I never expected to be a fan of legal thrillers, and perhaps, in general, I’m not. I am, however, a fan of Robert Bailey’s writing (which happen to all be legal thrillers).
Jason Rich is an attorney … an admitted ambulance chaser. Billboards clutter the roadways, from Florida to Alabama, with his face and his slogan, “In an accident? Get Rich!” It’s been successful for him and has made him a wealthy man.
But Jason has his struggles. He’s an alcoholic who’s facing an official reprimand from the bar association for appearing in court while under the influence. And if this wasn’t bad enough, now Jason has a new problem … his sister, Jana, has been arrested for her husband’s murder. The actual killer has already confessed but claims that he was paid by Jana to do the job.
Jana asks Jason to defend her – he’s the only person she trusts, despite the fact that he’s never tried a criminal case in his life.
He’s willing to take this on – more for the sake of his nieces than for Jana who, among her troubles, is indebted to a local drug kingpin for an enormous amount of money and to whom she pays off her debts with sexual services.
Jana’s story changes, even to Jason, over and over, but despite this, he’s inclined to believe her and will defend her while looking to protect his nieces who’ve been threatened by the drug lord.
This being the first book in a new series, there’s a fair bit of set-up that Bailey attends to, getting the reader familiar with Jason Rich, his background and his struggles. This takes up a good portion of the first half of the book and there are a few subplots that are begun here which don’t quite pan out in this book but which, I suspect, will play a part in subsequent books.
Jason’s addiction issues are a big part of his character but this never really comes into play during the course of this book. And while the local drug king is made out to be someone we must be afraid of (and he does make some minor actions to show he’s being serious) we don’t ever find him to be the immediate danger that we expect.
The very ending is a little bit unsatisfying. I’m not sure why Bailey gives us this little nugget – is it the lead in to the next book? I don’t think. There’s too much conclusion in this book for the last bit to come in to play here. (Am I being a little vague here? Yes I am … I don’t want to give any spoilers.)
I’m not from the South and I’m by no means a college football fan, but I do miss Bailey’s other legal thrillers, which feature some football greats.
Still, I like Bailey’s delivery and fast-paced books and Jason Rich definitely has some traits about him that will provide interesting fodder for books to come.
Looking for a good book? Rich Blood is a legal thriller by Robert Bailey, who has proven himself to be a top-notch author of fast-paced thrillers. This starts out a bit slow, but sets up the series for future books as well.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: Robert Bailey
series: Jason Rich #1
publisher: Thomas & Mercer
paperback, 380 pages