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Final Target

"FINAL TARGET" by Steven Gore, HarperCollins, 498 pages, $9.99 (f)

Corporate fraud, attempted murder, arms trafficking, treason.

Just a day's work for a … private investigator?

It is for Graham Gage in Steven Gore's debut novel "Final Target." Gage, a private investigator, is harrowed by the shooting of his friend, attorney Jack Burch. Police initially suspect a road-rage incident, but Gage finds out it's part of a near-global fraud ring.

Burch is involved with a company called SatTek, a defense contractor that has been probed in a financial fraud. Another SatTek collaborator, Stuart Matson, has already been indicted, and he's looking to sell Burch down the river to reduce his prison time.

Gage, eager to clear the name of his friend, begins to track the money and paper trail.

A federal prosecutor allows Matson to travel to London and Ukraine to tie up some loose ends.

Matson is about to sell SatTek technology to corrupt Ukrainian officials, effectively committing treason. Gage follows Matson to Ukraine to get to the bottom of the case.

Gage feels like he's butting heads with the feds, and that turns out to be not far from the truth.

Gore has effectively introduced the reader to the world of the private investigator in "Final Target." Gage's frustration is palpable as he hits dead ends before the case is resolved.

"Target" can be confusing, with many layers to the case. But Gore has crafted a solid thriller in his debut as an author.

Sensitivity rating: Profanity, including the so-called "R-rated" curse word; violence.

e-mail: rtrishman@desnews.com