A Washington, DC, lawyer and a frequent major media commentator on the Supreme Court, Anthony Franze delivers a high-stakes story of family, power, loss, and revenge set within the insular world of the highest court of our country.
Among Washington, DC, power players, everyone has secrets they desperately want to keep hidden, including Sean Serrat, a Supreme Court lawyer.
Sean transformed his misspent youth into a model adulthood and now has one of the most respected legal careers in the country. But just as he learns he's on the short list to be nominated to the US Supreme Court, his daughter, Abby, a talented and dedicated law student, goes missing. Abby's lifeless body is soon found in the library of the Supreme Court, and her boyfriend, Malik Montgomery, a law clerk at the high court, is immediately arrested.
The ensuing media frenzy leads to allegations that Malik's arrest was racially motivated, sparking a national controversy. While the Serrat family works through their grief, Sean begins to suspect the authorities arrested the wrong person. Delving into the mysteries of his daughter's last days, Sean stumbles over secrets within his own family as well as the lies of some of the most powerful people in the country. People who will stop at nothing to ensure that Sean never exposes the truth.
Please note: This audiobook features an exclusive interview with the author.
©2016 Anthony Franze (P)2016 Macmillan Audio
"Smart, sophisticated, suspenseful, and written with real insider authenticity. A winner." (Lee Child)
"[T]he 'best of the best' when it comes to suspense." (Suspense Magazine)
"This fast-paced thriller will appeal to fans of Brad Meltzer, Joseph Finder, and Scott Turow." (Booklist)
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
I woke up today to new audiobook releases in my Audible library by Harlan Coben, TR Ragan, and Anthony Franze. Never heard of Anthony Franze? Me either. So I decided to listen to Franze's novel, The Advocate's Daughter, first. I discovered a wonderful, well written, and sophisticated legal thriller. It is amazing for a first novel by an author. Narration by Robert Petkoff is superb.
My advice is: Just get this book.
This is an exciting legal thriller and I enjoyed it very much. The story involves a few storylines (threads) that had to be weaved together. It is the mystery/suspense of just how the author would bring the storylines together into one. The storylines were interesting holding my interest, and all the threads gradually came together nicely.
The story opens with our main character, Sean Serrat, at age 14 living with parents in Japan. This is where the foundational plot (Sean's secret) takes place. Now, it's present day and the main character is married with three children.... could his past be coming back to bite him? could his past be why his daughter, a budding attorney, is murdered? In the mix of all of this, Sean has a shot at becoming a supreme court justice but he's afraid that a serious look into his background could uncover the secret that he's keeping.
The narrator, Petkoff, is a gifted narrator, he performed the story very well. When I can listen to a story without thinking about the narrator, I can then get into a visual place within the story... it's like watching a movies. Petkoff did this for me with range of voices and tones that provided individual voices.
The narrator allowed the book's narrative to capture the listener rather than to make the narration the focus. Nicely played with enough inflection, individual voices, and emphasis to improve the story (although the story is strong enough on its own and needing no help) Petkoff does a great job of stopping well short of that line where you become more aware of the reader than the story.
This is a book that sucks you in from the beginning. The author clearly has the real life experience in the the field of appellate law and arguing before the Supreme Court which is the main setting of the book. He also seems to have family experience raising children, which is the central force of the book, which allows a rich and very accurate dialog between father and sons and wife. Those essential elements, real life knowledge and real life experience, add realism that is so necessary for the making of a great thriller and mystery.Here we have a likable (even if he is a lawyer) central character with a perfect family life, but that has this one very dark secret from his past. Not that he really did anything, himself, just that he participated in or was part of youthful events that went horribly wrong. Thirty years or so later, the lawyer has a shot at being nominated to the Supreme Court of the United States, he fears the microscopic look at his entire life, could uncover the boyhood horror. Little did he dream, it could be the cause of his adult, soon to be a lawyer, daughter's murder. Then again, it might not be, and therein is the listener's fun. Digest all of the little clues, they are there, and some of the mysteries resolve, others maybe not so much.Well written and engaging. Perfectly acted and narrated. This is a book that will leave fans of Michael Connelly, John Grisham, John Lescroart, and the like, hoping this is book #1 from of many to come.
