Title: Lawyers Gone Bad
Author: Vincent Scarcella
Publisher: Digital Fiction Publishing
Release date: February, 26th 2016
Rating: ⭐️⭐️ and a half
“Lawyers Gone Bad,” is the story of beleaguered attorney disciplinary counsel, Dean Alessi, and his trusty investigator, Stu Foley, in their fight against lawyers gone bad – that is, lawyers who commit ethical and criminal wrongs. In this case they’re investigation the local District Attorney who may have committed the ultimate ethical wrong – murder.
Novelist Vincent Scarsella draws on his over 18 years of real life experience as head of the Eighth Judicial District Grievance Committee in Buffalo, New York to craft a gripping, suspenseful novel about lawyers gone bad.
But the story is more than a crime novel. It concerns friendship, loss, unrequited love, and ultimately, justice. It seeks to answer the question, does what goes around, come around? “Lawyers Gone Bad,” follows on the success of Vincent Scarsella’s debut crime novel, “The Anonymous Man”, about which The Buffalo News said: “’The Anonymous Man’ gets decent marks for creativity and intricacy…it’s a fast read that runs through familiar local settings to a satisfying conclusion. Scarsella has the makings of a good storyteller…he and [Jack] Fox could go places.”
Note to self: I seriously need to stop picking books just because they have “lawyers” in their title.
Dean Alessi chases the bad boys. Not the drug dealers squatting the streets or the rapist waiting for you in the dark. He hunts down the lawyers bending the rules, forgetting them, giving the profession a bad name. But in a world of power, can a man and his sidekick stand against the robes, the money and the weight of political connections? We all know the answer, we watch the news.
Most lawyers are decent, hard-working people. I just see all the bad ones. The ones gone bad.
I was very excited about this book, so I forgave the slow beginning. After all, I did find the detailed explaining and the character introduction important to really get a sense of what was going on. But the beginning never stopped. Oh, I was given plenty of legalese and the behind the scenes of the courthouse alright, but nothing happened. Well, I can’t say that. We learn from the beginning that a DA (District Attorney) has covered a murder connected to one of his assistants. This is a big no for Alessi, who instantly wants to launch an investigation, but, and here comes the first but of a very long list of what Alessi wants but can’t make happen, his former boss is gone and he’s been filling in for him, hoping to get the position in the end. When he learns that the Chief Justice has appointed someone else, his hopes to dig into the DA’s issue are dashed. You soon realize working in this courthouse is like playing chess. It is all about having the rights pawn at the right place. The right money in the right hand. But the story is too big to be ignored and Alessi and Foley want to get to the bottom of it, no matter the consequences.
The consequences being Alessi having his hands tied and the story being taken care of by anyone but him. In the end, the plot resolved itself with little input from the two main protagonists, who spent every chapter stuck and at the mercy of more powerful (bad) guys. The characters have flaws as well as different personal stories, I found it to be a nice break from all the manipulation going on, but it was not enough for me to not be frustrated by their lack of action. Every new light on the case is brought by Foley or luck, but all elements get dismissed or become useless very quickly, leaving me feeling crushed under the system’s rules of the game.
I really enjoyed taking a close peek at how the justice system works and how tied it is to politics, but I was hoping for some real investigation instead of a slow-paced storyline served by passive men.
I received a copy of this book through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.