This debut legal thriller from Allison Leotta has something for everyone romance, action, courtroom drama, a strong sense of place, and interesting characters.
Talented narrator Tavia Gilbert gives an energetic performance, moving the novel along at a brisk pace. The Audie-nominated performer deftly switches among a diverse cast of characters, although her portrayals of female characters are much stronger than the leading males. Gilbert is at her best during dramatic and tense scenes, of which there are many.
Anna Curtis, a green Assistant U.S. Attorney in the Domestic Violence Division, has a haunted past that drives her to help women who sometimes have trouble helping themselves. When Laprea Johnson gets brutally beaten by her boyfriend, D’marco, Anna is determined to see justice served. However, Laprea lies on the stand to protect D’marco and then later turns up dead. Wracked with guilt, Anna is assigned to the case with the Homicide Chief, Jack. Things are complicated by Anna’s romantic relationship with D’marco’s public defender, Nick. As the case heats up, so does Anna’s personal life.
Author Allison Leotta is a prosecutor of sex crimes and domestic violence in Washington, D.C. The city becomes another character and the listener is taken on a tour of the best and worst parts of the nation’s capital. Her real-life experiences give glimpses into the inner workings of the local criminal system, as well as the psychology behind domestic abuse.
Anna’s own past with domestic violence and her coming to terms with it wrap up too neatly and quickly, and leave some undeveloped potential to that storyline. Perhaps the author is leaving room for a sequel, but it makes the book feel a bit thin.
Overall, though, it’s a strong first effort. Fans of Linda Fairstein, Lisa Scottoline, and Steve Martini may want to give this promising new author a listen. And followers of Tavia Gilbert will not be disappointed. Julie MacDonald
As a newly minted assistant U.S. attorney in Washington, D.C., Anna Curtis has already developed a thick skin to help her deal with the unsettling brutality she encounters daily with her overflowing stack of domestic violence cases. Yet when Laprea Johnson walks into Anna's life - battered by her boyfriend on the morning after Valentine's Day - there's something about this particular case that Anna can't quite shake, something that reminds the prosecutor of her own troubled past.
At the trial, Laprea makes a last-minute reversal, lying on the witness stand to free her boyfriend. Shortly after he is freed, Anna is horrified to hear the news that Laprea's body has been found in a trash heap. Hastily assigned to prosecute the murder case, alongside the handsome and intimidating chief homicide prosecutor, Jack Bailey, Anna finds herself trapped in a difficult situation when she discovers that her boyfriend, public defender Nick Wagner, plans to sit across from her in the courtroom, representing Laprea's boyfriend and suspected murderer.
Caught between seeking justice for Laprea and saving her personal life, Anna makes a series of choices that jeopardize her career, her relationships, and her very life as she uncovers the shocking truth behind the murder.
Taking listeners on a thrilling ride through D.C.'s criminal justice system, from the back rooms of the U.S. attorney's office to the gritty streets of Anacostia, Law of Attraction is a gripping debut - sure to appeal to suspense and romance readers alike - from an exciting new talent.
©2010 Allison Leotta (P)2010 Tantor
"With this riveting debut legal thriller, Leotta, a federal sex crimes prosecutor in Washington, DC, joins the big leagues with pros like Lisa Scottoline and Linda Fairstein." (Library Journal)
Had never heard of this author, but the book was great.
I would like to read more like this.
I have been listening to books on tape and find that the narrator can make or break an audible book. If this author writes more (and I hope she does), she needs to carefully consider who narrates her work in the future.
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