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I had hesitated before buying this title due to the mixed reviews. I can say I agree with both the positive and negative ones. It was an interesting story, but quite heavy on the legal case. Not quite as clever as his previous book.
I loved Mitzner's first novel, but this one left me wanting. It kept me interested enough to finish, but the female characters were so poorly portrayed it annoyed the crap out of me. Lets see there was the...
Betrayed wife who loved the main character so much she was willing to risk everything to save him...
mentally unstable but highly intelligent junior partner whose unrequited love for the main character made her willing to risk it all for him...
the potential supreme court nominee who was willing to risk everything for our main character, until she wasn't but then she got killed, so it was all good.
Oh, and they were all model beautiful.
Luckily, there was the unlikeable Female US Attorney, who had no personality, was a bit hefty but had a pretty face....
All that, and a pretty much cliched story was a stupid perry mason ending. But, heck, it had some decent court scenes.
I found the narration average at best, which may be because of the source material. I have listened to better by Marantz. Particularly, his dialogue was clunky, with voice changes that weren't easily delineated. Not horrible, but there are plenty of better legal thrillers out there today.
There are those who can pull off a legal suspense novel (e.g. Scott Turow, Paul Goldstein), but most who try fail because they fail to research enough, or their plot is incredible. Mitzner falls into the latter camp. He doesn't know how the legal system works. I can sometimes live with this if the plot and writing are good enough. (John Grisham, who worked as a lawyer a long time ago, knows, or should know, how the system works, although he sometimes ignores it. He gets away with it because his plots are pretty good and he can write.) Not so here. Mitzner's characters don't live up to their billing, and his plot is ridiculous. Chief examples are the USDC Judge with SCOTUS ambitions, who, for no reason, creates a fatal ethical issue by sitting on a run of the mill criminal case, and Mitzner's "brilliant" protagonist, who, also for no reason, embraces the ethical issue. Mitzner thereby ham handedly created his pivotal plot point: both the Judge and the protagonist are now open to blackmail. Mitzner has his protagonist recognize his plight, but inexplicably, the equally brilliant Judge, cannot. (Grisham would have found an at least facially credible way to create this pivot point.) At this juncture, I simply could not sustain the level of disbelief necessary to continue. I took advantage of Audible's return policy. You needn't. Instead, read anything by Turow and Goldstein.
Marantz's performance was good, maybe better than my four star rating, but it's hard to earn a top of your game rating when your material is poor.
77 of 78 people found this review helpful
When I bought this book I was led to believe it was a nail-biting thriller that would keep me on the edge of my seat. However, my expectations aren't the author's fault. Just keep in mind this is not a 'thriller' but rather more of a slow-building drama with a hint of crime and mystery.
David Marantz is a good narrator, but I did find his impression of a woman's voice to be rather annoying. Not a deal-breaker by any means, but worthy only of 4 stars.
13 of 13 people found this review helpful