First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, William L. Myers Jr., and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
The reader can be assured of a well-developed legal thriller when William L. Myers Jr. is at the helm. His attention to detail and captivating stories keep the story enthralling until the final pages, and this book is no exception. When James ‘Jimmy’ Nunzio is found in a warehouse, holding a bloody knife with a body on the floor, there appears to be little doubt that he is to blame. A high-ranking official in a Philadelphia organized crime family, Nunzio has a long list of beefs, including a rival New York family, to whom the victim belongs. When Mick McFarland is called upon to serve as defence counsel, he is hesitant, though intrigued all the same. McFarland interviews his client, but is left feeling as though there is something missing from the story and Nunzio remains coy about certain aspects of that night, promising to reveal all in good time. Meanwhile, Mick’s wife and other law partner are involved in some Innocence Project Work. Darlene Dowd was convicted of murdering her abusive father years ago, but a deathbed letter from her own mother reveals that a neighbour may have some important evidence and the murder weapon. Piper McFarland and Susan Klein begin to explore this new evidence, in hopes of being able to free Darlene once and for all. With the help of the firm’s investigator, Piper and Susan learn that there is more to the story than an abused teenaged girl who resented her father’s actions and took justice into her own hands. While Mick is trying to plan for his own trial, he discovers that he may have taken on more than he can handle, placing himself and all those around him in a mafia squabble that can only end in bloodshed. Learning of an intended payback, Mick must do all he can to get to the bottom of this case—including this mystery evidence the defendant is holding—before more innocent people suffer the consequences. A powerful story, with great courtroom action, that does not relent until the final paragraph, Myers shows why he belongs at the top of his genre. Highly recommended for those who love substantive legal thrillers that seek not only to tell a story, but offer realistic characters to add depth.
I can remember stumbling upon Myers’ first novel and being fully engrossed. This was a story that had both substantial legal arguments and characters who were more than simply vessels to pull the narrative along. Myers has taken the time to flesh-out his characters and injects personal attributes to which the reader can surely relate. Mick McFarland is a wonderful father and husband, as well as an accomplished lawyer who does not shy away from controversy. While his mind does seek loopholes, he is not afraid to work or to spend time trying to help his clients, no matter their circumstances. His passion for the law and those around him can be seen throughout and he proves to be a wonderful protagonist sure to anchor this series for years to come. Other returning characters offer their own distinct flavours and propel the story forward at break-neck speed. The attentive reader will see some of the smaller characteristics that Myers injects to keep the story light, but not superficial. This helps keep things from getting stale or overly burdensome. Dealing with both sexual abuse and family blood feuds cannot be easy, though Myers tackles both and presents wonderful spins. There is a delicate balance that Myers has found, one the attentive reader will see as they progress through this novel. The story is strong and reads well, mixing light banter with serious legal arguments, as well as some personal subplots some of the characters must face. Myers has a way of writing in which chapters seem to melt away, though he does not shortchange with detail or plot development. Anyone new to Myers should probably start at the beginning of the series—more to learn of the character and plot developments from their infancy—though I suppose this book could act as a standalone. Speaking of that, this book does stand apart from others in its genre and William L. Myers Jr. should be an author with whom readers familiarize themselves. It is worth the time and effort!
Kudos, Mr. Myers, for another winner. I am pleased to have been able to experience an advance copy of this book, as it allows me to drum up additional support ahead of publication.
A Book for All Seasons, a different sort of Book Challenge: https://www.goodreads.com/group/show/248185-a-book-for-all-seasons