Bob Patterson considers himself an Everyman - albeit an Everyman with a rich, beautiful wife, two good kids, and a mail-it-in job that ignores his law degree. Despite his good fortune, Bob is idling through life, bored at work and at home. In short, he is the proverbial Coaster.Read more...
Bob Patterson considers himself an Everyman - albeit an Everyman with a rich, beautiful wife, two good kids, and a mail-it-in job that ignores his law degree. Despite his good fortune, Bob is idling through life, bored at work and at home. In short, he is the proverbial Coaster.
Bob's wife, Sarah, is the anointed heir to the empire built by her father, Sam, a kind of Kansas City, Missouri, Warren Buffet. Fine by Bob, the family soccer mom. But early one morning he and Sarah awake to terrible news.
Sam's death reveals he appointed Bob to be the trustee of his personal fortune and, as the IRS currently has it, he'll be in charge of his mother-in-law's money. Even more terrifying, Bob realizes he faces the prospect of actually working all day, for stakes that matter.
Is the reappearance of Bob's wildest fraternity brother from college and a proposal from a bland businessman with a plan that seems too good to be true mere coincidence? A businessman who refuses to take No for an answer. After a lifetime of choosing the path of least resistance, will Bob finally take a stand when his family needs him most? If so, where?
Bob peppers his story with sports and pop culture references and wry commentary on everything from the sex lives of married couples (such as they are) to the enormous cost of being "honored" at a charitable event. Bob knows what the hero should do in the situations he encounters (he's read the books and seen the movies, too). He doesn't have "a very particular set of skills" or a secret past in the Special Forces. He's just a regular guy who handles extreme pressure and threats to his family about like you'd expect (not well). It's going to take all he's got (really, more than he's got) to raise his game. Fortunately he's got an ace-in-the-hole...at home.
Darkly comic, The Coaster turns the conventions of the mystery/suspense genre upside down.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2016-05-30
- Reviewer: Staff
Wurster salts his first novel, a tale of greed and mayhem, with an ironic and engaging commentary on the foibles of modern mankind. Bob Patterson is a pleasant incompetent whose greatest achievement until this story begins was marrying well. On the sudden death of his father-in-law, a Kansas City, Mo., business mogul, Bob is unexpectedly appointed executor of the extensive estate instead of his supercompetent wife, Sarah. When erstwhile fraternity buddy Dave “Corny” Cornwallis unaccountably visits, and a slick salesman, Tom Swanson, pushes a business proposal that turns out to be too good to be true, events rapidly churn into a whirlpool of criminal madness. Bob finds inner resources he never knew he had as one ordeal presages the next, even more dire calamity. But with Sarah’s help, Bob manages to cope and survive. There are perhaps a few too many discourses on the absurd aspects of society and the human condition, plus a noticeable plot hole or two, but all in all Wurster has delivered an exciting and enjoyable read. (Aug.)