Synopses & Reviews
No Regrets, No Remorse, winner of the first Poisoned Pen Press Discover Mystery Contest.
Sydney Simone, wounded herself, is dedicated to helping via a cloaked website and identity those whose wrongs can’t be righted by orthodox means. First she verifies the client’s story; then she accepts payment: half up front, half on completion of her work. Usually it’s a form of human pest control.
For cover, Sydney works as an assistant at the Rose Madder Gallery in West Palm Beach run by Oscar Leopold. Oscar, a sculptor, has left his law practice behind. But now his former partner Roy is arrested for murdering Big Jack, an attorney with a sleazy television advertising presence. At the same time Sydney is dealing with a client who has seemingly penetrated her defenses and demands she complete a job—rubbing out Big Jack.—an assignment where she has accepted, and pocketed, an unusually large fee. So now Sydney the client gives Sydney a new target and Sydney switches gears: dedicated to saving herself, Oscar, and Roy, even as she continues to operate HumanPestControl.com.
Teaming with Oscar isn’t easy since she can’t tell him all she knows, but soon their investigation leads to a complex insurance fraud scheme that implicates Roy – perhaps he really is guilty. But Oscar becomes an investigative target himself and is arrested, then kidnapped and assaulted as he tries to find the true killer.
The story ranges from the corporate offices of South Florida to the backwaters of the panhandle. The bad guys are dangerous and desperate to keep their careers, their freedom, even their lives. Oscar and Sydney, their own lives and livelihoods at stake, must up their game—Sydney may even have to reveal her game—to survive.
"Smooth prose makes up in part for the lack of likable characters in Sharp's debut, winner of the first Poisoned Pen Press Discovery Mystery Award. Attorney Oscar Leopold sets out to defend his former law partner, Roy Flagler, against a murder charge after 'Big Jack' Burdine, an unscrupulous Palm Beach, Fla., lawyer, dies in a boat explosion and suspicion falls on Roy, who was having an affair with Jack's wife. Oscar turns for help to his former lover and current roommate, Sydney Simone, who, unbeknownst to him, secretly runs Human Pest Control, a business in which she eliminates those she considers the scum of the earth. Sydney, a tough young woman with piercings, attitude, and skewed morals, will remind many of Larsson's Lisbeth Salander. The more mild-mannered Oscar comes off as a rather wimpy fellow, whose most daring act is to aggressively smoke in a nonsmoking restaurant." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Ronald Farrington Sharp practiced law for 34 years and has been a professional sculptor for even longer. He now writes and sculpts in his studio on the beach in Florida where he lives with his wife, the artist Susannah Keith, and their standard poodle, Puccini. His sculpture is featured in the collections of two dozen major universities throughout the country. He is also the author of two non-fiction books in the legal field, Winning the Divorce War, and Living Trusts for Everyone.