Sometimes you stumble across a good book or a new author in the most unexpected way. I met Andaleeb Wajid through a Twitter conversation about kichda. R C O’Leary somehow got to this blog and he was kind enough to send me his novel as a Kindle gift. And so I spent the weekend in a courtroom with Remo Centrella and Dave Mackno and I must say, it was a weekend well spent.
An arrogant, steroid pushing baseball player gets killed by a cop. Self defense, he says. But when there’s 45 million dollars involved, a clean self defense claim doesn’t fully cut it. So what we have is an edge of the seat legal battle that makes you keep turning the pages till the very end. I love American legal dramas, be it reruns of The Practice or John Grisham novels. I don’t know if I am being fair to the author by saying that this was like a Grisham, but it was. And some more. The characters were well formed and I actually didn’t take sides till the end. I wavered back and forth throughout the trial. Did Dave Mackno overreact? Was he driven by his own ghosts from the past? At one point you want him to win, and a few pages later, you wonder if he should.
There are little backstories for all the characters, one of which becomes a vital twist towards the end. The book touches on some relevant and sensitive topics like the identity crisis that the African American lawyer goes through, how the internet broke a family and of course, the usage of steroids in sports ( Made me wonder why we never ever hear of steroid use in cricket. Could Slapgate have been ‘roid rage?) And then there was even a dumb witness who actually named his kid after Hulk Hogan!
A totally unputdownable book. Looking forward to the sequel.