Dan Sorenson hasn’t quite hit rock bottom yet in A Case of Redemption by Adam Mitzner, but he’s pretty low. He was a high profile partner in a Manhattan law firm and had just won an acquittal in a huge case when his wife and six year old daughter were killed by a drunk driver. He resigned his partnership and spent the next eighteen months doing little other than drinking Scotch.
After attending a Christmas party he was guilted into attending by his wife’s best friends, he receives a call the next morning from another attorney who had apparently convinced him to take on a high profile murder case. He remembers nothing of the evening but eventually agrees to go with Nina Harrington to visit rapper Legally Dead to hear more about his case.
We all know that what we hear about celebrities’ former and current lives includes all sorts of information that isn’t true, but that goes double for Legally Dead. He’s accused of murdering his pop star girlfriend Roxanne with a baseball bat, a month after his popular song came out that includes lyrics “Gonna stop you when you sing, gonna give it til you scream; don’t like what you said, gonna go A-Rod on your head.” The coincidence is a little too much for police, especially after the bat Roxanne received after singing in the World Series is missing.
Sorenson is convinced to take on the case, and Nina quits her third year associate job to become partners with him in their own law firm. As they dig deeper, they find that their client has a depressing tendency to lie to them, and no one is interested in helping them. As they peel back the layers in Legally Dead’s story and his past, they find more and more information that may either help prove his innocence or provide even more of a motive for the prosecution.
The book moves quickly with a lot of action during both the investigation and the trial phases. The characters are intriguing, from Sorenson’s pain to Nina’s incurable optimism that is tempered by her vulnerability and confession of addiction to an on again/off again relationship with a married man. Legally Dead is a curious mix of suburban Boston boy and hard core gritty and vulgar rapper that you expect. There is a fair amount of swearing in the book, primarily by Legally Dead.
You expect the book to be a redemption of Sorenson, with a happy romance with Patterson on the side, as he proves the innocence of Legally Dead against all odds. The book goes far deeper than that, and there are parts that are disturbing in their revelations, but each twist is a definite surprise. Just as in real life, you frequently can’t tell who is on their side and who isn’t, particularly with the owner of Capital Punishment Matt Brooks who appears on the surface to be aiding the legal team more than anyone else but yet seems off in some way.
This was definitely worth a read, as proven by my staying up to finish “just one more chapter” until suddenly the book was over. And then I had to stop and think about it some because there were a lot of revelations and surprises that I had to digest.
Michelle is thankful that she’s never had to deal with the legal system, and she hopes she never will. See what she does deal with on a regular basis on her blog Honest & Truly! or follow along with her on Twitter where she is also @HonestAndTruly.