Indefensible by Lee Goodman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
“I am stunned by his audacity. “Counselor Vance, if you object to the current state of the law, then go get your self-righteous ass elected to something, and change it, but don’t come in here blaming me for the way it is. Because the way it is, is the way it is.” I glare at him a moment, then shout, “Now get the hell out.”
Indefensible is an easy to read, fast paced legal thriller. Nick Davis, federal prosecutor, is our main character, and the story is told entirely from his point of view. The trouble with this is that he has a very flawed and skewed view of reality. This ups the challenge of solving the mystery a bit, as in doing so the reader needs to weed out Nicks various dalliances with his over active imagination.
This leads me to my first complaint with the book. The characters at the beginning of the book are radically different from the characters at the end. I know, this is character development, but I don’t feel like the experiences that the characters have are really enough to constitute the change that they undergo. I feel like if you told Nick on page 1 the sort of thing that he would be doing on page 280 he would think you were crazy. But maybe this is what the author wanted all along. Maybe he is trying to show that life can be capricious.
The author certainly wants to explore the idea that the ends justify the means. I watch a lot of NCIS, and Gibbs is a guy who believes that the ends justify the means, and if he has to take the law into his own hands to see that “justice” is done, then that is what he is going to do. Obviously in NCIS he is praised for this attitude, and I personally love Gibbs, but in real life can we afford to have this type of mentality in the legal system? Can we afford to leave it out? This is a tough decision, and something that kind of needs to be looked at case by case.
Back to reviewing, as a mystery I have to say that things are a bit thin. The dutiful reader will frequently find clues that the investigators seem to forget for chapters at a time. Things are not quite neat enough at the end for them to be tied up without a bit more tape and glue then would be considered elegant. My only defense is that our vehicle for information is the flawed attorney Nick, and not the actual police officers and agents that are doing the investigating. Perhaps they are much more skilled in scenes that are not shown to the reader.
I know I sound as though I don’t like Nick, and I want to take a moment to correct that thinking. I actually found his flaws to be endearing. He isn’t a slick character that is always a step ahead, and who always has a wisecrack. He’s someone I think most people will relate to and who you can’t help but empathize with.
The copy of this book that I read was an advanced copy with uncorrected errors, so I am not holding these against it in my rating. However if future readers find that Tina is sitting between Lloyd, Nick, and Amber on page 177 I’m going to need a picture of how that table is shaped.