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VINE VOICEon August 19, 2009
This is my second book by this author, it is the second book with the Joe Dillard character. First let me say, I think it may be more enjoyable if you have not read the first one, to read it first. Actually I am kind of nutty about that, reading the books in order, but I think in this case, the characters are more enriched by having spent time with them in the first book.
I was kind of surprised to see this in the store, I just came upon it and I am glad I did. Normally I can follow my favorites or authors I know I want to read by seeing their book in hard cover, I did not know this book was out, and I'm so glad I saw it. ( I guess I better check to see if the author has a web page, so I won't miss out on another.) Anyway, it is a great story, and again, I like how the main character, a lawyer, always has more than one thing on his plate, instead of "the one big case", I mean isn't that more realistic? I dont' know, it is just interesting that way. I would like to warn any other readers though, there is a little supernatural, kind of out there part of the book, but I didn't mind it, I loved it actually, but I just thought you should be warned. Some people may be turned off by that.
Why aren't his books in hardback?
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on June 27, 2015
I like this author's writing style, and enjoyed his first book. This is just my second. His characters are interesting for the most part, largely because they are not all black and white. Good people can do bad things for good reasons (except the saintly do-no-wrong perfect wife, who I find rather uninteresting simply due to her perfection). However, this one had too much paranormal / psychic content for my taste. I don't mind suspending belief while reading a novel, but there were too many things that couldn't be explained and just had to be accepted even if you don't believe in paranormal activity and things like curses. If you don't mind that sort of thing, you may enjoy this book. I just prefer more solid explanations to the events. I am definitely going to try book #3 in this series, but that is based on the first one and the general writing style, not on the content of this book.
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VINE VOICEon July 19, 2009
3.5 stars

This is the second book in the Joe Dillard series (An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard) is the first). This one arrived before the first one and I didn't want to wait so I read them out of order. I think it would have been better to wait because this book seems to give spoilers as to what happened in the first book.

At the beginning of this book, Joe Dillard has been out of the practice of law for a year. He is watching the trial of one of his former clients (who admitted his guilt to Dillard after his acquittal) and the guy is acquitted again after a poor performance by the assistant district attorney. Dillard's wife suggests he apply to work for this district attorney and he is hired to prosecute violent felonies. His first case starts before his official first day at work: the gruesome murder of a couple and their two young children. In addition to the murder case, Joe tries a statutory rape case and deals with some family crises.

The book had the promise of being pretty good, but a few things bothered me enough to lower my opinion of it. Most importantly, the author threw in some "woo woo" paranormal stuff into what could have been a good straightforward legal thriller plot without it. I thought that aspect detracted from, rather than added to, the plot and the book would have been much stronger without it. Second, too many of the characters were dirty or unscrupulous in one way or the other. It is possible this relates to something in the acknowledgements section of the book or it may be foreshadowing of future books in the series, but it bothered me. Finally, the courtroom scenes are not as well-crafted as in other legal thrillers I've read. I hope this will improve in any future books in the series as well because that is what separates a good legal thriller from a regular crime thriller.
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on November 7, 2015
This is the book in which Joe leaves his criminal defense practice behind, and joins the office of the DA to prosecute violent offenders. There are still jerks on his side, which he somewhat expected.
Once again, I rejoice that there are SO MANY reviews of this great book that I don't have to tell you everything. In fact, I'm only gonna tell you about two things. The first is the reason the book lost two stars, and the second is the reason that one got added back.
I do feel it important to tell you this: I love the book, and love the series. Could you please buy it?
Why the book lost two stars: The bad guys in the book are three evil losers. They consist of two guys, held in thrall by the seductive evil girl. They do bad things because she tells them to. There is just no POINT to their evil; they just kill people on a whim. Okay; that I can accept. However, for no reason I can discern, there is this eery little sub-plot tossed in there about magic powers the evil girl has, and some sort of telepathic link between her and her sister. Now, this just doesn't work in the context of the series, which is very pragmatic and down-to-earth overall. The magic is never explained away as a trick, nor is there a CREDIBLE scientific basis given for how Evil Girl makes light bulbs explode. A final way to escape from the plot trap would be to combat the forces of evil with stronger supernatural forces, but that would TOTALLY blow away the premise for the series. So, we are left with inexplicable, and therefore unacceptable, supernatural events. Loss of two stars.
However, I'm tossing one star back, because in this book, a wonderful story of love and commitment begins. Joe and his wife Caroline are devastated when her fatigue and breast lump turns out to be cancer. Scott deals with the situation realistically, and with insight and compassion. In fact, the rest of the series (I'm on book 7 right now) is strung together by how Joe and Caroline and their kids deal with her health deteriorating. The stories are good, apart from this intense personal tragedy, but it's the family's response to the cancer diagnosis that sets this series apart.
So, buy this book, and then make a donation to Locks of Love, or any other patient centered charity. It will be good for you.
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on June 2, 2016
I'm sorry, after reading and enjoying the first book, I might be done with this series. As others have pointed out, there are many flaws to this character, which makes him somewhat unlikable, even if he is the "good guy". Ok, so its real life, people make mistakes, but I think he goes too far.

