The Sunshine Shenanigan
by John M. Whiddon
It’s the early ‘90s, and Florida’s Medicaid program is growing fast. Webb Espy, the well-loved and spirited leader of Florida’s Medicaid Regulatory Office, has inadvertently discovered that large amounts of money are being siphoned from the state’s Medicaid coffers. Those responsible are doing so for reasons far more complicated and nefarious than greed. The resulting investigation leads him and his unconventional staff into the path of a mysterious and dangerous adversary, determined to keep them off his employers’ trail at any cost. Drawing on his personal resources and connections, Espy enters into a chess match of wits and wills, leading to several unanticipated consequences for himself, his team, and the world. Reflecting on the Florida Medicaid program’s uncontrolled expansion and the unknown extent of Medicaid fraud and abuse in America’s history, this story could be all too true.
About the Author
John M. Whiddon is an avid reader and writer with a background in the healthcare industry. He ran the state Medicaid Program Integrity Office for more than a decade and opened a private healthcare regulatory consulting business in 1995. Whiddon received his bachelor’s degree from McMurry College, his master’s in social work administration from Florida State University, where he taught for five years, and his doctorate (ABD) from Nova University. He is involved in numerous civic and conservation organizations. He has been married for fifty-three years and has two children and one three-year-old granddaughter. In his spare time, Whiddon enjoys wing shooting, mentoring children from single-parent families and writing children’s short stories. He currently owns a wing shooting operation in Argentina and Uruguay.
(2021, paperback, 366 pages)
A Review of The Sunshine Shenanigan by John M. Whiddon
By W, Shuford Davis, Ph.D.
Who would believe a first novel about Medicaid fraud, deep personal loyalties and a nefarious military operation could hold a reader’s attention in that “can’t put it down” way?
An intriguing cast of characters takes the reader through turf-guarding state agencies, the ego wars of bureaucrats, artificial intelligence in computer innovations, and a smart, creative team freed from the normal rules of investigation to catch the crooks. The hero, Webb Espy, is the rare anomaly of a millionaire who wants to be a public servant giving his team resources far beyond their meager state budget. Scenes describing the brutal strict codes that govern people on the other side are a blunt reminder of why they are loyal. The brilliant bad guy has unlimited financial and federal political resources and is willing to do anything, including murder, to keep the scheme alive.
From the rolling turkey hunting hills of the Florida panhandle, to the small Cuban cafés of Little Havana in Miami, to the inner workings of a super-sleuth team about to recover millions in fraudulent payments, you become entranced with the humorous, complex and compelling details.
A baseball theme runs through the book. John M. Whiddon took the first pitch and knocked it out of the park with The Sunshine Shenanigan.