Book Review: HR by Geoffrey Neil

HR (Human Resources) by Geoffrey Neil (Priorities Intact Publishing, $2.99)

“To see others suffer does one good, to make others suffer even more: This is a hard saying but an ancient, mighty, human, all-too-human principle. . . . Without cruelty there is no festival.”—Friedrich Nietzsche

Morana was beautiful and intelligent, with no sense of morality whatsoever. She stood in the elevator next to Nelson Dupar, a heavy-set, middle-aged, slob who worked in a cubicle at a CPA firm. She laughed at his jokes as the elevator stuttered along.

It was too good to be true. A relationship blossomed on that elevator ride. It is said that if it seems too good to be true, it usually is. After a whirlwind courtship, Morana obtained tickets for a getaway on Mapetoa, a paradise island near Fiji. They were on their way.

Morana was a dominatrix. Nelson loved it as she slipped the doggy collar on him and clipped it shut. He held his hands out like paws, stuck out his tongue and said “arf arf.” Morana laughed.

Mapetoa was a place where the rich came to partake of forbidden fruit. Nelson Dupar had no idea what was coming. But before he could turn back, the rich were sated and his fate was upon him.

A chiller of a story, HR is a wonderful follow-up to Geoffrey Neil’s first book called Dire Means. Morana also appeared in that book where she was the only survivor of a vicious group of criminals.

The unlikely hero of HR is a man named Lonnie, the head of IT in a company called Innovative Menu Covers. The company did quite well until the owner, Mack Glickman, fell head over heels in love with a woman named Rose, who had very expensive taste.

So it wasn’t bad business decisions that sent the company spiraling to the edge. It was the lavish gifts Mack provided for his sweetheart, Rose.

And that’s where Morana, the head of HR or Human Resources, comes in. Ostensibly, Morana hires out to put companies back on track financially. But that is not her true goal. Morana really works for the super-rich, indulging their tastes in food that go beyond the norm. Her real job is catching game for these people.

When multi-talented Morana comes aboard Innovative Menu Covers, Lonnie, the head of IT, immediately takes an intense dislike to her. At the same time, Morana and Hugh Berish, Lonnie’s friend, get along famously. Hugh is physically well endowed with shortcomings in the intelligence department. Lonnie is protective of his friend.

Lonnie worries about many things; most of them deal with his own wellbeing. But when it comes to Hugh Berish, Lonnie has a soft spot in his heart. Lonnie is concerned about the incongruity of Morana and Hugh as an item — it just doesn’t seem to fit.

True, Hugh is built quite well, and so is Morana. But her intelligence matches her looks, while Hugh has the mind of an innocent child. And that’s not all.

Various intrigues take place with Morana at the center. She soon has Mack Glickman eating out of her hand—because she’s got something on him. As the story develops, anyone who stands in her way is marked for destruction by this vixen.

A doctor named Lewis Prakin, hired by Morana, wears a GPS Tracker on the paradise island. Why would this happen? How badly do they need his talents?

What are his talents? It turns out he’s a nutrition specialist—and what does that have to do with what goes on in Mapetoa, the paradise island? Why is Dr. Prakin so terrified that he goes to any lengths to make his escape?

What are the secrets of paradise in Mapetoa? Is Morana as vicious as she appears to be? Does she actually love the handsome but slow witted Hugh Berish? Will Lonnie risk his own precious life to save his friend?

What does Morana have on Mack Glickman, the head of Innovative Menu Covers, that he obeys her every command? Has HR completely taken over the organization?

Start this book and you will be enrapt. It is a book that must be read. The pages will fly through your fingers. At this time you can buy HR by Geoffrey Neil on Amazon at a bargain price. But even at regular prices, this is one hell of a book.

Marc D. Goldfinger is a member of the board of directors of the Homeless Empowerment Project, which publishes Spare Change news. Formerly homeless, he serves as the paper's poetry editor.

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