Saturday, March 26, 2016

#BOOK #REVIEW: Special Circumstances


Debut author Sheldon Siegel bursts into the legal thriller arena with a riveting courtroom drama, exposing the world of big-time law firms and lawyers in a fresh, sharp-witted, wonderfully sardonic page-turner.

Meet Mike Daley. Ex-priest. Ex–public defender. And as of yesterday, ex-partner in one of San Francisco's most prominent law firms. Today he's out on his own, setting up practice on the wrong side of town. Then his best friend and former colleague is charged with a brutal double murder, and Daley is instantly catapulted into a high-profile investigation involving the prestigious law firm that just booted him.

As he prepares his case, Daley uncovers the firm's dirtiest secrets. It doesn't take long for him to discover that in this trial, ambition, friendship, greed, and long-standing grudges will play just as important a role as truth and justice.

Brilliantly paced, crackling with energy and suspense, Special Circumstances reminds us why we love to hate lawyers — but can't get enough of courtroom drama when it's done this well.

M & J's Review:
I know I may have said this a thousand times, but I have to say, outside of my favorite attorney-author, Pamela Samuels Young, Sheldon Siegel runs a very close race. This legal thriller is just what it suggests—a thrill that will keep you on the edge of your damn seat!

I absolutely loved this book. There were so many elements to this story, it’s hard to say where to begin.

Michael Daley is such a believable character. Mike is someone you feel you know personally, and after learning more about his character, you warm up to him instantly. He’s an ex-priest and an ex-public defender trying to decide what he would like to do next in his career. Unfortunately, his partners at Simpson and Gates make this decision easy—they decide to vote their partner out because he wasn’t bringing in the money the way they initially thought he would. Unfortunately, that’s standard practice for larger firms. After giving the firm five years of his life, they dismissed him like yesterday’s garbage.

But, no worries, Mike has a plan. He’s going to start his own law firm out of the most unlikely places—his ex-wife’s office building. Luckily for him, he and Rosie are still good friends even though their marriage didn’t last. Besides, he has a five-year old daughter, Grace, with Rosie, so something great came out of their marriage. This will give him more time to spend with her as well. Life was looking up for Mike, until his best friend has an unexpected visitor at his home. The police arrive to arrest him for the double homicides of Robert Holmes and Diana Kennedy, Joel’s and Mike’s former colleagues. Joel Friedman and Mike have been friends for years, so when Mike learns that Bob and Diana were murdered at an office party at his newly departed law firm, he’s shocked to say the least. Unfortunately, what was more shocking was finding out that Joel was the police number one suspect. Joel Friedman was a family man, an outstanding citizen in his community, a hard worker, husband and father. There wasn’t any way Joel could have committed this heinous crime. Or, has Joel got everyone fooled?

Mike hadn’t even gotten his new office organized, when Joel and his family seek out his help. Mike didn’t want to be involved since he was so close to Joel, but it was the act of some of his former colleagues that helped push him over the edge to take on Joel’s case for murder. Not only was his old law firm seeking to destroy Joel’s life—they wanted something more—special circumstances, which in this case was asking for the death penalty.

When Mike begins the grueling task of investigating what actually happened to Bob and Diana, the reader will be left in awe. You may think you know who the killer is, but Sheldon is a great writer because he got me. I was half right on some of the legal aspects of this story, but when I got to the end, I was stunned! I had no idea the story was going to go down like that! WOOOOW! The ending will make you question everything about the story and what would drive a person to commit one of the most horrific acts a human can make? When you discover the answer, it will give you pause. I was totally and completely blown away with this story. I could not get enough! When I would retire for the evening, I saw the entire story unfold like I was witnessing a private movie made only for me. 

There are some stories that stick with you for a lifetime, and I have quite a few books that I can recall with great detail due to the fact I enjoyed them that much, and I have to say this is definitely one such story. Brilliantly crafted and intelligently written. Sheldon is definitely a new attorney on the scene to watch. He draws you in and never lets you go. So my advice to any legal suspense seekers out there, hold on tight with this one because I guarantee you, you will not see the ending coming. This is an outstandingly smart read. If you love the law, this is damn sure the book for you! I hated that it ended, but the good news is, this is the first in a series of Mike Daley stories. I’ve already started downloading the rest. I can’t wait to get back to Mike and see how his life unfolds with his ex-wife Rosie and their new law practice. Mike is definitely famous now and will have plenty of innocent clients in need of his assistance.

Mello & June gives Special Circumstances a gazillion stars! I urge you to please put this book on your shelf and make sure you have plenty of time to read because you will NOT want to put this book down— ‘cause it’s that damn good! I’m a fan, Sheldon! You had me at the first paragraph!

Kimberly Ranee Hicks, Author/Poet/Reviewer

Many People Hate Attorneys. . .
That is, Until YOU Need One!