David Ellis's latest book - The Wrong Man - is the third featuring recurring character Jason Kolarich.
Kolarich is a defense lawyer, with a penchant for taking on seemingly impossible cases. This time he's asked by the family of homeless Iraq War vet Tom Stoller to defend him against murder charges. It seems hopeless - Tom was found with the victim's personal belongings and the murder weapon in his hand. But Tom can't or won't defend himself - he's suffering from severe PTSD and perhaps other mental illness. It's up to Jason to speak for him.
The opening line of the prologue was written to catch and hold a reader....
"Something bad is going to happen to Kathy Rubinowski tonight." And this reader was captured from first page to last.
As Jason and his team (I liked the supporting cast a lot) dig further, they come up with an alternative scenario - and what they uncover puts a target on Jason's back.
Kolarich is a big, imposing guy with a larger than life personality. The courtroom scenes are interesting and I enjoyed the legal machinations. But Kolarich is not your run of the mill defense attorney. He's out chasing down leads with and without his investigator. I did question his inclusion of a woman he's seeing as part of the team - it just seemed odd. As a lawyer, he skirts the law sometimes and others he outright ignores it - all in the name of protecting his client. He is now sure Tom is innocent. "The rules of ethics in my profession, last I checked, weren't optional. when did I start treating them that way?"
Ellis has crafted a really good thriller, combining courtroom drama, conspiracy and more with the end result being a page turner of a read. The plot was a little far fetched in places and I saw the end coming, but I enjoyed the ride. Ellis has the thriller format down pat - lots of action, danger and a compelling plot. I'll definitely be picking up the next in the series. Read an excerpt of The Wrong Man.
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