||Top Publications, Ltd.
||Oct 1 2003
Matt's wife is brutally murdered by a ruthless banker. Unfortunately, he can't prove the banker is responsible, so he plots to ruin him and destroy his empire.
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Rich Coleman's son Matt has just passed the bar exams and is anxious to make his fortune. Unfortunately his plans to be a personal injury attorney have been soured by tort reform. With the help of his new bride and a college professor, Matt devises a plan to expose the long-standing objective of financial institutions to enslave the American people with high-interest financing and credit cards. He hopes when people realize they've been exploited and bankruptcy is their only way out, his business will begin to boom. To promote this new venture Rich begins a series of TV infomercials which are quite successful and land him an appearance on a major network talk show. It isn't long before Rich has more bankruptcy business than he can handle and several subprime lenders in Texas begin to suffer from escalating loan defaults. One of them, MidSouth Bank of Houston, is particularly hurt, and its chairman, Frank Hill, decides Rich must be stopped. First he orders some dirty tricks as a warning, but when Rich doesn't back off he tries to have him killed. Matt narrowly eludes his assassins, but he is not prepared for Hill's backup plan, which lands him in federal prison. While Matt stews in his jail cell, he at first has just one thing on his mind—revenge. But in time he comes to realize he has been called to a greater purpose—to expose the credit conspiracy that has become a cancer on the American people. With the help of his father and several friends, he concocts a plan to not only destroy Frank Hill and MidSouth Bank, but to expose the credit card conspiracy in a way that will force Congress to do something about it. Love, greed, and revenge fuel this raging thriller about the evil spawned by the plastic gods we love and cherish.
Lynn watched as the studio crew milled around while they waited for the shooting to begin. She smiled as she watched make-up being applied to Matt's face. Personally she didn't think he needed any make-up as he was quite handsome and photogenic. He was tall, trim, and had golden brown hair—thick like his father's. She thought he looked at home on the TV set. Finally the director snapped his fingers and the set became still. Matt got up and walked over to the podium set up before a live audience. The director nodded and a man stuck a board in front of the camera and said, "Scene two, take three."
Matt looked out into the audience and said, "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. My name is Matt Coleman and what I'm about to tell you is going to make you very angry. I'm here to uncover for you a vicious lie, a deception that has devastated the lives of millions of Americans. Yes, from the day you were born, each and every one of you have been carefully manipulated into becoming slaves. Yes, carefully programmed robots who go to work every day and then religiously send seventy to eighty percent of your wealth to your masters, the big corporate giants of Wall Street and the government bureaucrats in Washington."
"Think about it. From the day you are born, you're told that good credit is your ticket to the American Dream. You can have all the luxuries and modern conveniences of life right now, on credit. Why wait, they say, when you can have it now."
"Think about it. Let's say you're a middle-class family with annual income of forty thousand dollars a year. If you work forty years you'll earn 1.6 million dollars. If you're a typical family you'll buy a hundred and fifty thousand dollar home, a car every four or five years and have a half dozen credit cards maxed out very early in the game."
"Now the enemy here is compound interest. It's common knowledge that you'll pay nearly $315,000 over thirty years for that $150,000 home. The cars will cost you double their initial cost and you'll be paying the minimums on your credit cards until you’re dead and buried."
The camera zoomed in on Matt as he pointed to a chart he had prepared. "Now if you subtract twenty-five percent of your income for taxes that leaves you with $1,200,000. Subtract $314,000 for what you actually pay for your home, including all the interest, and now you only have $806,000. By the time you take away $360,000 for your automobiles you have only $446,000 left to live on for 40 years!"
The crowd broke into excited chatter. Matt paused a second until they quieted down.
"That's only $11,150 a year for food, clothing, utilities, property taxes, insurance, recreation and your kid’s education. It's no wonder the average person is broke all the time—barely making ends meet! It's no wonder it takes two bread winners nowadays to survive! It's no wonder the divorce rate has gone to the roof and suicides are at an historical high!"
Someone in the crowd yelled, "That's right! Those bastards have made us their slaves."
"That's exactly right," Matt continued. "But there is a way out. There is a loophole they can't close. There is a way each and every one of you can get free!"
