AHHHH …the year is off to a good start with an excellent legal thriller, my favorite kind of crime novel. I’ve read Mitzner’s two prior books, A Conflict of Interest and A Case of Redemption and both were solid “A”s. Being read by David Colacci is an extra treat because I’ve followed his narration of John Lescroart’s books and imo, there’s no one better.
Nicolai Garkov, a millionaire criminal from Russian who is living in the US, has been charged with funding terrorist activities and he wants Aaron Littman for a defense attorney. Littman works for a very prestigious firm and really doesn’t want to do it but Garkov knows how to get him. There’s lots of money up front but more importantly, Garkov knows the little secrets Littman keeps. Knows that Littman knows the judge on his case, Faith Nichols – Littman knows her very well, too well for his Littman’s wife’s comfort. And Garkov will use this information to ruin a lot of lives if Littman and Nichols don’t do what is requested of them – get him off basically but it starts out with bail.
Faith Nichols refuses. And then a dead body is found. It gets tangled because both Littman and Nichols are married to other people. And it gets intense because and then there is a body – and the suspects. The prosecution has an enormous amount of seriously incriminating evidence and the truth may very well get lost in the prosecution’s search to convict – or, interestingly, in the defense’s insistence on innocence because is it okay to lie in order to get an innocent man acquitted? Yeah – this is a good book.
Why do I enjoy legal thrillers? I guess they have a more cognitive quality – I like watching the legal maneuvering. And they’re not usually so graphic with the sex and violence. They’re usually “who-really-done-its” and they very rarely lack in suspense.
Mitzner writes well, with a touch of humor and comes across as having the authority that comes from experience. He’s been a litigation attorney and partner in a New York law firm for many years and he explains things – no short cuts.
Mitzner’s books are all set in New York and have fair character development, but it’s the plots which makes them work. The language is clear and pretty straightforward. – The narrative is pared down to that which will enhance the main story line and the associated tension – there’s very little “fluff” or “padding.” MItzner might very well be the Elmore Leonard of the legal thriller.