Big mystery lover here! The picture is of my father who is suffering with dementia and my youngest daughter on her wedding day.
This story revolves around Robert Tarza, a successful and truly snobby 60 year old attorney who finds himself under suspicion of murder. But unlike most central characters, you don't have to identify or even like this man to enjoy his tale. The reason is the astounding characters that surround him, his 30 year old protege and one of the most formidable defense attorneys in L.A.
Not only is he in deep trouble with the law, his case is further complicated by his own arrogant and naive insistence (and against his defense attorney's advice) on investigating his own case. Worse still, his young protege is a brilliant litigator with no criminal experience who insists on being the lead attorney of the defense team. The tensions between the equally brilliant legal minds Tarza and his team leads to a great deal of humor in an ever more mysterious murder.
The trial sequences are truly entertaining as they are suspenseful.
The narration requires the voice of a snob, an impertinent and sexy protege, a frustrated Latino defense attorney, a wise if snarky female judge in prominent roles. He delivers in spades.
Worth your time? It certainly was for me!
The probate of a will suspenseful? There's no foul play, no ex-wives, no violence, only lawyers in abundance. Suspenseful? I was on the edge of seat throughout the entire novel.
First, let me say the narration was difficult due to the deep southern dialect, yet masterfully handled by Mr. Beck. I was born in South Carolina, raised in North Carolina, and married a girl from Montomery Alabama. I can assure you the deeper south the more pronounced and exaggerated people's accents become. You may be tempted to think he went to far, but from my experience he was dead on accurate. It's important because people are judged by their accents down here. There's an eloquent drawl by the educated southerner that we all recognize and appreciate. The nuances are numerous to a sensitive ear. I was more than pleased with Mr. Beck's effort.
Without going more into the story, I can say the characters are engaging, intriguing and hugely entertaining on their own. This is my favorite characteristic of any Grisham novel.
If you are looking for a suspenseful novel with incredible characters, Sycamore Row is the book for you!
I purchased this book on sale and boy am I glad I did. It is read by Dennis Boutsikaris, who slipped my mind when listing my top 5 performers. I love his work because he draws you into every conversation as if you are right there.
The main reason I am thrilled to have read this book is the incredible research Patterson reveals on the Jewish/Palestinian conflict without prejudice. CNN's Jeff Greenberg interviews the author at the end where you will learn, (no spoiler here), that many of the conversations involving participants in the ageless conflict come from real people.
It is ultimately a realistic mystery that has many twists and turns.
My prayers have been answered. One of the best legal thriller writers has found his groove! Grisham spent 10 years drifting around the writing landscape and now has a great legal GPS. The story revisits one of his stellar characters and legal teams, telling a tale of holographic wills (didn't know what the term was, but they are handwritten wills -- legal in some states), greedy relatives (we all have those), personal secrets, and bad acts of predecessors. The quirky characters are back and legal tensions are writ through the entire tale. Bravo!