Review: Two Times Platinum
Lloyd Zane Remick's debut novel, Two Times Platinum is set in the author's native Philadelphia and manages to combine together his vast knowledge as a law professor and experience as an entertainment attorney with thriller elements to exciting effect.
The story features attorney Dex Randle who is quite a successful practicing entertainment law, however, as Remick states on the very last page of the novel and what Randle will no doubt confirm, “THE PRACTICE OF LAW IS FRAUGHT WITH PERIL.”
The chilling plot unfolds when Dex is approached by a beautiful singer, Val Clifton, who is about to sign a management contract and requests his assistance. After a series of questions, Dex agrees to review the contact, suggest some changes, and do some due diligence concerning the guy who will be her manager. Deep down Dex has a feeling that Val was trouble and not as innocent as she appeared.
After Val leaves his office, Dex receives a phone call from Sammy the Lethal indicating that a Mr. Carpozzi has requested that he pick up the documents immediately. Dex's third-year law assistant informs him that according to an article in the Philadelphia Daily News, Carpozzi just purchased Can't Take It with You Records(CTIWY) and he will be the president and CEO. The article also indicated that Carpozzi has ties to some criminal enterprises and specific organized crime figures.
Within a few hours, Carpozzi and Sammy show up at Dex's office and tell him in no uncertain terms that Dex will be representing Val and that Sammy will be her manager. Dex also receives from Carpozzi an envelope containing fifty-one hundred dollar bills.
While at home, Dex ponders the management contract he wants to convey and rationalizes if he is to do an excellent job for Val, as she is after all his client, the heck with Carpozzi. As for the money he received and where it came from, he tries not to think about it.
The signing of the contract by Sammy and Val transpires without a hitch and Dex begins to convince himself that involving himself with a known criminal is no big deal and everything will turn out just fine. Although Dex often described his law practice as being very unusual, none of his many years of experience would prepare him to what was to come.
Remick's yarn draws many of its energies from fully exploiting the darker corners of the world of entertainment as well as sports and how treacherous individuals can prey on athletes and entertainers resulting in devastating consequences.
Val does become a hit singer but at what cost? There are payouts to her promoters and program directors to buy her way into the station playlists, illegal interstate gambling, extortion, fixing an NFL game as well as a boxing match, filing false tax returns, attempted murder and illegal drug trafficking. And to make matters even more interesting, Remick throws into the plot a love triangle involving Val, her producer Trolly, who was a close friend of Dex, and Carpozzi, who doesn't take too kindly to sharing Val.
In the end, Two Times Platinum emerges not only as a compelling thriller but as an informative overview of a world that very few readers know. Also, Remick's writing, which is spare and compact, vividly sketches hope, greed, and ultimate tragedy illustrating how some lives can slip into chaos brought about by becoming involved with an unsavory character who uses fear and intimidation to get what he wants. I hope to see more from Lloyd Zane Remick. Is there a sequel in the works or perhaps even a movie?