Thursday, April 28, 2011

review: fatal february by barbara levenson

Fatal February finds Mary Katz representing wealthy Lillian Yarmouth who stands accused of murdering her philandering husband. Mary has a bit of a messy personal life too now that she’s cheated on her fiancĂ©. Because she works for his firm, not only is the wedding off, but Mary’s out of a job. Fortunately, Lillian still wants Mary to represent her, so Mary has her first client for her independent practice.

There are really two plots within Fatal February. One is good while the other borders on ridiculous. First, the good one, which involves the Yarmouth family and the murder trial. There’s a great twist here that I absolutely did not expect. Barbara Levenson’s background as an attorney certainly aided this interesting plot. Mary’s personal life, on the other hand, made me want to put the book down. While it’s completely believable her ex would be vindictive on a professional level (firing her, filing ethics charges, etc.), the violence seemed over the top. Perhaps it would seem in character if he’d been more developed, but he was just a one-dimensional bad guy. Then there’s Mary’s new love Carlos, who was just too good to be true. I kept waiting for the proverbial shoe to drop. The character development was weak all around.
Review copy provided by the publicist, MM Book Publicity.

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