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Fun but Flawed. Not a Grisham.
on 14 August 2011
My copy of this novel has a quote from The Times across the top of the cover "The Next Grisham". To address this directly, no it is not. There are some similar elements; a lowly lawyer gets caught up in a big plot he has to see himself through, the writing is style is flowing, pacey and easy read. However the quality of the story, its credibility and its consistency is no where near as good as Grisham. Even compared to his later books that fail to have a neat twist, at least they're consistent and fit together.
Now that's done the novel in its own right. Andy Preston is a lowly Lawyer scraping a living but having fun in 'grovey' area of Austin, Texas. His big love is his mountain bike. He gets asked to carry out some work for a rich buisness man, Russel Reeves, because of his connection with the area and things develop in an interesting way.
Overall this isn't a terrible book but its not fantastic either. I did enjoyed the characters, the description of the area and the writing style. Having been a dedicated mountain biker I really enjoyed the mountain bike action scenes.
However lots of things didn't fit together that tightly. For example Andy does a high profile job for the rich man effectively because being local it will be good PR with the community, yet Russell later ask's Andy to hire a Private Investigator for some work he want to remain annoymous from. The PI must be pretty stupid if he can't guess Andy's client from his PR job.
The unravelling 'mystery' wasn't particularly hard to see roughly where it was going, though the actual truth of the mystery was a bit unrealistic. There's also a romance that comes from nothing and the final action was exciting but not that realistic.
So in short an enjoyable read but don't expect it to hang together perfectly. I'd read another from Gimenez but it won't be a priority.