MixedCriminal ElementFrancine Day is a 37-year-old London lawyer dealing in cases of matrimonial dissolution, negotiating finances and custody. Her life is organized to the atom, and that’s the way she prefers it, with her first-person narration saying, \'Even the small detail of my life had a satisfying familiarity.\' The biggest item on her docket is the chance for major advancement within her company, and her latest case, if handled properly, will be the catalyst. That case is mega-wealthy Martin Joy, who’s looking to divorce his wife, Donna. But no sooner than you can say Jagged Edge and Francine is bedding her client. Perhaps it’s a bit pointless to ponder why she falls for Martin—don’t we all have at least one major romantic \'oops!\' in our past. But J. L. Butler has crafted a strong-minded lawyer who wouldn’t seem to fall for the \'charms\' of a lover ... Still, these are the characters Butler has constructed, and in the confines of this universe, suspense is still achieved in how far Francine will degrade her principles before she digs herself out of the muck.
MixedCriminal Element...this Reacher novel has a lot of flow like early Robert B. Parker (Mortal Stakes, Early Autumn) and Elmore Leonard (at any stage). Lee Child seems to be cast on the same ocean of bountiful returns, moving each chapter along with fluid, suspense-filled hooks. But one aspect that drives me bonkers is an overwhelming tendency to want to edit The Midnight Line for unnecessary prattle ... Poor bastard never had a chance. And neither do you if you are expecting anything more beyond risible battles and padded, straightforward storytelling. But, dammit, it does have that abovementioned flow, and I had to venture on to find out where the trail of the ring was going to lead our hero. Recommended, with some slight reservation, for die-hard fans.
RaveCriminal ElementFor many admirers of this blunt, unapologetic approach, it’s not just the tight plot with an economical use of words that constitute this style, but characters with a sobering realization that the fix is in—that life deals the majority a crap hand, and the chance of rising above the cesspool is highly doubtful ... Mr. Joy’s primary addendum to the gritty story subcategory (he has cornered the 'Appalachian Noir' market) is realism. Aidens, Thads, and Aprils exist beyond the pages of Mr. Joy’s imagination. Not just the generational poverty of modern Appalachia or overall working-class disillusionment, but the cross-country tremor of drugs that’s undermining whole communities with authorities at a loss to stop it. A snapshot of this authenticity is vividly portrayed in The Weight of This World