Tag Archives: legal suspense fiction

Book Review: Surrounded by Darkness

15 Oct
We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . 

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.

Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.

With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough — in God and each other — to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

 

My Impressions:

Surrounded by Darkness is the third installment in the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series. And just so you know, you really cannot read this legal suspense/specuulative novel as a standalone. Each book builds on the other as it depicts more than courtroom battles. Rachel Dylan’s series is definitely filled with legal wrangling, but these books also clearly depict the spiritual warfare that is hidden from most believers. The novels draw back the veil in a way that will make you think twice when life presents trials. Each is a recommended read.

In Surrounded by Darkness, series main characters Olivia and Grant have their faith tested as they face attacks from both the real world and the heavenly realms. They, along with characters both old and new, play a big part in the battle for Windy Ridge. The New Age movement and the Wiccan culture are examined in their relation to the plans of Satan to capture the hearts of their followers. One truth is made very clear — once you choose to follow the occult, no matter how benign it seems, you have chosen to stand against God. I really liked that Dylan challenges the naive view that there is white magic. Against the backdrop of spiritual warfare, Olivia uses the talent God has given her to battle the forces of evil — her legal expertise. I found this very intriguing. It made me think about the equipping of God in a whole new way. As in the first two books in the series, some action is wrapped up. But though the battle may have been won, the war continues.

I have enjoyed all the books in Dylan’s series, and recommend each. Make sure to check out all three.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

 

Advertisements

First Line Friday — Surrounded by Darkness

12 Oct

Happy Friday everyone! As I am writing this post (Wednesday afternoon), my small town is awaiting the arrival of Hurricane Michael. Although we are 5 hours northeast of its landfall, Michael is bringing predicted Cat 1 winds to the area. While the winds may scare us, we know that God has us in His hands. That’s how it is for the characters in Rachel Dylan‘s latest legal suspense/speculative novel, Surrounded by Darkness, which I am sharing today. The community of Windy Ridge has unseen forces buffeting believers, but God is in control there as well. Great to know, right?!

Please comment below from the book nearest you, then head over to Hoarding Books for more fabulous first lines!

 

 

We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . 

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.

Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.

With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough — in God and each other — to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Happy Book Birthday! — Surrounded by Darkness by Rachel Dylan

8 Oct
Happy Book Birthday! Rachel Dylan‘s third novel in the Windy Ridge Legal Thriller series, Surrounded by Darkness, releases today! Dylan’s series features a litigator who not only fights battles in the courtroom, but faces spiritual warfare as well. If you are a fan of legal suspense with a big dose of spiritual truth, this series is for you.
We wrestle not against flesh and blood . . . 

When attorney Olivia Murray opens a legal clinic for victims of domestic violence in Windy Ridge, she knows she will face legal and spiritual opposition. The New Age presence has grown stronger as alliances form between groups hoping to spread their destructive way of life and gain a stronghold in the community. While the forces of evil target Olivia’s new clinic and her relationships, she refuses to let them stop her quest for justice.

Grant Baxter is facing legal woes of his own when a former client sues him for malpractice. His faith is shaken as he faces down the possibility that his legal career is over. While Grant struggles to save his once thriving law practice, he wonders if he truly deserves to be Olivia’s partner outside of the courtroom.

With evil coming at them from all angles, Olivia and Grant’s relationship is put to the test. The two of them must come together and fight for the hearts and minds of those in Windy Ridge. Will their faith be strong enough — in God and each other — to prevail in the battle that threatens to bring darkness to the entire town?

To purchase, click HERE.

Rachel Dylan writes legal thrillers and legal romantic suspense. Rachel has practiced law for over a decade including being a litigator at one of the nation’s top law firms. She enjoys weaving together legal and suspenseful stories. Rachel writes the Atlanta Justice Series which features strong, female attorneys in Atlanta. Deadly Proof, the first book in the Atlanta Justice series, is a CBA bestseller, an FHL Reader’s Choice Award winner, a Daphne du Maurier Finalist, and a Holt Medallion Finalist. Rachel lives in Michigan with her husband and five furkids — two dogs and three cats. Rachel loves to connect with readers. You can find Rachel at http://www.racheldylan.com.

