Divorce lawyer Francine Day is one big case away from securing her place among London's legal elite. She has spent years methodically building her career but her work ethic isn't enough to keep her from falling for her charismatic and suave new client, Martin Joy ... But something about her new lover doesn't add up.
At 37, Francine Day—the narrator of J.L. Butler’s well-crafted Mine, has a reputation as 'the best-value wig in London,' a lawyer specializing in 'high-net-worth divorces.' Fran knows well the codes of conduct governing her profession. Such rules go out the window, though, when she becomes romantically involved with her latest client, an investment banker whom she finds 'beautiful,' with 'muscular and tanned forearms that were the very definition of manliness.' ... But the client, Martin Joy, has a dark, aggressive side. And when his financially demanding wife goes missing amid the divorce proceedings, Martin becomes the police’s prime suspect.
But Fran has her doubts and her efforts to assist him...jeopardize her career, her freedom and her life itself.
The premise for J.L Butler’s Mine sounded really intriguing, as did the idea of a barrister heroine ... and even though there were a few things about the plotline and central character that made me scratch my head, I was pretty much gripped from beginning to end ... It’s not always easy to believe that Fran is the highly-educated, dedicated professional we’re asked to believe her to be, and there’s no denying she makes some unwise choices.
Martin is described as being handsome, charming and magnetic, but he’s underwritten, which makes it difficult to fully buy into Fran’s obsession with him and thus to understand some of her less sensible decisions. But with that said, her mistakes make her seem more human, more ordinary and relatable somehow; and I was able, in spite of them, to become sufficiently invested in her to need to know how things would pan out ... Mine is an expertly woven, well-paced and intense story, and I enjoyed it in spite of its flaws. The friendship between Fran and her bestie, Claire, feels very genuine, and the author’s depiction of life in a busy chambers and of the London locations all ring very true. I didn’t see the final twist coming, which is always a bonus, and while the characters might not be particularly likeable, I didn’t mind it; their shortcomings make them interesting, at the very least. If you’re looking for an engrossing but not too dark and gory mystery to while away a few hours this summer, Mine might very well fit the bill.
Francine 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.