Wednesday, February 24, 2016

The Victim - Explosive Legal Thriller Presented by Eric Matheny

 She sipped her latte and fell into her chair. She waggled her mouse and her laptop screen came to life. She opened iTunes on her toolbar at the bottom of the screen and clicked on a previously saved playlist at random--Crazy on You" by Heart. Nancy Wilson's frantic acoustic lead-in poured out of the computer speakers.

She logged onto Facebook and searched for her page. Funny how small the world had become. They had four friends in common.
Curls of steam rose from her mug. She tucked a wayward strand of hair behind her ear, furtively chewing her lip as she explored the familiar page.
There were no privacy settings on the page so she was able to access the photo albums without restriction.
Charlotte is growing so quickly; what is she? Nine months already? That smile, my God, she looks just like her father. Typical mom. Any and all pictures taken during the last nine months were of the kid. A couple hundred at least. Images of the preceding nine months boasted an array of growing belly shots. It seemed that was the trend on Facebook these days. But it made sense. The generation that had popularized social media was growing up. Drunken twenty-something snapshots that paid homage to being young and free of responsibility gave way to wedding and baby photos.
Charlotte. What a cutie. A serious baby, she had her father's pensive stare, his green eyes that could emit a laser's focus.
She had the soft features of her mother, full cheek, wide nose. Pouty lips pursed like a rose ready to bloom. Wisps of sandy blonde hair capped her head. The child was the center of their universe. Crawling on a plush rug amid a spread of toys. Seated in a high chair with pureed sweet potatoes on her face and in her hair. At Disney World, cradled in her father's arms as he and her mother posed with Minnie Mouse.
Poor Gina. That baby weight never really came off, relegated to concealment beneath baggy sweatshirts. Her eyes were worn, dog-tired. Framed by black puffy circles like a mask of sleeplessness.
He was still handsome, although showing the signs of wear and tear that began to surface when a man hit his thirties. A thickening of the waistline, a few grays in his brown hair.
Daniella felt a closeness to him, as if she had watched him grow.
Ironic, it seemed, considering they had never met.
Not yet, at least...
The waiting was finally over.
He was settled. His life, at least on the surface, appeared complete. He had real responsibility now. He had people who loved him and he loved them in return.
Finally. he had something to lose...

The Victim

By Eric Matheny

Reading this book was agonizing--agonizingly suspenseful! The title for one thing caught me as I tried to figure out--who was The Victim! In fact, it may be impossible to figure it out by the end of the changes! It was only when I got almost half way into the book and some things were revealed that I began to sink in to the story... No kidding, the suspense, as they say, was killing me! LOL

The book opens in 2003, when a terrible vehicular accident with a RV, driven by a man who was drunk, crashed and plowed into the back of a car, actually almost on top of it. Getting out, the man saw that there were two people in the car that are not moving. Thinking they are dead and wanting to cover himself, he set both vehicles on fire...

Movement to 2014 takes place next and readers go back and forth in history for a short time. We meet the main character, an attorney working in the Richard E. Gerstein Justice Building in Miami Florida...
He's renting space from a well-established lawyer and picking up cases from him, working to build his reputation.

Anton Mackey is happily married with a new small child. His only problem at the time is that Gina, his wife, is suffering from depression after the birth. Although she is in counseling, there has not been a return to the closeness between the couple. This was compounded by an accident with the baby, when she was left in the car, while her mother was in the house and had been so tired, she fell asleep... It was only when Anton had come home that he'd found the baby. Gina couldn't seem to forgive herself...

Anton is a defense attorney and readers watch as he moves "slowly" on his cases to delay actions as much as possible--is this man ethical, we begin to wonder or is this the real pace with cases? Readers have the opportunity to learn about multiple cases as Anton handles pieces for various clients. The thing is--there are clues from right at the very beginning that will slip by you, only to come back and haunt you--wasn't that name mentioned earlier? What was he into?  It's convoluted as law itself don't worry about it, just enjoy!

This becomes especially visible when the criminals he's defending are not satisfied with the pace at which he's working. Like the son of a rich man who's been spoiled all his life and does not want to spend time in jail, and who is his new client for a domestic disturbance case for which he's just been hired. 

