A gripping environmental thriller colored by bloodshed and fueled by money.
Riley Scofield is a lawyer representing Carver Chemical in an environmental legal battle aided by her partner, Anthony Carnahan, a suave mentor of hers who hopes to be much more, professionally and romantically. Anthony is secretly orchestrating a selfish play to get Proposition 9, a voter initiative, passed into law in California, which would force companies to issue a warning if they are possibly polluting, thus opening the door for huge lawsuits and big payouts for himself, the governor and a shady union boss. In the wake of her fiance’s death, Riley tries to distance herself from her family—and from Anthony’s advances—but proves unsuccessful on both accounts when the family business, Scofield Tannery, looks to be the first company involved in a Proposition 9 lawsuit. Carnage, killings and threats follow Riley, with the blame seemingly leading back to Proposition 9 and those who will benefit from it. One bright spot is Riley’s interest in a reporter, Zach Chapel, who, although at first an adversary, turns out to be one of the few people Riley can trust. A strong, fearless lawyer, Riley is tested in ways she could never imagine in her pursuit to save her own life and the lives of the people she cares about. At nearly 600 pages, O’Rourke’s book is fast-paced without losing sight of the details or nuance featured in the courtroom drama. The story mainly follows Riley and Zach, but O’Rourke seamlessly draws in other characters as well—even minor ones—giving certain situations an integral outside viewpoint. In the process, weaving together all the layers and storylines, the narrative travels from San Francisco to Napa Valley to Sacramento and elsewhere, with a few surprisingly brutal turns, especially when a hit man kidnaps a woman and sexually assaults her before killing her. Despite these gruesome moments, fans of thrillers won’t be too shocked; in fact, they’ll read on, ready for more twists.
An attention-grabbing thriller that pits greed against the environment.