Posted first to blog Critics as Book Review: 'Pleasantville,' A Novel of suspense by Attica Locke.
When a female campaign volunteer disappears on the night of the Mayoral election, he finds himself with another client. This client is the nephew and campaign manager for one of the candidates. As all the signs point to his guilt, can Jay dig deep within his own wilting strength to find the answers and help guide the police who are quick to judgment on the case, in the right direction?
As he moves to make his mark, slowly and inexorably someone is working behind the scenes to take over his most promising case and many of his clients who have become close to him over the years as they continue to fight corporate greed. This is the one case that can help him reach his goals, but with his embroilment in his new work he has missed the signs of unrest.
Can he deliver on his promises and get his clients what they deserve before his reputation is gone for good, and can he save a young man from a crime he did not commit? Everything is beginning to point to the possibility of the cases being related. Can he find the answers before it is too late?
Locke has created a group of characters that are irascible and likable. Along with them she has also given us those who have an unsavory edge, always looking for the bottom line uncaring of human cost. She creates pressure and tenseness by introducing just how easy it is to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. But there is also that question of ‘what if.’ You are lead to believe in a certain way, but without having all the facts, the answer may be the wrong one.
Jay Porter is a hero with a very human face. His life was once about money but time has changed him, he is there to fight for his clients many of who now number his friends. He is flawed as most are but his depth of personality draws you in. Locke creates an unlikely underdog, one that you grow quite fond of as you follow his exploits.
If you enjoy legal mysteries and suspense then this is the work for you. Full of red herrings and questions you find yourself wondering if you have missed the most obvious of clues. Locke takes us into the background of money and shows us the shadowy underbelly.
This would be a great work for a reading group or book club.