Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Book Review: A CASE OF REDEMPTION, by Adam Mitzner

Adam Mitzner
Gallery Books, 2013
336 pages
Legal Thriller

When I finished reading Adam Mitzner's A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, I thought I'd never read a better, more well-written legal thriller by the author. Figured he'd peaked with his debut. And then I read A CASE OF REDEMPTION, and I am not sad to say --not sad at all-- I was wrong. If you are me, and love courtroom dramas, legal thrillers that hinge on the law, and lawyers, and judges, and conspiracies, and witnesses, and juries . . . Give Adam Mitzner a shot!

In A CASE OF REDEMPTION we meet Dan Sorensen. He was once a pretty high-powered attorney, well-positioned in a infamous law firm. A rising star. When tragedy strikes, Sorensen's life is shattered. The millions of shards are nearly impossible to fit back together. Unable to adapt, move forward, Sorensen leaves the firm, quits practicing law, and instead decides wallowing in his pain and loss is the best bet.

That is until everything changes. Nina is a girl he met at a party. Although he was intoxicated, he can't recall most of the encounter. Apparently he'd promised to hear her out on a legal matter. She's a third year associate at a small firm --a firm she'd just walked out on. She has a case. An up-and-coming rap star is behind bars. He has been charged with murdering a famous pop singer.

The prosecution has no evidence linking the rapper to the crime, other than the two had been romantically involved.

Meeting with his new client, Sorensen realizes two very important things. The rapper, Legally Dead, is innocent, and that maybe, just maybe Nina is the one responsible for saving his life before he hit rock-bottom.

The two, Sorensen and Nina, work day and night on the case, determined to get to the heart of the matter. Unfortunately, the more they seek out the truth, the more lies they uncover. Time is running out. The trial begins soon, and they have little by way evidence to prove Legally Dead did not kill the world-loved popstar!

I hate, hate comparing one author to another. I did it when I reviewed Mitzner's A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, because it was his debut. I said it was as good as when Grisham and Turrow released their first novels (A TIME TO KILL, and PRESUMED INNOCENT). And I stand by that. This time, though, I want to point out that Mitzner is clearly his own writer. A talented storyteller, Mitzner creates characters that readers will care about. More than once I was brought to tears. A CASE OF REDEMPTION is one of those tug-at-the-heartstrings stories. It got to me.

I love the courtroom stuff. The Objections, both sustained and overruled. Discovery is intense. What will they find? What's been left out? Who is hiding what? Mitzner makes me feel as if I am a paralegal working the case beside Sorensen and Nina the entire time! It's like watching a movie. Loved it!

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy

Monday, February 27, 2017

Book Review: A CONFLICT OF INTEREST, by Adam Mitzner

Adam Mitzner
Gallery Books, 2011
371 pages
Legal Thriller

I read this book with a growing knot in my gut! My anxiety grew. There was no way to turn pages fast enough!

Adam Mitzner's debut thriller is comparable to when John Grisham and Scott Turrow were at their best. That is to say that A CONFLICT OF INTEREST falls into the same legal thriller vein as A TIME TO KILL and PRESUMED INNOCENT. I can't recall the last time I read a courtroom drama with as much intensity and suspense. For the recorded I am following this author. On Amazon. On Goodreads. On Twitter . . . I want to --NO-- I need to know when more books are released (FYI I have the next three of his ready to go. Reviews forthcoming!)

Okay. Enough gushing over Mr. Mitzner.

Alex Miller is an attorney at a prestigious law firm. A partner. He makes a solid living, has a beautiful wife, and cute-as-a-button five year old daughter. The book starts with the funeral of his father. The man died rather young, and unexpected.

At the funeral, his father's long-time friend, Michael Ohlig approaches Miller about a legal issue. He owns OPM Boutique. A small brokerage firm. The government is after him for securities fraud. A terrible stock hit the market. A venture that provided 100% salmonella-free eggs needed backing. Stock went south. Investors lost their shirts. Criminal proceedings pending. Insisting on his innocence, Ohlig is looking to Miller for help.

OPM is a big fish. The partners in Miller's law firm are thrilled at the retainer size, and billable hours potential. Devising a Defense Team to represent other OPM key employees, and taking on rising-star junior partner Abby Sloane, Miller gets to work to prove Ohlig's innocence to the world.

Pushing through a suddenly turbulent sea of discovery, a relatively promising case becomes anything but textbook as the prosecution's witnesses disappear, bribes are made, and back room deals are cut. Suddenly, Miller is knocked off balance. His relationship is unsteady, and spending time with Sloane is muddying his line of virtue.

Hidden truths keep surfacing.

Miller is afraid he is drowning as he searches for answers, for truth. Things only go from bad to worse when murder is committed and a surprising arrest is made. Miller stands to lose everything, his career, his family, his sanity in Adam Mitzner's A CONFLICT OF INTEREST.

Phillip Tomasso
Author of the Severed Empire Series,
and The Vaccination Trilogy