Cost of Arrogance: A Jake Clearwater Legal Thriller
Law professor and ex-prosecuting attorney Jake Clearwater finds himself buried in what might seem to be the case of his life, in Cost of Arrogance. Jake is contacted by the Death Penalty Project about representing a death-row inmate in a death penalty appeal. Although Jake has been safe and sound in his classroom teaching his students, he finds himself accepting the challenge. His client is Duane Durgeon, a man convicted of the double homicide of a local couple. There is an eyewitness who originally identified someone else as the killer and a bitter old ex-girlfriend who claims Durgeon had her hide a gun. But that’s not all. This case is from Jake’s former office where he worked with District Attorney John Tice. Tice, a hardass, would again be the prosecuting D.A. in this case. As Clearwater works the case, he digs deeper than the defense did in the original case which really stirs up the prosecution. However, Clearwater clearly does not know what he has gotten himself into as he is beaten up after leaving the courthouse one day, his assistant being roughed up another day.
I truly appreciated author H. Mitchell Caldwell’s ability to write in a way that anyone reading this book would understand. Although there was legal jargon to make the story realistic and paint the picture of the courtroom scenes clearly, there was no unnecessary law terminology used. It made the story easy to follow and allowed me to concentrate on Jake’s plan and his execution of it. The characters in the book were well-developed and Jake exuded charisma even while wobbling on a cane after he was assaulted. In parts of the book, the author would give the reader Jake’s thoughts, many of them funny or sarcastic. This really brought Jake’s character to life. I also really enjoyed the development of Durgeon. Although he was a bad man, Caldwell gave him a personality that made it easier to see him as a human being and not just a criminal with a violent temper.
What really summed up this case was the thoroughness of the closing arguments. By creating a Powerpoint presentation during this part of the story, the author clearly and concisely laid down all of the information given to the readers throughout the case. This summarization was like the cherry on top.
Overall, this book is a must-read for any fan of courtroom thrillers. There is no stone left unturned when Jake Clearwater takes on a case. Caldwell certainly knows his subject matter and I look forward to reading more courtroom fiction by this author.
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|Mystery, Crime, Thriller