A thank you goes out to my Goodreads friend, Linda, for recommending this short story to me. Nick Nichols is surely an author who ought to be read and enjoyed by many and I would not have found him with such ease had I not let Linda sway me.
Nichols bursts onto the published scene with this thought provoking short story that forces the reader to think while enjoying all the tale has to offer. Jack Adams is still trying to get his life and legal work back in order after serving a six month suspension. When he is approached by Jeremy Weldon, his new client presents an interesting scenario to consider. Jeremy’s brother, Darrell, was in a serious car accident that left him comatose. Darrell’s wife, Lucinda, has decided that she wishes to have a child with her husband and has procured the services of a storage facility should she be able to extract his sperm. Without any medical certainty as to how long Darrell has, Lucinda wishes to act immediately. Jeremy argues that not only is his sister-in-law being unfaithful, but that Darrell would not have wanted a family with his wife, once he learned of her adultery. Debating all the angles and how he might tackle the case and the relatively new area of contested reproductive rights and the law, Jack agrees to represent Jeremy in hopes of making him the guardian to act on his brother’s behalf. In court, both side present their arguments, some emotional and others rooted in the law, but both seeking the upper hand on the plan to retrieve Darrell’s contribution to continuing his legacy. However, there are some areas that are without clear precedent and it is here that Jack Adams can excel, or fail miserably. Nichols offers the reader a chance to weigh in, if only in their mind, to see which side of the fence they would take, all before the judge’s ruling and the fallout from there. A wonderful introduction to a new author who is sure to craft a number of successful legal thrillers, if this story is any indication of capability.
Nichols uses few words to convey a powerful message, both legal and emotional, in this first published offering. He creates a plausible plot by using some realistic characters and scenarios, before pushing them along a legal path that is wrought with twists and uncertainties. While the genre is full of mediocre authors who try to grandstand and push their legal views on the reader, if only through a well-spun narrative, Nichols seems fit to offer the facts and permits the reader to weigh in on their own, albeit one side is a little stronger, as Jack Adams is the central character in this short story. While I will not toss out other authors whose calibre Nichols could reach with more writing of this nature, I will admit that should this writing (and likely the full-length novel he touts) make its way into the hands of many, he will be a household name before too long.
Kudos, Mr. Nichols for opening my eyes and mind to some of the issues surrounding reproductive technology and the murky waters the law sets out for it.