A Superbly Crafted Nonfiction Drama That Transcends True-Crime Genre Expectations.
With a seasoned storyteller’s panache, attorney Miraldi narrates the harrowing true-life tale of Marie Grossman, whose life was irrevocably altered in 1987 when she was victimized by a random point-blank shooting. The author’s strong narrative voice hooks readers from the beginning, as he demonstrates a natural dramatic and novelistic flair for setting and pacing with more than a hint of Joseph Wambaugh and John Grisham throughout. Miraldi switches effortlessly between points of view . . . . vividly re-creating her legal battles ‘scene by meticulous scene’ later in the text. The author also turns in some appealing observational writing along the way … with an unanticipated twist. A superbly crafted nonfiction drama that transcends true-crime genre expectations.
Miraldi’s second novel doesn’t disappoint! Once again, this read is a page turner. The author’s style allows one to get caught up in the intrigue of a case with just enough legalese without overwhelming the reader.
The story is compelling and the details are delivered in a way that keeps you enthralled from start to finish.
I highly recommend reading this gripping story of one who comes in harm’s way.
Marie Grossman was a remarkable woman–a lawyer and health care executive who faced the biggest challenge of her life. A criminal act took over her thoughts and dreams and hopes. Everyone warned her against the tactics and strategies she wanted to take to overcome the beast that haunted her.
Author David Miraldi, an attorney, takes us deep inside a criminal case that he viewed from afar and a civil case that he played a part in. We see witnesses and victims intimately: their fears, their anger, their courage, and their compassion. Miraldi has a sharp eye for the telling detail. He unfolds the story gradually, like a mystery, with lots of cliffhangers to pull us along.
All of the detail is based on deep research and dozens of interviews. We get to experience the tension and the drama that is part of the legal process. The memorable characters include a meticulous record-keeping bureaucrat, a quick-thinking police detective, two observant parolees, an ex-Marine with a big heart, an exuberant and observant law student, and the judges whose life experiences inform their legal judgments.
I especially liked the attention to the power of particular words and phrases to trigger responses that change the trajectory of an interaction, a legal proceeding, a family meeting, a career, a person’s life. Your words are your destiny. I read the book in one sitting. Each surprise made me want to see what the next one would be. A case is never closed. The lives of those involved must go on.
There is a force of intellect behind it too, which is appealing – it offers an insight into the jury system, and reveals how much of it depends on presentation, persuasion, and spin, regardless of how the legal world strives to privilege objectivity and fact. Miraldi, who is himself an attorney, tells it with an insider’s understanding of that world, and he seems to be a natural storyteller. It also gives an appealing view of America at a certain point in history: the sense of community; the significant contribution of immigration; the inevitable demise of that world when confronted with technology, a loss of innocence and cynicism. It’s a very impressive book.
The book is a fast read, peppered with adultery, evidence by ambush, and unusual expert medical testimony.
I highly recommend this book, whether you are a member of the legal community, or a lay person.
Once reading commenced, I was intrigued by the plot as it was presented – from beginning through to the final chapter.
The result – which I was familiar with still is amazing but, prospective readers will have to process themselves through the intrigue of the characters, the “touch points” and one’s own views.
Which is part of the interest the author has created. A MUST READ by anyone!
Miraldi orchestrates the forces of history, forensic mystery, and courtroom drama with the confidence of a man who knows deeply from where he speaks. He exposes how commonly-flawed individuals, ambitious, subject to prejudice and simple fatigue, interactively process these forces to create a real-life human drama. Drama to which Miraldi’s many future readers will relate.
What the novels of Turow and Grisham demonstrate in clever contrivance, Miraldi delivers thru ironic authenticity. Thoroughly enjoyable: Five Stars!