Author Dervla McTiernan

Publication Date 4th May 2022

Publisher: Harper Collins Australia 

"For fans of the compulsive psychological suspense of Ruth Ware and Tana French, a mother daughter story—one running from a horrible truth, and the other fighting to reveal it—that twists and turns in shocking ways, from the internationally bestselling author of The Scholar and The Ruin.

First Rule: Make them like you.

Second Rule: Make them need you.

Third Rule: Make them pay.

They think I’m a young, idealistic law student, that I’m passionate about reforming a corrupt and brutal system.
They think I’m working hard to impress them.
They think I’m here to save an innocent man on death row.
They're wrong. I’m going to bury him" .......

Thank you to NetGalley and Harper Collins Publishers Australia for advanced copy

I looked forward to reading this book because I am such a huge fan of the author, I knew this "standalone" would be a departure from her usual police procedurals, unfortunately I never much cared for legal thrillers and this book is just that. It's not the authors fault that this reader was too daft to work out that this book is just that, legal, and American legal at that!
I guess the "death row" mention should have clued me in!

This, of course, makes it very difficult to rate a book from a genre one usually avoids when forced to use the star system, I suppose it is best to just state what one disliked, that way, someone who does enjoy all the legal aspects will happily buy it!

I found it a slow start, mainly because it was hard for me to get interested in such an unlikeable character as Hannah. I won't add too much to the publishers summary other than that Hannah, through deceit and cunning manages to inveigle herself into the Innocence Project, this is when her devious work begins in earnest.

The story is told over two timelines, her mothers past, told through her old diary, and Hannah's present day, this adds some interest.
However, the the further I progressed the more outlandish the US law and legal procedurals seemed to become, I realise they are quite different to ours in many ways but surely, that courtroom scene, the one with the students seemingly running the show, could that really happen? I don't know, but then, I'm not American!

The author does a marvellous job of creating characters who are very nasty pieces of work!
I really wanted to enjoy this book so much more than I did but I hope anyone reading this will get just why I didn't enjoy it

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