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One oath too far

Tom Clancy's Oath of Office Book Cover Tom Clancy's Oath of Office
Jack Ryan
Marc Cameron
political, legal, spy, action and adventure
Michael Joseph
November 29, 2018
528

The latest thriller in Tom Clancy's internationally bestselling Jack Ryan series - inspiration for the forthcoming Amazon Prime television series. On a crowded tourist beach in Portugal, US operatives use a high-tech drone to watch a French arms dealer flirt with a beautiful woman. It's only when she leaves that they realise she has shot him dead. In Iran, protests are growing against the oppressive regime, whipped up by a charismatic student. Most external observers are excited, but on the ground a spy of questionable loyalty senses something is badly amiss. And meanwhile, with the United States reeling from a string of natural disasters, Russian troops and ships are massing on the borders of the Ukraine, bringing the two powers ever closer to war. Across the globe a conspiracy is brewing, so darkly brilliant that no-one has yet joined the dots. And the distracted President Ryan has little time to play catch-up: little does he know that he faces a madman with a plan more devastating than he could possibly imagine...

I failed to complete this book after a couple of tries – mainly because I thought the number of storylines going through it were too complicated to follow. I lost track of the names I needed to remember – and many were very difficult – and trying to remember which branch of the Russian State we were talking about – or the Iranian or or… just proved too difficult.
I am sure all the different storylines joined up somewhere but after i was more than a third of the way through the book, I still hadn’t reached that stage.
A pity as I have liked some of the previous stories about Ryan, but maybe, this is one book too many in the franchise?

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Books/book review/fiction/crime fiction
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When defending your blood

Blood Defense Book Cover Blood Defense
Samantha Brinkman #1
Marcia Clark
Crime, Thriller & Mystery, female sleuths
Thomas & Mercer
(1 May 2016)

First in a new series from bestselling author and famed O. J. Simpson trial prosecutor Marcia Clark, a “terrific writer and storyteller” (James Patterson).

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Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.

Though Sam has doubts about his innocence, she and her two associates (her closest childhood friend and a brilliant ex-con) take the case. Notorious for living by her own rules—and fearlessly breaking everyone else’s—Samantha pulls out all the stops in her quest to uncover evidence that will clear the detective. But when a shocking secret at the core of the case shatters her personal world, Sam realizes that not only has her client been playing her, he might be one of the most dangerous sociopaths she’s ever encountered.

Choices.

What do you do when you are a defence lawyer and won’t work for the Public Defender’s Office? Probably take whatever cases come your way? even when the client is a little or even extremely dodgy.

And you need to make your name so that higher paying cases come your way? Then a high profile case will be good for you – won’t it?

This was the first book I have read by this author and I liked her style. It is written in the first person, with enough dysfunction in the lawyer to enable her to make some really poor life choices, but yet still manage to win her cases. and there are very few indeed physical punch-ups. Her legal morals might well be a little on the shady side if her client benefits but unless she is caught activiely trangressing then it’s all good.

I liked the writing characterisation but found the secondary characters a little thin. Especially her associates.

I am however, very concerned about Sam’s health. She drinks a lot of tequila. Far too much coffee and other caffeine drinks. Enormous amounts of sugar and no vegetables or fruit that I can discern – just high fat and fried food. I am expecting one of the later books in the series to have her in hospital when her liver/kidneys or heart have given out!

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Should daughters be good? Always?

The Good Daughter Book Cover The Good Daughter
Karin Slaughter
legal, women sleuths, psychological
HarperCollins
July 13, 2017
512

The stunning new standalone, with a chilling edge of psychological suspense, from the No. 1 bestselling author of the Will Trent and Grant County series. Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind... Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn's happy smalltown family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father - Pikeville's notorious defence attorney - devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night. Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father's footsteps to become a lawyer herself - the archetypal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again - and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatised - Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it's a case which can't help triggering the terrible memories she's spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime which destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won't stay buried for ever...

I cried for Charlie.

I cried for Sam.

Never has a crime novel affected me quite like that.

And I was so sad about Kelly and furious about how she was exploited.

As indicated I really got engrossed in the characters. The storytelling was intense and atmospheric and I thought an excellent novel.

 

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What Project is being undertaken here?

Who did what - and why?

What is the truth? Is she imagining what is happening? Who is the ‘baddy’? Is she mentally ill?

All these questions come and go as you read each of the beginning chapters.

I hadn’t read the previous book in the series so I was coming at this story from a totally innocent of expectations perspective – it may be if I had read the previous book I would have known the answers to a least some of these questions but...

In my mind however the fact of not knowing the answers for any of the characters made the tension greater. And the denouement was very unexpected.

I was intrigued and read the story as it unfolded with a willingness to find out the answers. But I wasn’t quite as drawn into the story as I could have been.

I found the portrayal of someone with Asperger’s good but perhaps a little exaggerated – the spectrum is very wide and people are not necessarily at the extreme end as described in the book.

So overall a 4 star book. Whether it is necessary to read book 1 first I reserve judgement on.

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