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PCR #146  (Vol. 4, No. 2)  This edition is for the week of January 6--12, 2003.
La Floridiana by Will Moriaty
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Millennium Drive Book Review-- Millennium Drive
by Richard F. Gatehouse.
443 pp., 1stBooks Library, 1998, 2001

In addition to abundant sunshine and beautiful seashores, Florida is also blessed with an abundance of colorful artists and writers. This column has reviewed books by Florida authors Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, Dan Allison, Bill Miller and Randy Wayne White. I am honored to dedicate this column to yet another fine Florida writer, Mr. Richard F. Gatehouse.

It is either by design or accident that I found out about Mr. Gatehouse's writing skills. Mr. Gatehouse had read my review of Bill Miller's book "The Tampa Triangle Dead Zone" (Issue #134 October 14-20, 2002) and spotted himself in the text (One of my favorite photo shots is of Captain Ric Gatehouse demonstrating a "Tampa Triangle Salute") and sent me an e-mail tipping me off to his own book's web page (http://millenniumdrive.com) -- boy am I glad he did!

"Millenium Drive" is one of the finest reads I've ever had the pleasure to lay eyes on. Gatehouse's writing is riveting, action-packed and exceptionally well done. I could hardly put this book down, wondering what would happen next.

The story centers on the novel's hero, Roy Gallagher from Cortez, Florida (not to be confused with Richard Gatehouse from Bradenton Beach, Florida!). One of Roy's closest friends, Buddy McNaughton (not to be confused with Bill Miller!), is murdered in his Vancouver B.C. home. Roy and Buddy shared many similarities in their lives, most notably dual citizenships in the U.S. and Canada, and a stint together "in country" in Nam where they met some thirty years earlier.

Enter Buddy's beautiful girlfriend, Julie Sullivan. Julie finds Buddy's bullet-ridden body and calls Roy at his Cortez, Florida home seeking his help. Enter next Vancouver Lt. Detective Brian Innes, a good-hearted member of Vancouver's finest who initially views Gallagher with much apprehension due to Gallagher's free-wheeling independent style and gruff demeanor. Innes also has good reason to view Gallagher with a jaundiced eye--Gallagher seeks the help, amongst others, of the Vancouver chapter of the Hell's Angels in helping him capture Buddy's assailant.

Enter next some colorful and quirky characters--"High Pockets" or "HP", the Chapter's attorney, "Uncle Dirty", "Sheriff", "D-Rail" and "Scooter", also members, who though viewed by society at large as menacing, are in their own ways heroic men of honor.

It turns out that Buddy, a computer genius (pretty much like author Gatehouse, but this is strictly a coincidence!), was whacked by a hit man taking orders from a former Nam intelligence officer named Jim Brown. Brown works for a high tech company called Millennium Industries. It turns out that Buddy was killed because he knew too much. His computer hacked into Millennium's files uncovering information about the development of a Zero Point Energy drive mechanism back-engineered from an extra-terrestrial spacecraft that crashed outside of Roswell, New Mexico in July 1947.

As billions of dollars could be made overnight by the investors of Millennium Industries once it would go public in the stock market, the leak of its technical information had to be suppressed at all costs--that would include murder. Now that Roy Gallagher and Julie Sullivan were on to "the secret" their lives would also be in grave danger--but danger is nothing new and will not deter Roy Gallagher from catching Buddy's murderer.

Although not Florida-centric like the other books I have reviewed ("Millennium Drive" hopscotches from Vancouver to New York City, to Baltimore to Toronto to Montana and many points in between), this novel is filled with as many hair-raising twists as a mountain road. The first of a four part series of novels featuring Roy Gallagher, "Millennium Drive" is not to be missed, and can ordered through Amazon.com.

About the Author of "Millennium Drive"
Richard F. Gatehouse was born in Santa Monica, California in 1951, grew up in Toronto, Canada, and also lived in Vancouver, Cape Canaveral, and Miami and most recently in Tampa. In addition to working with rock musicians, being in the hospitality industry and music booking agency realm, Gatehouse also did radio work, promoted a single for Joel Wade in Canada, and appeared along with characters Mister Reditch, Spike (Yowsa!), Caitlin (Yowsa!), Snake, Joey and Lucy in the long-running CBC TV series "Degrassi High" (http://www.degrassi.tv/bts/classiccast.html). By the early 90's he returned to the States to become a Dredgeman earning a Master Captain's license from the U.S. Coast Guard. In addition to writing, Gatehouse builds and replaces computers, and tutors in Windows (http://www.richardgatehouse.com)

"La Floridiana" is ©2003 by William Moriaty.  Webpage design and all graphics herein (except where otherwise noted) are creations of Nolan B. Canova.  All contents of Nolan's Pop Culture Review are ©2003 by Nolan B. Canova.