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Final Stroke [Hardcover]

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Item description for Final Stroke by Michael Beres...

Retired government agents cling to a decades-old secret that could wreak havoc on the United States political system.When astroke victim related to a high-profile mobster dies mysteriously at a Chicago rehabilitation facility, afellow rehab patient and former detective launches his own investigation. But when hiswife tries to help him, she is kidnapped, and soonother victims emerge.The mob, family legacies, health-care scams, a troubled environment, crooked politics, and federal agents are all linked to the escalating violence surroundingSaint Mel in the Woods Rehabilitation Facility.

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Item Specifications...

Pages   512
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 9.1" Width: 6.1" Height: 1.9"
Weight:   1.85 lbs.
Binding  Hardcover
Release Date   Oct 1, 2007
Publisher   Medallion Press
ISBN  1932815953  
ISBN13  9781932815955  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael Beres

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Michael Beres is the author of "Final Stroke," "Grand Traverse," "The President's Nemesis," "Sunstrike," and many award-winning short stories. He lives in Free Soil, Michigan.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > General
3Books > Subjects > Mystery & Thrillers > Thrillers > General

Reviews - What do customers think about Final Stroke?

"He was unwilling to let things go."  Jan 28, 2008
"Final Stroke," by Michael Beres, focuses on Steve Babe, a fifty-three year old former Chicago cop and private investigator who has suffered an ischemic stroke (resulting from an obstruction in a blood vessel) that damaged the left portion of his brain. "Everything's still there, but torn up and mixed around in the soup." Steve is trying to regain strength on his right side and recover his ability to communicate at St. Mel in the Woods Rehabilitation Facility, nicknamed "Hell in the Woods." As things stand, Steve has difficulty coming up with words and his memory is filled with holes. Fortunately, Jan, his beautiful and devoted wife of ten years, is at his side every day and the physical, occupational, and speech therapists are doing their best to rehabilitate Steve and his fellow "strokers," as he affectionately calls them.

Steve becomes agitated when he learns that Marjorie Gianetti, a fellow resident at St. Mel's, supposedly slipped on a puddle and subsequently died. In rehab, Marjorie had told Steve about scams at St. Mel's and details of her late husband's activities as a mob kingpin. Although Marjorie often spoke incomprehensibly, Steve got the idea that she was relating some important information to him if he could only decipher it. His instincts tell him that Marjorie did not die as the result of an unfortunate accident, but was murdered to keep her from telling others what she knew. Although he has his hands full trying to piece his own mind and body back together again, Steve decides look into Marjorie's death. Since he has limited mobility and has difficulty speaking intelligibly, Steve enlists his wife's aid in this investigation.

The idea of a stroke patient seeking justice for a homicide victim is intriguing. Beres poignantly conveys the helplessness and frustration of men and women who cannot say what they mean and who are dependent on the kindness of health care workers and relatives to assist them while they try to relearn all that they once knew. Unfortunately, the second half of this five-hundred page novel does not do justice to its engrossing premise. As the narrative progresses, a slew of nasty and not-very bright hoodlums and a pair of aging government operatives emerge from the woodwork to find out what Jan and Steve know about stolen drug money and political corruption at the highest levels. The final chapters are crammed with action, including kidnapping, car chases (more like a demolition-derby), a shootout, and mass confusion at Hell in the Woods. Some of the proceedings are mildly humorous, but they are neither credible nor particularly involving. The author would have us believe that in Steve's debilitated condition (his right hand and leg are extremely weak and his thoughts are often jumbled), he could be focused and tough enough to rescue Jan from a bunch of ruthless gangsters. "Final Stroke" might have worked better with a tighter plot and more clearly delineated characters. As it stands, Beres loses control of his story and it ends up being more silly than satisfying.
readers will appreciate this character driven whodunit   Jun 10, 2007
In Chicago former police detective Steve Babe recovers from a left brain stroke at Saint Mel in the Woods Rehabilitation Facility, affectionately known by the residents as "Hell in the Woods". His wife Jan visits Steve all time trying to help him recover. For the most part he is doing better, but speaking is difficult as communication is easier by using a computer.

When his best friend at the joint octogenarian right stroke victim Marjorie Gianetti, a mobster's widow, dies in an accidental fall, Steve has problems with discrepancies in what he knew of her and how the accident occurred. He begins investigating by sneaking down to the scene of crime where the puddle of pee that Marjorie slipped on remains. After the finger-mouth taste, he knows the liquid is water and begins to believe murder occurred. As he gets in trouble with Washington, an aide at the rehab facility who is selling stolen equipment through a fence, Flat Nose, tries to pretend stupidity caused by the stroke. When Washington dies, Steve realizes that someone wants to silence witnesses, but to what and who remains outside his scope even as he uses his wife to assist him in uncovering the truth behind Marjorie's murder not understanding that the connection is as far away as the Everglades and retired Feds.

The investigation by the Babes and the Feds domestic spying take a back seat to the deep look into recovering stroke victims. The communication between the Babes is incredible especially the patience of both as it must be frustrating to not be able to say what you mean to the transmitter and to the receiver. Although there is perhaps too much going on in the background (though not explored to any intruding depth), readers will appreciate this character driven whodunit starring a unique pairing of an amateur sleuth and a left brain stroke former cop.

Harriet Klausner

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