Online entrepreneur Steve Cooper has his own emergency. His mother, recently diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, has gone missing while on vacation abroad. Young unemployed but street smart Calvin Brooks has been conscripted to look after his friend’s business during his absence.
When anybody who calls up with an emergency, either real or imagined, it is Steve’s job to connect that person with the professional most qualified to help. The heartbeat of his business is a Rolodex and cell phone, each with all of the appropriate numbers of these professionals. Money for old rope. Unless you manage to lose both before Steve even leaves the country. Now what do you do? If you’re Calvin, you answer the calls and provide your own misguided brand of professional advice. Aided by Bob, the friend who was responsible for the loss of the Rolodex, madness ensues.
Calvin’s first two customers are both hell bent on committing suicide by throwing themselves from tall buildings. Using highly irresponsible techniques, he manages to dissuade both from their fate, but at a cost. Janet, the first caller and a stripper by trade, has decided that fate has used Calvin to bring them both together in eventual wedlock. Meanwhile, the second ‘would be jumper’ Mike, has convinced himself not only that Janet holds the key to his happiness but that Calvin has inappropriate designs on her, himself.
With Bob’s help, Calvin has to juggle keeping Steve’s business afloat with earning enough money to replace his expensive phone. Throw into the mix a woman in her mid-sixties with multiple personality disorder. Her wealthy son offers Calvin decent money to look after his mother while he takes care of his multi million dollar business deals. It turns out that Sylvia becomes a different person depending on which room she is in, a fact Calvin comes to grips with in hilarious fashion. In three different rooms, Sylvia becomes a sex crazed aristocrat, the daughter of a naval admiral and a German psychiatrist whose second job is located in Helga’s house of pain.
In the middle of all this, Calvin’s partner in crime has received a call from Mary in Chicago. Mary thought she had called a psychic hotline whose number was one digit removed from Steve’s office phone. Bob was less than honest with Mary suggesting she was due to receive a substantial cash windfall from an ailing uncle. Who would have guessed that Mary, accompanied by her demonic one-eyed cat, would track Bob down?
Will Calvin manage to evade wedding bells? Will Mary sue Bob? Will Mike persuade Janet that he is the better man? Will Calvin earn enough money to replace Steve’s expensive phone? Can the Rolodex be located before Steve gets back? Does Steve find his mother? Will Calvin’s sanity prevail against Sylvia’s eccentric excesses?
The prologue of this book seems to have a lot of moving parts. We met Calvin, who is answering the Emergency Hotline. The conversations are interesting. So this book starts and gets kind of involved from the prologue. I know what is happening, but then it jumps back, and I can’t help but laugh at the lousy luck Calvin and Bob find themselves in.
Some of the chapters in this book get wildly funny. This book is interesting from the get-go, but it is more of a short story; however, this is a great one if you need a laugh. Only so much calamity can happen before it is hilarious. I like how the characters seem to take it all in stride.
If you would like to read The Emergency Hotline by Aelx Bahscot you can find it on Amazon. As an Amazon associate I earn on qualifying purchases.