You can stop this
at anytime...
Daniella Avery, the battered wife has come to hire him to defend her husband who is now in jail, indicating that she wants to ensure that he at least gets a fair trial. Anton begins the usual procedures, but this doesn't satisfy the husband who has been imprisoned...and wants out on bond immediately...which he probably won't get due to the severity of the case... But while that is going on, Daniella contacted Anton and invited him over... At first, Anton points out that even though she has paid for his services, he is her
"Things are different these
days," she said, sauntering
away from the door, her
buttocks jouncing in
rhythm with her step. She
disappeared into her
bedroom. "You can't get
away with anything
husband's lawyer and would not be discussing his case with her...but it soon becomes clear that is not the reason for her asking him over... And with little coaxing, Anton succumbs to her charms, as they say...thinking about how long it has been since Gina and he were intimate.

And that's when the real trouble begins... (By the way, it seemed to me that only Charlize Theron could play the role of Daniella...) And the blackmail starts...

Now you may think I've added spoilers to my review, but that just isn't the case... This book is so intricately folded with twists and turns that I've barely given a taste of what's happening!

The book gets into gang activities, juvenile policing,
freeing innocent victims, murder, betrayal, and more, all of which are wrapped up tight as a surprise that will leave you surprisingly speechless when you read that next chapter!

The emphasis on how the continuous posting to Facebook adds on a dimension of danger that criminals use for tracking individuals is quite realistic and true to life. In fact, the whole story brings together a series of "every-day" events that would not surprise anybody...until you see how they've been carved into the story, with their concurrent results!

This is one legal thriller you won't want to miss if you enjoy the legal world.  The ending is not surprising after all that happens. But, for me, I'm curious enough to consider what at least one sequel would be with Anton Mackey as the main character once again. Let me know what you think! This one is highly recommended, even with a page count nearing 500!


Hey, I just added this scene because I liked it...LOL
Don't know how we got from Adele to The Boz...
Gina carried the pot to the sink and poured the pasta and water into a strainer. A cloud of steam rose and hissed. "You didn't comment on the music. I'm surprised." He listened. Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" played on her iPhone, mounted to a dock by the toaster. "I thought you hate this song."
"Never said I hated it. She's a talented singer; don't get  me wrong. It's just 'Gimme Shelter' with different lyrics.
Gina rolled her eyes. "It is not. It's original and I like it and your taste in music is older than you are."
He shrugged. "She gets away with it 'cause ninety percent of the people who listen to her don't know who the Stones are. Whatever. She's fine, just no Boz Scaggs, that's all."

"Gee, I didn't realize my father had just dropped by for a visit."
"Hey. Don't besmirch The Boz. 'Lido Shuffle?' 'Lowdown?" Don't knock it 'til you try it.

She laughed under her breath. "The Boz. That Southern California-speak creeps its way in every now and then. I remember when you first moved here, it took you a full year to stop calling 95 the freeway."
This was the Gina he loved. Sharp, witty. Could dish it out just as much as she could take it. It had been a tough nine months...

Eric Matheny was born in Los Angeles, California, where he lived until he went away to college at Arizona State University. At ASU he was president of Theta Chi Fraternity. He graduated with a degree in political science and moved to Miami, Florida, to attend law school at St. Thomas University. During his third year of law school, he interned for the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, where he worked as a prosecutor upon graduation. In 2009, he went into private practice as a criminal defense attorney. He is a solo practitioner representing clients in Miami-Dade County, Florida, and Broward County, Florida. He has handled everything from DUI to murder. 
In his free time, Eric enjoys writing crime fiction, drawing from his experience working in the legal system. He published his debut novel Home in 2004, which centers around a successful drug dealer catering to the rich in Orange County. His second novel Lockdown, published in 2005, follows a law student trying to prove that an inmate serving a life sentence in one of California's toughest prisons might actually be innocent. Eric's latest novel The Victim, is a tense, fast-paced, legal thriller/psychological suspense novel that centers around a young defense attorney whose horrifying misdeed from his college days comes back to haunt him. It was published by Zharmae in August 2015 and is available for sale on Amazon.
Eric lives outside of Fort Lauderdale with his wife and two young sons.

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