Monday, August 16, 2010

Blind Man's Alley by Justin Peacock

Duncan Riley has worked his way to the top of his profession and is at that place in his career as an attorney to be accepted as a partner. He has been groomed for the part by his mentor and brought in on many of the top concerns involving the very top clients of the firm, including Roth properties.  They are working on a libel suit involving a story in the newspaper and Duncan is deposing the witness's, including the journalist as well as members of Roth properties. A section of one of Roth's holdings collapsed during construction, killing three of the workers. The Article suggested possible Mob involvement and kickbacks. The Journalist Candace Snow is a fierce competitor and does not give at all under the questioning. It in fact seems to make her even more determined that some hidden agenda is happening.
At the same time, Blake and Wolcott, the firm he works for has lost some of its shine as a Top firm and has Duncan also working the pro bono case of a family being evicted from one of the tenements that is now being upgraded and owned by Roth Properties. Duncan has some concern that this could create a conflict of interest but is assured both by his mentor Steven  Blake as well as Simon Roth's daughter Leah that there is no conflict. Duncan works the Roth case by rote, researching information, filing information, putting together memos, and all the staid but important work that fills the company coffers through billable hours. He finds his mind occasionally straying to his other case involving a teenage boy Rafael and his grandmother. Rafael has been accused of smoking Pot and agreed to a plea bargain that was going to keep him out of jail and with his grandma. He denied quite vehemently that he ever had anything to do with drugs, but his court appointed attorney did not really care. With accepting the plea deal however he and his grandma are being evicted. Duncan has just won a stay on the eviction when one of the security guards for the building is murdered and a witness places Rafael as the murderer. Duncan is convinced that something is wrong and is planning to fight the case for Rafael. His firm slowly begins backing out and trying to pull the plug on the case, putting Duncan in a bad place, as he has promised to help Rafael and his Grandma. He is able to get the the testimony about gunshot residue being present on Rafael's hands thrown out of court based on expert testimony.  He then  is immediately encouraged to accept a plea bargain because all of a sudden Steven Blake has concerns about a conflict of interest. More people begin ending up dead and Duncan begins to wonder if his enemies are his friends and his friends and colleagues are actually his enemies. His world suddenly turns topsy turvey as he turns to Candace Snow as an ally. His job is no longer secure and the world as he knows it is no longer as absolute as he has always believed. This work brings to light the high stakes played out in the world of money and greed. Duncan and Candace become the hunted in this cat and mouse game of truth and justice. Who will win and who will escape with their life.

I found this book very slow at the beginning. I had to wade through lots of legalese which buried the beginning of the story and kept the book slow. About midway after establishing the ground rules the book really took off and became more interesting. I had a tough time and had to force myself in the beginning to keep on reading. I am glad I did as it was a good book and a great story.

Rated 3/5

I received this book as a free copy from Goodreads First Reads. I am not receiving any compensation and all opinions are my own based off my independent reading of this material.
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1 comment:

TheBookGirl said...

First of all, congrats on your First Reads Win :)
I have this on my TBR pile...glad to get your thoughts about the slow start to the book, as I will be more likely to push thru if I have the same feeling knowing that it does pick up and end in a good story.