I love courtroom thrillers. I love the Law, rules, and those clever enough to play with them. Today is a good day. No, a great day! Today’s book review is all about a stunning book mixing courtroom chills with fun and tension!
Special thanks to Ceris from Sandstone Press for inviting me to be part of this tour and providing me with a gorgeous proof copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Title: Fixed Odds
Author: William McIntyre
Publisher: Sandstone Press
Date of publication: 4 July 2019
Format: physical proof copy
Number of pages: 290
George ‘Genghis’ McCann has stolen – and lost – a priceless masterpiece. Snooker
champion Oscar ‘The Showman’ Bowman is charged with betting fraud. With a second baby on the way, and promises of great rewards if he wins Bowman’s case and recovers the painting, defence lawyer Robbie Munro has never been so tempted to fix the odds in his favour.
Time it took me to read Fixed Odds: no idea I wasn’t looking at my watch, My Lord.
More precise timeframe: one sitting!
Time it took me to chuckle: one sentence.
Assessment of parties involved: brilliant.
Nature of the plot: a crazy and scary race.
Assessment of said plot: efficient!
Verdict: A perfectly crafted Tartan Noir with mixed layers of hilarious moments and dangerous times intertwined in the every-day life of a one-of-a-kind lawyer!
Have you ever had books whispering in your ear? I am not talking about audiobooks, don’t be so literal! When I caught a glimpse of Fixed Odds on social media, a voice popped up in my head. Yes, I am perfectly fine. That voice was telling me this book had to be mine. I was lucky. It happened. Well, was it luck or the power of the book, we will never know. My point is, as a fan of courtroom thrillers, I was born to meet Robbie Munro, and the guy doesn’t disappoint!
Despite being part of a series, diving into Fixed Odds was as easy as plunging a knife into a cake. Robbie, his family, his clients, and his lovely secretary make is easy to fall for them. Don’t think they are cardboard characters who don’t get background, because you would be totally wrong. The author gives you the right bits to fall for them (and adds some hints of previous, hm, adventures, and if you’re like me, you’ll be dying to read the previous books) and before you know it, you’re part of the family and ready for a ride! A ride including two cases; a high-profile sports guy accused of betting fraud and a thief who put his hands where he shouldn’t have. Much meat to eat! (Sorry, vegetarians.)
Robbie became my favourite lawyer from page one. Courtroom thrillers are deemed serious, all that legalese and that, no room for a good time. Lawyers are often seen as robots eating your money and not knowing the word ‘fun’. Robbie isn’t like this. Robbie has no luck with dogs, and his take on the job involves countless working hours and fighting for unlucky ones in criminal courts. Far from the arrogant stereotype, Robbie is a down-to-earth, hilarious, good man with unusual methods and a tendency to end up in complicated situations. His flaws make it easier to see him as a man, not just as a lawyer, and this for me, is the X factor that puts the series at the top of my must-catch-up-with list! Robbie doesn’t always take the right decisions, he may seem sloppy but it’s a façade hiding a smart mind who can come up with strategies on the spot. He is a damn good lawyer! I couldn’t always follow his train of thoughts. After all, I failed Law school! But I always managed to reach his conclusions and see the mastermind play chess with criminal laws. You can feel the expertise of the author between the lines. Robbie doesn’t need his work cut out for him, he doesn’t need magic powers, he does what he knows, and the realism of both the cases and his handling of them is striking. I tremendously enjoyed juggling from one client to the other and watch Robbie play his part. No glitter, but sweat, blood, and a lot of thinking!
Now don’t go believe this is all about paperwork and verbal battles in court. Fixed Odds, with its cast of colourful characters, releases tension at the right time, as if the author was pushing a morphine button just when you need it! Except you get the thrills instead of a shot of drugs. But the effect is the same! Your brain goes overdrive and you are at the heart of the action, questioning the motives of some, the innocence of others, and waiting for a baby to break free from its prison womb. No time to rest!
Robbie isn’t the only star of the show. I love his wife, I rolled my eyes at his brother, I felt affection for his father, and I’d marry his secretary if I could! Even the darker characters and other special guests have something to make them unique. Everyone is a piece of an intricate puzzle I didn’t want to see end!
Fixed Odds is an addictive, witty, and absolutely compelling read. It’s more real than real life. From the street to the court, you are in for the best crime thriller Scotland has to offer!
The book is released TOMORROW 4 JULY! Pre-order it to make sure not to miss it! Amazon