>Review: Law of Attraction by Allison Leotta

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Law of Attraction: A NovelAs a newly minted Assistant U.S. Attorney in Washington, D.C., Anna Curtis has already developed thick skin to deal with the brutality she encounters with her daily stack of domestic violence cases. Yet when Laprea Johnson walks into Anna’s life—battered by her boyfriend on the morning after Valentine’s Day—there’s something about this particular case that Anna can’t quite shake, something that reminds the prosecutor of her own troubled past. At the trial, Laprea makes a last-minute reversal, lying on the witness stand to free her boy-friend. Shortly after he is freed, Anna is horrified to hear that Laprea’s body has been found in a trash heap. Hastily assigned to prosecute the murder case alongside intimidating chief homicide prosecutor Jack Bailey, Anna’s heart sinks when she learns that her own boyfriend, public defender Nick Wagner, is representing the accused. Torn between bringing the killer to justice and saving her personal life, Anna makes a series of choices that jeopardizes her career, her relationships, and her very life as she uncovers the shocking truth behind the murder. Weaving expert knowledge with deft storytelling, federal sex-crimes prosecutor and Harvard Law School graduate Allison Leotta takes readers on a thrilling ride through D.C.’s criminal justice system. From the back rooms of the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the flirtations and machinations of Washington’s Ivy League lawyers to the struggles of its poorest citizens on the gritty streets of Anacostia, Law of Attraction is a gripping debut from an exciting new talent.

This was a very fast-paced, page-turning read in many ways.

The fist few chapters really flew by, and despite the fact that Leotta has created fascinating characters I felt like they were more acquaintances and that I never really knew them. This may sound silly, but even though I found a great reading rhythm and wanted to find out what happened next, I was never lost in the pages of the book and always a bit detached.

For instance: One or two chapters at the beginning was all the development we got between our heroine and her male interest. There is a steamy love scene and a couple pages of their relationship growing and spanning a few weeks then nothing. Same goes for the other leading man. He was almost too perfect and I half expected him to turn out the bad guy since it seemed unbelievable…most guys (or girls for that matter) aren’t that perfectly good. I would’ve loved to see more grey areas in his character aside from a couple stereotypical male characteristics. I think it may have been more interesting if both men in Anna’s life were both good and bad.

This genre is chalk full of big shoes to fill and I think that the lack of back story at the beginning and time spent developing the characters make this debut novel not quite reach that level. The storyline was there and the author definitely has the talent but I can’t help but feel that Law of Attraction would have been superb had it only had about 100 pages added to it’s binding. Really…a few more chapters would most likely have given the author the space she needed to hash out those character issues I mentioned above.

As legal thrillers go, this is an easy to follow and interesting one, full of twists and turns that sneak up on the reader. I especially liked how it focused on Domestic Violence and the effects on the family members involved as well as the people that prosecute those cases. I also really liked Leotta’s writing style and her ability to naturally flow from one perspective to the next. The author has perfect timing. Each transition always came at the right moment and I never wanted to skip over a character’s “voice” to get to what I thought was the more gripping storyline. That being said, the book was still missing a little something…that X factor that makes a person go from “Yeah, it was a good book” to “Wow! This books was amazing!”.

I have read some fantastic reviews for this book, so I realize that my opinion may be in the minority on this one. *shrugs* What can I say? I just wasn’t completely blown away by its awesomeness. I did enjoy it, the story is intriguing and since it is a debut novel I have nothing but high hopes for the author’s future works and will definitely be sure to check them out.

If you are traveling over the holidays and happen to be a fan of legal thrillers that are fun and fast reads, I suggest checking this one out. It would be a fantastic book to read while waiting on a flight, to kill the time while on train, or make those long car rides to the in-laws a bit easier.

                          

This book was given to PBD for review courtesy of Simon & Schuster

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