I was expecting a story doused in lawyerly minutia. But other than setting the characters around the Supreme Court and a nomination process for an empty seat, the Advocates Daughter has little to do with this world. Instead, this story is about a murder and the past catching up with protagonists.
This story feels a lot like a Grisham novel. But not quite as good.
What brought me down was the implausible reactions of the mother/father who lost a daughter to a brutal murder. They are hardly shaken. Also the over all story arc is not something I would ever expect to have happen. The writing is decent. The narration is good.
Love books! Classics and lighter fiction, mysteries (not too violent please :-). And selective non-fiction--whatever takes my fancy.
Anthony Franze has written an exciting legal thriller. The story is told with several separate threads that the reader knows must intertwine, but not how, till things gradually come together. Living very near Washington, DC, I love books that are placed there, and this one was particularly good. The characters are well and believably drawn, the action is fast-paced, I especially liked the way Franze also kept the story of a family struck by shock and grief trying to emotionally process what has happened in a very realistic manner.
The only thing (small thing) that detracted a bit was the narration. The narrator was basically ok, but surprisingly mispronounced some words that one would have assumed basic editing might have caught (eg, the town is not Shevy Chase, but Chevy--the the ch in church). Didn't the author listen to the book before releasing it? But, that was minor stuff, and I got used to it :-)
This was a credit well worth using. I am hoping that there are more in store from Anthony Franze!
I found the last half a bit contrived. The parents were clearly grief stricken but the override of judgment seemed implausible. I was engaged but happy to have it end.
I'm an avid listener always searching for another good book and willing to share my thoughts with a pithy review.
A potential nominee for the Supreme Court is faced with some difficult domestic issues. His responses are so naive and fundamentally flawed that it begs the question of how could this person possibly be a sensible candidate. Add to that, we have a current justice who is having an affair with a young law student, and you can chalk the whole story line up to a series of unimaginable events. Makes it hard to stay invested in a story line that is way less than plausible. It does have a mystery element, but it's not enough to get you past the question of how could this guy be so foolish.
Dept Q, Harry Hole... where are you?
There is a lot to like about this novel, especially its premise. A mistake in his youth suddenly becomes relevant when attorney Sean Surrett is being considered for nomination to the supreme court. And there is so much action and suspense it makes for a fast read.
However, I found other aspects of the novel unbelievable and much of the story unnecessarily complicated. I have a famiy member who is a federal judge and has endured several FBI and political vettings. The process is thorough and deeply personal, and virtually every thing in their life becomes public. Naturally there are political enemies, ususally of the President, hellbent on exaggerating any perceived misstep in order to embarrass the President. There should be enough material in that alone to make a great story.
But there is so much more. There are four murders in the mix, three of which occur during the vetting process. So it is not Surrett's past that bothered me, but rather his present.
A seasoned and remarkablly successful attorney, he constantly acts out impulively and with no regard for the police or even his friend in the FBI. He constantly puts his family and his career in harms way, even to the point of obstructing a good investigation. There is good reason for him to be upset and even angry, but never at the authorities. Truthfully, I think any person of his stature would be incapable of making so many errors in judgement in any situation.
Robert Petkoff deserves four stars for narration.
Here is my new rating system,
5 Stars only when I know I will definitely listen again. A narrator will only get 5 stars when I have used his/her name to search for other books read by them.
4 Stars is when I love the book.
3 Stars when I like most things about the novel.
2 Stars if I finish the novel, despite being dissapointed.
1 Star when I feel I have wasted any time at all listening to it. A narrator gets one star if he is the reason I disliked the novel.
Some narrators I know I have used to search for some of their other works, off the top of my head... Will Patton, George Wilson, joe Barrett, Ray Porter, Tom Stecshulte, Dennis Boutsikaris, Kathleen Early.
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