Posted in reviews

Unclean Hands by James Rosenberg Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A struggling attorney finds himself in a contentious legal battle as the widow of a man accused of shoplifting is killed while being arrested, and as witnesses begin falling apart on the stand, the lawyer and the widow must fight to bring the truth to light in author James Rosenberg’s “Unclean Hands”. 

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The Synopsis

A contentious trial is imminent:

Rick Waterston’s legal practice is suffering. Although he’s stopped drinking, he can’t turn his life around. The ex is hounding him for past child support. His biggest client makes passes at him and there’s not a lot of money to spread around.

Emily Hawkins’ husband was killed while shopping at the local B & D warehouse store, accused of shoplifting and suffocated while being detained waiting for the police to arrive. To figure out the true story of what happened to her husband she hires Rick to sue the store.

Without any settlement offer, they are forced to take the case to trial where Rick has to handle the overbearing lawyers representing the store—the same people who fired him from his first job and sent him on his downward spiral.

No trial is predictable, but Rick must question his tactics when witnesses fall apart on the stand and crumble under intense cross-examination. The only hope of convincing the jury that shoplifters have rights is Emily who must stand her ground when confronted with her husbands’ dirty secrets.

The Review

A truly stellar and enthralling legal thriller, author James Rosenberg once again finds the perfect balance between his background as an attorney and the intricate depth he finds within his characters. The blend of each character’s integral role in the trial and the case overall with their own personal struggles, especially protagonist Rick and his haunted past, really helped the narrative flow smoothly.

In this day and age, the concept of lawful versus unlawful arrests and the demand for more accountability towards those accused of crimes versus actual criminals has never been higher. The narrative really does a great job of capturing this important societal theme, while also giving an original and unique spin on the story overall that will have readers hanging on the author’s every word. The pacing of this fits perfectly in the legal thriller genre, really setting up the case and making the reader eager to read as each clue is unraveled slowly but surely.

The Verdict

A brilliant, engaging, and jaw-dropping legal thriller, author James Rosenberg’s “Unclean Hands” is a must-read novel. The shocking final moments of the book’s legal battle will leave readers reeling as the truth is revealed, and the more personal and intimate moments with characters like Rick will keep the reader feeling more connected to the narrative overall. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

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About the Author

James Rosenberg is a 3rd generation trial attorney with plenty of stories to tell. Inspired not only by the courtroom stories his father and grandfather used to tell

him when he was a child, but also by the wild adventures he’s encountered through his own experience as a lawyer. 

James is fascinated by the intricate, interpersonal

dynamics of every trial he’s endured. Whether it’s the raw emotion on display in court, the tension in the air that builds until someone wins, or the impact that a

case’s decision has on the parties involved, James is always paying attention and keeping tabs on what’s happening.

In his debut novel, “Legal Reserves”, James flexes his creative muscle outside of the courtroom to share his stories, with a fictional twist, through the eyes of archetypes he knows well.

A native of Pittsburgh and a graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School and the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, James has been a trial attorney in Pittsburgh for almost 30 years. He started writing legal thrillers as a stress reducer and finds this creative outlet to be a fun and meaningful diversion from his day job.

When he’s not trying cases, he’s either dreaming up his next book idea, spending time with his wife and three kids, or both.

To contact James email Rosenberg@marcus-shapira.com or follow him on Facebook at 

https://www.facebook.com/RosenbergWrites/

https://www.bookbub.com/books/unclean-hands-by-james-rosenberg

Check out his website: www.JamesRosenbergAuthor.com

Posted in reviews

A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

Two young mothers find themselves in a gripping murder trial as one must defend the other and prove her innocence in the face of growing evidence to the contrary in author Lara Bazelon’s “A Good Mother”.

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The Synopsis

A gripping page turner about two young mothers, one grisly murder, and the lengths both women will go in the name of their children.

When young decorated combat veteran Travis Hollis is found stabbed through the heart at a U.S. Army base in Germany, there is no doubt that his wife, Luz, is to blame. But was it an act of self defense? A frenzied attempt to save her infant daughter from domestic abuse? Or the cold blood murder of an innocent man?

