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Reviewed by Vincent Dublado for Readers' Favorite
Based on factual events, From Shreds to Riches by David Fisher and Cal Orey is both a spectacle and a cautionary tale with a great deal of chutzpah. The story starts in the early seventies, where you find Scott Newman, aka Benjamin King, working in a posh office suite on the fortieth floor above Fifth Avenue. He loves his life as his work is working for him, unlike his father who was a blue-collar working stiff. Scott decided early in life that he will not die slaving for a low wage, so he founded Argon Industries, a light bulb telemarketing industry. But the empire that he built is about to be shattered - a battering ram blasted open the front door of his office when FBI agents raid Argon Industries, the beginning of an unforgettable sting. This is in connection to an ongoing investigation that accuses Scott and his partner, Doug Kaufman, of mail fraud and money laundering. This story will take you back into the past to trace the life of the most successful closer in the lightbulb telemarketing business and how he got into trouble.
Shreds to Riches is a rags to riches story that isn't short on thrills and intrigue. David Fisher and Cal Orey aren’t shy in creating antihero characters that you will love and understand. There will be plenty of times when you think of the moral aspects of the story yet at the same time feel that you are in no position to judge what drives Scott Newman. This is because the story is well-told in flashbacks that present the humble beginnings of the main protagonist. His rise to telemarketing power has that classic mob story feel to it, and the story becomes addictive in the way Newman deals with people and obstacles in ways that are either right or wrong. Perhaps what truly makes this story tick is that Newman is the representation of all of us—a representation that we perhaps are reluctant to reveal. It’s a powerful crime story, one that stares back at you as you turn the pages. If you love mob-style stories filled with energy, this one should be on your list.