Hardcover: 352 pages
Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (August 21, 2012)
Kevin Corvelli, the protagonist in Douglas Corleone's legal thriller series is anything but the ordinary lawyer. While he fights for truth and justice with almost a Don Quiote type of idealism, he is a bit more like James Bond in his ability to get himself out of tight situations with amazing kutzba and strength.
And he does tend to get into a lot of tight situations.
In Last Lawyer Standing, the latest book in the series set to release this month, Corvelli is up against some crooked cops, some Vietnamese gangsters, and some American gangsters while defending a career criminal who once saved his life. His other client is the governor of Hawaii, who may or may not be connected to some of these criminal elements.
Investigation of the cases puts Corvelli back in touch with a lovely lady named Audra that he knew back in high school. Now she is all grown up and on the island as the new Assistant US Attorney (AUSA). While this association might be an overused ploy in too many novels, what is nice about this relationship is that it doesn't follow a predictable course. It builds carefully throughout the story and experiences some surprising detours before any physical intimacy occurs.
The mystery contains some surprising detours as well, and has some terrific courtroom scenes.
Every series hero has his or her sidekick, or at least some of them do, and Corvelli has Flan, the investigator for the law firm. He also has a new, tougher sidekick, Scott, who was sent to Hawaii by Corvelli's mentor in New York, Milt Cashman. Scott is an ex-con who would like to break from his family that is connected in New York, but there are serious complications. There is a hit out on the family, including Scott, so he needs a safe place to lay low. Hawaii seems like a safe place.
Scott proves to be a valuable asset when Corvelli is facing some particularly dangerous people, so the lawyer figures the man is earning his keep.
For the most part, this is a terrific story with great pacing and plot, although I would have liked a little more character development for everyone. The reader gets to learn what Corvelli thinks about the law and criminals, and prosecutors, but not a lot of other information is given. The same is true for the other characters. They are well-defined within the confines of their jobs, but other information that would make them more three-dimensional is sketchy. I would also have liked to have more of a sense of setting. Hawaii is such a beautiful place; a bit of atmosphere would have helped the reader. (I think I had the same caveat when I reviewed an earlier book, Night on Fire.)
Still, this is a good book with some chilling scenes, wonderful dialogue, and enough intrigue to keep one guessing until the end.
Please come back on Wednesday when Doug will be the guest here sharing about how tough it is to write in Hawaii. What a shame. (smile)
FTC Disclaimer: The author sent me this book for possible review, knowing that I would only review it if I liked it, and I did. Authors contact me frequently for reviews and some of them are writers I've met online and gotten to know them a bit. I really have a hard time reviewing a book just because an author seems so nice, but perhaps the book really isn't up to a professional standard. Maybe that's just me, but if I recommend something I don't want those who read my reviews to come back and say, "What were you thinking, Maryann?" I don't get a dime for doing this. I do it because I love to read and I love to let others know about a good book.