Chosen People

Chosen PeopleAuthor: Robert Whitlow

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: November 6, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

Terrific international legal thriller!

Hana Abboud has always known that she would leave a chosen life ever since her uncle blessed her when she was a little girl in Israel. Now an international trial lawyer in Atlanta, she is surprised when she is suddenly pulled into a briefing by one of the senior partner’s to consider a case.  Their firm was contacted by another young lawyer named Jakob Brodsky, who has taken on a long shot case concerning a family that took a trip to Jerusalem where the wife of a young couple was killed in a terrorist attack, leaving behind her husband and daughter.  The lawsuit would look for an entity that supported a terrorist to claim financial damages.  Brodsky is someone who loves to help the underdog fight for justice, but his claim maybe impossible when his client says that his daughter has to be kept out of the lawsuit.  Although Hanna doesn’t initially want to take on this case, she fells lead to help with it and becomes the primary counsel.  She hires an investigator in Israel named Daud Hasan to help find out more about the terrorist that attacked their client.  As the team digs into the investigation, things start to happen that appear to target Brodsky.  Is someone trying to kill the lawsuit before it even gets started?  Or is there more at stake than anybody realizes?

Whitlow continues to deliver legal thrillers that are must reads. I picked up a copy of this book for a flight and breezed through it with anticipation.  I even finished it before my travel itinerary was complete.  I loved the way that he compared Hana to the boy Samuel from the Bible and how she was open to hearing from God.  The way she knew He was calling was when she woke up in the night and would meditate to hear His voice.  The Christian faith played a huge role throughout this story and also affected Jakob in his lack of faith until he went to Jerusalem.

I felt an instant connection with both Hana and Sadie. I could picture them together in every scene with perfect clarity even though very little personal descriptions were provide.  The tension throughout the book was evident between the link to the terrorist and the strange occurrences with Jakob.  The romance played out great as well between the characters that it was intended.  I’m not going to say more on that note because I don’t want to give anything away about some possible surprise romances.  Also, if you loved the show NCIS with the character Ziva David, then you will thoroughly enjoy the resemblance that Hana shares to her with the trouble of understanding American idioms.

If you love legal thrillers that are clean and just great reads, grab a copy of this today! There are a few authors that I grab off the shelf without even reading the synopsis first and Whitlow is one of those.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

 

Delayed Justice

Delayed JusticeAuthor: Cara Putman

Series: Delayed Justice #3

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: October 16, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An absolutely fantastic book with a very timely message about speaking out on abuse even if it takes time and strength to say the right words.

Jaime Nichols has spent her whole life trying to get the strength to move on from the abuse she faced as a child. Now she is a lawyer fighting in the courtroom to give a voice to victims like her. After decades of counseling, she has gained the voice she needs to go against her uncle, the man who molested her when she was just a small child. He is up for promotion to become a one star general and with his power he is determined not to let Jaime ruin him.  While Jaime fights her own case, she is also helping a young girl who was abused and needs help healing. Chandler Bolton brings his therapy dog to help the young girl and is instantly drawn to Jaime. He sees her strength but also her pain and wants to help her heal. As Chandler and Jaime work together to help those hurt and without a voice, they are drawn to each other and find strength they didn’t know they had at just the right moments.

This is a book that can tackle a tough topic, but does it in a way readers will really be able to connect with and feel for the characters. Cara Putman has a way with legal thrillers, she brings out the drama in all scenes, inside the courtroom and out.  I love the fact that the court scenes aren’t boring and slow paced; there is still tension and heart pounding moments. It was obvious there was going to be chemistry between Jaime and Chandler, their connection was apparent from the first moment they saw each other. Both Jaime and Chandler have demons they are fighting but together they are able to work through these difficult times and find a strength they didn’t know existed. Faith is a big element throughout and I loved the way Putman incorporated The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, such a timeless novel that played well with the struggles being faced here.  None of the moments of faith were too forward or in your face to push readers away that might not want to read that. It is enough to make readers think and maybe instill a few seeds to keep the reader thinking and possibly nudge them towards faith of their own.  It’s simple enough to show readers there is more out there if they will trust and look to God without trying to shove religion down anyone’s throat.  I recommend this book to fans of Putnam and also anyone that enjoys a good romantic suspense.  While this is a third in a series it can be read as a standalone without losing anything.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Lone Witness

Lone WitnessAuthor: Rachel Dylan

Series: Atlanta Justice #2

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: May 1, 2018

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

An edge of your seat thriller in the world of white-collar crimes and gangs. Rachel Dylan has crafted a page-turner that must be read!

