Saturday, December 8, 2012

Dianne’s Dilemma by John Russo

Single and nearing thirty-six, Dianne Evans, computer specialist for the US Justice Department, is a compulsive perfectionist. Discovering missing material from one of the files she was transposing into the department’s new database, she was reluctant to bring it to the attention of Sam Goldman, her new supervisor, and with good reason. She had recently been transferred to Justice from IRS after she insisted that there was an inaccuracy in the new IRS auditing program she had been working on. Her IRS supervisor had disagreed and, rather than put up with Dianne’s insistence that the program was flawed, arranged to have Dianne, whom she considered to be a troublemaker, transferred with excellent references to the Justice Department where they desperately needed programmers with high security clearance.

Sam Goldman, Dianne’s new supervisor, was happy to get her. Approaching retirement, Sam felt the transposing of Justice’s files into the new database would be the largest assignment of his career, and most likely the last. Dianne’s obsession with accuracy could only benefit the program.

Partway into the transposition, Dianne discovered an empty file with the heading “M. Brutus.” She tried unsuccessfully to ignore it and continue, but she couldn’t let go. How could she proceed when she was responsible for the work? It had to be accurate. Gathering up the sections of the material she was copying that had omissions, she went directly to Goldman’s office. When she pointed out the file with the missing data, he recognized that it was an active WITSEC (Witness Security Program) file. This was the beginning of Dianne’s dilemma and the dangerous consequences that caused a threat to her life and the start of a lasting romance.

I love a good mystery.  This book was a bit like Columbo.  You knew from the beginning who was stalking Dianne over this file, but you didn’t know exactly why this file caused such a flap until the end.  Nor did you know whether she would survive.  After all…curiosity killed the cat.  On the other hand, to pull out all the adages, cats have nine lives, and Dianne starts to seem awfully cat-like toward the end of the book when she survives more than one attempt on her life.

Dianne’s Dilemma was a pretty good read and it did keep me turning the pages, but I also tended to yell at her stalker.  Which part of harassing the woman kept her on the case did he not get?  Every time she decided to let it go and move on, he did something else to her or someone around her that made her mad, caused her to think something else must be going on, and dig deeper.  If he’d just left her alone, she would have turned the thing over to her boss and dropped it.  But then, I guess Mr. Russo wouldn’t have had a book.  Again, it didn’t stop me from yelling at my Kindle.

Length:  168 Pages
Price:  $5.50


In the past if you clicked on the cover art in the right column, a link took you to the book’s buy page.  In 2013, I plan to change the links so they take you to the book’s review on this site.  The buy links are always included in my reviews.  That way, if you’ve missed one and the cover looks intriguing, you can see what I said about it and still follow the buy link in the review.  Thanks for visiting.  RIW.

You’ll notice I always include the publisher’s buy link.  That’s because authors usually receive 40% of the book price from the publisher.  Editors and cover artists usually receive about 5%.  When you buy a book from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or another third-party vendor, they take a hefty cut and the author, editors and cover artists receive their cuts from what is left.  So, if a book costs $5.99 at E-Book and you buy from there, the author will receive about $2.40.  If you buy the book at Amazon, the author will receive about $0.83.

Downloading the file from your computer to your Kindle is as easy as transferring any file from your computer to a USB flash drive.  Plug the USB end of your chord into a USB port on your computer and simply move the file from your “Downloads” box to your Kindle/Documents/Books directory.  I actually download my books using “Save As” to a “Books” file I created on my computer that’s sorted by my publisher, friends, and books “to review,” and then transfer them to my Kindle from there.  That way, if there’s a glitch with my Kindle, the books are on my computer.  Your author will be happy you did when he/she sees his/her royalty statement.

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