This is John Patrick Lamont’s first foray into the literary world, and in fact is the first of an expected trilogy using the same characters and plot line. The authors background is in the life insurance business and indeed it is this subject that is explored in the plot.

In many ways this is a timely book, based on the recent banking scandals. It takes us inside a fictitious Life Insurance corporation, The Titanic Insurance Company Of Kansas, a company with a long and illustrious history, and much respected in the industry. But looks can be deceiving, the external veneer gives way to a rather seedy organization from the insiders perspective.

The Worst Kind Of Lies is written through the eyes of several people, Agents, Managers, Upper Management, and Board Members. Each has an agenda, and that agenda has little to do with providing service to its customers. There is one common theme though, greed. Everyone is in it for the money.

The agents sell inappropriate policies, the managers inflate the sales numbers, Upper management practice creative accounting, and the Board sits by and merrily watches the stock price increase. But it is a house of cards, one puff of ill wind and the house will collapse.

There are a precious few people in the company that see through the fog and while they do not have all of the pieces to the puzzle it is clear that all is not right.

The Insurance regulators are also concerned, and sniffing around.

CEO Felix Hurdsman’s world starts to unravel when one of his handwritten memo’s accidentally ends up being sent to a branch office. The memo is a hot potato and one that needs to be found. Potentially it went to one of three offices, the most likely being Milltown, Iowa, Hurdsman sends his hatchet man or rather hatchet woman Cerbere Kuislane to investigate under the guise of an announcement meeting.

Kuislane is well known for her lethal style and certainly ruffles a number of feathers in her quest, but does not discover the memo. The hunt is on.

One man in particular smells something bad in the Kuislane air and starts to dig around on his own. Ted Fisher is a sales manager, and for the most part an unhappy one. Frustrated with the constant and unrealistic demands coming from head office he starts to suspect that something big is afoot. An honorable man Ted is concerned that the customers are being milked for their nest eggs, many of the products being sold by the agents are not only inappropriate but also worthless.

Meanwhile back in head office Hurdsman and Kuislane still need to retrieve the memo and concoct a scheme to get the Milltown employees to attend a sales junket in Caracas for the sole purpose of investigating who has this poisonous piece of paper.

John Lamont is off to a good start in the literary world, however at over 500 pages The Worst Kind Of Lies may be a little on the meaty side for some readers.  He also wanders into the technical world of insurance in a couple of spots. While it is important for an author to explain technical aspects of a story, I think he should have found a better vehicle for that explanation, the expert to expert dialog used means that he is making an assumption that the reader has at least a basic knowledge of the subject. I think it would have been more effective had he used an expert to neophyte relationship, maybe husband to wife, or girlfriend to boyfriend.

All in all, The Worst Kind Of Lies is worth a look, I will be interested to see how book two of the series comes out. You can get your copy from Amazon. The author also has a web site.

Simon Barrett

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