As the case heads to trial in Los Angeles, hard-charging attorney Abby Rosenberg is eager to return from maternity leave—and her quickly fracturing home life—to take the case and defend Luz. Abby, a new mother herself, is committed to ensuring Luz avoids prison and retains custody of her daughter. But as the evidence stacks up against Luz, Abby realizes the task proves far more difficult than she suspected – especially when she has to battle for control over the case with her co-counsel, whose dark absorption with Luz only complicates matters further.

As the trial careens toward an outcome no one expects, readers will find themselves in the seat of the jurors, forced to answer the question – what does it mean to be a good mother? A good lawyer? And who is the real monster?

The Review

A gripping legal thriller, the author has used her expertise in the field of legal aid to really dive into the laborious work that goes into being a lawyer at trial. The balance found of legal work and suspense as the evidence and discoveries made in the case keep the reader guessing made this such an entertaining read. 

The character development was fantastic to see here. From protagonist, Abby, and her challenging battles both at home and in the case kept the reader invested in the narrative, while the back and forth on Luz as a suspect in the case and whether or not she could be trusted made for some interesting and gripping storytelling. Then pacing is what really sets the tone for the novel, as the story begins wildly with the 911 call on the night of the crime, and then steps back and begins to set up the trial itself as the mystery begins to slowly be peeled layer by layer. 

The Verdict

A mesmerizing, heart-pounding, and evenly-paced read, author Lara Bazelon’s “A Good Mother” is a fantastic thriller and a must-read novel. Great character growth and a pulse-racing mystery that keeps the reader on the edge of their seat make this story shine brightly and make for the perfect summer read for fans of the genre. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Lara Bazelon is an attorney, journalist, MacDowell Fellow, former public defender, and professor at the University of San Francisco School of Law, where she holds the Phillip and Muriel C. Barnett Chair in Trial Advocacy. She is also the author of Rectify: The Power of Restorative Justice After Wrongful Conviction, as well as the upcoming nonfiction book, Ambitious Like a Mother: Women, Ambition, and Motherhood, and her writing has been published widely in The New York Times, The Atlantic, Slate, The Washington Post, and many others.

SOCIAL LINKS:

Author website: https://larabazelon.com/ 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/larabazelon

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/larabazelon

Twitter: https://twitter.com/larabazelon 

BUY LINKS:

Bookshop.org: https://bookshop.org/books/a-good-mother/9781335916099

Indiebound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781335916099

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-good-mother-lara-bazelon/1137392597?ean=9781335916099 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1335916091?tag=hqnweb-20

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/us/book/a-good-mother/id1525079297?uo=4&at=10l9MF&ct=hqnweb 

Books A Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/9781335916099?AID=10747236&PID=7651142&cjevent=2e657d74919611eb8308010a0a82b820

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/a-good-mother 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=9780369703149&c=books 

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An Excerpt from “A Good Mother”

Saturday, October 14, 2006

2:51 a.m.

Ramstein Air Base

Ramstein-Miesenbach, Germany

“Front desk, Sergeant Jamison.”

“He was too big. I couldn’t get him off me. He told me I was going to die—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am?”

“[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, where are you?”

“1074-B Arizona Circle. Call an ambulance. I need—”

“Okay, okay. I’ve got the EMT on the other line and the ambulance en route. Where are you hurt?”

“Not me—”

“Ma’am, is that—is that a baby crying? Is that your baby?”

“[unintelligible]”

“Did he hurt the baby?”

“She’s—[unintelligible]—the other room. He was going to [unintelligible]”

“Okay, I reported the break-in. We are dispatching—security forces have been dispatched. Where is he now?”

“[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, where is the intruder now?”

“He was stabbed. Oh, Jesus, oh, Jesus—[unintelligible]”

“What is the nature of the injury?”

“There’s so much blood—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, I can’t—I’m having trouble understanding you. I need for you to calm down so I can tell these guys what’s going on.”

“[unintelligible]”

“Where is he stabbed?”

“In his chest. He’s losing all of his blood.”

“The EMT is en route now.”

“[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, could the intruder hurt you or the baby? Are you still in danger?”

“He’s not—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am—”

“—an intruder. He’s— It’s Staff Sergeant—[unintelligible]”

“I’m having a hard time understanding you, ma’am. Take a breath. Take a breath.”

