Ring of Fire by Bill Cokas

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Seeking refuge from a corporate scandal, Wally Gibbs trades his corner office in Chicago for a tweed jacket with elbow patches in a quaint college town. He soon realizes he wasn’t meant to teach marketing; he was meant to reinvent it. And the timing is right. To Wally’s perverse delight, the economy has brought consumers everywhere to their knees. In Wally’s own words, “people are so desperate to lop thirty cents off a cantaloupe, they’d give a urine sample at the checkout.” During a routine colonoscopy, he envisions a new hyper-efficient marketing vehicle, which he labels “Project Argus.”

As Wally ensnares his unsuspecting students in the beta test, Project Argus catches the attention of eight-fingered frustrated campus policeman Nick Pappas. Sensing a connection to an unsolved student death, Nick becomes obsessed with exposing the scheme, even “deputizing” student cartoonist Zak Dawson to do the digging he can’t. The pair follows Wally to a tiny Greek island, where he acquires a rare exotic gem that he smuggles back home and turns over to a local jeweler. Within a few days, the hottest-selling graduation ring in the school’s history is quietly collecting data—and claiming lives.

Ring of Fire is a quirky suspense full of wry social satire, combining offbeat characters, a contemporary twisted plot and a setting that’s equal parts academia and Aegean Sea. Those who appreciate the misfit casts and unconventional plots of Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey and Janet Evanovich should thoroughly enjoy Ring of Fire.

About Bill Cokas

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Some of Bill's earliest and fondest memories involve travel--more specifically, escaping into fiction. A childhood book club subscription yielded stacks of timeless, memorable titles that he has since shared with his own children. Bill graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a journalism degree and has spent more than two decades writing award-winning ads and commercials, first in Chicago, and now back in North Carolina, where he also teaches at his alma mater. This is his first novel.
Published March 8, 2012 by CreateSpace. 292 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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