Author: Rachel Dylan
Publisher: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary Fiction, Mystery
Source: Publisher provided
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Rating: ★★★ ½
REVIEW | If there is one thing everyone who knows her can say of Kate Sullivan, it’s that she doesn’t back down. It’s this tenacious part of her personality that’s about to come in handy. As one of the best attorney’s at her firm, Kate is about to try a big pharmaceutical case; a case that involves clients who suffered terrible losses. Their loved ones were all victims of a new drug with the Mason Pharmaceutical label. A conglomerate corporation, Mason has the resources (and money) to sweep this under the rug, and they begin by hiring the best law firm money can get.
Landon James is a former Army Ranger with more than one skeleton in his own closet. When he’s hired by Kate and her firm to do some investigative work for the case, it soon becomes clear, his talents are needed elsewhere. Witnesses begin to disappear and when Mason’s threats turn to Kate, the one mission Landon refuses to abandon is to keep Kate safe.
Unlike the white-knuckle suspense of fellow Baker House (publishing house family) novels from Dani Pettrey or Lynette Eason, Rachel’s stories take an entirely new approach. Since Deadly Proof is a courtroom drama, it’s more about the methodical building of the mystery rather than the suspense or thriller feeling. Think more conversations and paperwork research versus’ kidnappings or foot chases.
Before I press onward about the good of ‘Proof,’ I do want to preface this review with the following. Much as I did enjoy this story (and I did), I have a personal quibble. The story is well developed and intriguing, but I did feel a (slight) disconnect in the balance between the mystery and the characters. Because the story needs to devote so much of its time to unraveling the mystery, it feels a little like the characters suffer from this.
As I said, don’t misunderstand. Deadly Proof is still a fabulous read. (Though Dylan is not a debut novelist, this is her debut from Bethany House.) Its complications and need to unravel the questions take precedence. And I understand this. I think because I tend to often read character-driven novels, this is a reason why I noticed this. … I do think the characters as individuals are well informed. What I feel lacks are the connections, specifically those of a personal nature. As I say, this in no way hampers a fondness for these characters, nor support of their endeavors. I’m also very willing to admit, these feelings might be the result of a distracted reader.
Deadly Proof is a great start to what I know will be a fascinating series. If you’re a fan of courtroom dramas, this hobby will definitely aid in the payoff of this series. It’s going to help the reader envision the world and set ups even if this story steers clear of other popular tropes. Instead of thoughtless drama, this story keeps its focus on Kate’s sense of justice and doing right by her clients. A noble pursuit not all stories (aka TV dramas) pursue.
One of the plot surprises is the multiple perspective POV’s. We don’t just experience a Kate and Landon switch off, we also get two perspectives from opposing council. One is from the lead attorney, who also happens to be Kate’s best friend. The other is his associate, a woman by the name of Nicole, who finds herself at an impasse during the story.
Solidly crafted storytelling, with a great “hook” and sense of “place,” Deadly Proof is a wonderful first book in the Atlanta Justice series. It’ll make you wonder about the outcome of the case while feeling a sense of pride in its leading heroine. She’s all about doing the right thing, even when it means seeking truth proves to be dangerous.
Synopsis: In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.
Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.
Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything–even murder–to keep the case from going to trial. – Goodreads
Coming Next from Rachel Dylan, LONE WITNESS: When prosecutor Sophie Dawson is the lone witness to a gang-related double homicide, her world is turned upside down. Private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to protect Sophie from the gang, but she’s more concerned about prosecuting her latest case than the threat to her life. Sophie wants to stand for what’s right, but can Cooper keep her safe? – Goodreads, May 2018 | Add on Goodreads
Sincere thanks to the publisher for providing an e-copy of this book; all opinions are my own