Necessity, by D.W. Buffa

Eight stars

In this novel, my second political thriller by D.W. Buffa, I expected much. The scandalous premise alone was enough to make me want to dive in and see how he would spin the plot. Buffa did not disappoint, either from a legal standpoint or with political implications that resonate in today’s America. Scandal arises when President of the United States, Walter Bridges, arrives in San Francisco and is murdered aboard Air Force One. Things only get more troublesome when the murderer admits what he’s done, claiming it was needed to save the Republic. The murderer is none other than US Senator Kevin Fitzgerald, a favourite son in California and perhaps the entire country. The buzz in the air could not be louder, though criminal defence attorney Joseph Antonelli expects the other shoe to drop soon. It does, when he is recruited to defend Senator Fitzgerald in open court. With political and social nuances surrounding both the trial and defendant, Antonelli prepares as best he and waits as the world’s eye shifts to San Francisco. While the prosecution tries to nail home the fact that there is no doubt about who committed the assassination, Antonelli works diligently to split hairs and reveals that things may not have been as straightforward as first expected. A lingering sentiment of the law of necessity—where sacrificing one can save the greater whole—becomes a theme in a case that reveals just how disliked President Bridges might have been and how his election came through ties to a foreign power. As Antonelli fights for his client, he knows this will be the legal battle of his life, where losing could be an act of treason all its own. A wonderful novel that fits nicely into the current political climate of the United States and exudes #realnews from the get-go. Recommended for those who love political thrillers that seek to shake the system to the core.

I thoroughly enjoyed my introduction to D.W. Buffa and cannot say enough about this book. He offers a thinly veiled sentiment about the US political system in both novels, though this one was as blatant as they come. Working through treason, assassination, and top-secret intelligence, Buffa provides the reader with a stellar piece of writing that will leave them wondering until the final pages. Joseph Antonelli is a wonderful character whose down to earth nature and sharp wit when it comes to the law cannot be missed. I realise that Buffa has a seven-book series dedicated to the man (yet this was not included??), so I will have to go back and see the character develop from the early stages. That being said, there is something about this man as he seeks to defend what has to be the most well-known defendant in California in recent memory. A well-paced courtroom demeanour, Antonelli is able to extract the key elements of a witness’ testimony without causing everything to come tumbling down, at least until the time is right. A handful of other legal and political characters offer up a wonderful flavour to this book that leaves little to the imagination. Much is revealed about a presidency mired in scandal and illegal vote-getting, though this is one man who refuses to believe the vote tally as being anything but skewed against him. There is no way parallels to the Trump Administration can be lost on the reader—nor should they—and it is wonderful food for thought at a time when many options are being considered about how to handle the quagmire that is presidential politics. With twists revealed throughout, the attentive reader will discover that there is more to the story than one politician killing another and admitting it, though much is kept locked away and information that never sees the light of day becomes the impetus for action. Brilliant in its execution, this is one book sure to ruffle at least a few feathers.

Kudos, Mr. Buffa, for a thought-provoking novel that keeps the reader on their toes. Not for the casual reader, as this book is intense from the outset.

A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: