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Reviewed by Steve Leshin for Readers' Favorite
Executive Malice (A Tale of Corporate Deceit) by R. L. Hann takes place in 1994, more than twenty years before the “Me Too” movement. This means women in the workplace were treated less than appropriately, especially when confronted with men in higher positions on the corporate ladder. In this tale, the chief protagonist, Teri Harlan, is recruited by her former co-worker and ex-boyfriend, “Rich” Brad Richmond, to assist him at the aircraft company where he works. She is hired as an executive vice president and is looking forward to working with Rich. Before she arrives on her first day on the job, she learns that Rich was in a terrible car accident under suspicious circumstances. Teri is thrust into corporate politics without support from Rich who barely escaped with his life and is under doctors' care. She meets many executives in the firm and one particular executive who has plans of his own. Teri is propositioned almost immediately by the president and various vice presidents. (The vice in the title can be pun intended). Teri soon finds out that something dangerous is going on with the company, which is in the midst of being merged with a foreign company. With the help of female and male workers at the plant, Teri helps to unravel the conspiracy and tries to stop it.
Executive Malice has a lot going on and R. L. Hann does a good job of balancing the many characters, subplots, and twists inherent in the novel. Mr. Hann is familiar with the aircraft industry yet he does not get too technical in describing the mechanics of aircraft machinery so that it interferes with the story. The sleazy male executives are so well described by the author that it makes the reader want to reach into the pages and strangle them. There is a chief bad guy with malicious intent and greed, two credible heroines in Teri Harlan and Karolyn Babcock, and well-meaning and brave love interests for the two women in Porter Bordon and Rich. With a variety of other characters, Executive Malice will definitely keep your interest.