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The Alligator Man Hardcover – October 8, 2013

4.5 out of 5 stars 83 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this straightforward, character-driven stand-alone, Sheehan (The Lawyer&'s Lawyer and two other Jack Tobin legal thrillers) clearly distinguishes between heroes and villains. Wealthy Roy Johnson has retired to Gladestown, Fla., after escaping with a golden parachute from his company, Dynatron, whose collapse destroyed the jobs, health insurance, and pensions of 20,000 employees. When Roy is reported missing one morning, some people at first presume that an alligator snatched him on his nightly drunken walk. Then a local teen comes forward to report a hit-and-run, followed by a witness&'s report of a man leaving a bar in a nearby town on that night, muttering about killing someone. Police quickly identify the man as former Dynatron employee Billy Fuller. Enter Kevin Wylie, an unemployed defense lawyer visiting his dying father in Billy&'s hometown. Sheehan paints a sympathetic portrait of Kevin, Billy, and others on the side of the law, while crafting an ending that will satisfy readers who like to see justice prevail. (Oct.)

Review

"Fun stuff."― Kirkus Reviews, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"This is the second book that I read by James Sheehan. James is a great writer, rating right up there with James Patterson. James Sheehan was a lawyer and you can tell by the way the book is written. James brings you right into the court room and gives a lot of the back story of this trial."―Fresh Fiction, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"James Sheehan, knows a lot about the law. He practiced it for thirty years and has written three acclaimed legal thrillers. I recommended Sheehan's last novel, 'The Lawyer's Lawyer,' and I definitely recommend his new one."―Bookviews.com, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"Sheehan is a gifted storyteller who fans of Paul Levine or James Grippando's Florida-set legal thrillers should enjoy. THE ALLIGATOR MAN merges the fast pave of Miami with the rural, one stoplight towns that skirt Florida's Everglades, where alligators aren't the most dangerous predators lurking."―Florida Book Review, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"Sheehan paints a sympathetic portrait...while crafting an ending that will satisfy readers who like to see justice prevail."
Publishers Weekly, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"It is not only the development of each character's individual story but Sheehan's ability to compel his readers to care about them that sets this book apart from other legal thrillers."―Library Journal, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

". . . an enthralling legal thriller."―New York Journal of Books, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"If you're looking for a fast-paced, intriguing legal thriller, The Alligator Man by James Sheehan is the novel for you."―Southern Literary Review, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"The courtroom action is compelling...And Sheehan keeps the surprises-come scary, some bittersweet-coming to the very last page."―Tampa Bay Times, on THE ALLIGATOR MAN

"[Sheehan] is especially good whenever he takes us into a courtroom.... Sheehan brings the three-way jousting of a criminal trial...to blazing life."

The Washington Post on The Lawyer's Lawyer

"Exciting...legal thriller...Sheehan...keep(s) the tension high..."―Publishers Weekly on The Lawyer's Lawyer

"Sheehan...writes with bleak clarity...but there's a touch of the poet in his voice."―The New York Times, on The Mayor of Lexington Avenue

"This is a debut novel but it reads like it was written by a master of the genre."―Nelson DeMille, on The Mayor of Lexington Avenue

"An assured, elegant, suspenseful courtroom thriller."
Kirkus Reviews, on The Law of Second Chances

"Fast moving and tightly written...boasts a gripping story and characters who will make the reader care. Al in all, a stylish and engaging novel."
Richard North Patterson, on The Law of Second Chances
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Center Street (October 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455508640
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455508648
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (83 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #974,896 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love the murder mystery set in the Everglades. Gives your Florida readers a real treat. The second story of a son learning that there are always two sides to a story, and love and forgiveness before it is too late can be a great love story.
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By dianeg on October 12, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I only recently discovered james Sheehan and have read all of his books. He is a new favorite author of mine. I eagerly anticipate his next book.
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Format: Hardcover
You really need to read one of James Sheehan’s books if you haven’t already. Sheehan, a trial attorney for some three decades who now teaches trial law, toils in the genre of --- can you guess it? Say it with me --- courtroom thrillers. But he is more concerned with characters than with legalese. My guess is that Sheehan was warmly received by the bench when he appeared in court, given that he has that wonderful and all-too-rare ability to lay out the facts --- his story --- in an entertaining manner without sounding as if he is in love with his own voice. That ability was manifested in his critically and commercially acclaimed Jack Tobin novels and is demonstrated once again in his latest work.

THE ALLIGATOR MAN introduces a new character in the form of Kevin Wylie, a Miami defense attorney. Wylie is employed in a firm where he is a rising star, second only to Bernie Stang, the owner of the firm who keeps Wylie on a “first among equals” status behind himself. Wylie is considering striking out on his own, but is fired by Stang before being given the opportunity to quit. Worse, Stang makes it more than clear that he does not want Wylie practicing in Miami. At the same time, Wylie’s girlfriend is making noise about coming to a parting of the ways. In the midst of these twin crises, Wylie receives a telephone call advising him that his father has terminal cancer and is asking to see him. The man is only a distant memory in Wylie’s past, given that Wylie has not seen him since he was a child. Wylie reluctantly travels to St. Albans, where his father, a noted defense attorney in his own right, has some revelations for him that will challenge beliefs about himself and his family that he held as gospel.
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Format: Kindle Edition
I received a complementary copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This was a relatively clean book - mention of living together without marriage and showering together - but no explicit scenes.

This book was a pleasant surprise! We are introduced to Kevin with his "perfect" life, including the "perfect" girlfriend. Because of a crisis, he returns to his hometown to see his estranged father. There, Kevin is drawn into a court case that breathes life into his work life, as well as building a relationship with his father. He must confront the misconceptions of his past and rebuild where his father fits in his life, as well as refocusing what type of lawyer he wishes to be and what he wants from his love life. Along the way, he gets to know who his father truly is, as well as who he is himself, and discovers his true love in an unlikely place. The legal drama was exciting, full of colorful characters and plot twists. I did not see the last big surprise coming! All in all a very good read. I will look for more from this author.
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Format: Hardcover
3.5/5 This is the first book I've read by James Sheehan. Sheehan writes a legal series with lawyer Jack Tobin as the recurring character, but his latest book, The Alligator Man is a stand alone and introduces us to a new character - lawyer Kevin Wylie.

Kevin's life is about to be turned upside down - his shady boss has decided that now is the time to get ride of Kevin, he gets word that the father he hasn't seen in twenty eight years is dying and his girlfriend isn't happy with Kevin at all.

What's a lawyer to do? Well, Kevin decides to see his father one last time and get answers before it's too late. He reconnects with some barely remembered pieces and people from his past. One of them is family friend Billy, who has just been arrested for the murder of Roy Johnson, a corporate criminal who ruined the lives of thousands of his employees when he bankrupted the company. And yes, Billy was one of them. With nothing waiting for him back in Miami, Kevin teams up with his lawyer father on their first - and what will probably be their last case.

Sheehan has two story lines running parallel in The Alligator Man. The race to prove Billy's innocence is full of pitfalls, false leads and possible outcomes. Sheehan does a capable job of providing a solid legal thriller accentuated with realistic courtroom drama. Sheehan makes his home in Florida and his living from the law. This adds immensely to both setting and locale descriptions as well as the legal aspects of the case.

The other storyline is one of fathers and sons, forgiveness and redemption and a healthy dose of romance as well. Sheehan deftly explores broken relationships - specifically fathers. There is another player in the story who has also lost his father.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is my first book by Sheehan. Wow, very exciting and great story. I look forward to reading more by Sheehan!
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