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Waking Up    by Joe Traum order for
Waking Up
by Joe Traum
Order:  USA  Can
Cambridge House Press, 2010 (2010)

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* *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Michael Hayes is living the good life - with a high end career in high end realty, a high end house, and a gorgeous wife and daughter, as well as his eleven-year-old son Dylan. Life is good, even though his marriage could be a little more stable.

The looked-for stability flies out the window after Dylan is kidnapped and murdered. Michael's life falls apart. His wife divorces him no surprise there. His energy now revolves around discovering who was responsible for Dylan's death. Was it the neighbor's son? Or maybe a Japanese mafia member who felt Michael had done him wrong and wants him to suffer? Or was it a drug related crime?

The local police wish they knew, in order to get Michael - and his daily phone calls - off their backs.

Joe Traum's Waking Up takes its readers from New York to Japan and to the West Coast of the United States in a meticulously plotted story. If you've ever wondered how real estate tycoons operate - or had illusions of being one yourself - this novel provides an education.

This is the author's first book. He has thirty plus years' experience as a real estate investment banker so he knows of what he writes. His driven character Michael Hayes could have easily been taken from real life.

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