The Bottom Line: A superb, action-packed legal thriller with a heart of gold.
Defense attorney Henry Krakow has made a career out of representing small time clients living on the fringe. Most don’t pay, and when they do, it’s often via questionable means. His wife Olivia is a moneyed high-powered public relations executive who is no longer enchanted with Henry and his seeming lack of ambition and unwillingness to take the corporate job she helped him land.
Henry would love nothing more than to reignite his marriage and win back Olivia.
So when one of Henry’s favorite down-on-his luck clients, a middleweight boxer and single father supporting two kids, needs Henry’s help to convince the boxing commission to let him fight an upcoming match despite concerns over brain injury, Henry is determined to help him find another way to get the money. And, most importantly, he hopes that his noble cause will win back Olivia.
But as Krakow himself notes in the novel, “Hope has a mean right.” When Henry meets a sketchy Ukrainian national who offers to pay handsomely for a “simple” delivery of a package, Henry sees a path to helping the boxer get back on his feet and winning over Olivia in the process. But It’s not long before things take a wrong turn and Henry is soon caught up in the underworld that he once only knew from the sidelines.
Attorney-turned-author David Klein has a knack for writing intricate characters that are so well drawn up you can almost smell their breath, quite literally (“His mutinous teeth gave rise to a shroud of herring, onion, and Winstons”). But fans of legal thrillers fear not: Klein’s deft hand at drawing his characters is never at the expense of the plot, which is fast-paced but imbued with great heart.