Sum of Life: The Worst Kind of Lies is the first book in a trilogy by John Patrick Lamont. Drawing on his fourteen years in the insurance industry, Lamont writes of corporate greed, deceit, and betrayal in a large insurance company called Titanic Insurance Company of Kansas.
New employees come into the company with various levels of expectations of success only to find their opportunity for financial prosperity comes with a high price tag.
The book contains a large cast of characters who attain various levels of success, or failure, as they struggle with the manipulative and deceptive methods they find it takes to achieve their sales and financial goals. The company pits friend against friend, managers against their new agents, and ultimately man against his conscience.
As agents are betrayed and clients fleeced, one unlikely source rises up to take a stand against the powers behind an industry that believes it is omnipotent. Drawing assistance from unlikely places, Ted Fisher, a regional sales representative with the Company begins to uncover unethical and illegal dealings by those in management positions.
Ted is one of a group of sales representatives the company has rewarded with a trip to Caracas. While there, the companies dirty secrets continue to rise to the surface. Ted forms an unlikely alliance as he further investigates the underbelly of the insurance company and industry. Unfortunately, violence and murder soon follow.
Lamont brings years of insurance experience into this first novel, although some may find the sheer amount of industry detail somewhat slows the pace. The characters are well developed and even when they use manipulative means in order to make a sale, the reader understands their motives while at the same time sympathizes with the client.
Told from a multitude of viewpoints, the storyline escalates to a stunning and surprising conclusion. Readers who relate to Ted Fisher and his attempts to understand and right the wrongs of the insurance industry will undoubtedly look with anticipation to the second installment of the Sum of Life trilogy, Betrayals of the Heart.