Sophie Dawson has recently been appointed to the White Collar division as a prosecutor and is intrigued at the idea of diving deeper into these crimes that affect so many. She is working on a case against a local bank employee who seemed to be cheating his clients out of money.  In the middle of preparing for this case, she becomes the lone witness to a double murder with a member of a local gang leaving her far from the white-collar crimes she was working on.  She needs security to stay safe, so her father hires former Atlanta police officer Cooper Knight, who is working in private security to be her protector.  Sophie refuses to back down, even after her life is in danger more than once.  Cooper works every angle he can think of to keep her safe while trying to avoid the growing feelings he can’t deny between the two of them.

Rachel Dylan’s background in law makes her work writing legal thrillers the perfect combination. At times, the legal jargon and courtroom scenes can slow the pace a bit but are necessary for the story and characters.  Sophie may not want to admit it, but she is scared for what might happen as she pursues justice and tries to prove that she will not be walked over.  There were several nice twists throughout, especially towards the end that caught me by surprise, not an easy thing to do either.  I usually see the twists coming but this one did surprise me.  The romance between Cooper and Sophie felt slightly forced at times but when put in a high stress situation it does make sense that feelings could escalate quickly.  It is easy to think of crimes and exclude white-collar crimes because the physical damage isn’t seen, but it still affects many people and doesn’t need to be discounted for lack of visible carnage.  Overall I really enjoyed Lone Witness and recommend it to fans of legal thrillers and romantic suspense.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Top Crime Fiction/Legal Thriller

Merry Christmas to all!  And for a Christmas treat, we are releasing our top picks for Crime Fiction and Legal Thrillers!

the-trapped-girlClose to Home

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1. The Trapped Girl and Close to Home by Robert Dugoni

Well it happened again.  We love the Tracy Crosswhite series so much that there was no possible way to choose between the two installments released this year.  Dugoni is a master suspense story teller in this series that keeps us begging for more.

Read the full review of The Trapped Girl here.

Read the full review of Close to Home here.

Crisis Shot

2. Crisis Shot by Janice Cantore

Janice Cantore is back in full force with one of her best novels yet. We’ve been waiting for her to write this book for a long time.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

deadly proof

3. Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan

When writing a legal thriller, it is the author’s job to find a fine balance between telling the legal aspects of the case without losing the reader in terminology many will have a hard time understanding while keeping the tension tight. Rachel Dylan has done a great job finding the balance between the tension of the case without going too deep into the legal aspect.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

Deep extraction

4. Deep Extraction by Diann Mills

Another great book by DiAnn Mills that will keep readers guessing and turning the pages well past their bedtime.

Read the full review here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beyond Justice

Imperfect Justice

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

5. Beyond Justice and Imperfect Fustic by Cara Putman

We just discovered Cara Putman this year and her new legal thriller series has us getting all of her previous novels!

Read the full review for Beyond Justice here.

Read the full review for Imperfect Justice here.

Deadly Proof

deadly proofAuthor: Rachel Dylan

Series: Atlanta Justice #1

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: September 5, 2017

Rating: 5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

When a pharmaceutical company is at the middle of a major lawsuit, Kate Sullivan knows she has her work cut out for her in order to prove they are covering up the dangers of their new drug. Kate will have to do all she can to get justice for her client and keep herself from harm as the company comes after her.

When writing a legal thriller, it is the author’s job to find a fine balance between telling the legal aspects of the case without losing the reader in terminology many will have a hard time understanding while keeping the tension tight. Rachel Dylan has done a great job finding the balance between the tension of the case without going too deep into the legal aspect. I enjoyed the dynamic between the characters, especially that between Kate and Bonnie. The tension between the two of them helped the story immensely. There was a romance aspect to the story, but I was happy to see it wasn’t pushed as a main plot point. Of course Kate and Landon are going to find an attraction to each other with what they are going through, it’s inevitable.  Dylan did a nice job of keeping that thought in the background until just the right moment for the romance to develop further and be a natural flow of events. I felt that toward the ending the tension could have been played out a little longer and harder when Kate was in such a tough spot, but that is also personal preference.

It is nice to see a broader selection in the Christian market for readers. Most people may not realize you can get a great legal thriller with good Christian writing that isn’t preachy and still get a really great story. It is hard to know who to read and who might just be a waste of time. Of the almost 100 books I have read this year, I must say that Deadly Proof is not a waste of time and readers will find it an enjoyable work of fiction.  Overall, it was a very enjoyable read and I recommend it to readers that are looking for a tight, tension filled story that will keep them guessing until the very end who to trust.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Harvest of Thorns

a-harvest-of-thornsAuthor: Corban Addison

Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Release Date: January 24, 2017

Rating: 4.5 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

This should be a required read for business ethics courses!

