A terminally ill man sells his life insurance policy for cheap to an investor who will collect the full amount when the sick man dies. But is the sick man really sick? Does he even exist? In the age of AIDS and no-holds-barred capitalism, the business of betting on how much longer sick people will live is thriving. Is this new market in which life insurance policies are bought and sold a legitimate enterprise, or is it an open invitation to fraud and murder?
Carver Hartnett, Miranda Pryor, and Leonard Stillmach all work for Reliable Allied Trust, in Omaha, where they investigate insurance fraud. Carver -- the narrator of this edgy and surprising novel -- is frustrated. His company would rather raise premiums than prosecute insurance criminals. Miranda, his seductive coworker, leads him on and then puts him off -- she seems to have something monstrous to hide. When their friend, crazy Lenny, a computer gamer and an expert with drug-and-alcohol cocktails, dies in the middle of playing Delta-Strike online, a strange and disturbing narrative unfolds around a possible murder and massive insurance fraud. Carver is drawn deeper into various hearts of darkness, and in his efforts to discover the truth behind his friend's death, he ends up betting his own life.
Filled with memorable characterizations -- Carver's boss, the shrewd Old Man Norton; Dagmar Helveg, Norton's fascist assistant; regional investigator Charlie Becker, a plain-talking, commonsense cop -- Bet Your Life conducts a stealthy philosophical investigation of its own, in which our hero ends up investigating the mysteries of his soul.
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Richard Dooling is a writer and a lawyer. His second novel, White Man's Grave, was a finalist for the National Book Award, and he has also been a finalist for a National Magazine Award. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal, among many other publications. He lives with his wife and children in Omaha, and commutes online to Bryan Cave, LLP, in St Louis, where he specializes in developing Web-based legal products.From Library Journal:
"In my line of work, we call it the f-word. Not the familiar obscenity but a close cousin and mercenary variant called fraud." Narrator Carver Harnett's job is to investigate insurance scams for Reliable Allied Trust in Omaha, NE, but it's a thankless task because "fraud runs through the insurance business like waste through a treatment plant," and the company would rather raise premiums on their honest customers than prosecute the fraudulent. When a fellow investigator is fired and later dies mysteriously, Carver discovers that deception and trickery run close to home. Why did the late Lenny Stillmach buy and then sell several life insurance policies worth a half million dollars to Heartland Viatical, a company he was supposed to be investigating? Did Lenny really have AIDS, as he claimed on the insurance applications, or was he involved in some huge con game? And what was his relationship with Miranda Pryor, a sexy co-worker for whom Carver feels unrequited lust? In his third novel, National Book Award finalist Dooling (White Man's Grave) tackles the murky world of viatical insurance ("where investors bet on how fast AIDS victims die") with mixed results. The premise is intriguing and the writing stylish, but the characters are mostly caricatures, and after a while the narrative becomes repetitive, tedious, and at times unbelievable. For larger collections.
Wilda Williams, "Library Journal"
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Vintage, 2004. Paperback. Book Condition: Very Good. Bet Your Life This book is in very good condition and will be shipped within 24 hours of ordering. The cover may have some limited signs of wear but the pages are clean, intact and the spine remains undamaged. This book has clearly been well maintained and looked after thus far. Money back guarantee if you are not satisfied. See all our books here, order more than 1 book and get discounted shipping. . Bookseller Inventory # 7719-9780099448945
Book Description Vintage 05/02/2004, 2004. Book Condition: used-good. Will be shipped promptly from UK warehouse. Book is in good condition with no missing pages, no damage or soiling and tight spine. There may be some dog-eared pages showing previous use but overall a great book. Bookseller Inventory # 9053-9780099448945
Book Description Vintage. Paperback. Book Condition: Good. Minimal damage to cover and binding. Pages show light use. Bookseller Inventory # G0099448947I3N00