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review 2017-08-18 19:31
Started Off Strong and Just Got Lost in Too Many Coincidences
Beach Lawyer (Beach Lawyer Series) - Avery Duff

I really think this series has some potential if the author, Avery Duff, can keep the plot a lot more tight in the next book.

 

"Beach Lawyer" follows Robert Worth. Robert has been working for a very prestigious law firm for five years and is given the nod that he is about to become a partner. Even though he finds the actions of one of the partners, Jack Pierce, to be personally distasteful, he thinks that he has more than shown the firm his worth. Things go great til Robert ends up flaming out when he is verbally pushed by Pierce. When Robert realizes that he is getting blackballed in town, he decides the best thing to do is take on Pierce.

 

I honestly think the first half of the book was really good. I loved how Duff developed Worth. Heck, I even liked how Worth got his first client/assistant. But then the wheels came off and all of these things are being revealed about secondary characters and things got confusing. We even have some reveals about Robert that I honestly didn't care about. 

 

I would say this book tried very hard to be "The Firm" and then it just turned into a Lifetime Movie. There are way too many coincidences to be believed after a while. 

 

I would suggest for future books it may be better to make sure that the legalese gets turned down a bit. You definitely realize Duff knows what he is talking about. But after a while I felt like I was drowning in legal minutiae and I just didn't care. 

 

The flow which started off very well just jumped back and forth til the end. I didn't know who I was supposed to care about, who was a hero, who was a villain, etc. 


The book ending fell very flat. I think I am supposed to intuit that some of these characters are going to pop up in the next book, but am stretching my brain to see how anyone but Robert should return. 

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review 2017-07-15 03:53
HUSH by Tal Bauer (My VERY first book review – yaaay!!!)

 

 

I need to preface this review by telling you that I am a _crazy_ Tal Bauer fan. My love of his writing began when the bff texted me: “Oh. My. GOD. You _have_ to read this series called The Executive Office!” Okay, I may have paraphrased a little, but that’s essentially what she said. And so I did. And… Oh. My. GAWD! You _have_ to read his Executive Office series, but this review isn’t about those books so I won’t gush about them overmuch. 

 

I recently found out that Mr. Bauer has only been writing professionally for 18 months. Whaaat? Shut the front door, not possible, and yet he’s the one who said it so it must be true.

 

Tal’s attention to detail and fact floor me. The massive amount time he has spent researching is what breathes life into Hush and his other books.  His knowledge on a wide array of the subjects he writes about is truly impressive. And knowing that he does a deep dive into those areas he’s unsure about, in order to make the stories he writes authentic, only make the books that much more real. Both The Executive Office series and Hush could be ripped out of multiple headlines in today’s media. He tackles politics, prejudice, racism, climate change, intolerance and persecution head on in a thoughtful and factual manner. 

 

Take Hush, the book this review is about, it came out on July 13, 2017 and the story captivates you from the very first sentence.

 

The book is about Tom Brewer, a _deeply_ closeted 40-something year old US Federal court judge who is a recent appointment to the Washington bench. Tom’s closet was built from past events that impacted him profoundly and caused him to lock that part of himself away for the past twenty-five years. He has channeled all his passion into law, cutting himself off from his community and isolating himself from everyone but his beloved basset hound, Etta Mae, in the process.  

 

But the changing social landscape of the world and an unexpected friendship with co-worker U.S. Marshal Mike Lucciano, as well as a supernova heat of attraction, slowly coax him out of his closet one terrifying and painful step at a time. And you do _feel_ his pain, his fear, and his anxiety with every word Tal puts to paper. But it will make you hurt sooo good.  Tom and Mike will rip your heart out, toss it into a wood chipper, gather up the shredded pieces, and then make you whole again.

 

Mr. Bauer not only lets you see one of the most terrifying chapters in LGBTQ history through Tom’s eyes but he makes you realize how profoundly, and rapidly, the world has changed as he shows you the same world through slightly younger man Mike’s eyes. He makes you see how much just a few short years can impact and change the world. Tom and Mike come from different places in the struggle for LGBTQ rights and somehow manage find common ground in the slow burn of mutual attraction and flared passion; they celebrate together the joy and colours of Pride as Tom takes his first brave steps into outing himself to the world and then…

 

Tom’s world turns on its axis, and he and Mike are thrust headlong into events that neither of them could have dreamed of in their worst nightmares, an assassination attempt on American soil in Tom's judicial district. Their newly formed romance is threatened by events beyond their control; but not just their love is in danger of being destroyed, Tom’s life may be on the line as well as he is thrust into the international spotlight and forced into a role that he never thought he’d find himself in, trial judge for the most important case of his career, one that could have global reprecussions.