But then we introduce paranormal activities into a normal police procedural? Really? Oh my. I finished it, but was not happy I had to.

I'll see about the reviews on the others before I go on, but this book was a HUGE disappointment. I can't fathom those who gave this a 5 star review.
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on May 22, 2013
An earlier review decried the "woo-woo" element in this novel. I cringed when I read the review, having just finished An Innocent Client and found it passably engaging.

Joe Dillard is a fatally flawed character. In the first two novels that feature him, we see him commit two legally indefensible felonies. We understand why he did it. We sympathize with him as far as motive is concerned. But he has not paid the piper, and that's troubling to me as a reader. Is this man above the law? Perhaps we get to see him pay for his crimes (I'm sorry, they were crimes, no matter how righteous he felt carrying them out) in future novels. There are three that I have not read.

For no discernible reason, "In Good Faith" includes plot points that are supernatural. No other explanation is offered for what happens in several key moments. It's not enough to make this a "supernatural thriller," but it is enough to remove it from being a compelling legal thriller. Legal thrillers strive to explain their mysteries, not chalk them up to ... can it be... Satan!?

Every book has a typo or two, but for some reason they stood out here. "Accept" is used in one sentence instead of "except." The word "people" is missing the first "e" in another section. I don't know why the typos bothered me in this book when such things are natural (bet you find at least one in this review!)

I do think the author needs to make up his mind and decide whether to tell his stories in the first person or the third person. The constant back-and-forth is distracting, and as a reader, I gain nothing from it. An all-knowing narrator can tell me what Joe Dillard is thinking as well as Joe can. I don't need his "I" to see what he sees.

One more thing: on the subject of authenticity, the author errs by referring to Jehovah's Witness gathering places as "church." Jehovah's Witnesses would never talk about going to church. Their meeting places are Kingdom Halls, and it was distracting to me to see Pratt consistently get this wrong.

I'll be reading the next book in the series, but I'm really hoping to see some consequences for his legally unacceptable decisions, and I do hope I've seen the last of the supernatural nonsense (which was enough to ruin this book for me to the point that I cannot recommend it).
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on June 29, 2014
I read Mr. Pratt's first Joe Dillard book and enjoyed it very much. Mr. Pratt is a good writer. However, this book took a turn to the paranormal and that is just not my cup of tea. I finished the book but I will probably not read any more in the Joe Dillard series since I am not a fan of sci-fi or paranormal.
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VINE VOICEon May 10, 2014
If you want to do some summer reading that mimics the news, this is the book for you. People are slaughtered...a while family...then two more are wiped out. It got to be too gory and like real life for me so I did not finish the book. I had downloaded onto my Kindle from Amazon and decided I saw enough of this on the nightly news to continue.
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on May 1, 2013
Book #1 was excellent and this one would have been just as good until it went paranormal. I do believe identical twins can have some unusual communications but I felt this pushed the limit. Other than that one complaint, it was a very good read.
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on February 3, 2014
I am happy to support an independently published author, so I truly wish I could do more than three stars for this second novel of the series... especially since I thoroughly enjoyed Joe Dillard's debut. The paranormal plot twist in this book did not work for me. It was a significant detractor from a story that already pushes the limits of credibility with last minute resolutions that conveniently favor the main character.
Joe Dillard becomes increasingly self-indulgent in this novel. While this Jack Reacher impersonation has been grating at times, it would have merit if it served as a platform to explore the spectrum of human nature, good/evil, or spiritual/religious themes that have surfaced in the last two books. Time will tell.
Paranormal practice is likely to intrigue many who read this book, but for me, it was not as exciting as the courtroom drama that is usually present in legal fiction.
I do not regret my purchase, or the time invested in reading this novel. It did not fail to entertain, even if it was not what I expected. I will continue to read the series, and wish Scott Pratt much success as a novelist.
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