“Staff Sergeant Travis Hollis—”

“The intruder is—he’s—he’s military?”

“He’s my husband. He was stabbed. I stabbed him—[unintelligible]”

“Ma’am, ma’am, are you still there?”

“Travis, baby, don’t die on me. Please, don’t die.”

Excerpted from A Good Mother by Lara Bazelon, Copyright © 2021 by Lara Bazelon. Published by Hanover Square Press.

Posted in Blog Tours, Book Events, reviews

Innocence on Trial by Rick Bowers Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A fight to free a man suspected of being innocent of a violent crime leads an attorney on a dangerous journey against corrupt police officers and a deadly criminal who has remained in the shadows for decades in author Rick Bowers’ novel “Innocence on Trial”. 

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The Synopsis

Seeking a high profile case to jet fuel her career and striving to strike a blow for justice, attorney Laura Tobias sets out to clear a man she believes was wrongfully imprisoned for murder ten years before. The young lawyer, a rising star with the Council Against Wrongful Convictions, is the last hope for inmate Eddie Nash, serving life without parole at the infamous Attica Correctional Facility in upstate New York. Attica, one of the last of the classic “Big Houses,” is still haunted by the 1971 inmate revolt and police siege that left dozens of prisoners and hostages dead. Appealing the cast in federal court and unraveling the facts, Laura uncovers evidence that Eddie was framed by the police for the murder — the brutal hanging of a troubled young woman in the remote upstate town of Eden. Realizing that the real ‘Hangman of Eden’ may still be at large, Laura also finds herself being stalked. Are the police out to stop her from exposing their frame up? Is the real killer seeking to keep her from re-opening the investigation? Teaming up with noted innocence investigator Charles Steel, she gets a lead on evidence that could clear her client and point to the real killer. With a new trial moving forward, Laura must find the truth, and prevail in court, without becoming the next victim.

The Review

What an exciting thriller. Having the opportunity to listen to the audiobook version of the novel, narrator Eleanor Caudill does an amazing job of bringing the visceral settings and complex characters come to life for the listener. 

The story itself is well woven, creating characters that are multi-layered and full of complexities that keep readers engaged throughout the entire book. The book plays out like a court-room drama taken to the tenth power, with the drama and tension of the courtroom trial blending into the thrill of a dangerous set of foes lurking ever closer as the truth fights to breakthrough. 

The cast of characters are the heart of the story, with protagonist Laura Tobias fighting to prove herself and showcase her talent while trying to uncover the truth of the case and her client Eddie struggling with the sins of his own past while fighting the crime he didn’t commit or did he? 

The Verdict

An emotional and thrilling story shines brightly in this novel. A must-read book, the story takes readers for a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seat, and by books end the reader will be fully invested in Laura’s fight to get to the heart of this tragic and gruesome case. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy of author Rick Bowers’ “Innocence on Trial” today!

Rating: 10/10

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Audio Blog Tour: Innocence on Trial by Rick Bowers

Author: Rick Bowers

Narrator: Eleanor Caudill

Length: 7 hours and 31 minutes

Released: Feb. 5, 2020

Publisher: Rick Bowers

Genre: Legal Thriller

Continue reading “Innocence on Trial by Rick Bowers Review”
Posted in reviews

Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr. Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

An emotionally and politically charged thriller like no other, author N. Lombardi Jr. is set to release one of the most relevant and headline grabbing novels of the year with his upcoming release, Justice Gone. Here is the synopsis.

The Synopsis

When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down. A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase. Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers get there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture. Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge? Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr Tessa Thorpe, wrapped in the divisive issues of modern American society including police brutality and disenfranchised returning war veterans. N Lombardi Jr. is the author of compelling and heartfelt novel The Plain of Jars.

The Review

My first reaction to this novel was simply…wow. Between the relatable and attention grabbing characters to the heartbreaking and straight from the headlines story and the vivid imagery, this novel truly came to life in ways few novels are ever really able to get to. The issues discussed through the character’s struggles, from homelessness and racism to police brutality and neglecting the needs of those suffering from mental health struggles (most notably in this novel war veterans), made this novel feel not only gripping and engrossing, but important.