"Tell us what it is!" A lady screamed. "Tell us the way to salvation!"
"It's bankruptcy my friend. That's right, bankruptcy."
The crowd was silent.
"Now most of you think bankruptcy is a bad word, right?"
"That's right, a bad word," a lady said.
"Who told you it was a bad word? Was it your mother and father? Your teachers in school, perhaps? Did you hear it from your friends and relatives? Well the men up on Wall Street want you to think bankruptcy is a bad word. They want you to think if you file bankruptcy that you're a failure, a deadbeat, and a loser. They want you to feel this way for two reasons. Number one, if you go bankrupt you're going to be set free from the tyranny of compound interest. You won't have to line their pockets with your hard-earned cash anymore. And number two, if you file bankruptcy, you'll have bad credit and that will mean the goons on Wall Street won't be able to put you back on the compound interest treadmill!
“Ladies and gentlemen, bankruptcy is not a bad word, it's a sweet melodious word! It should fill your heart with gladness and joy for it is your salvation!"
The crowd stood up and gave Matt a standing ovation. Lynn ran over and Matt put his arm around her as they stood and waved to the crowd. The camera focused on their smiling faces and they panned around the crowd clapping and yelling wildly. After the session was over the director came over and met with Matt and Lynn.
"That worked out quite well, don't you think?"
"Oh yes," Lynn said. "It was wonderful, but it was too long for a commercial."
"I know. What I would suggest is that we have a five minute infomercial on Sunday night. Then all week we'll feature ninety second segments with a short intro beforehand and then flash the name, address, and telephone number of your company at the end."
"Oh, I see," Lynn said. "That should be very effective. What do you think, honey?"
"You two are the experts. Whatever you think. But I don't mind telling you it felt good being out there saying what I did. Did you see how riled up the crowd got? . . . Now I know how it feels to be a politician. I could feel the power."
"Yes," the director said. "I think it will be a dynamite ad campaign. You did a fine job, Matt."
That night Matt and Lynn went out to dinner to celebrate. It was around eight when they were seated at the Outback Steak House in Addison. A waitress quickly appeared.
"What can I get you to drink?" she said.
"Two margaritas, please. Big ones," Matt said.
"Coming right up," the waitress said with a smile and then left.
"I think you hit a home run tonight, honey," Matt said.
"Me? You're the one that whipped the crowd into a frenzy."
"True, that was a lot of fun, but if you hadn't come up with the words I wouldn't have known what to say."
"You sounded like you believed what you were saying. Nobody will even guess it was just a script. Everybody's going to think you're some kind of consumer advocate or something."
"Who cares as long as the business rolls in, right? We're going to make a mint. Won't my father be surprised."
"He'll be jealous when he sees you making more money your first year out of law school than he's making after twenty-five years."
"No, you’re wrong about that. Dad won't be jealous. He makes a lot of money on the stock market. He'll be glad if what we're doing makes us happy and we're taking good care of our clients."
"Oh, I don't know. I bet he'll be a little jealous."
"Maybe," Matt said and then noticed the waitress coming with their drinks.
"Here you go. Two margaritas."
"Thank you,” Matt said, and then handed the waitress a twenty-dollar bill. "Keep the change."
The waitress smiled and said, "Thanks," and then left.
Matt lifted his glass and proclaimed, "I want to make a toast. To the beginning of a very lucrative law practice. Honey, I couldn't have done it without you. I love you."
"I love you too," Lynn said, and then they touched their glasses together and took a sip of their drink.
"Hmmm. These are good margaritas," Matt said.
Lynn nodded and took another sip. "Yes, very good."
After dinner they went to a nearby club, danced a little, talked, and continued to drink. By the time the they got home around midnight they were feeling pretty amorous so they went straight to the bedroom. They undressed each other quickly and jumped under the covers. They made love for hours until every ounce of their energy was spent.
When Matt awoke the next morning Lynn was still wrapped around him. He smiled and took a deep breath. Her smell was so sweet he pulled her up close and squeezed her gently. He had never felt so content—so happy. He had it all now—everything he had ever wanted.
