DISCLAIMER: I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
PUBLICATION: St. Martin's Press, June 21st, 2016
Leo is a newly graduated lawyer who has just gone through the worst break up of his life with Fiona, a free-spirited actress who moves from New York to Los Angeles in order to further her career. Because of this, Leo has gone into a mild depression causing his friends and coworkers to begin to worry. But being an attorney who specializes in proving death row inmates' innocence requires him to move on with his life and focus on his very first case: proving Michael is innocent even when he doesn't particularly want to cooperate. Can Leo get over Fiona and figure out a way to set Michael free?
Let me start this review off by saying that the synopsis you just read sucks. First of all, I'm not a professional writer; I do this after clinic or on the weekends so if the blurb you just read doesn't interest you, I won't be offended. But take my word on this - buy this book because it is so much more than what you see on first glance.
Literally grabbing you from the opening chapter, this is a home run of a novel. Doing a quick search, I learned that this was Cluchey's debut novel but I personally don't believe it. He writes as though he is a seasoned veteran of the craft, masterfully concocting characters, plot turns, emotional moments, and everything in between like a pro. Never once did I want to put this book down.
The connection between Leo and Fiona is palpable, once again displaying Cluchey's true gift. While reading their love story in the beginning, I really felt as if the two characters had a true, amazing chemistry. This isn't the easiest thing to do with two fictional people. So when their relationship had run its course, it was a difficult thing to go through as a reader.
But I want you to be aware that their relationship ending is certainly not a spoiler alert. This book deals more with Leo moving on with life, friendship, dating, and his career in the aftermath of heartache. I have to believe that Cluchey used some personal experience in really conveying the emotional duress Leo was under. And as gripping as the beginning was, the ending is even more so. This was one of those conclusions where I, as the reader, closed the book, closed my eyes, and just tried to soak it all in.
Beautifully paced with immaculate character development, this book is certainly one not to be missed. Without a doubt, I would declare this as an early book of the year contender and if this is any indication of things to come for Cluchey, consider me hooked.
I love to read and to discuss books. My preferred genre is sci-fi but I like to read mostly anything.