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4.3 out of 5 stars192
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on 14 July 2012
Irreparable Harm is one of those books you just don't want to end.

The first book in the Sasha McCandless series is superbly written and introduces the kick-ass lawyer who has become one of my favourite characters.

The story starts off with the unfortunate crash of a passenger plane, but the twists and turns which follow with have you turning the pages eagerly to see where this great mystery leads.

A terrific legal thriller, written by someone with first hand knowledge of the legal system that rivals any thriller penned by John Grisham.

Looking forward to starting book two in the series Inadvertent Disclosure (Sasha McCandless Legal Thriller No. 2)
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on 7 December 2013
In fact central idea is great - the possibility that someone could bring down aeroplanes remotely. Really scary. However telling of the tale is dull. Reads like the author got fed up with this and couldn't wait to finish it. And there are gaping holes in the plot. The key piece of evidence is mislaid through incompetence and happens to turn up just at the right time. Oh yeah? Could have been better.
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on 10 October 2011
I really loved this book; I raced through it in no time, and actually wished it had been a bit longer. It's a fast-paced mixture of legal drama and thriller, with tiny, ninja-esque heroine Sasha taking matters into her own hands when she discovers that one of her cases is linked into a deadly plot. Sasha is a workaholic who nevertheless manages to train as a top-notch martial artist in her spare time, but she's also a sympathetic, convincing character with a caffeine addiction and a stubborn streak. I'm really hoping we'll see more of her in later books.
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on 24 March 2012
The legal thriller "Irreparable Harm", by Melissa F. Miller begins with an airliner crashing into the side of a mountain for no apparent reason. All aboard are killed.

Sasha McCandless is a lawyer on track to soon make partner in her large law firm. The airline company is a client of the firm and the team scrambles to prepare for the inevitable law suits resulting from the accident. Until she discovers it wasn't an accident.

A company has developed an application that can take over control of a plane's on board computer remotely and cause it to crash. They are seeking to sell it to the highest bidder but need to demonstrate it's effectiveness first.

As Sasha delves into the mystery surrounding the crash the bodies begin to start piling up around her. After the HR executive at the company inadvertently sends her top secret information the company sends some hired thugs after her to get the information back and do away with her.

She is joined in her investigation by a TSA internal investigator who is also seeking answers regarding the crash. Together they try to stop the next plane from crashing and have justice served.

I really enjoyed the storyline and the characters. The core characters were well developed. I especially enjoyed Sasha because she was such a strong, physically capable and intelligent female lead. She was able to take care of herself. I also loved the two thugs because they were just plain funny.

The novel did have quite a bit more action then courtroom scenes in it but it worked for me.

4 stars - Kate Farrell, The Kindle Book Review
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on 17 January 2014
I had guessed that the author is a lawyer long before I read her bio at the end! This book makes particularly interesting reading for someone like me who has been a student of the law - lots of background information and legal details are provided as the heroine Sasha McCandless punches, kicks and puzzles her way through this gripping crime thriller.

The plot was very carefully thought out, and we remained largely sympathetic to the heroine throughout the book (although some of her antics and choices of action did come across at times as being a little bit unlikely - but then it would have been boring if she hadn't taken a few risks along the way!). The villians were caricatures, but wonderfully drawn ones - you'd have no trouble hissing at them as they walked on a pantomime stage. It may have been light reading, but it was certainly very enjoyable reading.

I will definitely be seeking out more in the Sasha McCandless series and more by this author in general.
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VINE VOICEon 6 September 2011
"There's a smartphone app that can crash a plane. And it's for sale to the highest bidder. Attorney Sasha MacCandless soon realises the crash was no accident: a developer has created an application that can control a commercial plane's on-board computer from a smartphone."

As a fan of both Air Crash Investigation-style documentaries and legal thrillers, the synopsis of `Irreparable Harm' - emailed to me by a reviewing site, appealed enough for me to request a review copy of the book. I must admit that I had fairly low expectations, as the site that offered it to me mainly deals with indie and self-published writers. From the very first chapter of this novel, however, I was hooked. Set in the a top law firm in Pittsburgh, it borrows elements from the backdrop of legal drama `The Guardian' - Guardian: Complete Series [DVD] [Region 1] [US Import] [NTSC] - also set in Pittsburgh. There are hotshot lawyers, overworked associates, harassed secretaries and the kind of merciless corporate culture that is only really fun to watch in fiction. I wonder if Miller has also seen the show?

