Book Review: When The Devil Whistles

7 May

DevilWhistles-JPEG1-194x300Allie Whitman and Connor Norman loved making the devils of the corporate world pay. Now, it’s their turn. And the price could be their lives.

“I didn’t have a choice. I didn’t.” That’s what Allie Whitman tells herself every night as she lies awake. Sometimes she even believes it. But mostly she knows deep down that her inability to make a hard choice has put millions of lives at risk, including her own. Now the only one who can help her is her lawyer, Connor Norman. Unfortunately, Allie’s actions have destroyed Connor’s trust in her—and may destroy much, much more.



Rick-Acker-300x197Rick Acker writes novels during his commute to and from his “real job” as a Deputy Attorney General in the California Department of Justice. His unit prosecutes corporate fraud lawsuits of the type described in his new book, When the Devil Whistles, which award-winning author Colleen Coble describes as “a legal thriller you won’t want to miss!”

Rick has led confidential investigations into a number of large and sensitive cases that made headlines in and out of California. Before joining DOJ, Rick was a senior litigator at the international law firm of Bingham McCutchen, where he worked extensively on the multi-billion dollar Executive Life case, which led to the indictment of several French executives and high-level diplomatic strains between the U.S. and France.Rick has law degrees from the University of Oslo and the University of Notre Dame, where he graduated with honors. In addition to his novels, he is a contributing author on two legal treatises published by the American Bar Association.

When Rick isn’t writing or lawyering, you can usually find him with his wife, Anette, and their four children. They’ll be exploring in the hills east of San Francisco, watching a good movie together, or, of course, reading.

Rick is a transplanted Chicagoan who spent thirty-five years in the Midwest before finally trading the certainty of winter and mosquitoes for the risk of earthquakes. He now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife, Anette, their four children, and two cats.


My Impressions:

I am slowly making my way through the many books I have downloaded on my Kindle. It is hard to resist a bargain, but I have so many I am not sure I will ever be able to read them all! To whittle the pile down, I am randomly choosing books. I just finished When The Devil Whistles by Rick Acker. A legal suspense/international thriller, the book was just the ticket for a fast-paced escape novel.

Allie Whitman is a professional whistle blower who, through her company Devil to Pay, provides the California Department of Justice with evidence on companies that cheat in their state contracts. Her attorney, Connor Norman, loves helping Allie bring down corrupt businessmen. But Allie gets in over her head when her cover is blown and she is blackmailed into investigating a marine salvage and construction contractor. What starts as a look into some cooked books becomes a deadly game involving foreign governments and terror plots.

As a legal suspense novel, When The Devil Whistles follows a standard formula, but Acker diverts from the expected when he introduces terrorists, nuclear weapons and a twisting plot that has the reader guessing. Yes, the plot is a bit implausible (how does the US government not know there is a Soviet-era nuclear sub on the bottom of the sea floor off the west coast?), but it is not so different from action adventures so popular in theaters. I liked the twisting action and I liked the characters. I took the plot devices at face value and just went with the story. The biggest negative in many of the reviews I read was that the book was blatantly Christian, which annoyed or disgusted some of its detractors. What I found was a book with some Christian characters and others not. The  Christians were never preachy. In fact their faith was exhibited in natural ways — they prayed or spoke of God’s help. I would say the message portrayed was subtle.

When The Devil Whistles was a fun, quick read and I would definitely read another by Acker.


(I purchased this book for my Kindle. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

To purchase this book, click on the image below.

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