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Death and Downsizing
by Walt Lamberg

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Death and Downsizing

Mid October 1995 in Baltimore City, the work week starts off pleasantly enough, as though mocking the mood of fear and anxiety over crime and the economy. In spite of a national economic upturn, the city continues to hemorrhage jobs as corporations downsize or move to the suburbs. Tuesday morning, Howard Carlton Nobel, Jr., president and chief executive officer of Baltech, Inc., is found dead in his office, his head cut off by his own samurai sword, a memento of his trip to Tokyo. The homicide detectives assigned to the case make an odd, but effective team: Joseph Isaacson is one part dedicated police officer, one part Jewish standup comedian (there is much humor in the novel), and one part scholar. Unmarried, a bit of a swinger, he loves the old neighborhoods and institutions of Baltimore City. His younger partner and friend, Daniel Burns, is a quiet family man, Roman Catholic, conservative, a black man who prefers suburbia. The case starts off with the detectives confronted by too many possible suspects: over one hundred laid off workers, current employees with grievances, the housekeeping crew, the CEO’s wife, and a sword-wielding madman, who dumps a headless corpse at the Baltimore Zoo. Isaacson’s gut instinct tells him to focus on the CEO’s vice presidents. The detectives find themselves wandering through a bureaucratic maze of corporate politics, greed, sex, lies, and one curious videotape. The reality of the CEO’s character remains elusive. Was he a modern, pragmatic businessman; or a dreamer, obsessed with bushido, the medieval code of the samurai warrior? How precisely did the CEO die? And exactly what was his alluring female vice president up to? The detectives (and the reader) do not find answers to these questions until the very end of the novel

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indie author Walt Lamberg
    

Walt Lamberg is a writer, editor, songwriter, and veteran living near Baltimore, Maryland. He served a 13-month tour of duty with the 2nd Infantry Division, in South Korea. He has published a murder mystery novel set in Baltimore in the 1990s, a novel series about family, a contemporary fiction short story collection with nine stories, a short story set in Vietnam, two short stories about musicians, two collections of song lyrics and lyric poems, and a work of literary analysis. He is also publishing a series of single short stories about life in the Army from 1968 to 1970. The stories take place in South Korea; Fort Holabird, Maryland; Fort Jackson, South Carolina; Fort Dix, New Jersey; and Ypsilanti, Michigan. He was an editor of the screenplay for the film "Casualties of the State," produced by Corner Film Productions. He also was the editor of the book "Casualties of the State: The Shooting Script: Featuring Behind the Scenes with the Filmmakers," co-authored by Alan Lamberg and Jeremy Cropf. He has also co-authored a college textbook for Rand McNally and an elementary/middle school grammar workbook series for Steck-Vaughn. He is the author of a high school workbook series on basic writing skills for Media Materials.

Other Books By Walt Lamberg

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A Real Piece of Work

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A Little Taste of the Good Times

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For the Indie Author: Writing To

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Like Totally Cool

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When Hirsch Came Home from the W

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