“All The Way Down” by Eric Beetner features Dale Burnett, a police officer on the take, with both professional and personal life falling apart. As he rides the elevator up the office of the chief of police, he is sure that they know everything and that he is on his way to jail, and he knew how things end in jail for a crooked cop. Well, they do know everything, but he is not on his way to jail, he is on his way to somewhere much more dangerous. Lauren, the mayor’s daughter, a reporter for an on-line news service, has been kidnapped by the town’s biggest crime boss, and coincidentally the source of Burnett’s payoff money. Getting her back is the only way he can keep his job and perhaps his life.
There is a lot at stake for everyone involved, and conversation drives the plot. Characters and details emerge little by little about everything including, drug trafficking, political corruption, impropriety, and the unfettered drive for news, any kind, in an economic downturn.
Beetner gives readers vivid descriptions of the places:
“The wall paper crisscrossed with shiny gold hexagons. The carpet was a blood red. Mirrors hung so close to each other the room had a funhouse quality to it. It was enough to give you a complex, all those reflections of yourself all at once.
The people who inhabit them:
“His buzz cut gave his head the look of a howitzer shell. His teeth shone white in his mouth except where gold caps covered both his canines.”
And the way they die:
“She spasmed like a cell phone on vibrate for a second while the shots were pelting her body, then fell still, sinking deeper into the cushions.”
The title “All The Way Down” comes from the single completed building in the abandoned office complex, a thin rectangle with fifteen floors, and the death, destruction, and mayhem, that happen on every floor of the high rise fortress from the top all the way down to the basement.
“All The Way Down” is a thrill ride with plenty of nonstop action by the good guys, bad guys, and those in-between. I was given a review copy by Eric Beetner, Down & Out Books, and NetGalley. However, it may not be for everyone. Readers should be advised that there is “strong” language along with copious overall violence and carnage that will leave readers exhausted from the exploits.