The Undertaker by William F. Brown
Published: January 2011
If a large man with a gun asked you to explain your obituary, I am sure you would comply.. When you realize, your deceased wife is dragged in to the mess, you might decide to investigate the matter. Peter Talbott has no idea for the dangerous journey ahead of him in his quest to clear his wife's name. A couple days of poking his nose into the matter ends with Peter on the running from the law and the mob. Searching for evidence to shore up his theory, Peter meets Sandy Kazmarcik. Having dragged her into the mess, he feels obligated to keep her safe. Her judo skills, street smarts, and good looks don't hurt either. Stumbling onto evidence of the mob's financial affairs and a conspiracy in the Witness Protection program does nothing to ease Peter's fears. Realizing he cannot trust anyone, Peter figures out a way to expose the conspiracy without ending up dead.
Peter Talbott was a well developed character with a quirky (California style according to other characters in the book) sense of humor. Sandy Kazmarcik was a great foil to Peter and their relationship didn't feel forced to carry a story arc. Some of the baddies were textbook villian -- hick sherriff, wily lawyer, etc. The concept of the novel was well thought out and well played throughout the book. There were some minor editing issues and spelling errors that put me off a bit but overall The Undertaker was a fast paced read. If you like stories about government conspiracies with a dash of romance, this book is a quick and intriguing read.