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Monday, November 22, 2021


The story telling was real and the characters were strong and well depicted. A recommended read. (Review by Christine E Hann)

James Patterson is an American author and philanthropist, a prolific and popular author, who is known for his thriller and suspense novels. He has written over 140 books since 1976 and has sold over 380 million copies world-wide. He holds the New York Times #1 best seller record – over 65 times!

Nancy Allen is an American author known for The Ozarks Mystery Series. She practiced law for 15 years as an Assistant Missouri Attorney General and Assistant Prosecutor in the Ozarks. She serves as a law Professor at Missouri State University. She has co-authored with James Patterson before on Juror No. 3 in 2018.

Jailhouse Lawyer turned out to be made of two stories, Jailhouse Lawyer and Power of Attorney. Both were stories centring around strong female characters, one a Public Defender, the other a Lawyer. The influence of Nancy Allen was clear from the outset.

Jailhouse Lawyer features Martha Foster, a single mother and her young son Andy, who suffers from congenital heart disease. To provide them both with a better life, she moves and takes up the post of Public Defender in the town of Erva, Alabama. Martha hasn’t been in Erva long when she realises that all is not as it seems, with Judge Pickens seemingly controlling all aspects of the town’s life. The jail is full, and it seems something is amiss with the system.

The story moves at a hectic pace, and Martha’s outspoken manner sees her end up with the people that she is there to defend. A close encounter with the jail’s restraint chair (something real I never knew existed) is a pivotal moment in the story. The story has an unexpected hero step forward from the shadows as Martha looks for justice, not just for herself, but all others that have been wronged.

Power of Attorney features Leah Randall returning to her hometown Bassville to help manage the effects of her Father’s Alzheimer’s on their family and his legal practice. The town has recently been shaken by a double murder, and the main suspect Amber is a client of the practice. Leah soon realises that Amber is a victim of unbelievable abuse. Power of Attorney is a dark tale that involves many players, who have covered up events as best they can. Leah steadily put the pieces together to bring the abusers to book. The murderer? Well, that was an interesting twist to the tale that I did not expect. Client protection, family ties and the truth are at odds with each other as the story ends.

Both were strong stories, although I preferred Power of Attorney, as the ending of Jailhouse Lawyer was as I expected it would be. Reviews I checked out were mixed. Personally, I liked the mix of James Patterson and Nancy Allen. The story telling was real and the characters were strong and well depicted. A recommended read. - Christine E. Hann

Jailhouse Lawyer is published by Penguin Random House UK – 2021. ISBN: 978-1-529-13578-7