 

How far will Mike go to keep the man he loves safe? Will Tom allow his newly found courage to wither and die before it had chance to flourish, chasing him into his Narnian-deep closet once again? Will the world, which teeters on the knife edge of war, tip over to chaos or back into peace?  If the first half of the book was a slow seduction, the second half is a nail-biting car chase that leaves you breathless and constantly second guessing yourself, and the author, with all the twists and turns that come at you.

 

Tal Bauer compliments the main characters with fully fleshed-out secondary characters (and Etta Mae) who will make you fall in love with them, sympathize with their plights or hate and despise them completely.  They fill out the book, add more life  and vibrancy to it's pages and play pivotal roles in the story of Tom and Mike. From cover to cover, Hush will leave you feeling punch-drunk, like you’ve survived the most amazing thrill ride you could possibly imagine; breathless, shaken, exhilarated and wanting more.

 

 And yet, despite the political and legal backdrop and all the thriller aspects of this story, at the very heart of it, this book is about relationships; about accepting oneself, opening up to love, to the possibility of happily ever after and being unafraid and proud to live one's life. THAT message is what makes it such a profound read. Everything else? Icing on the delicious cake. 

 

I cannot recommend Hush enough. Go, buy and read it ASAP! You’ll thank me.

 

(I also suggest you have a fresh box of tissues next to you because this book hits you right in the feels. All the feels!)

 

      5/5  hearts from me! 

 

Also, I want to thank Jamie from Alpha Book Club (https://www.facebook.com/Alphabookclub/) for running the Advanced Reader Copy contest that let me start the book 2 days early! I needed the extra reading time :D

 

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review 2017-06-27 08:54
Compelling Evidence
Compelling Evidence - Steve Martini

This book was another one that started out slow for me.  I felt like he was pulling out all the big words he knew to stick in the first few chapters and the legal lingo was a bit much. I struggled through the first part but then got hooked as soon as someone died (of course) and then it really started moving for me and I wanted everyone to go away and let me read. Unfortunately, it was not a time I could be antisocial.  I did, however, spend one really late night sitting on the floor in a hotel bathroom so I could finish this book. It was good and I was surprised by the ending.  

 

This is the first book in a series and in the first few chapters, I wasn't thinking I'd be reading any more of his books but I quickly changed my mind. I am already looking for the next one in the series. Too bad this copy of the book didn't make it back to Fairbanks, Alaska. It had a little bathtub accident in Anchorage but it did enjoy Denali National Park. 

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review 2017-04-22 17:37
My Review of The Tumor
THE TUMOR A Non-Legal Thriller - John Grisham

The Tumor by John Grisham is more like a hospital brochure on focused ultrasound. Focused ultrasound is a new treatment for a lot of tumorous cancers. Focused ultrasound is in its infancy, so  there is a great need to inform people of this new treatment. This brochure was very informative and gives new hope for people who suffer from cancerous tumors.

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review 2016-10-28 08:03
The Whistler
The Whistler - John Grisham
Narrator:  Cassandra Campbell 
ASIN: B01JKG9JME
Publisher:   Random House Audio 
Publication Date: 10/25/2016
Format: Audio
My Rating: 5 Stars ++
 

OUTSTANDING!  Following John Grisham’s great intro prequel, Witness to a Trial, a perfect set up to the highly anticipated, THE WHISTLER What is not to LOVE?

 

First and foremost, the “King” of modern legal thrillers. Grisham is back full throttle! 29 books #1 bestsellers

Indian Casinos: Unregulated, lots of cash and plenty who want a piece of it: Treasure Key, Florida Panhandle near Pensacola

A Whistle-blower: Love them! Exposing the unethical and powerful. Always danger and intrigue. Who is The Whistler?

