Recently I wrote a book report on Tacoma author Burr B. Anderson’s second book, High Seas Darkness.
I promised my readers I was going to read Mr. Anderson’s first book, The Drummer, and when finished I would write another book report.
The other day I settled into my comfortable den reading chair, put my feet up on the ottoman and cracked open The Drummer. Burr Anderson amazed me with how he was able to rivet my attention and leave me begging for more all within a tight two page first chapter.
I know you will find this hard to believe, but remember I am old enough to qualify for the phrase, “The Life and Times of Joe Boyle”.
One of my life adventures was working for ten years in the insurance business during and after college. In the early 1960s I spent time with a wonderful mentor by the name of Garrison D. Haines at Robinson Jenner Insurance Brokerage – Valu-Mart Insurance Division. Valu-Mart was owned by the Weisfield family and was much like Costco today. Valu-Mart was located in what is our present day Pierce County Annex.
In my last two years of college I had the opportunity to become a Kemper scholar. May I hasten to disclose that being a Kemper Scholar did not mean I was an intellectual. It did mean I sweet talked Kemper Insurance into paying my junior and senior years tuition at the University of Puget Sound. I worked for James S. Kemper Agency in Chicago the summer of 1965. After graduating from college I racked up 7 years service with New York Life Insurance in Tacoma as a sales representative and estate planner.
Why am I telling you this? Because the subject of life insurance is woven into the fabric of Burr Anderson’s first book. The story that takes place is made possible by a violation of an old insurance principle called “insurable interest”. Namely, when a new insurance policy is taken out, the named beneficiary normally has a desire for the insured to live as long as possible. In this story, the beneficiary wants the insured to die as soon as possible. How can that be? A background in insurance is not required for you to enjoy reading The Drummer, but with my explanation of insurable interest you will find the book interesting on a different level.
With Burr Anderson’s permission, I am going to share Chapter 1 with you in its entirety.
The Drummer – Burr B. Anderson
Villa Park, CA
He turned the corner at Mesa Drive and walked in the direction of Canyon Circle. This was the third time that he had been on Canyon Circle and after a hundred visits to this street on Google Satellite Maps, he felt like he was in his own neighborhood. The target house was just a few homes ahead and was on the right side of the quiet street. It was a typical Villa Park home, ranch style, on a winding street with no sidewalks. Sunset was several hours earlier and the sky was partially cloudy. His right hand went deep into his jacket’s pocket as he fingered the plastic bag.
Villa Park is the smallest incorporated city in Orange County, California. Completely surrounded by the City of Orange, Villa Park is only a little more then two square miles in size. The city does not have its own police department, but has it’s public safety needs served by the Orange County Sheriff Department.
A final glance around the neighborhood indicated that he was alone on Canyon Circle. After taking a few more steps he spotted the boxwood hedge and large trunk of a palm tree that he had already selected as a staging area. Trying to be as casual as possible he stepped behind the hedge and found him positioned behind the palm and finally out of site.
The plastic bag was pulled from his jacket and it’s contents spread on the dirt between the five-foot hedge and palm tree. As he knelt down on a piece of plastic that had been in the bag, he felt the pressure from the silencer that he had taped to his thigh under his faded wrangler jeans. Almost 8 inches long, the AAC Evolution suppressor would lower the sound of a gunshot by about 40 decibels. He mentally reviewed his checklist — preparation, staging, the hit, escape and evidence destruction.
From his hiding spot he had a clear view of the front door and at the same time he could see down Canyon Circle. All was clear. Dogs were not going to be an issue.
Using a prepaid cell phone he had phoned the Dupree home last week and identified himself as an officer with Orange County Animal Care. He questioned the homeowner about dogs in the home that needed a current license. Satisfied that dogs were a non-issue he had pulled the sim card and burned the phone and card in his barbecue.
Working in the shadows of the large palm tree, he pulled the silencer from his left pant leg and in a calm and deliberate manner he organized surgical gloves, three envelopes and a cell phone. After giving the street another glance, he pulled from a Galco shoulder holster a Glock 37. He liked the Glock 37 because it gave him the punch of the .45 caliber but had a grip that was smaller then most .45 cal. handguns. When he put on the gloves he was careful to pull them up and over his right coat sleeve. There probably is not a person left on earth who does not understand gun shot residue. Screwing the Evolution suppressor to the barrel of the Glock was done without any problems. The tape and plastic bag were all gathered up and he gave the area a final clean up.
Now standing behind the palm he tucked the three envelopes under his arm while he opened the prepaid cell. His right hand carefully held the Pistol and it’s ten rounds of 200 grain Speer Gold Dot 45GAP ammo.
Anticipating that it would be difficult to use the small prepaid with gloves, he had earlier entered the Dupree home number into the speed dial. After pushing the two key and send button he then took a deep breath and a slowly exhaled to bring his heart rate back down. In just a few seconds old man Dupree would answer his phone. Other than an involuntary tick, which caused his head to jerk to the right, he was ready.
End of chapter.
There you have it, Chapter 1 brought to you by Burr Anderson and Joe Boyle free of charge. If you would like to read Chapters 2 – 66, please support our local Tacoma author buy purchasing your own autographed copy. (Note: “buy purchasing” = an intentional language arts error that serves as a subliminal message used to promote a spike in book purchases.)
Burr Anderson is quick to report that while his first book is jam packed with mystery, action and surprises, it is also jam packed with writing errors. It is his first book. I submit that an imperfect first book that gets published and becomes an entertaining read is better than a perfect book in someone’s head that never gets published. Besides, most readers will be so captivated by Burr Anderson’s story, they will not notice tiny errors that an icky picky writer-guy like me would find. I loved the book. Once you pick up a Burr Anderson book, you will have a hard time putting it down. That is the opposite of my first book where once you put down a Joe Boyle book, you have a hard time picking it back up.
To buy your own copy utilize one of the following resources.
(1) Author Direct.
Autographed hardback — $25.00 including tax, shipping and handling.
Autographed soft-cover — $18.00 including tax, shipping and handling.
(2) Amazon Books – Hard cover, soft cover & Kindle edition.
(3) Barnes and Noble – Hard cover, soft cover & Nook edition.
What’s next? Burr Anderson is writing his third book. You may want to read the first two books so you do not fall too far behind. I dare not tell you much, but I can tell you Brick Morgan, from his second book, will be highly involved in another good versus evil thriller. How does it end? Even Burr Anderson will not have that answer until he writes his final chapter.
If you wish to learn more. click my link to Burr Anderson’s Future Projects.