The fast-paced, action-packed plot sucks you from the start, but what really sets this novel apart from a multitude of others is a credible, likeable female protagonist, associate Sasha MacCandleless. "Almost 5'3" tall" - in three-inch heels, the diminutive attorney practices Krav Maga, the notorious, street-fighting-derived self-defence technique employed by the Israeli army; a skill that will, of course, turn out to be very useful in the course of the story.

The story, in brief, revolves around Sasha's efforts to find out what really caused the plane to crash, and to prevent further disasters. Along the way, she meets Agent Leo Connelly, an air marshal who has the misfortune of being on the receiving end of Sasha's Krav Maga training. Predictably enough, the two start working together to uncover the truth and stop the people behind the application from effectively getting away with mass murder.

As the protagonist, Sasha MacCandless is portrayed as a realistic, three-dimensional human being, without the usual name-dropping of designer shoes and handbags which seems to be the canon for female characters at the moment - something that, from the point of view of a female reader, iis both irritating and patronising.

Instead, Sasha's character is brought to life by the richness of the detail; we are allowed into her daily routine, timed to the nano-second to include a run and a training session at the Krav Maga studio; her apartment is described as modern and convenient, but "soulless", unlike the old Victorian house that she used to rent. Everything in Sasha's life appears to be functional to her job, planned and programmed to protect her in the shark-infested waters of corporate law.

A look in Miller's website reveals that the author is an attorney herself, and her experience in the field shows in the narration, which is cleverly interspersed with insights on Sasha's career as an attorney, such as anecdotes on past cases, terrifying judges and junior associate lore. The title itself - `Irreparable Harm' refers to one of the four criteria required to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) - which comes into play in the story. The legal stuff, however, does not get in the way of the action; Miller handles the `extra' content expertly, achieving the perfect balance between character development, commitment to the genre and a tight plot that never loses pace.

For a first novel, Irreparable Harm is a polished, highly-accomplished page-turner; it grips you from the opening page; it has a great female protagonist and some equally great supporting characters; it is also very, very hard to put down. I wish there was another one I could start reading straightaway. But the good news is that Melissa F. Miller has publicly stated that she is already working on the next instalment, and I for one am already looking forward to the next Sasha MacCandless adventure.
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on 3 November 2013
The early part of the book promised far more than, finally, it delivered. The story was, as some have stated, too simple and under-developed, the Air Marshall character particularly so. The development of the storyline was signaled too easily, twists non-existent. A real let down and I don't understand those who have awarded the story such high marks. Far more of the characters need to have been explored to draw the reader in - to make them actually want to care. Superficial and trite stuff, ultimately. This writer has a long way to go before hitting the heights of the more celebrated crime writers.
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on 24 January 2013
Well I read the book in just 2 days.

From the start you wanted to read on and throughout the book you are carried along with the story.

I will not spoil anyone's enjoyment by revealing the plot, suffice to say if you like a bit of intrigue, a bit of a thriller then this book will not disappoint
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on 26 January 2016
I agree with a number of the other two/three star reviewers that the storyline was good but the execution was a little off somehow. It was an enjoyable read, but parts of it - especially the last few chapters - felt rushed.

I certainly enjoyed it, but it didn't quite have the writing to make it anything more than "good". If you like legal thrillers then it is certainly worth a read (although I wouldn't begin it as your plane is taxiing for takeoff like I did - you'll see why...).

Good, but not great, certainly worth a holiday read.
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on 11 February 2014
I decided to read the reviews given by other readers and as a result I'm not going to give a synopsis of the plot (like I normally do). Instead I want to defend the author. I read through the comments made by one, two and three star reviewers and ask a question .... If you so critical, why isn't it your book that I'm reviewing???

Melissa Miller has gone to great lengths to ensure that this book covers the LEGAL aspects that a case such as this would entail, that's why it's called a LEGAL THRILLER. She's found a brave young woman, Sasha McCandless as the leading character and all the other characters play their parts well.

So - my summing up: A fast paced book full of intrigue, deception and double crossing. I particularly enjoyed the legal side that the author, thanks to her background brings to this book. I also enjoyed the fact that this could be a scenario that could be based on truth. Who are we to know what is being thought up “out there” to make money at any cost? I look forward to meeting up with Sasha McCandless in the rest of the series.
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