The complex issue of right and wrong takes center stage as readers have to not only see the horrible crimes the police are able to commit against citizens, but the tragic cycle of violence that occurs when these issues are left unchecked. I recently saw an interview in which a student remarked that what’s moral and ethical is not always what’s legal, and this novel really brings this sentiment to life. At what point do we start standing up to immoral acts that are protected by technically legal tactics? Do we as a society share any responsibility for crimes committed due to these injustices or the lack of care for those suffering through traumatic mental health struggles? That’s what this novel delves into as the mystery behind the brutal killings of three cops slowly but surely get untangled throughout the book.

The Verdict

This is a must read novel of 2019! Full of edge of your seat twists and turns and a story that touches on the pulse of our current society, this novel excels in every way, delivering a story full of heart and emotion that doesn’t always pair with a good thriller, but in this case it does and then some. If you haven’t yet, be sure to preorder your copy of Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr (or grab your copy if you’re reading this after February 22nd, 2019), today! 

Rating: 10/10

Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr. Tessa Thorpe.

Publication Date
February 22, 2019

GOODREADS LINK:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/40398725-justice-gone

NETGALLEY:

https://www.netgalley.com/catalog/book/152931

Amazon link – 

Author Bio


Author Nick Lombardi Jr. has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, and he speaks five languages. An event in California in 2011 in which a homeless man was beaten to death lead Nick to write his newest novel, Justice Gone. Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 
Online: FacebookAuthor Website

Previous Titles from this author
Journey Towards a Falling Sun (9781782794943), Roundfire, 2014. 

The Plain of Jars (9781780996707), Roundfire, 2013.

Categories
FICTION (General)(FIC031030) -> Thrillers (General)(FIC031030) -> Legal(FIC031030)
FICTION (General)(FIC022040) -> Mystery & Detective (General)(FIC022040) -> Women Sleuths(FIC022040)
FICTION (General)(FIC031010) -> Thrillers (General)(FIC031010) -> Crime(FIC031010)

roundfire-books.com

Posted in Interviews

Interview with Author James Rosenberg

1) Tell us a little bit about yourself. How did you get into writing?

I am a lawyer, married and have three kids.  Those are probably the three most important areas of my life.  When my kids were small, I started telling them long, involved stories that were embellishments of my real life.  One of them, a story about a lawyer with a soccer prodigy son, will be my next book coming out.  What I found is I could tell stories that used plot as a way to develop character.  I realized I loved stories that constantly moved and disliked narrative that was bogged down with description.  My stories depict what happens when a character is faced with difficult choices, which ultimately, I believe, is incredibly revealing.

2) What inspired you to write your book?

I always wonder what is stronger, friendship or the drive for personal enrichment (money).  In my novel, one of the key plot drivers is that three long-time friends are forced to take the opposite sides of an important trial.  The three met the first day in law school but later in their careers find themselves as the attorney representing a woman suing a big company, the lawyer for the company and the judge in the trial.  I thought about all of the major conflict that could arise when each wants to do their best professionally, and how that could affect their friendship.  I have dealt in my career with some lawyers who are highly professional and others who will do virtually anything to win.  What happens if there is a mix of those types in an important case?  Every trial has enough stress.  Add in some volatile personalities and the results can be explosive.

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3) What theme or message do you hope readers will take away from your book?

With every character in the book, you will some good and some not so good.  The three main characters start in the same place ethically.  They are young and impressionable when they are in law school.  Yet just a few years later, they are in completely different places.  Mike still wants to help people and make a positive impact.  Jeri wants to avenge her feelings of rage since almost being raped.  Jack now just wants to become partner at his big law firm and make even more money. 

Sometimes a person doesn’t even realize when he is going down a path that leads towards becoming a lesser person.  Ultimately, lawyers are shaped by their environment.  The people a new lawyer works with teach them how to practice law ethically or how to cut corners.  Good often has to be nurtured and in its absence evil lurks.

4) What drew you into this particular genre?

That one is easy.  I’m a lawyer and have been one for too long.  I have been through many trials and think most people find the drama inherent in a courtroom compelling.  I certainly do.  I know I can describe what happens in a courtroom with realism—and I think in a way that brings out the conflict.

