By Michael Arkin
Who killed a prominent New Mexico judge? Was it a developer? A Mexican drug runner? The law thinks the killer is David Madrid, attorney. David’s sister reaches out to her friend, Matt Lucas for assistance. With his team in place and some help from friendly cops, Matt sets out to discover who really is the guilty party.
Nice legal plot involving a wide list of suspects. Good personal stories are included which help.
David Madrid: attorney, divorced, alcoholic, dad dead, has two children, 5;7:, brown eyes, brown hair
Linda Lawson: Madrid’s half-sister, newspaper reporter, brunette, blue eyes, athletic, widow
Matt Lucas: Private investigator and lawyer, 57, divorced with three children, drives a Corvette and a white Toyota truck
Jeffe Saizman: District Attorney, dark complexion, black hair
Brian Nichols: felon, 6’2”, ex prison guard
Amber James: lawyer, large eyes, light brown hair with red/blonde highlights
There’s another P.I. and some shady characters in the cast. Most of the cast is well used. Some physical descriptions help.
This is where the biggest problems lie. Most of the dialogue is not natural to how people really speak. Most of the dialogue is made up of long paragraphs, long explanatory paragraphs, long detailed paragraphs. A lot are the telling of previous conversations and have direct dialogue from the other party included. Because of these long paragraphs, I lost interest in them because most of the interviews and investigations that were done and then explained could have been shown at the time they were happening or summarized a lot quicker.
I found it amusing that after chapters and chapters of lengthy dialogue, Lucas becomes irritated near the end with an explanation from a professor – which wasn’t nearly as long as some of his colleague’s conversations.
Some of the internal dialogue used italics, some didn’t and this needed to be tightened.
Most of the characters tended not to use contractions when normal dialogue would include them.
Book is separated into Parts.
Some profanity. 1st person from Matt’s POV during his scenes and third person POV other times.
Little tension throughout with only one action scene. Okay, two, but nothing very dangerous about the second. Most of this book, as described above, was lengthy conversations.
I didn’t quite understand Nichols’ role other than his ex wife is Matt’s girlfriend and Nichols hangs around trying to pick up information regarding her whereabouts. He’s a felon on the run, and takes off after he recognizes Matt in a diner, but there was no indication that there was any danger. Matt didn’t find out who Nichols was until much later. Nichols comes and goes and his role is a bit confusing.
Another thing I didn’t think worked was the extensive focus on Madrid’s alcoholism and his working through the 12-step program in jail. Some of it revealed some insight into his character and the mystery, but a lot of it, I felt, was not needed. Plus, the book covered only the first 5 steps so it’s unknown whether David went on to complete the program.