The Alligator Man

The Alligator Man

A Legal Thriller

Book - 2013
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Defense attorney Kevin Wylie unites with his father, a legendary trial lawyer, to take the case of a man who they believe is wrongly accused of killing one of the most hated corporate criminals in America.
Publisher: New York : Center Street/Hachette Book Group, 2013.
Edition: First edition.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781455508648
Characteristics: 390 pages ; 24 cm


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May 28, 2015

I enjoyed this book. If you’re a fan of legal thrillers, you probably will too. The main characters are likeable and the overall feel is warm and comfortable. The protagonist is a criminal defense lawyer called upon to defend a poor, downtrodden friend accused of murdering the Alligator Man, a nasty, filthy rich drug dealer turned industrialist who looted his company. White hats, black hats, subtlety is not the author’s strong point. Our hero is resentful of his father, who is now dying and whom he has not seen in years, but of course they reconcile (that happens very early, so it’s not a spoiler). It’s all pretty standard fare, and that’s where it falls short.

The hype on the book is that it is a legal thriller by an experienced trial lawyer. It is anything but thrilling. Every plot twist that was supposed to be a surprise was telegraphed hundreds of pages in advance. I can honestly say there was not a single surprise for me in the entire book. The trial itself comes at the end, and it’s the most plain vanilla description of a trial I’ve ever seen in a novel, which, in a way, was also its strong point. It was totally realistic. I do enjoy authenticity and this author knows what a real trial is like. As a lawyer and former FBI agent I can tell you that it was as routine and mundane as a murder trial gets, despite the author’s constant hyperbolic characterizations of every move as brilliant or deviously clever. On the whole, though, it was a pleasant read devoid of the gore and sadism that so often permeate the genre.

ChristchurchLib Dec 09, 2013

"There are a couple different strands in this character-driven story. In one, a defense attorney learns a dangerous secret about his employer, who isn't about to lose a profitable career because someone else wants to do the right thing. In another, the incredibly wealthy former CEO of a company that went belly-up, destroying the lives (and pensions) of countless workers, has been killed. Connecting the two is Tom Wylie, an attorney dying of cancer, who wants his son (strand A) to defend the man accused of killing one of the most hated corporate criminals in the U.S. (strand B). Plenty of character development plus a few twists and turns keep the pages flying." Thrillers and Suspense December 2013 newsletter


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