Friday, August 9, 2013

The Last Alibi - David Ellis

Hi all! I'm sorry for no Five on Friday this week. I'm in the midst of working on a new line-up and schedule of authors for the series, so hold tight and I'll be back with a new crew soon! In the meantime I have a Shelf Awareness Review to share with you today. My review of The Last Alibi by David Ellis appeared as a starred review in Shelf for Readers earlier this week. I'm posting it here now with their permission. Just a reminder that Shelf is a free enewsletter that you can sign up to receive; it appears twice weekly. If you don't already receive it and would like to, you can sign up at the widget at the bottom of the blog.

First line: "Judge Judith Bialek, from her bench overlooking the court, peers down over her glasses at the defense and prosecution."

David Ellis shakes up his Jason Kolarich legal thriller series in book four. Normally told entirely through the voice of Kolarich, Ellis pulls in Kolarich’s law partner, Shauna Tasker, for a dual first person approach. Alternating voices and time periods, The Last Alibi proves Newton’s first law of motion: Ellis puts this novel in motion and the forces acting on it only work to make the book move faster.

Kolarich is coming off a knee injury, and the novel opens with him severely entrenched in an addiction to painkillers. The problem is exacerbated when court reporter Alexa Himmel shows a romantic interest in Kolarich and takes on the role of his enabler.

To fuel Kolarich’s brewing life storm, a client appears insinuating he murdered multiple women. Bound by attorney client privilege; Kolarich can’t report anything.

As more women end up dead, Kolarich is ethically torn. The plot’s momentum increases when the client’s identity comes into question and Kolarich realizes those closest to him are in grave danger.

Jason Kolarich remains the lead protagonist in Ellis’ newest installment to the series; however, his shift to allow Shauna more focus gives readers a closer look at the other half of Tasker & Kolarich. She takes on more depth and substance. Her strengths as well as her insecurities are illuminated and Ellis has successfully broadened the story-telling pallet for this series.

Exciting, fresh and suspenseful, Ellis fails to halt the momentum of this book with “the end.” The series is still very much an object in motion.

The Last Alibi is available from Putnam in hardcover (ISBN: 9780399158803). It is also available from Brilliance as an unabridged audio (ISBN: 9781455836703) narrated by Luke Daniels and Tanya Eby. As a side note, I had a short exchange with Luke Daniels and a few others who commented that they also thought The Last Alibi was Ellis' best yet, so...words from the narrator! 

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