Dhaka, Bangladesh is home to several garment factories that make products sold in stores all across the world. Some are better suited for working conditions than others.  One night, an electrical short in a generator causes a fire at the Millennium factory while workers are trying to complete a last minute order.  As the fire roars up the stairs, which is also the upper floors only exit, several workers try to remove the bars from the windows.  Finally, they get them free only to jump five levels above the ground, many to their death.  A photo of a young girl on the ground, bloody and battered, is shown throughout the news media.  On her face is a mask made of pants sold by one of the world’s largest retailers, Presto.

The next morning in Washington, D.C. Cameron Alexander, Presto’s general counsel, is called into the CEO’s office to watch the scene unfold. The factory was on the company’s red list, meaning they should not have any products being manufactured there.  Cameron’s main job is damage control as well as company reputation and he must figure out why this happened and how to spin it in a positive light.  As he digs into the investigation, he is shocked to find out the code of conduct is not only misused, but many times completely ignored.  He starts cracking down on the factory that the order was with and other items begin to come to light, not just in Bangladesh, but in Malaysia and Jordan as well.  Can the poison be stopped, or will it just keep spreading?

A year later, Joshua Griswold meets a confidential informant from Presto urging him to investigate the matter. Josh has won two Pulitzers, but was disgraced after one of the articles was used to uncover an unfortunate scandal.  Now with his marriage in shambles, he hopes he can rebuild his career with the Presto case and maybe even his family.

This book was an incredible read. From the start of the book, I was hooked and couldn’t put it down until I figured out what was going on.  Then once I did, I was along for the ride to see how everything played out.  As a consumer, this book can really open your eyes if you let it.  Most of us have heard about sweatshops and working conditions, but living in a first world country, you don’t really want to go there, either in person or your mind.  So reading this book can definitely give you an education.  It really makes you think about where the products you purchase come from.  It may have a sticker that says Made in Taiwan, but what do the people who make it go through?  How much do they get paid?  And then the whole set up with labor trafficking and supervisor rape.  It’s sickening to even imagine, but it does happen.

I think this would be a powerful book for business majors to read. Just to get them in a mindset about decisions they will be making and how they can affect other people’s lives.  If we are going to change the system, it will have to be from the top down and everyone will have to work to make a difference.  Thank you Corban Addison for bringing this issue to light and giving these workers a voice to be heard.

Aside from some of the content that will undoubtedly make some people uncomfortable, there is also some harsh language throughout. I would recommend this book to college age and above.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

The Heavens May Fall

the-heavens-may-fallAuthor: Allen Eskens

Publisher: Seventh Street Books

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Rating: 4 1/2 Stars

Reviewer: Jessica Higgins

A true thriller that examines both the detective procedural and the legal defense. Fiat justitia ruat cælum!

Detective Max Rupert is going through a trying time after the death of his wife. Now with a new homicide case involving a young woman and a defense attorney who once committed fraud on the court with a false discipline paper on Max, he finds himself up against one of his good friends Boady Sanders, who has taken the case on as the defense counsel.  Max has the suspect pegged on this as his alibi is shot, a neighbor swears she saw him at the scene at the time of the murder, and he has a motive.  But Boady is equally convinced that his client couldn’t have committed the murder.  After all, he left his law practice to him after he could no longer stomach the trials when an innocent man was killed in prison.  Told from differing points of view, it is a race to find out the truth.

This book is an exceptionally good legal thriller. It is fast paced and doesn’t draw on anything from the past books that have three of the common characters.  It is easily a stand-alone novel.  Even with the fast pace, there were still plenty of twists that kept the reader guessing.  Throughout most of the book, I found myself sympathizing with both Max and with Ben, unlikely though it would seem.  I really wanted to find out the truth to determine who was right.  I had a questioning moment with the flip flop of the credible witness, but still didn’t see the twist coming with that.  Well done Mr. Eskens. Well done.

The core of the book really centers on the relationship of Max and Boady. An unlikely pair (detective and defense attorney), they have found some common ground in the past and even had a poker club that they started.  However, after Max’s wife died, he become more reclusive, but Boady always visited him and helped to make sure he didn’t do anything crazy.  But now he is faced with having to cross examine Max to completely discredit him in order to prove that his client is not guilty.  Can their relationship withstand this test? Or will their relationship be over?

If you like legal thrillers, then you should definitely grab this one off the shelf. You’ll be glad you did.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. The vies and opinions expressed within are my own.