• Setting: State of Florida My Sunshine State

Lacy Stoltz: Age 36, Single, sexy, smart strong female investigative lead for the Florida Board on Judicial Conduct

Hugo Hatch: Male investigator partner: Funny, family man, former football star, married to Verna; 4 children,

• Themes: Corruption, Murder, Bribery, Gambling, Conspiracy, Money Laundering, Racketeering/RICO; Legal, Suspense, Humor, Crime; a little Romance

Honorable Claudia McDover: Age 56, The most female corrupt judge in America

• The Coast Mafia: Always a clever name for the bad guys

• Vonn Dubose: Ubervillain Mob Kingpin Gangster

Greg Myers: Codename, "Randy." (formerly Ramsey Mix) Lawyer, ex-con, a Jimmy Buffet type who lives on a boat, with one client. Reminds me of TV Series/Amazon Trial/Goliath Billy McBride (Billy Bob Thornton).

Last, but not least: Audiobook Narrator: Cassandra Campbell:Award-winning performance! She is without a doubt my favorite narrator with a wide range of voices. Top Audio Performance of 2016. Listen PRH Audio.

 



From the State of Florida, the book takes us from the coast: East, west, north, south, to the Florida Keys.

Picking up from Witness to a Trial, where we saw an innocent man convicted, a murder, a corrupt judge, a casino, and tribal land, as we move to the opening of THE WHISTLER, when a complaint is filed with the Florida Board Judicial Conduct in Tallahassee, Florida.

Overseeing judicial ethics and assigned to the investigative case is Lacy Stoltz and Hugo Hatch. Lacy single, and Hugo married, they are a funny duo and friends both at work and outside work.

They are on a road trip from Tallahassee to the east coast in St. Augustine, FL to meet with the informant. He has one client, a mysterious whistle-blower. Their boss says this could be big.

However, Greg has a shady past, and they are not sure if he is on the good side, or bad. If they can trust him. He wants to meet them in a remote area near the Tappacola reservation late at night, adding to the mystery and suspense.

There is a corrupt judge and she is tied into the casino with her monthly cash bribes. Of course, they have to get the goods and all the players involved for proof. There are real estate developments, land, and golf courses tied to corruption, among off-shore holdings.

Claudia also has a partner and the two women are quite loaded and know how to travel in style (and shop). The novel, as well as the prequel, revolves around a tract of Native American land that has welcomed gambling and can operate outside the Florida law. Acting outside the law, indeed. In America, Indians don’t pay taxes on casino profits. The Tappacola didn’t want to share.

To make things more interesting, the small Tappacola tribe has welcomed a group of mobsters, known as the Coast Mafia, to indulge in unlimited development in tribal land in exchange for a share of the casino’s profits.

Of course, anytime there is corruption, bribery, and coverups, the villains have to maintain their secret. Anyone coming close to the truth, they have the need to eliminate and coverup. Hence, the identity of a whistle-blower needs to be protected.

However, Lacy and Hugo have no idea how far this corruption goes, the elaborate crime scheme and conspiracy, and the danger they are placed in- the more they dive into the investigation. They do not even carry guns. Who knew their job would be so dangerous?

 



There is murder, and the Native American on death row, a gangster having anyone killed who gets in the way, and a crooked judge who looks the other way, keeping her hand out for monthly cash.

A high-stakes legal crime thriller of good versus evil, with a well-developed cast of characters. We get to see the down and dirty, greedy, rich getting richer, and eliminating anyone who gets in their way. An unfair judicial system portrayed brilliantly.

When the FBI get involved, Lacy has a little romance with one of the agents, even though she is cautious. Grisham has more female leads in this novel than usual, which was a nice change. Of course, also included female leads in Gray Mountain, landing on my Top Books of 2014.

What a great book! I can see this one as a hot movie. Grisham takes on top topics and unravels the complex web of deceit. Wow, Claudia was cold and evil and she loved her money and power.

As a former Florida whistle-blower myself (SOX 2002), making history; the Sunshine state has their share of dirty officials, corporations, developers, and politicians, in real life as well as fiction. speaking from experience.

Lacy, the heroine is a great character, and hope we hear more from her in the future. Loved the cover, reminding me of my two years in Key Largo, where I worked and resided selling real estate at a waterfront condo hotel with a yacht club.

Grisham shines with THE WHISTLER! What interesting topics- from well-researched Indian casino operations, with all the intense legal drama and judicial corruption, and no one does it better!

Buy the audiobook , Grisham/Campbell, perfect duo for The Whistler, for my Top Books of 2016 List.

JDCMustReadBooks

 

 

 

 

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/03/17/TheWhistler
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