Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Time to Retire by Jon Foyt - Do Unto Others Before They Do It First???

Suddenly, Stephanie froze in her tracks, dropping her poles
and lifting her hands to her face in a silent scream.
Viewing the cause of his companion's distress, Dusty shouted
down the trail, "Stop! Everyone! Don't come any further!"
Several curious hikers approached nevertheless,
disregarding Dusty's command. What they saw was the body of
a man swinging from the tree, a twisted rope knotted around
his neck, vacant eyes bulging from his head...

Time to Retire

As one of the oldest and largest clubs in Sunset Gardens, an active retirement community, the Hiking Club numbered more than 200 members...On this particular Sunday, Dusty had planned an outing of some four miles over the eastern hills bordering the retirement community. Along the trail, the group would pass the Historic California Buckeye tree. Continued down the other side, the hikers would arrive in nearby Sunrise City for lunch at a popular bistro...

As the hikers rounded a bend and drew closer, Stephanie eyed a granite boulder displaying a bronze plaque that cited the tree's historic importance. From her teaching days, Stephanie recalled how she would narrate to students the many events the ancient buckeye had witnessed through its years. Beginning with the Sadlan branch of the Mi-Wok tribe of Native Americans, she would describe how Spanish invaders had wiped out the tribal people, leaving only traces of pottery, projective points, baskets, and an occasional moccasin footprint behind...

By Jon Foyt

I was disappointed with this book. The blurb is misleading in my opinion, promising something that really isn't there. It seems that each and every one of the members of the controlling board could have a scam going.   The main character is a news reporter, supposedly, but this time he has been hooked up with an intern.  One of the community residents has been found hanging from a tree! So they will talk about the man, the investigation for the reason to talk to residents, and hopefully be permitted to do a number of articles.

The book goes through chapter after chapter explaining how each board member at a prestigious retirement place is ripping off the organization and retirees... There is reference as to how each got into the criminal activities, either by experience or by circumstance. For instance, when a sibling died, there was nothing else to do but for the spouse to enter into a way to easily make money.
Down through the decades, the Frog had protected itself
from all kinds of predators, including real estate developers
during the 1960s who sought to develop a site. Fending off
all offers, The Frog became a steadfast seller's holdout.
Meanwhile, the developer of the adjacent Sunset Gardens
worked to assemble the many land holdings surrounding
the pub. The Frog, with its separate real estate status,
remained a roadblock to completion of the Sunset Gardens
Master  Plan.

Indeed, the latest group activity was trying to gain the property where a pub now stood, which was often visited by community members. But the leaders had selected a large remaining site, where this facility stood in the middle, for a new game/recreation facility. Not a bad idea if there would not be more money collected to do this, even though the bank account controlled by the board was very large... And even though there would be illegal ways, probably, to get the land...

The concept of the book is great. I've visited a gated community. That one provided individual home sites, but still included central health care and maintenance. If I could afford it, I'd be happy to live in such a facility. And, according to this book, the money payments keep increasing...while the people's incomes, if changed, causes a possibility of losing their homes.

The issues: a death has occurred. Where are the police? Surely, even if another character was intimately involved, the police would still be there???

The newspaperman unrealistically takes extreme lengths of time to do anything...where is the known deadlines we all expect???

Quite a bit of supposed research was being obtained. Suddenly a report is found somewhere and the only article shown is a regurgitation of that report???

The newspaperman is interested in the intern...Not exactly appropriate yet the story is supposedly a romance??? In fact, the character's personality is shy, retiring and willing to allow others to control interviews???

The ending is a surprise, just because it is so unbelievable...with barely any early information toward directions taken there. Too many inconsistencies prevented the reader from following the story. Especially if you expect characters to act in at least a minimally stereotypical role in which they are placed. This is not a mystery, cozy or otherwise... There is no romance except perhaps in the head of the reporter... Wrapping up a story all at the end can only be done by a strong "Colombo" character that pulls together the entire set of circumstances so readers know exactly what happened... You might as well read a newspaper to try to piece together what happened...[yes, a little sarcasm there...] Do check out other reviewers on this one to help you decide. Sorry I can't recommend...


Striving for new heights on the literary landscape, along with his late wife Lois, Jon Foyt began writing novels 20 years ago, following careers in radio, commercial banking, and real estate. He holds a degree in journalism and an MBA from Stanford and a second masters degree in historic preservation from the University of Georgia. An octogenarian prostate cancer survivor, Jon, 81 years old, is a marathon runner (60 completed), hiker, and political columnist in a large active adult retirement community near San Francisco. Jon Foyt is the successful author of 10 fiction books. He currently resides in Walnut Creek, CA. For more information, go to http://jonfoyt.com/

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