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Neon Dragon: A Knight and Devlin Thriller by [Dobbyn, John]
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4.5 out of 5 stars 92 customer reviews

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Length: 265 pages Word Wise: Enabled Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Fans of the film True Believer will best appreciate law professor Dobbyn's debut, a routine legal thriller with a similar plot. Michael Knight, a junior associate at a high-powered Boston firm, gets asked by a powerful African-American judge, Amos Bradley, to represent his son, Anthony, who has been accused of gunning down a beloved member of the city's Chinese community under cover of a New Year's parade. This assignment brings Knight to the attention of the firm's disgraced legend, Alexis Devlin, who has been keeping a low profile since he was alleged to have participated in jury-tampering to help a client. As the two attorneys search for the truth, Knight ventures into dangerous neighborhoods on the trail of some major league political and judicial corruption. Considering his curriculum vitae—Latino street kid, Harvard law grad and former federal prosecutor—Knight comes across as oddly naïve, while his ignorance of Chinatown's organized criminals doesn't ring true. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

This debut novel by law professor Dobbyn marks the first long-form appearance of legal eagles Michael Knight and Lex Devlin, who've starred in several of the author's short stories. Every team needs an "origin story," and this is theirs: the case that first brought the newcomer and the veteran together. A man is murdered during Boston's Chinese New Year celebrations. The man arrested for the crime is the son of a judge, who asks Knight to defend the accused in court. With Devlin's help, Knight navigates the treacherous world of Chinese organized crime, drugs, and political corruption. Dobbyn, who knows his characters like the back of his hand, is an engaging writer, and readers who have followed the adventures of Knight and Devlin in short stories will give a small cheer that they've finally made the leap to the hardcover novel. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

Product Details

  • File Size: 706 KB
  • Print Length: 265 pages
  • Publisher: Oceanview Publishing; 1 edition (March 8, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 8, 2010
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0043D2CEC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #593,882 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on March 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
In Boston Michael Knight works as a third year associate attorney at Bilson, Dawes, Leftbridge & Sykes law firm. Thus he is shocked when African-American judge Amos Bradley, expected to be named to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court soon, asks him to represent his son Anthony, who is accused of killing sexagenarian Mr. Chen An-Young during a New Year's parade. The shooting has angered the Chinese-American community as Mr. Chen was a well respected grandfather.

Knight visits the incarcerated Anthony at the Suffolk County prison where he finds his client articulate and grateful. Anthony insists he is guilty of only agreeing to go with his friend Terry Blocher to attend the Chinese New Year gala. At the office, attorney Alexis "Lex" Devlin offers to help Michael with the case; Alexis was the top gun until a decade ago when a jury-tampering charge forced Lex into "hiding". The case looks hopeless on the surface, but with Knight following clues that take him into nasty neighborhoods, he believes he can prove his client's innocence that is if he stays alive long enough.

The protagonist knew nothing about government corruption or Chinese organized gangs in spite of being in the prosecutor's office for four years before he joined his current firm and grew up in the city. Knight is a terrific protagonist who, with his mentor, makes for a delightful Bostonian joy ride. The story line is fast-paced and includes some fun references to Beantown literary sleuths. However, it is the courtroom that makes this a fine legal thriller as fans of the sub-genre will enjoy the teaming of Michael and Lex.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Hardcover
Though I normally don't read many detective mysteries, I read this one by my friend, law professor Jack Dobbyn. The action moves, the humor is wry, and the book is well plotted and well written. Set in Boston, it offers fascinating information on the tongs that terrorize chinatowns in many American cities. A great read.
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Format: Hardcover
First Sentence: Suppose you were to wake up one Monday morning to a promising, amber sun rising out of Boston Harbor.

Michael Knight is a young attorney in a very prestigious Boston law firm. Lex Devlin is a legendary attorney whose career was nearly ruined by rumor that he bought a juror. Now the two are working together to defend, and prove innocent, the son of an important Judge. The young man is accused of shooting a revered elderly man in Chinatown. In the investigation, Michael, with his college friend Harry, sees sides of Chinatown he didn't know existed and he may not survive the experience.

Gripping, exciting, suspenseful--over the top at times but boy, did it keep me turning the pages. There was good development of the main characters, wonderful wry humor and a chance to visit my favorite city of Boston and the drive to Canada. I can't ensure the accuracy of the legal scenes, but considering Dobbyn was a practicing lawyer and now a professor of law, I have to assume they are correct. They certainly aren't dull, as is nothing in this book. If you are looking for an exciting weekend read, this is it. I'll also admit I also loved that his inside cover picture is him, his wife and their dog.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Prepare yourself for a few evenings of first class reading. "Neon Dragon" is an excellent book. I was hooked from the first chapter and hurried home after work each evening to read until bedtime (dinner in one hand, kindle in the other).

The main characters were high definition and deeply engaging. The secondary characters were stereotypical for Chinatown, but nicely portrayed.

If you want to learn how to write about emotional events without descending into bathos, this book is an excellent example. If you want to experience a plot where all the loose ends (seemingly) are drawn nicely together at the denouement, all fitting together, but you don't guess it ahead of time, read this book.

At the end, I wanted to stand up and cheer, but the cat would have disapproved of being disturbed.

I'm finishing this review and ordering his other two books. May he write for many years and prosper!
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Format: Kindle Edition
A decent plot, excellent background into the Chinese drug culture and gangs, plus an outstanding court case in the last 30 pages of the book brings this book to a very satisfying conclusion that had me turning pages to see how it ends.

Neon Dragon features Michael Knight, a lawyer working for a Boston law firm, who finds himself responsible for representing a young Harvard student who is accused of murdering a respected older Chinese man in the Boston Chinatown district. The defendant also happens to be the son of a judge who is in line to become the next chief justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Court.

I would rate Neon Dragon 4.3 stars - if I could. It is not a 5 star book, but better than 4 stars and is a fast read for those who like a Grisham style legal thriller (moderate character development, a good story, fast paced, less than 350 pages, and a better ending than most Grisham books).

If this is the style of book you love to read, than Neon Dragon by John F. Dobbyn should be on your reading list.

Anthony Wessel (The Kindle Book Review)
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