Manchee, an attorney himself, has a wonderful gift for describing the minutiae of practice in a small law firm, and he makes it riveting when, for example, the lawyers carefully go over Amanda's civil and criminal cases, describing the practical and legal implications. Detailed scenes like this ground the book and make it very real, showing law is more than stirring courtroom speeches. Equally good are the specifics of Stan's undercover operations, with enough tradecraft descriptions to keep any spy thriller aficionado happy. Sometimes, with these two convoluted plotlines, readers will have to work to keep track of all the players and double-crosses, but the story does move along at a nice clip.
Although the focus is heavily on plot, Manchee does work in some personal relationships that lend welcome warmth to the dual legal proceedings. Especially strong is Stan's unusual partnership with Rosa, an unwilling ally of the cartel, purportedly being used to spy on Stan. What starts as a convenience for their mutual safety turns into something more, giving an emotional heft to the story. Manchee also does a good job with Amanda, neatly describing the plight of the working poor and lending her a lot of sympathy. Fortunately, Manchee brings the multiple plots and large cast to a satisfying conclusion.
Takeaway: Attorneys battle for a poor victim—and against a cartel—in this fast-moving legal thriller.
Great for fans of: Scott Turow, Scott Pratt.
Design and typography: A
Marketing copy: A