Cheryl E. Rodriguez

Cheryl E. Rodriguez for Readers’ Favorite – Five Star review

Preston Wilson, being the “icon” of luxury cars, embarks on the fight of his life in James J Kaufman’s The Conciliators. The Russian mob infiltrates the New York banking system. Wilson’s new found daughter, Katherine Kelly, an investigative journalist, breaks the news of the fraud. She is unaware, however, of the depth and reach of her story. Preston’s CFO and lifetime friend, Austin Disley, is arrested for his involvement in the scam, thus implicating Wilson Holdings in BNA bank fraud. Completely ignorant of his friend’s involvement, Wilson is interrogated by the FBI. Blindsided! Betrayed! Wilson brings in loyal friends and shareholders to save his company and reputation. But, this effort could be too little too late. As both Kat and Preston dig deeper into the scandal, their lives begin to crumble around them. Death. Explosions. Secret wire taps. Will love and devotion stand strong, bearing witness to the truth or a tangled web of lies? With the help of The Collectibles, can Preston and Katherine reconcile the past, seize control of the present, and bring hope into their future?

Never being one who reads the last page of a book first, I was hesitant to read The Conciliators, the final book of James J Kaufman’s trilogy since I had not read the first two books of The Collectibles series. Although there were brief moments where I felt like I was missing information, Kaufman did a great job bringing preceding details into the present action. The Conciliators is resourcefully written, full of intrigue and profound one-liners, making it an enjoyable read. I especially took pleasure in the music metaphors woven into the narrative. Tragedy often brings awareness to the level of futility and selfishness in a person’s life. Knowing this, Kaufman captured the heart and soul of his characters by blending their personal lives with their career choices, making them well-rounded and realistic. Furthermore, he effectively explains the characters’ backgrounds and how they are linked together. The climactic unexpected explosion took the plot action up several notches, adding suspense to the legal drama. Kaufman took his years of legal experience and penned a captivating dramatic thriller. The Conciliators reconciles the past, bringing a satisfying end to the trilogy: “Sometimes it takes a long, hard storm to appreciate a clear day.”

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