"This can't be happening," exclaims twenty-five-year-old self-employed handyman and aspiring architect Franklin Breault. On the eve of his final internship, Franklin's mentor, architect Joe Simpson, is found dead. Worse, Franklin discovers Joe had been a blackmailer. The victims believe Franklin has their secrets, and they want them back. His precariously balanced life crumbles like substandard concrete as Franklin races to find the extortion files and a murderer, before he's the next victim. All Franklin wants from life is to engage in his two passions: restoring Victorian homes and courting his business partner, Linda Kisslovich. Franklin had planned a two-for-one by restoring Joe's rundown Queen Anne, enticing Linda to move in with him. But Linda dislikes the house and is seeing an old flame. Heartbroken, Franklin partners with Ginny Maxwell, a hot young IRS criminal investigator on the trail of missing millions that may lead to Joe's killer. Romantic sparks fly, but Franklin can't close the deal. Is Ginny holding out for a ring, or Joe's files? With a stoic philosophy, dry humor, and the help of loyal friends, Franklin navigates a minefield of choices between expediency and morality. He begins this escapade with a carpenter's view of ethics; either you're on the level or you're not. In the fiery climax he confronts his biggest ethical dilemma. Someone he loves is a murderer, and he must decide between loyalty and integrity. Any way he chooses, he loses. Set in a picturesque village beside Long Island Sound, where classic Victorians are outnumbered only by herring gulls, On The Level has the danger-driven pace of a mystery thriller and the complex love triangle of a romance.
On the Level: A Mystery of Romance, Suspense, and Home Improvement
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