Revenge of the Cube Dweller
Publisher: River Grove Books
Publication Date: 7/1/14
My Rating: 4 Stars
Toppling the Bishop Group’s black granite tower was not in Tanzie’s job description per se, but she proves to be a natural at it—as well as her own little deceits.
Tanzie Lewis used to have it all. The stylish wife of a successful oil executive at the top of the Houston social scene, she used to spend her days playing scratch golf or lunching with friends at the club.
That was before she was dumped in favor of a beautiful younger woman and the global financial crisis wreaked havoc on her divorce settlement. Now, at 52, Tanzie finds herself depressed and alone in Tulsa, watching her waist size grow and her professional opportunities shrink, working as a minion for clueless bosses in the internal audit department of the Bishop Group. So what’s a “girlie” to do? Snoop!
Taking advantage of Bishop Group’s security weaknesses, she begins to unravel the intricate warp and woof of corporate fraud, manipulation, and a cover-up that enrages her. Avenging the death of innocent Houstonians after a massive pipeline explosion, and uncovering her own hidden talents for sleuthing and cleverly tampering with the system, Tanzie dishes out her own justice to get even—and to get a little something for herself.
A special thank you to River Grove Books, Greenleaf Book Group, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Joanne Fox Phillips’ REVENGE OF THE CUBE DWELLER,is an engaging tale of one tenacious middle aged woman’s adventure in the corrupt corporate world, a whistleblower uncovering misdeeds of fraud; packed with humor, drama, sass, wit, and delicious revenge! Tanzie Lewis was living the life of everything Houston glitz and glamour has to offer, as the wife of a successful oil executive, with the highlight of her days—competing in the country club golf championship, or lunching with her rich friends. When her cheating husband threw her aside for a younger woman and the stock market took a dive, Tanzie was left at age 52, menopausal, and jobless. (minus her beloved dog, and left with a used Lexus, and able to fit all her worldly possessions in said car). Escaping her friends and former life (of course they now are her husband’s friends with his new wife), she escapes to Tulsa, OK and takes a job in the internal audit department of The Bishop Group, an oil and gas company. She is not on the management team, a nobody, (if you ask her boss), residing in a cube (razor sharp, good at her job, and a plus- a great detective). Taking care of her personal appearance is last on her list, thus weight gain and some lonely nights (with of course the help of nightly cigarettes and wine). However, she receives an adrenaline rush from uncovering misdeeds and accounting irregularities within the company, with a purpose—as the suspense heats up. She is obsessed with getting to the bottom of the fraud, as she needs to be promoted and accepted to demonstrate her worth; in order to get her life back, while working with these men who are worthless and clueless. From sneaking into offices after hours and weekends, uncover as housekeeping staff, to snatching computer passwords to privileged information—she uncovers corporate fraud, manipulation, accounting irregularities, and a cover-up! With the lack of security within the company, she manages to worm her way into their nasty company secrets by getting into emails and private conferences. (Loved it!) After her former friends from Houston are killed in a massive pipeline explosion, due to her employer’s mistakes—she recruits her sidekick sister, Lucy (miss organic and bohemian who wants to save the earth). Tanzie learns to outsmart them all, and wins in her own brilliant way! Of course, like most whistleblowers (I speak from experience), a company really doesn’t want to hear about the misdeeds, and accounting irregularities, as most of the executives are a part of the cover up, or they decide the brave ones coming forward with such information are labeled-problematic, and ultimately the hero or whistleblower is fired for some other bogus reason. The whistleblower has to gather as much information as possible in order to build a case while they have inside access, before they get caned, harassment begins, or the company begins deleting files, to cover their tracks. Thank goodness The Bishop Group was a private company, not publicly traded, as I could definitely step in and help Tanzie. I find whistleblowing novels and corporate fraud (fiction or non-fiction), fascinating! I am about the underdog. Even though this novel was leaning on the humorous side, due to the funky front cover, appealing to a wider audience; however, with a different more mysterious cover, this novel could really be an intense suspense drama and corporate scandalous novel, as has much depth. I for one, love the details as a very analytical thinker. Joanne Fox Phillips’ is an ideal author for this topic with an intensive background, as the director of internal audit for a midstream oil and gas company in Tulsa, Oklahoma; a CPA, certified internal auditor, and certified fraud examiner—offering great insights into the dynamics and internal tactics of corporate fraud. I definitely look forward to more scandalous corporate suspense novels in the future from this talented author. Maybe a SOX one next?