• Search
  • Lost Password?
Sharing our love for authors, and the stories they are inspired to tell.

‘The Safety Expert’ by Doug Richardson

SYNOPSIS

Ben Keller lives life by one simple rule. Safety first. Ben is keenly aware of life’s hidden dangers. Ben never smokes. Ben always uses the crosswalk. Ben always drives within the speed limit. He has to be because safety is his business. From his home in Simi Valley, California, one of the safest cities in the United States, Ben works hard at living a perfectly normal, perfectly uneventful, perfectly safe life.

And life is good until the past reaches into the present. In the dark of the night, a man crosses a lonely intersection and is struck by a car, setting events in motion that will unravel the finely stitched strands of Ben’s cocoon, from a recently retired porn actress who is desperate to be a mother to the butch cop determined to shield her young son from the whisperings of the queen bee moms at his private school to the addict who is clawing to hold onto the sobriety which cages the violence within him.

A long dismissed demon has resurfaced, presenting Ben with a most unsafe dilemma: preserve the haven he has carefully built for himself or confront the evildoer who decimated his carefree young life all those years ago.

Ben is in danger. Ben’s world is unsafe. Ben’s life will be changed forever. Again.

DOUG RICHARDSON

Image of author Doug RichardsonDoug Richardson was born in Arcadia, California. The son of a career politician, Doug grew up outside Sacramento and inside the state Capitol. He used to talk his way into then-Governor Ronald Reagan’s office, just to get a handful of jellybeans.

Doug left Northern California for Los Angeles to attend the University of Southern California’s School of Cinema. For as long as he could remember, Doug had wanted to be a movie director. But in pursuing his goal he discovered how movies are really made. In the writing.

After finishing college, Doug signed a two-year contract with Warner Brothers. In 1989 he garnered national attention when his spec screenplay was the first in Hollywood to sell for a million dollars. Doug’s first feature film, the sequel to DIE HARD, DIE HARDER, was produced in 1990. He has since written and produced feature films including the box office smash BAD BOYS and, most recently, HOSTAGE. To date, Doug’s features have grossed over 800 million dollars worldwide.

In 1996, Doug’s debut novel, DARK HORSE, was published by Avon/Morrow in hardcover, followed two years later by his follow up, TRUE BELIEVERS.

Doug Richardson has just completed this, his third novel, THE SAFETY EXPERT. He continues to write and develop for feature films and television.

He lives in Southern California with his wife, two children and three mutts.

Catch up with all the latest news at Doug’s website

Follow Doug on Twitter

Like Doug’s page on Facebook

WORDS FROM THE BOOK

Her boss had a deep wound inside. From that wound he had transformed himself into a human miracle, she thought. A man who had taken the horror from his life and built it into a safe little niche.

It was plain. Both husband and wife were certain they knew the other’s secret. Yet neither knew anything at all.

MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THE BOOK

When ‘Pratt’, a dying convict suddenly decides to have a pang of conscience, his well-meaning actions have a devastating effect on the future of so many, setting off an unstoppable chain reaction of events, which take so many lives into a downward spiral of self-destruction and misery.

Ben, is a model citizen; loving husband, and devoted step-father, existing in his ‘safe’ life, where every action is made only after the considered risk has been analysed and accepted. It isn’t until we discover the horrific demons which haunt Ben’s past life, that we begin to realise just how fragile is the cocoon he has built up around himself and how easily it can shatter into a million pieces, leaving Ben vulnerable once again to his raw feelings and emotions of hatred, revenge and retribution.

When we are first introduced to Stew, it quickly becomes obvious that he has a whole different set of demons all his own, which he battles on a regular daily basis. His naturally violent tendencies and addictions, are only barely controlled, still bubbling away gently, just below the surface veneer of domesticity and respectability he has built up around himself. Repressed memories of his past horrific crimes, are re-played in his mind as always being the ‘other persons’ fault, with himself having been provoked beyond all reason, to carry out the terrible acts of retribution and violence that he has inflicted on so many.

Detective Lydia (Gonzo) Gonzalez, is yet another in a long line of fiction detectives who is trying to juggle the pressures of family life, with the stress and demands of the job and probably achieving neither to their full potential. She makes the fundamental mistake of allowing her heart to rule her head and looses her cool on more than one occasion, only then does she realise that her actions have probably made an already bad situation, much, much worse. In trying to make reparation for her mistakes, her life as well as her career are on the line. Loosing one and narrowly saving the other, forces her to re-evaluate her life and what it really means to her.

