Restitution Review
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Financial scams, revenge, stolen art, friendship, love, and corporate misdeeds all play a part in Lee Vance’s Restitution, a novel that’s reminiscent of a Harrison Ford movie.

The theme is pretty basic: Protagonist Peter Tyler has a one-night stand; Peter Tyler is having marital problems; Peter Tyler’s wife ends up dead; Peter Tyler is the prime suspect in his wife’s death; Peter Tyler must then prove his innocence.

Vance’s first novel is very well written. It has a little bit of everything—thrill, action, suspense, and good characters—and that may keep most readers happy. But this is one complex book, with too many subplots for my liking. Often, too many subplots spoil the book, and therein lies the problem with Restitution. The book’s main plot—solving Tyler’s wife’s murder—becomes secondary, perhaps even tertiary or quaternary, and it’s often lost altogether. For instance, it suddenly becomes more important for Tyler to find a friend who disappeared. And—above all—he’s determined not to let on his one-night-stand lover’s identity, even if that means going to jail for his wife’s murder.

Restitution is a great effort for a first novel, but there’s too much story here, which makes me think that perhaps Vance tried a little too hard the first time around.

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