Monday, June 19, 2017

Felony Murder Rule by Sheldon Siegel

First Sentence:  The waif-thin woman eyed me nervously from the swivel chair opposite my gunmetal gray desk.
     
As co-head of the Felony Division, DA’s Mike Daley rarely tries cases himself.  Melinda Nguyen’s son Thomas is on trial for murder even though he was not an active part of the actual crime that resulted in his friend being killed by a convenience-store owner.  But how can Mike turn his back on a woman who may have been married to his brother they thought died in Vietnam’s China Sea, and the boy who may be his son?
     
It is always interesting to learn about an obscure law that can have a major impact.  Although the information is interesting, it is the revelation related to those the laws will impact that truly captures one's attention.
     
Siegel does an excellent job of providing background on Daley, his ex-wife Rosie in a very concise manner without interrupting the flow of the story.  And what a good assembly of characters it is.  It is the relationships that bind the story together.
     
Daley’s internal narrative could be annoying but isn’t.  Instead, it again exemplifies Siegel’s writing style which is efficient and informative.  It provides more insight into the related events without being verbose. 
     
References to other authors are always enjoyable—“Her bookcases were jammed with legal treaties, Federal literature, and Donna Leon.”  For those who are local, the rundown of San Francisco’s famous/infamous characters can make one smile.
     
Dialogue is so important to the flow of a story and Siegel writes dialogue exceptionally well.  It’s quick, sharp, and very natural.  His wry humor provides a nice bit of light to the darkness of the case.
     
This is not a book to read when you’re hungry.  The food may not be fine dining, but there is a lot of it—“My brother always said the most important attributes for a P.O. were patience, perseverance, and a low-maintenance digestive system.
     
Felony Murder Rule” corrects any misconception one may have that a legal mystery isn’t suspenseful.  Not only is it, but it’s one with a very affecting and emotional ending.

FELONY MURDER RULE (Legal Thriller-Mike Daley/Rosie Fernandez-Bay Area, CA-Contemp) – Ex
     Siegel, Sheldon – 8th in series
     Sheldon M. Siegel, Inc. – February 2017

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