Denise M. Clark
As an expert at bankruptcy laws, and having practiced it in his field for a quarter of a century, author William Manchee has penned his second exciting novel featuring lawyer Rich Coleman and his son, Matt.
Though Matt’s desire is to become a private eye attorney, his new wife, Lynn, and college professor Swensen manage to talk him into exposing credit institutions and their one ultimate goal – driving cardholders to their knees in debt. But Matt and Rich get more than they bargained for when warnings and minor incidents disrupt their lives. Before long, Matt barely manages to escape an attempt on his life and ends up in a federal prison.
Non-stop plotting action makes ‘Plastic Gods’ a book you can’t put down. While the subject matter might seem daunting and somewhat uninteresting, such isn’t the case. In fact, credit cards and enormous debt makes for a unique premise, for many of us are caught in that trap already. Well-drawn characters and a nearly perfect balance between narrative and dialog make this ‘financial thriller’ a winner.
When I picked up a recent edition of the Saturday mornings edition, The National Post, a Canadian newspaper, and turned to the financial section, what immediately hit me was an entire section devoted to consumer debt and credit cards.
Coincidentally, the day before I had received William Manchee’s recent legal thriller Plastic Gods, that although is a work of fiction, revolves around this same theme.
The story ventures into the world of powerful and unethical financial institutions dangling credit cards before those least equipped to resist it that ultimately lead them to financial and personal disaster.
Matt Coleman is a young lawyer, just out of law school. He and his wife, who are aided by Lynn’s marketing professor, decide that in order to jump start Matt’s practice, they would embark on a series of info commercials, whereby consumers would be shown that it is not sinful to file for bankruptcy.
Banks would be shown to be the culprits. Consequently, much of blame would be placed on the shoulders of these financial institutions rather than the debtors.
As the novel unfolds, Matt’s and his wife Lynn’s brilliant marketing plan prove to be a tremendous financial success and Matt’s law practice takes off like a rocket.
However, along the way, Matt has also managed to ruffle a few feathers among some financial institutions.
One particular bank, the Midsouth Bank, does not take too kindly to Matt and Lynn’s activities, and are quite disturbed at the serious financial damage that is being caused to their institution and the bankruptcies they now have to endure.
This leads the chief executive officer to take some very drastic and ruthless measures leading to tragic consequences affecting Matt and his wife, as well as others.
The author’s distinct and simplistic writing style takes the reader on a surprising and unpredictable ride that keeps you in constant suspense as what is around the next bend.
Action aficionados will not be disappointed, and although the book is a work of fiction, its theme is tantalizing. It is sure to leave many a reader thinking about some of the unsavory banking practices pertaining to credit card marketing and what is looming behind closed doors of these institutions
Beverly Rowe, Myshelf.com
William Manchee's ninth book is touted as a Rich Coleman novel, and while our old friend Rich and his wife Erica are in the story, the main characters are their son Matt and his new wife Lynn. Matt and Lynn are doing well in their recently-opened law practice that specializes in bankruptcy. However, Lynn was impressed by her old professor's theories on credit card scams that get people so far in debt that they can never recover. Both Matt and Lynn, being a bit greedy, see the chance to skyrocket their business while discrediting the unethical bankers.
They embark on a mission to trigger enough bankruptcies to put the lenders out of business and line their own pockets in the process. They initiate an advertising campaign that starts a consumer revolt against MidSouth Bank. Their expose uncovers much more than they anticipate including embezzlement and murder. They become victims themselves as Franklin P. Hill tries to discredit Matt, and when that doesn't work, he orders Matt's death. Matt's fear for Lynn and his questioning and review by the Texas Bar Association kept me riveted to the page as the tension built to a thunderclap of a climax.
Manchee is a genius at taking a page from our daily lives and turning it into a high speed thriller, with characters that we definitely want to see again, and a well developed plotline that is right out of today's newspapers. This was the first Manchee novel for me, but definitely not the last.
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Reader Reviews for "Plastic Gods, A Rich Coleman Novel"
|Reviewed by m j hollingshead
|watching the mail box for the book so that I can do the review
Know it is great.... all your work is