First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Lee Goldman, Emily Bestler Books and Simon & Schuster for providing me with a copy of this book, which allows me to provide you with this review.
Without having read Goodman’s first novel, I hoped to have no problem up the momentum and character development and not find myself lost. Goodman’s style is such that any reader could and should pick up this novel and be able to understand everything, while remaining curious about what they missed. Nick Davis is a well-established Assistant U.S. Attorney, head of the Criminal Division. Working on a case of bribery, he sets his sights on financial irregularities involving members of the state assembly. The murder of someone close to him causes his life to begin a downward spiral, only worsened when his wife, Tina, begins to push away and question their relationship. With a strained marriage and a murder investigation that leaves him stunned, Davis turns to what he knows best, getting to the bottom of things. Tina, a lawyer herself, remains fixated on her own work, seeking to exonerate a man who confessed to the murder of a boy years ago. As she uncovers facts and truths, Nick becomes involved in that case as well, but no amount of assistance can help his cause in Tina’s mind. With his billable hours and these murder investigations opening leads all over the place, Davis continues to struggle with his marriage and a possible new interest, whose life is as scattered as his. When the murderer comes to trial, revelations previously thought coincidental become central in the legal battle to bring justice to the community. With powerful courtroom and legal drama, Goodman paints a wonderful story with as many twists as one can expect from a fast-paced novel. A must-read for the legally inclined, and those who love being gobsmacked.
I cannot say enough about how well Goodman wove together this book. His approach with the Davis character not only allows the reader to want to learn more, but the breadcrumbs placed throughout the story, hinting and events from the past and characters with whom Davis has a history, enrich the experience. I often had to remind myself that there was only one previous novel and that all the past mentioned herein could not solely come from one previous novel. The detail and the means by which it is brought to the surface leave me wondering if Goodman might go back and write novels based on these previous events, including the loss of his infant son, the early years of his daughter’s life, and his first marriage in its entirety. There is enough there and, surely, he could weave in more wonderful courtroom drama, for which I cannot speak highly enough. Mixing a narrative, dialogue, and segments of ‘transcript text’, the reader is treated to all three as the story advances and this only adds realism to an already powerful novel. I cannot wait to go back to read the previous novel and hope that it is as rich with such tidbits, before looking forward to the next piece Goodman publishes.
Kudos, Mister Goodman for this entertaining piece. If all courtroom drama and legal thriller writers could moonlight as salmon fishermen, we’d have an ever stronger genre.