Wednesday, July 17, 2013


By: JF Freedman

From the Back Cover:

He used to relish putting suspects in jail, but in his latest case, Luke Garrison—now a defense attorney—will stop at nothing to save a man accused of murder.

During a sleepover with her two friends, Emma goes missing. The owners of a local news network, her parents have money and power. As the police scour the city, Emma’s father offers a $250,000 reward for his daughter’s safe return. Eight days after the abduction, two hikers find her. Emma has been dead for days.

 After a year’s fruitless search, the police make an arrest, picking up the network’s star anchorman. As Emma’s father brays for blood, Luke Garrison is the only person who dares to stand in his way. Once a merciless District Attorney, Luke became a defender after mistakenly sending a man to the gas chamber. Now he will let no one—not even a bereaved father—rush justice. But is he doing the right thing, or is he fighting to set a killer free?

My Two Cents:

So, I admit some bias, having worked in criminal defense, but I love this book. The courtroom drama is realistic without being too legalistic and potentially losing the reader in trial procedures. The mystery surrounding who kidnapped and murdered Emma intricately weaves clues and suspects, and just when you think you know “whodunit,” there is another revelation that sends the reader back to square one, reanalyzing the evidence.  I really appreciate the personal turmoil Luke went through, and his journey to discover that he was not a “bad guy,” while facing down some personal and professional demons. Of course, behind every good man, is a better woman – and Riva was amazing as Luke’s supportive girlfriend. The evolution of their relationship is also in line with Luke’s acceptance of a changed life, not necessarily a lesser life.  I also love the transition from criminal defense attorneys being the enemies of justice, and shown in a more favorable light…but that may be my own bias coming through again.

This is one man’s journey to take back control of his life, instead of allowing circumstances and mistakes to dictate his future. It is everyone’s story, at some point in their lives, and Freedman does an excellent job showing that a shift in attitude can make all the difference. Sometimes what we believe is the “perfect life” is just a life lesson that leads us to where we need to be.

I give it     and a Scales