In Abraham’s debut thriller, a lawyer’s decision to take on the DEA despite unmitigated threats has consequences both good and bad.
Washington, D.C., attorney David Darden has his biggest case yet. Alexis Cortez was a confidential informant for the DEA, infiltrating drug cartels while handling the money-laundering operations. Unfortunately, the DEA hasn’t paid him the promised 8 percent of that money laundering; in fact, it hasn’t paid Alexis anything. Someone doesn’t want David to take the case: they harass him, vandalize his car and break into his office. But David is resolved to find justice for his client, who endured all types of danger while working with cartels. Alexis apparently isn’t the only CI the DEA has duped, and others soon seek David for help. Despite legal cases in Abraham’s novel all revolving around DEA informants, there’s enough distinction among them to maintain reader interest. The DEA may also be involved in false imprisonment and framing a CI for drug dealing, while a few agents are allegedly stealing goods from confiscations. There’s likewise a progression for David: while vacationing in Florida, he meets client Carlos Montoya, who becomes David’s close friend and co-worker. In fact, David is fascinating, more so than any of his clients: he was dealing drugs as a teen and funded law school with drug money. David and Carlos share everything, it seems, including dinners, clients, and even a love interest—forming a trio in lieu of romantic rivalry. Abraham’s book, however, is hampered by a number of errors that proofreading could have rectified. Carlos’ name, for one, is often written or uttered as Carlo, while Miami lawyer Roberto’s surname alternates between Alvarez and Rodriguez. Most glaringly, the tale of death row inmate Billy Bob is repeated to different characters in its entirety. Regardless, the story shines, and suspense is amplified when David and Carlos incite enough baddies that they’re forced to dodge bullets and endure a kidnapping. The open ending is a winner, too.
Not without its flaws, but dramatic cases and a delightfully peculiar protagonist give the novel great potential.