Sunday, March 16, 2008

Judgement Calls - Alafair Burke

Alafair Burke is the daughter of James Lee Burke, but you wouldn't know it by her writing style. She is distinctly different from the elder Burke - both exceptional writers in their own styles.

Judgement Calls is the first novel in A. Burke's Samantha Kincaid series. Kincaid is a deputy district attorney in Portland, Oregon, when an unwanted rape case falls into her lap. The police desperately want to pursue it, but when Tim O'Donnell, another deputy district attorney wants to merely plead the charges down to assault, the police turn to Samantha. When Kincaid begins to investigate the evidence, she finds the case to be much more than she expected.

While the book started out a little on the slow side - I was getting a little bogged down with all the acronyms and keeping them straight - it picked up quickly. I enjoyed the character of Samantha Kincaid and found myself able to identify with her, especially when she mentions that she is a woman of many contradictions.

I also enjoyed Burke's supporting characters throughout the book: the district attorney, Samantha's father, her high school sweetheart, Chuck, and her best friend Grace.

The acronyms were a bit heavy, but they provided a lot of the realism. Even though Kincaid is an attorney, very little of the of the novel takes place in any court rooms. Instead a lot of the politics of the legal system showed through, also adding to the realism.

All in all, I enjoyed Judgement Calls and am looking forward to the other books in this series.


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