Finding Lubchenko, by Michael Simmons


When Evan’s millionaire dad is suddenly arrested for murder, and Evan learns that the evidence that could acquit his father is hidden in his best friend’s garage, he is left with a dilemma. Leave his father to rot in jail, or admit that he has been stealing office equipment from his dad’s company and selling it on eBay? Complicating things is Evan’s stormy relationship with his father, a penny-pinching disciplinarian. Eventually, Evan lights on a kind of solution – using the evidence on the stolen laptop to start his own investigation. With his dad’s credit card and his two best friends in tow, Evan flies off to Paris and finds himself in the middle of international intrigue, danger, mystery, and a possible bioterrorism plot.

While the book’s plot is fast-paced and fun, the true delight in reading Finding Lubchenko is Evan’s narrative voice. Yes, Evan is a sarcastic, whiny, self-involved narrator, but he is also uproariously funny. Refreshingly, Evan does not grow up a whole lot of the course of the novel. In keeping with the rest of Simmons’ funny, irreverent book, there is no tearful reunion with his father, and Evan is still the same aggravating teenager at the book’s end.