Top 10 Tuesday — Bookish Baby Names

22 May

Do you ever click on the FB links that promise adorable, unique, vintage, or clever baby names. Yeah, me neither 😉 . Well, maybe sometimes, once in a while, always. I love those click-bait posts and always hope for the best. This week Top 10 Tuesday is talking bookish names, so I came up with my top picks for baby names you just have to use. Most are very unusual and won’t occur ten times on your kids class roll. I have tried to find the meaning of each name; in some cases it is very subjective. Let me know what you think of my picks.

Make sure to head over to That Artsy Reader Girl to discover more great bookish names.

 

Top 10 Names You Need To Give Your Baby!

Girls

Adisa (the clear one) from A Time to Stand by Robert Whitlow

Anniston (resurrection) from How Sweet The Sound by Amy K. Sorrells

Aurelie (golden) from Lady Jane Disappears by Joanna Politano Davidson

Fairlight (the fair light of Christ) from Christy by Catherine Marshall

Isola (island) from The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Kaine (tribute) from The House on Foster Hill by Jaime Jo Wright

Keturah (fragrance or sacrifice) from Keturah by Lisa T. Bergren

Pearl (gem of the sea) from A Cup of Dust by Susie Finkbeiner

Persomi (no meaning found) from Child of The River by Irma Joubert

Vienne (life) from A Refuge Assured by Jocelyn Green

 

Boys

Ace (unity) from Out of Circulation by Heather Day Gilbert

Aldric (wise ruler) from A Loyal Heart by Jody Hedlund

Boone (blessing) from Beneath Copper Falls by Colleen Coble (Boone is the name of my niece’s youngest son)

Dawsey (sweet or pleasant) from The Guernsey Literary And Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

Noble (illustrious) from Lead Me Home by Amy K. Sorrells

Qwill (scribe)  from Gathering The Threads by Cindy Woodsmall

Race (clean shaven) from Ghost Heart by Lisa Harris and Lynne Gentry

Roman (a citizen of Rome) from The Masterpiece by Francine Rivers

Ryland (island meadow) from Life on The Porcelain Edge by C. E. Hilbert

Zane (gift from God) from Undercut by Heather Day Gilbert

 

Which one would you choose for your baby?

 

Top 10 Tuesday: First Lines

6 Mar

Today I am recycling because that is what busy bloggers do when they are short on time and inspiration! 😉 This week That Artsy Reader Girl is challenging bloggers to list their Top 10 Favorite Book Quotes. I’m a slacker when it comes to keeping a journal filled with the wonderful nuggets I find in the pages of a book. But as I thought about the topic, I couldn’t help but think how it is the first lines that I almost always remember. I haven’t read (or rather re-read) Rebecca in a long while, but I can still quote that memorable first line — Last night I dreamt I went to Manderley again. Another wonderful weekly meme I participate in is First Line Friday hosted by Hoarding Books (their tagline is it’s not HOARDING if it’s BOOKS — great, huh?). It has been lots of fun discovering new books and authors through first lines. So today, I will share some first lines from books that were fabulous reads. I hope that you find your next great book today!

 

Top First Lines

Blind Spot by Dani Pettrey

Christy by Catherine Marshall 

Melody of The Soul by Liz Tolsma

Missing Isaac by Valerie Fraser Luesse

Oath of Honor by Lynette Eason

A Passionate Hope by Jill Eileen Smith

Rule of Law by Randy Singer

The Saturday Night Supper Club by Carla Laureano

A Song of Home by Susie Finkbeiner

Stars in The Grass by Ann Marie Stewart 

 

What’s your favorite book quote?

 

If you liked Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman . . .

