Samantha Khouri is the daughter of Lebanese immigrants who run a failing grocery store. She has slaved for seven years as an associate in a blue-stocking law firm in Richmond, Virginia, and believes she is on the brink of being made partner. She is wrong.
Carter Pierce is a partner in the firm who makes millions, but his wife and daughters are spending it faster than he can haul it in. Living in a mansion, surrounded by every imaginable luxury, Pierce knows that he cannot pay his bills. He needs to get his hands on some money -- fast.
Julius Wheeler is an ex-con who lives in the projects and works as a janitor for the law firm.
The day before the Christmas holiday, Julius walks into Samantha's office with a $415 million dollar winning lottery ticket. He tells her that people are trying to steal it from him and he and asks the firm to help him find a place to hide over the weekend until he can cash the ticket. He also wants them to help him manage the money.
It's enough money to save Khouri's job, and potentially buy her a partnership.
It's also enough money to kill for -- and there's plenty of killing.
The bad guys are really despicable or at least smarmy, just the way bad guys should be. The good guys are decent people, with believable flaws and interesting quirks. The writing is fast paced, and the action is relentless. The ticket is a little like the Tolkien's ring: It affects every person who touches it, sometimes in surprising ways. Each of the characters navigates the moral and ethical quandaries attendant with possession of the ticket in different and interesting ways.
The ending was fantastic! I did not see it coming until the very last second, and I love it when an author can surprise me with a twist. The only sour note for me was the Epilogue. I'm not a fan of epilogues wrapping up all the loose ends. (I'm one of those readers who doesn't mind loose ends.)
I highly recommend this book, and I hope Kazzie publishes something else soon.
Buy it on Smashwords here.