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Automaton Kindle Edition
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|Length: 411 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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4/5 ANGEL WINGS
REVIEW BY R.L. BAILEY
I love reading a great mystery. I love it even more if I can't figure it out by Chapter three. Well, Automaton, by Alana Woods has that and a whole lot more! Set in and around the courtrooms of Australia, Miss Woods takes the reader on a journey from a brutal murder, a defendant who can't remember a thing, (or can he?) to an end that you can't wait to get to!
The story centers around Russell, charged with a murder he can't remember. His lawyer, or as they say in Australia, his barrister, is a young cocky way too sure of herself woman by the name of Elizabeth. She's not the most tactful tool in the box, and soon has the entire office looking at her in disdain. Her boss, Robert, oh what a man he is. And modest as well. You just know that the tension between him and Elizabeth is going to be electric!
Elizabeth digs into the case, going all out in defense of her client, and incurs the wrath of any number of people who want to see Russell convicted of murder. Elizabeth believes in her client though and pushes through, sometimes at her own peril.
This is a good read. It kept my attention throughout, and even though I am an American, I could still understand the Aussie terms used in the book. My only complaint, like Miss Woods other book I read, Imbroglio, was too may second tier characters who take up too much of the story.
Book given to reviewer in exchange for fair and honest review.
A young man named Russell, who claims to have no recollection of the crime for which he is to be tried, stands accused of murder. He apparently has amnesia, the result of a brutal beating suffered shortly after the victim's death. Or does he? The government's case is overwhelmingly strong, replete with solid circumstantial, forensic, and eye-witness evidence. Russell is looking at some very serious prison time.
Enter Elisabeth Sharman, a beautiful, intelligent, rather pushy, aggressive, somewhat tactless barrister, the newcomer to the office by the way, who is assigned to defend the accused at trial. She encounters her senior instructing solicitor, the dashingly handsome, egotistical Rob Murphy, and some other office staff members who are less than receptive to her presence. And you know the sparks are going to fly, in several different directions.
The interactions among the various characters in the law office (it is a legal thriller, after all) are very true to life. I say that from having worked for nearly two years as an investigator with the Colorado Public Defender's Office. From the professionally driven, all-business barrister Elisabeth Sharman, to the investigators who dutifully carry out her legal legwork, you'll feel as though you know each of them personally. One situation in particular, wherein the task master Elisabeth gathers her troops in the office and begins to assign their work, actually had me wanting to get out of the room. I caught myself almost squirming in discomfort. Call it PTSD, perhaps. Alana Woods created the scene and dialogue exactly as I recalled it from some of my own investigative experiences with tyrannical lawyers.
The love story (yes, there's also a love story here) within the plot is handled skillfully and tenderly. And the actual murder trial, which is central to the entire book, will keep you on the edge of your seat. Alana Woods writes the novel with the expertise and skill of one who has actually been there and seen it. Conviction or acquittal? Prison or freedom? You'll have to read the book to find out. Fictional stories, like real life, don't always end happily, do they? I'll never tell you.
Regretfully, I can only give this one five stars. I assure you I'm waiting for Alana Woods' next novel.