The Rooster BarFew authors have had as much continued success at John Grisham and his latest book, The Rooster Bar, may keep his most avid readers happy. But, there’s more to the story than Mark, Todd, and Zola trying to get through a final year of law school. There’s a heavy dollop of social commentary running through the pages.

That’s not anything new with Grisham, but the narrative seems a bit stunted this time and while he intertwines the social speech well with his backstory and the chapters to come, it’s forced, instead of freely flowing. That’s a shame.

If you enjoy Grisham’s usual look at lawyers and the law scene, I’m afraid you’ll be disappointed there too. Instead of chapters uncovering a law firm deftly using the law, their investigators, and some crafty speeches, this book deals with friends in a for-profit law school getting a poor education and bitching about their student loans.

To get back at their school (and to get over a shocking death), they decide to quit with a single semester left and start practicing law without licenses. Could be a bad decision.

Picking up this book and expecting action like we found inĀ The Firm probably is too.

Two Stars

 

getting thin is murder - kindle coverEver been on a diet? Ever looked at someone at the beach or in a movie and said, “Wow, I’d die for that body.” Hmmm. Careful what you ask for.

Author Al W Moe brings characters to life in his private detective mystery Getting Thin is Murder. Set in Santa Barbara, California. Ex-ballplayer Blair Saxon makes a difficult and stilted transition to detective work, fighting real and imagined obstacles at every corner.

Best friend Megan guides his thoughts and actions when she can, but Saxon’s got issues. He lacks a filter in public settings and his whit isn’t nearly as sharp as he thinks. So, he takes to investigating sideways, like a slow curve-ball, digging up more than he or Megan expect while fighting an overzealous police department.

The characters are well-motivated, if only slightly introspective, with the exception of Katarina, a tough local lawyer and as luck has it, Saxon’s sister. The pace is moderate to upbeat, building to an unexpected last few chapters that turn the story towards a surprise ending, but promising a sequel.

I’m reminded slightly of Lee Child’s Jack Reacher in this novel with colorful main characters in the forefront and rather shadowy back characters lurking behind secrets, lies, and corporate B.S.

Unfortunately, the corporate issues revolve around an all-too-true narrative where healthy, natural products aren’t always what they are cracked up to be. Is it worth striving for the perfect body when getting it might kill you?

Getting Thin is Murder is available in Kindle and is a Kindle Unlimited book, so it’s free if you are a member. Give it a look!

Four Stars