As the story opens, we meet 60-something widow Rachel Resnick who has returned to New York City for her Aunt Lillian’s funeral. Since Rachel has recently moved away this is a time not just for mourning her favorite aunt’s passing but for reconnecting with the dear friends who form her support network. Enter Jimmy Raconti, her aunt’s next door neighbor and erstwhile handyman who seems just a bit shady. He lives with his mom Millie who was recently keeping Aunt Lil company in the evenings. The plot thickens when Rachel finds a cache of uncut diamonds that her aunt had alluded to but that no one had ever seen. Since Rachel is the sole heir of her aunt, these now belong to her. What follows is a twisty story of several con artists and scammers who try to get their hands on the diamonds. With each passing day Rachel is in every-growing danger from these underworld types. But our hero, Detective Daniel Berger, arrives on the scene. Being of the same age as Rachel he is drawn to her and her to him. And a good thing, too. Because things are getting precarious for Rachel.
This story of mature love wrapped in a suspenseful cop and robber story read like the script to a 1980s Rockford Files or Magnum, P.I. episode. Don’t get me wrong – I enjoyed both of those shows. However, as a novel that tried to engage the reader I think it fell a bit flat. Granted there was a lot of activity going on but none of it was compelling in a page-turning way. There were times when I had to force myself back to reading just to make sure the character of Rachel turned out okay. My one major criticism, however, is that the ending seemed rushed. In one chapter we have the two detectives trying to put together a sting operation and in the very next, and last chapter, we are given a summary of what has transpired and how the story ends. I tried to like the characters but none of them were well-defined and they didn’t stay with me. Sadly, this could have been a great read with some more in-depth character building and a bit more tension.
Bamboozled has earned three stars from this reviewer for its effort to entertain.
Note: I received a copy of the ebook from the author in exchange for my honest review.