Northside SF  

S.F. legal novice tumbles headlong into elaborate plot in The
Dead Lawyer Conspiracy by Jane T. Robe
By Marcia Gotlin

Dead Lawyer ConspiracyRather than a bloody who-done-it, Robe creates a slow-building mystery through the distinctive voice of high-spirited heroine Rachel Ballentine, a freshly minted lawyer who launches into her narrative on the day she is admitted to the California State Bar.
Alarmed by the discovery of inflated bar fees, Rachel investigates and uncovers a national conspiracy. She is joined by a senior generation of attorneys who somewhat miraculously offer her a job and mentor the irrepressible 26-year-old heroine as they run to uncover government wrongdoing. Along the way they are joined by a sexy private investigator whose cliché character adds a romantic interest to the story.
While The Dead Lawyer Conspiracy is high on hijincks, it is low on blood-curdling suspense. Lawyers scamming lawyers and sinister government agencies are nothing new. Instead, it’s Robe’s believable and memorable characters that have us turning the page. And as the action weaves in and out of an assortment of legal maneuvers and courtroom antics, headline news stories and true political scandals are used. Lawyers and news buffs will love this. Bloody murder enthusiasts will not.
Blending the styles of legal thriller writer Lisa Scottoline and mystery author Jonathan Kellerman, Robe manages to paint characters with humor and affection while allowing for their quirks and eccentricities. Cookies are not candy, they are energy food for the brain,” proclaims Oliver, the main senior lawyer,  in defense of his sweet tooth. Yet it is the heroine’s unique voice – a spiritual lawyer believing in karma and reincarnation – that cannot be overlooked. Nor can San Francisco; lovingly used as both a setting and character in the story.
Overall, the novel is fresh and appealing, making for an enjoyable read. Robe ends on an entirely unexpected cliffhanger, leaving us waiting for more. Not to worry – there’s a sequel.
The Dead Lawyer Conspiracy
: by Jane T. Robe (iUniverse, Inc., $24.95); a finalist at the Indie Book Awards.

Bookmark and Share Print Page

September 2011 Issue


Horse Shoe Tavern Amici's East Coast Pizzeria


Alfreds Alfred's Steakhouse
Grateful Dog SF

Getting to know the Reillys June Top Picks

Copyright © 2005 - 2008 NorthSide San Francisco