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Publisher's Summary

Suppose it were legal to gamble on the time someone else is going to die. It is, if you invest in a life insurance product called a viatical. 
When the sister of a law firm client dies in her sleep of carbon monoxide poisoning because of an apparently malfunctioning hot water heater, third year law student Elliot Lerner is asked to determine whether anyone could be held responsible in a wrongful death lawsuit. As he looks into the circumstances surrounding the death, he learns about viatical settlements -- investment products designed to provide terminally ill patients with immediate cash in exchange for the right to their life insurance payouts when they die. The amount investors are willing to pay for a patient's death benefit depends on how much longer the patient is expected to live, because the investor must take over payment of the insurance premiums. 
If it looks like the investor's gamble is not going to pay off as planned because the patient is living too long, and the cost of premium payments is exceeding expectations, there's only one way to eliminate that expense.
©2017 Kenneth J. Isaacson (P)2017 Kenneth J. Isaacson
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By mandy on 01-09-18


Fantastic, well-written story with great narration! Highly recommend!

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. The fact that I was gifted this book had no influence over my opinion of it

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Amazon Customer on 01-07-18

Excellent story.

Not sure if this story was one of those often labeled as 'ripped from the headlines' or not, but I certainly wouldn't be shocked if it was. The idea behind the story feels completely believable, and I could totally picture this happening (if it hasn't already). For me, much of the book had kind of a Grisham The Firm feel to it. And I definitely mean that as a compliment as I loved that book. The story is loaded with twists and turns, and just when you think you know everything, something else pops up to add a new wrinkle. My only real issue with the book is that I felt the main character should have been in more danger. Given the circumstances of the story, with everything that Elliot was digging into, I kind of felt he should have been in danger. It just felt as if he was somewhat removed from the events, like he was watching it all from the behind safety glass. That really is my only complaint. Excellent characters and a compelling story. I'll definitely be looking forward to the next Elliot Lerner adventure.

Kyle Tait does a fantastic job narrating this one, and I find myself enjoying him more with each performance I hear.

I received a copy of this audio title for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Norma Miles on 02-25-18

Who are you, Bonnie Hill?

Elliott Lerner is a conscientious law student working as a Summer associate for a small, friendly law firm and hoping they might keep him on part time once college recommences. The sister of one of the firm's clients dies intestate and the car dealer brother asks if the firm can sort out the estate: As the brother is the sole beneficiary, it should not be too difficult, especially as it didn't l
seem that she could leave too much for him to inherit, anyway. A nice little job for the student.
But as Elliott looks into the accidental death by carbon dioxide poisoning from a faulty heater, it becomes increasingly obvious that the divorced waitress was not all that she seemed and that the accident might possibly have been deliberate, even part of something much bigger...

Well written, in the first person, the character of Elliott himself is nicely developed and grows as the story unfolds. From the earliest pages, the story proceeds in an inviting 'get to know him' fashion, talking to the readers and including them in Elliott's thinking whether this be about his ongoing long distance romance with his mostly absent girlfriend or his new friends and attraction to the people he meets, as well as the guilt he feels if anything goes wrong. The mystery, is intriguing at first, also, although, for this reader, it was flawed by the author's attempt at over-complication towards the latter part of the book.
Key to the audiobook is, of course, the narrator and Kyle Tait is superb. His very warm easy reading glides through the text with good pace and pleasant timbre, becoming that of the student, Elliott Lerner himself. Every character is also given a distinctive and individual voice, and even the English accented protagonists are usually reasonably attempted. This narration certainly raised the enjoyment of the novel by several points for this particular reader.

I have to thank the rights holder of Death Benefit for freely gifting me with a complimentary copy, at my request, via Audiobook Boom. It was clearly presented, easy on the ear, an enjoyable mystery with a lead protagonist of whom I hope we will hear more. An enjoyable listen.

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