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St. Barts Breakdown.

St. Barts Breakdown

Don Bruns

Oceanview Publishing

61 Paradise Road, Ipswich, MA 01938

ISBN 9781933515120, $24.95, 2008, (978) 356-1897,

"St. Barts Breakdown" is a murder mystery-thriller about Danny Murtz, a drug and alcohol-addicted psychopathic killer. Murtz is a wealthy record producer, who believes he is "Rock God."

Murtz has an attorney, Harvey Schwartz, whom Murtz pays huge sums of money to dispose of and cover up all evidence of his crimes. Schwartz receives millions of dollars for his services to Murtz, and he is very good at cleaning up his messes. Murtz does not like or treat Schwartz well, and Schwartz demands more and more money. It is a vicious circle of dislike and distrust.

When things get too hot for Murtz in Chicago, he flees to his home in St. Barts Island, in the Caribbean, where the local police say there is no crime, because they want no bad publicity--just tourist dollars. Therefore, they explain everything away as accidents.

St. Bart is a beautiful island paradise, with breathtaking views, good food, and lovely tropical drinks. Mr. B is a bartender who knows a great deal about the island ways and people. He mixes a great Strawberry Daiquiri, and the recipe is in the front of the book. It sounds so delicious even non-drinkers may want to try this one!

A Chicago Tribune reporter, Mick Sever, follows Murtz to St. Barts to get an interview with him. Sever also investigates and tries to get evidence of Murtz's murders and crimes, thereby putting himself into great danger. Murtz and his attorney, Harvey Schwartz, try to get rid of Sever several times, but always fail.

Danny Murtz's mind and body are deteriorating rapidly because of his cocaine and alcohol addition. He seems to spend most of his time doing the drugs and drinking, and his mind is often so foggy he can't remember much. The cocaine also causes him to have a hair-trigger temper, and he becomes increasingly paranoid, trusting nobody, even his attorney and long-suffering secretary, Nancy. Murtz does not even realize how much he depends on Nancy and Schwartz for almost everything.

Eventually, Murtz even wants to "clean house," and get rid of Schwartz and Nancy, along with several women who know too much. Murtz does not realize he cannot survive without Schwartz. There is increasing violence in the book, and the end is not surprising. "St. Barts Breakdown" is a book about a totally wasted life, despite fame and fortune. It is also a lesson to everyone how drugs and alcohol destroy lives. Another lesson the book teaches is that paradise islands are not always what they seem to be. There is very little safety and protection there, despite the great beauty.

Reviewed by Audrey Larson for Rebeccas Reads
COPYRIGHT 2008 Midwest Book Review
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Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Author:Larson, Audrey
Publication:MBR Bookwatch
Article Type:Book review
Date:Mar 1, 2008
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