5) If you could sit down with any character in your book, what would you ask them and why?

I love Jack as a character.  He so flawed, but to me so human.  His primary motivation is success/money, and he lets the ultimate rewards dictate his actions.  I would want to ask Jack if he can see himself the way others see him and whether he would like what he saw.  He has so many good traits—He’s smart, witty, and an incredibly hard worker.  People want to be around him and he’s a leader.  But does he realize what path he’s put himself on because he has only one goal—money?

6) What social media site has been the most helpful in developing your readership?

This is my first published book and I am just learning how to market.  I am extremely unsophisticated when it comes to marketing.  I also consider myself to be one of the world’s worst self-promotors.  I am trying however.  So once I learn better how to use social medial to attract readers, I will come back and answer this question again.

7) What advice would you give to aspiring or just starting authors out there?

If you like writing, keep writing.  Write about things that interest you.  Don’t worry what other people like.  If you are moved by your writing, others will be also.

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8) What does the future hold in store for you? Any new books/projects on the horizon?

I am still working at being a lawyer, but I am trying to write every day.  I am finishing up my next book, The Jersey, about the lawyer with a son who is a soccer prodigy.  It has a significant tragedy in it, but look at it as ultimately uplifting (as much as it can be after such a tragedy).  I have also started by next novel which has a young, rebellious student who kills the president and the effect this has on his family. 

Posted in reviews

Legal Reserves by James Rosenberg Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

Three friends who made it through law school and settled into their post-law school lives find themselves forced into a legal battle like no other in author James Rosenberg’s “Legal Reserves”. Here is the synopsis.

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The Synopsis

A significant trial looms.

The two lawyers and the judge all have major reasons to worry: Jeri Richards, a newbie judge, is presiding over her first trial concerned she is too inexperienced to handle it. Mike Reigert, the plaintiff’s attorney, must try his biggest case because his client refuses the department store’s huge settlement offers–just to make sure that what they did to her won’t ever happen to anyone else. The company’s attorney, Jack Rogers, is told that he must win this trial or face banishment from his law firm.

If that weren’t enough, the three of them have been best friends since their first day of law school.

Back then, they were the cream of their law school and thought their legal careers would involve nothing but success . . . . Now, they aren’t so sure.

Jeri adored her two friends in law school. They helped her overcome the trauma of almost being raped. After graduating, she prosecuted the scum that preyed on the weak and became the youngest judge in her county.

Mike was planning to work in Geneva stopping international terrorism, but his uncle convinced him to help in his small practice in a sleepy town outside of Pittsburgh. Mike itches for more responsibility and finally comes to represent a woman mercilessly chained to a table until she confessed to a crime.

Jack craves the big money he would make if he became a partner at his huge law firm, and is willing to do anything to make it happen.

Now five years after graduating from law school they are thrown back together on opposite sides of a trial where Mike’s client seeks to regain her life while Jack will not stop to make sure the company prevails.

Jeri watches as the battles between her two buddies escalate until she has to intervene to protect the life of one of her friends. 

The Review

This is the perfect read for anyone who enjoys a good legal thriller novel. The story does a marvelous job of blending the real life legal system and the intricacies of it all with this fantastic character development between these three friends and the struggle to find their place within the legal system. 

The book does a great job of blending the past with the present, showing the friends who met in law school and the journey they went on to get into their legal professions. Mike’s good nature and belief in justice clashes with Jack’s hungry need to be the best and is balanced by Jeri’s love for them both and the love she has for law and order. The author writes with an expertise that speaks to the highs and lows of studying and practicing law, giving this thriller a sense of authenticity that not every legal thriller can have. 

The Verdict

This is a must own legal drama/thriller that you have to read to believe. A story of corruption, justice and the impact the practice of law can have on three friends make this a truly compelling read. Full of shocking twists and turns, this book is so edge of your seat good that by the final pages you will be left hanging on every word. If you are looking for a great legal drama to read this holiday season, be sure to preorder your copy of Legal Reserves by James Rosenberg or grab your copy when it releases on December 18th, 2018. 

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Rating: 10/10

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