31 Jan

My book club’s first discussion of 2018 is  a wrap. We loved Imperfect Justice by Cara Putman, a romantic suspense novel with a good dose of legal drama thrown in. Cara gets it right — she is a lawyer after all! Did you read and love it? If so, check out these books also written by lawyers. You may find another you will like as well.

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales by Randy Singer 

Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for.

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, it’s clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered. The two dive into preparing a defense for one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in decades when Harry is gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging. Then two more lawyers are killed when the firm’s private jet crashes. Authorities suspect someone has a vendetta against McNaughton & Clay, leaving Landon and the remaining partner as the final targets.

As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay’s past, or to the murder trial he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan 

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

Deeper Water by Robert Whitlow

In the murky waters of Savannah’s shoreline, a young law student is under fire as she tries her first case at a prominent and established law firm. A complex mix of betrayal and deception quickly weaves its way through the case and her life, as she uncovers dark and confusing secrets about the man she’s defending–and the senior partners of the firm.

How deep will the conspiracy run? Will she have to abandon her true self to fulfill a higher calling? And how far will she have to go to discover the truth behind a tragic cold case?

 

Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson 

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer’s. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian’s fee for a week’s work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job — but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

 

 

Book Review: Imperfect Justice

18 Jan

The police say the woman was a murderer. Emilie Wesley knows they can’t be talking about her client . . .  can they?

To the world it seems obvious: Kaylene Adams killed her daughter and then was shot by police. Attorney Emilie Wesley knows a different story: Kaylene would never hurt anyone and was looking for a way out of a controlling, abusive relationship. Her death shakes Emilie’s belief that she can make a difference for women in violent marriages. Self-doubt plagues her as she struggles to continue her work in the wake of the tragedy.

Reid Billings thought he knew his sister — right up until he learned how she died. He discovers a letter from Kaylene begging him to fight for custody of her daughters if anything should happen to her. No attorney in her right mind would support an uncle instead of the father in a custody case, but Kaylene’s letter claims Emilie Wesley will help him.

Thrown together in the race to save Kaylene’s surviving daughter, Emily and Reid pursue the constantly evasive truth. If they can hang on to hope together, can they save a young girl — and find a future for themselves in the process?

Cara Putman is a homeschooling mom of four, attorney, lecturer at a Big Ten university, active in women’s ministry, and all around crazy woman. Crazy about God, her husband, and her kids. Cara graduated with honors from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (Go Huskers!), George Mason Law School, and Purdue University’s MBA program. You can learn more about her books at http://www.caraputman.com. And if you’d like a copy of her legal suspense novella, Dying for Love, simply connect with her here (http://www.caraputman.com/contact/) , and she’ll send you the link.

My Impressions:

Imperfect Justice is the first book by Cara Putman that my book club has read. And judging from the demands of members, it certainly won’t be the last. This page-turning romantic suspense got two thumbs-up from By The Book.

Emilie Wesley is a lawyer who fights to protect her clients from abuse and harassment. She knows a thing or two about that, having encountered an abusive boyfriend and a stalker. But something goes horribly wrong with one of her clients, and the woman she vowed to protect is dead and so is the daughter she is accused of killing. Emilie teams up with her client’s brother to find the truth and protect Kaylene’s surviving child.

Imperfect Justice combines suspense, romance and legal drama in one satisfying read. Members of By The Book found the characters real and relatable and the plot realistic. We had a great discussion of the aspects of protective orders and family violence. We also agreed that we never saw the ending coming — a big plus with our group. We read a lot of suspense, and if a book manages to surprise us, that is a big plus! Members also agreed that we liked the sincere faith of the characters, especially Reid. There were some minor plot points that we found a bit convenient and we thought Reid’s niece recovered a bit quickly, but all in all we recommend this novel.

Imperfect Justice is the second book in the series, but is easily read as a standalone. By the time we finished our discussion, many were clamoring to get a copy of book 1, Beyond Justice. And, I imagine that book 3, Delayed Justice will make more than one member’s TBR list.

Recommended.

Great for Book Clubs.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(I purchased this book from Amazon. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)