Verdict: First-time novelist Brian Cohenadroitly melds legal drama with a compelling love story.
Nick O’Reilly is a 36-year-old partner in the prestigious Manhattan law firm of Williams Gardner & Schmidt. Though he’s devoted to his legal career, there’s a side of O’Reilly that knows, even at the onset of this emotionally suspenseful novel, that all is not right with his world. He may have an upscale Central Park South address, but Nick has little time to smell the roses; he’s far too busy defending his wealthy, corporate clients.
When his superiors decide to enhance the firm’s image by taking on a small portion of pro bono work, O’Reilly receives the wake up call he needs to transform his life. O’Reilly is assigned the first pro bono case, which involves a beautiful young mother who’s been raped and abused by her husband. It’s O’Reilly’s job to represent her in the divorce and custody proceedings, and hopefully to help send her violent husband to jail. But what might have been a simple open and shut case is complicated by the fact that Dawn Nelson, a Brooklyn-based pharmacy technician, makes O’Reilly all too aware of the love and intimacy that he’s been missing, and before long their mutual attraction lands him in trouble, threatening his future career. The romance that appears to be his downfall, however, ultimately sparks his rise to power over his own life—even as he must face an unexpected health crisis, and a far tougher adversary than he’s ever encountered in a courtroom.
First-time novelist Brian Cohen, who has practiced law for 12 years, adroitly melds legal drama with a compelling love story. Readers will find themselves rooting for charming young Nick O’Reilly in and out of the courtroom.
Reviewed by Kathryn Livingston
Avid reader and book reviewer. Author “All About Motherhood” (an indie) and other titles that are not. Blogs about family issues. Practices yoga. www.livwrite.blogspot.com