This is a great debut from an author who clearly understands the law and has a great way of presenting it without overdoing it. He creates charactors that you will love and despise.
It keeps you gripped from the first page to the last and has suprises that you really will not expect. You will want to read this in one sitting. I have ordered his second noval, 'The Law of Second Chances' and I am sure this will be just as good. Well done Mr Sheehan.
This novel has some great ingredients : courtroom drama which is well-handled, characters who are likeable and easy to align with, twists and turns, and enough injustices to get the reader invested in the story.
There are things to nitpick about, however : for example, parts of the book are very long-winded making it longer than it needed to be. I also worried about some structure issues. We finish a Part with some very flimsy evidence supporting a conviction and the next Part starts with the character well and truly entrenched on Death Row.
To summarise though, this was a really engaging novel and I had no hesitation in ordering the sequel. In other words, Sheehan is an author to follow, in my view. 9/10
This was brilliant. One of those books you look forward to going back to when you are not reading it, and one you miss when you have finished it.
It is a cross between early Grisham when he was good and lambasted the American legal system and Richard North Patterson's anti death penalty novel Conviction although The Mayor of Lexington Avenue is less technical and faster paced.
This is trial lawyer James Sheehan's first novel. His characterisation is very black and white. The bad guys are odious. The state attorney has only achieved because of his family connections and the chief of police is fat and lazy. The defence lawyer is only in it for the money.
On the other hand Sheehan wants you to like the good guys. He treats them all sympathetically. Rudy their victim is "a little slow" but handsome and liked by everyone. His mother will do anything to support him.
We learn of the relationship of Rudy's father and Jack Tobin through flashbacks to their childhood adventures in 1950s New York.
Jack Tobin who eventually takes up Rudy's case is sick of big law firms and wants to do good for the little guy.
You are carried along on the emotional roller coaster of the in justice Rudy faces and you can't wait for the bad guys to get their comeuppance. Be warned its not all roses and violins however.
At the end when the trial is over Jack walks out of the court and says to himself he knows he will be back. I certainly hope so.
I believe this book is Sheehans first novel and it is a cracker. Like Grisham and Richard north patterson he is a lawyer and in this novel explores the death penalty in the USA. As the other review points out Sheehan creates characters with personality that you either care about (Rudy, the young man on death row) or despise (the original prosecutor and detective in charge of the case).
The book essentially centres around an apparent miscarriage of justice and a lawyer who tries to put it right. The book allternates from past to present and incorporates a multitude of people all central to the book's main characters. I would have given the book 5 stars but at times small sections seem a little rushed and slightly cheesey. However, that said its a cracking read and doesnt pan out quite how you'd expect it to. It's happy, sad and everything inbetween. The best legal thriller I've read in a long time
I cannot believe that this author is not in the best seller list worldwide! He writes better than the big names like Coben, Baldachi, Child, and even better than the early books of John Grisham!, what a page turner of a book!, It was chosen through Amazon recommendations and I can't thank them enough.
This is a really good book. One of the key reasons for its success is Sheehan's ability to write about characters in a way that makes you empathise with them and care about what happens. Too often, novelists will have one or two 'fleshed out' characters with everybody else being peripheral. With this book, you can't help being gripped by the unfolding events and how they impact upon Jack, Pat, Rudy, Nancy, Mike, Dick, Maria and Joaquin.
If you expect a happy outcome, you may be disappointed. There is heartache aplenty along the way. The last third of the book is very different in that it does not focus upon the victim of the death penalty unjustice, but instead focusses upon bringing those responsible for the travesty to justice. Right up to the end, it is edge of the seat stuff in terms of how it all pans out.
Really good stuff and I look forward to more from Mr Sheehan.
I thoroughly enjoyed this read which I was unable to put down when I took it on holiday. Luckily it had been recommended to me as, had I just read the cover synopsis, I think I would have been put off by the thought that it would be too court room centred. This certainly wasn't true.
I find it difficult to stick with a book if it fails to grip me within the first two to three chapters and, on this occasion, it took as many pages!
The plot is powerful and at times heart rending. The characterisation is strong. I liked the way the author carried the friendships through the story, delivering a poignant conclusion that challenges the reader to consider both the value of justice and the personal cost of its attainment.