The two main supporting players, as this terrible scenario unfolds, are Alex and Pam, Ben and Stew’s respective wives. Although they outwardly appear to be at opposite ends of the social spectrum and are destined never to meet, they are not so different as you might think. Both are determined characters, who will defend their homes and loved ones with their own lives if necessary. Neither however, are strong enough to withstand the combined force of the hatred between their husbands and are powerless to influence the outcome and the effect it will inevitably have on all their futures.

All of the remaining supporting characters are well developed and defined, in a way which is both sympathetic to the overall storyline, yet which is also designed to highlight both their individual strengths and weaknesses.

Ben and Stew, complex and at times almost frightening characters, two men both fighting to keep buried dark memories from the past, controlling demons which, when the layers of the story are peeled back, find them both pushed beyond their limits, hunter and hunted both.

The fast paced storyline flows naturally from one phase to the next, on this horrific roller coaster ride, of high tension and exposed, raw emotions. The storyline is a carefully measured piece of writing, which is equally plot and character driven, creating a finely balanced narrative, which keeps its pace and action right until the very last page. The ending however, did come as something of a surprise and wasn’t quite what I had expected, just one last twist in the tail of this venomous, deadly snake named ‘revenge’.

Given Doug’s hitherto successful screenplay writing career, I think that ‘The Safety Expert’  would definitely,  easily lend itself to being adapted as a screenplay script for a film and even the title sounds fantastic as it is.

‘The Safety Expert’ had me in its grip and on the edge of my seat, from the very first page, to the very last word and even then I didn’t want it to end!

Doug has provided me with a copy of ‘The Safety Expert’, in exchange for me reading and sharing my thoughts. The fact that my copy was gifted, has not influenced, nor in any way will influence in the future, any comments I may  express about the book, in any blog article I may post. Any thoughts or comments are my own personal opinion and I am in no way being monetarily compensated for this, or any other article.

Written by
Yvonne

I can’t remember a time, even as a child, when I haven’t been passionate about books and reading.
I began blogging, when I realised just how many other people out there shared my passion for the written word and I have been continually amazed at the wealth of books that are available and the amount of great new friends I have made, from literally 'The Four Corners Of The World'.

View all articles
Leave a Reply to Nikki-ann Cancel reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

10 comments
    • Hi Nikki,

      ‘The Safety Expert’, was one of the best psychological thrillers I have read in a long time.

      There was non-stop action and although to some extent the outcome was almost inevitable, I still didn’t know which way it was going to go, until the very last minute.

      The ending was also something of a surprise, making it all-in-all, a great read from the very first page to the very last.

      I can thoroughly recommend it to you.

      Thanks for stopping by and I hope that you have a great weekend.

    • Hi Kathy,

      As you can see from Doug Richardson’s biography, he is well versed in the ‘page turner’ qualities of a screen play or book and ‘The Safety Expert’ is no exception.

      I cannot recommend this one highly enough, for any lover of a good psychological thriller.

      Some great characterisations and an excellent plot.

      Thanks for the visit and enjoy the rest of your weekend.

    • Hi Cath,

      It is certainly well worth the read, if you or your husband want a story which is action packed and full of thrills.

      It was no exaggeration to say that it would also make a great film, it just had something about it. I guess the fact that the author is so well known as a scriptwriter, indicates that he will automatically write in a certain style, so perhaps it isn’t so much of a surprise really?

      Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your latest haul of books won’t you?

    • Hello RB,

      Thanks so much for taking the time to visit Fiction Books and leave your comments.

      I enjoy reading them all and they are very much appreciated.

      ‘The Safety Expert’ is definitely a thriller not to be missed.

      Skillfully written, it had just the right amount of suspense and action to keep me enthralled to the very last page and even then, I really didn’t want it to end.

      I shall certainly be seeking out more of Doug’s work, in the not too distant future.

    • Hi Peggy,

      ‘The Safety Expert’ is definitely a great book to look out for, it certainly keeps you on the edge of you seat and never quite sure just who is going to come out on top right until the very end.

      Thanks for visiting and leaving comment, I always love to receive them.

      I shall copy over your comments about ‘The Baggage Handler’ into the relevant discussion if that’s okay?

Written by Yvonne

NetGalley

2016 NetGalley Challenge Professional Reader Goodreads

Emelia is trapped in a marriage of dark secrets and obsession. Now she's determined that everyone will discover the truth...

#TheTruth by @naomijoyauthor is now available to pre-order!

Grab your copy of this gripping psychological thriller here: https://t.co/XAVycZTOpN

Eek! Here it is! Presenting: The Truth. As soon as I had the idea for this story, I couldn't think about anything else until it was written. I'm so excited to share the cover with you today! What do you think?! 💡 ⚡️ 💙 Pre-orders open at https://t.co/fRZ3ChvZy8

Load More...

Archives