Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Review: The Professor by Robert Bailey

There's something about a good legal thriller that always gets my juices going. I find trials to be fascinating and gripping. I'm one of those people who can watch hours and hours of Law & Order so when The Professor by Robert Bailey became available on Netgalley, I crossed my fingers that my request would be granted. Thank you Angry Robot for accepting my request.

The Professor follows a harrowing trial where the defendant provides one vicious hurdle after another in an effort to get a verdict that will not cause the Willistone Trucking company to jeopardize a multi-million dollar merger. The only thing Jack Willistone never counted for was The Professor.

After being ran out of a cushy teaching job as an Evidence professor, Tom McMurtrie is taking a break. His health is failing him and the salacious scandal that follows him to no end gives him cause to take a break. With all intentions of staying out of the lime light he is given the opportunity to represent a woman Ruth Ann Wilcox, who lost her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughter in a collision with a Willistone driver, he gives the case to a former student of his. Before long, the case starts to unravel. 

Robert Bailey presents readers with a riveting plot that never skips a beat. The Professor is a quick read that never lets eases off the gas. The villain is a man that will stop at nothing to get the verdict he wants. His actions push many characters to question their loyalties or risk secrets being revealed. As the bodies and questionable circumstances disproportionately tip the scales in the defendants favor, I admit he gave this novel life... for me at least.

Although the characters are real and well defined, I almost felt that Tom McMurtrie was a little boring. The young lawyer that he refers the case to, Rick, was much more interesting. It was a good thing that Bailey allowed him to take center stage for a good portion of the novel. The professor was not very interesting. He sort of started strong but ended flat for me. I loved that he was one of those cutthroat kinda professors that students dread crossing paths with, but then he does a 180 and becomes dull. 

Overall, I really enjoyed reading The Professor and look forward to Robert Bailey honing his craft and finding him up there with the Turow, Connelly,and Grisham's of legal thrillers. This debut effort was well worth the time spent reading it. I look forward to the upcoming novels in this McMurtrie and Drake series. ***

Copy provided by Angry Robot via Netgalley

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