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Indefensible: A Novel by Lee Goodman

Indefensible: A Novel

by Lee Goodman

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This is a solid first novel & a good synopsis is provided above.
It all begins with the rumour of a body. Long time federal prosecutor Nick Davis makes the mistake of taking his daughter along when he & other law enforcement types investigate a call concerning a possible gravesite. Not only is there a body but the woman who reported it is soon assassinated in her home.
And they're off. More murders will follow as Nick & his team try to piece together who is responsible & the case branches off in multiple directions. What starts as the execution of a small time drug dealer & informant soon evolves to include a mythical drug lord, domestic & child abuse, pornography & a close tie to Nick. Someone in his complicated personal life may be involved & Nick becomes convinced he himself is a suspect.
Despite the complex plot, this is an even paced & easy read with as much space devoted to the case as Nick's home life. The story is told from his POV so we are privy to the thoughts of this likeable main character. Though long divorced, he maintains a good relationship with his ex-wife & they share custody of Lizzy, their daughter, who is a combination of typical teen & wise beyond her years. The rest of the cast is mostly comprised of lawyers, cops & lowlife criminals.
But this is Nick's story. He's a 50-ish guy at personal & professional crossroads. As a lawyer, he's always been confidant of his role in the justice system & has adhered to a strict code of ethics. As a man, he's lonely & open to the possibility of finding love again. His marriage dissolved following the loss of their infant son & it's haunted him ever since.
The investigation & hunt for the killer(s) becomes a personal test for Nick, causing him to question his beliefs & consider actions that would shatter the ethical rules he's clung to for so long. Yes, it's a thriller/police procedural but it's also the story of a man forced to confront his past & take conscious steps to actually start living instead of floating through life.
This was an ok read for me. Nick is portrayed as an intelligent, likeable & decent guy & there are several peripheral characters of note that are compelling. The relationship between he & Lizzy is enjoyable, alternating from fractious to funny. I did get a bit tired of his tendency to view all women he meets as potential girlfriends, particularly his insta-love for the woman who reported the first body. His continued pining for her seemed a tad obsessive considering her knew her for about a day & a half before she was killed.
The story picks up in the final few chapters as we approach the big reveal & the identity of one of the killers is a nice twist I didn't see coming so kudos to the author for that. Side plots are sufficiently developed so the characters come across as well defined individuals instead of stereotypes. Maybe if the first 2/3 of the book was more in line with the last third I would have rated it higher. It's not badly written, just a slower paced & more methodical story than my preference so I think it's a matter of taste.
By the end, the case is wrapped up but it's questionable whether justice was served. There are also a couple of big changes in store for Nick (this is the start of a series) so if you enjoyed this, the good news is there's more to come. ( )
  RowingRabbit | Sep 14, 2014 |
The plot of Indefensible is a decent one and it moves along as a thriller should, but the writing in this book is really clunky, perhaps because of the first person narrative. Our hero, Nick Davis, is an aging player and lawyer who spends big chunks of the books hitting on various women, thinking about hitting on various women, and being proud of himself for his brief periods of parenting his teenaged daughter. When a woman he was attracted to and hit on is murdered, he takes it upon himself to pursue justice in her name. Character development is likewise clunky and the whole thing, despite its plot, left me feeling "meh." Not a great read, not a terrible read, but certainly an easy read. ( )
  kraaivrouw | Jul 6, 2014 |
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When a birdwatcher stumbles on a crime in the woods, federal prosecutor Nick Davis uncovers a high-stakes plot involving small-time drug dealers, petty thieves, domestic abuse perpetrators, child pornographers, and the highest offices of the legal system.… (more)

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