As those of you who regularly read the blog know, I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing Adam Mitzner’s debut novel, A Conflict of Interest, last year. It was a great read, and I eagerly awaited his sophomore follow-up, A Case of Redemption. Although we are leaving the law firm of Cromwell and Altman behind (apparently we revisit it in his third novel), we get to follow an equally interesting lawyer named Dan Sorensen as he tries the greatest case of his life.
Dan Sorensen thought that he had it all: the perfect wife, a beautiful young daughter, and a prestigious job as a partner at the law firm of Taylor Beckett. All that stopped, however, when he learned that both his wife and daughter were killed by a drunk driver. Having devoted most of his adult life to the pursuit of his profession, Dan is wracked by guilt over not having spent enough time with his family and begins a downward spiral of self-loathing and drinking. He is abruptly and reluctantly pulled from this timeline by a woman named Nina Harrington, whom he met at a Christmas party and drunkenly promised to help handle a murder case against a rapper known as Legally Dead. L.D., as he is known to his friends, is charged with the murder of his girlfriend, Roxanne. Roxanne is famous in her own right as a pop superstar, and the case has made headlines for months as one of L.D.’s songs specifically references killing someone with a baseball bat, which is precisely the way in which Roxanne was killed. Now, not only does Dan need to convince the jury that L.D. is innocent despite all the circumstantial evidence, he must also embark on a journey of self-discovery and healing. The trial is much more than just a job, it’s as if Dan’s very sanity hangs on the outcome. Will he and Nina (who is acting as co-counsel) be able to pull off the impossible? What will happen to Dan now that he has a purpose?
As I stated in my review of Mitzner’s earlier work, I loved how he was able to make a court proceeding so exciting. This also rang true for this work, although there was a lot more that went on “behind the scenes” so to speak that the reader became privy to. We got to see much of the pretrial motions and meetings that Dan and Nina had to work on, as well as the scenes in which they built their defense. This work had a similar plot structure as A Conflict of Interest, and it seems as if it works well for Mitzner, as it kept me coming back for sure! His character development is quite good, as Dan’s grief seems palpable and his rebound is not quick or unbelievable. His interactions with Nina seemed genuine, and I became fully invested in his character. Of course, this made the plot twist at the end all that much more of a surprise! I won’t tell you what happens, but suffice it to say that Mitzner has twice now blindsided me with great plot twists that I never see coming! Additionally, Mitzner made it more than easy to hate the book’s antagonist, Matt Brooks, but then again all good books have a character that you love to hate. So, when putting everything together, from the plot twist, character development, and exciting legal drama, you have a great recipe for a suspenseful and engaging book that is impossible to put down. I can’t wait until Mitzner’s third book (tentatively called A Fall From Grace) is released!
5 out of 5 Stars
A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner
Gallery Books (2013)
Hardcover: 322 pages
Special thanks to Gallery Books for my review copy!