- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 7 hours and 57 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Teresa Burrell
- Audible.com Release Date: March 27, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English, English
- ASIN: B00JAQ4RUE
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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The Advocate: The Advocate, Book 1 Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Sabre (really...Sabre...nicknamed Sobs) is a family court attorney who specializes in representing minor children in court proceedings. Sabre is appointed to represent Alexis, a precocious (aren't they always precocious??) 10-year old girl, and her 4-year old and newborn half-brothers. Alexis's mother disappeared 5 years ago under mysterious circumstances - which no one seems to have really investigated. Alexis's step mother is a drug addict. Alexis's father is a too-perfect Southern gentleman who is (obviously) hiding something.
Sabre is being stalked by someone...who might be her brother or might be someone evil from her past or might be someone evil from her present. They do nasty things like loosen the light bulb on her back door and take a photo from her office. Oh, and they slide a bat (mammal not wooden) through her mail slot. And the bat attacks her...totally out of character for bats.
Sabre is kidnapped, falls down a mountain while trying to escape, gets two concussions, is the only one who can comfort a psychotic ex-girlfriend of her brother, solves a 5-year old kidnapping, solves the disappearance and murder of Alexis's OTHER half-sister, brings down a crime syndicate in three cities, is shot and wounded in a police stand-off, has her condo burn down, gets WITSEC to break witness protection for a family meeting...shall I go on?
Oh...and Sabre has missing a brother who walked out of her life 5 years ago. No trace of him...so she looks for him around every corner, smells his cologne everywhere, and faints when she spots someone who looks like him. His doppelganger plays a crucial plot point in the book.
I get exhausted even thinking about this character.
The writing was a little uneven. The dialogue was often stilted. The frequent change in point of view set my head spinning.
The plot was a little implausible at some points. WAY too many coincidences and revelations. Every time a crucial piece of information was needed - BAM - it surfaced in some weird, awkward way.
The other reviewers are right - the whole lawyer/court thing was more background noise than actually contributing to the plot. The only purpose it really seemed to serve was throwing Sabre together with Alexis (the 10-year old in danger).
There are better legal thrillers out there. There are better mystery/suspense authors.
Kudos to the author for finishing and publishing. Keep working on your plots and publish again.
Sabre Brown is a juvenile court attorney who is assigned to advocate for nine-year-old Alexis, who is removed from her father's care along with her half-brother and eventually their infant sibling (I can't even remember whether it was a boy or girl). Alexis's father Gaylord (yes, really) and his pregnant girlfriend Penny had argued over her drug use. She fell and hit her head on a table but accused him, and that's how the kids were put into child protection.
The writing style is stilted and reminds me of a high school essay. The author tries to develop the characters, but she just makes them more mundane. The dialog is completely unrealistic, and her attempt to "show, don't tell" just made the writing more tedious. Sabre's relationship with her best friend Bob is just weird. The author makes a point of saying they were never romantically involved, but friends with no romantic history don't call each other "honey" ALL THE TIME. I know it was a plot element for a time when Sabre excuses someone else for calling a friend "honey" because she calls Bob "honey," but that doesn't make it not weird. One more example...Bob greets Sabre one morning with "How's my pre-pubescent nugget of love and carnality this morning?" And she smiles and responds with "Hi, honey. You sure know how to change a girl's mood." "Pre-pubescent nugget of love"?!? So is Bob a closet pedophile? And Sabre smiles?!? These are juvenile court attorneys! I would think that these types of comments would NEVER come out of their mouths.
Sabre also doesn't appear to have any common sense. When things are moved in her office and in her home, she sees suspicious vehicles, hears rustling in the bushes outside her office, she is warned by Bob and by a detective to be careful, it is suggested that she stay somewhere else, does she heed ANY warnings? Does she think any of these are red flags? No...she thinks she's being paranoid, and she never calls the police about anything suspicious.
***Some spoilers below***
Here are the things we learn about the characters because they're repeated over and over and over:
-- Sabre keeps a checklist in a notebook her brother gave her when she was 5 or 6 of things she'd like to do. She reads this list every single morning. The first thing on her list is to marry Victor Spanoli. We learn all about Victor but not because he's an actual character in the story. He's just on her list because she wanted to marry him when she was 5 or 6 and she's read it on her list and thinks about it every single day. Who does that?!?
--Sabre clears her morning calendar every day. No...really?
--Sabre carries stacks of files to and from work, tosses them into her trunk (how do they not get thrown all over the place?) and she leaves them on a shelf by security. Get a briefcase like a normal person. The author actually talked about the lack of a briefcase just as I was thinking, "why doesn't she have a briefcase?" She doesn't want to carry the heavy files from courtroom to courtroom, so she puts her stack of files on a window ledge by the security guy and goes back between cases to get the files she needs. Ummm...potential issues with confidentiality perhaps?
--She has lunch with Bob almost every day. So tell us about it once and then let it go. We don't need to hear them talk about lunch every single day.
--Bob smokes a lot. The author constantly points out that Bob lit a cigarette, Bob finished a cigarette, Bob put out a cigarette. And why did we have to suffer through all of the details of his smoking? So that at the end of the book when Sabre gets shot and Bob thinks she's going to die, he can pray to God and promise to quit smoking if she survives. (This also plays into the weird relationship/non-relationship they have going.)
--Crazy Carla calls Sabre's office sometimes dozens of times a day. At first, I thought Carla was a former client since they mention Sabre is the only one who can calm her down by talking about butterflies and green pastures. Then we find out that Carla is the former girlfriend of Sabre's missing brother Ron, and she's been hospitalized since Ron's disappearance five years ago. Well of course Sabre is the only one who can calm her down. She's the only one who knows Carla!
--This leads us back to Bob, the best friend, who apparently knows nothing about her missing brother. In five years, she's never told Bob about her brother's disappearance? My best friend pretty much knows everything about every part of my life. That's why she's my best friend. How is it possible that Sabre has never told Bob about her brother before when it pretty much defines her life outside of work and she carries a picture of him around with her?
--Finally, Dr. Steele, who is conveniently a dead ringer for Sabre's missing brother and is a new doctor at the hospital where Carla is being treated. The author creates the Dr. Steele story line so that when Ron wants to visit Sabre in the hospital after she's shot, he can do so by posing as Dr. Steele so he doesn't expose himself since he's in Witness Protection after testifying against some thugs in Atlanta. Just a little too convenient, if you ask me. And at one point, Dr. Steele asks Sabre to call him Corbin, indicating that Dr. Steele is his father. I do not know a single doctor who would ever ask a patient to call him by his first name.
There's more - oh, so much more - that is wrong with this book, but I have already wasted too much time on it. I strongly suggest you skip this one, and I certainly won't be reading the rest of the series.