Nashville, Sam and Wilma Gannon. From the beginning despite the evidence, Sam believes it is murder and wants a very reluctant Greg to look into it. After all, Greg was an agent with the OSI (the Air Force Office of Special Investigations), an investigator for the DA's office in Nashville, and a few other things.

What the 65-year-old Greg McKenzie does not have is a private investigator license, something the local police locked into their theory of suicide due to guilt over a bad design are quick to repeatedly and firmly point out. But nobody can really stop somebody from asking questions of those involved and all are relatively quick to talk and spin the accepted story. But there are holes and Greg and Jill keep asking questions and working the timeline despite attempts to cover up the evidence. They soon ask too many questions in all the wrong places and quickly find out that the construction business can be murder.

This is a very enjoyable read that relies primarily on detection and not graphic violence to move the story forward. Greg and Jill are both beautifully drawn characters and quickly become, not just alive for the reader, but old and trusted friends. The secondary characters are just as realistic and serve to advance the story at just the right times and places.

The plot itself is by all appearances relatively straightforward for approximately the first half of the book and then begins to twist in strange and unexpected ways. Just when it appears that everything led one way, the author abruptly changes tact and shocked this reader with the identity of the actual killer. After reading quite a few books, mystery and otherwise, over the years, it is rare to see the final twist pulled off so well. Enjoy this one as it is very good stuff, indeed.

Kevin R. Tipple (c) 2004

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