THE SUBSTITUTION ORDER by Martin Clark

THE SUBSTITUTION ORDER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A disgraced attorney encounters a threatening stranger who demands that he join a multimillion dollar insurance scam.

“I deserve better than this misery,” says Virginia attorney Kevin Moore in Clark’s (The Jezebel Remedy, 2015, etc.) entertaining legal thriller. But that’s not entirely true. Kevin has earned his trouble after a three-month cocaine and booze binge that led him to cheat on his wife with a stripper and land in the middle of a police raid. Now he’s sober, on probation, facing divorce and disbarment, and making sandwiches in a cut-rate sub shop. One day a stranger shows up and urges him to participate in a multimillion dollar legal swindle. When Kevin refuses, the threats begin, and soon he’s arrested on new (and trumped-up) charges. As if that’s not grim enough, he suffers a stroke. But Kevin isn’t about to become a victim, and he can wield the law like a weapon, so he puts a plan for payback in motion. The author of four other clever, amusing legal novels, Clark is not nearly as well known as he should be. A retired Virginia circuit court judge, he knows his way around the system, using the law as a foundation for novels that never rely too heavily on action or courtroom pyrotechnics. Instead, he explores the rural South and the people who live there. He writes with hilarious insight about subjects that include but are not limited to the legal and medical professions, trucks with “Southern by birth, Rebel by the Grace of God” bumper stickers, and the impossibility of the presumption of innocence for anyone who has ever been arrested. “Once you make a single mistake, everything else you do is viewed through a warped lens,” Kevin laments.

After a mistake, revenge is deeply satisfying—and so is this book.

Pub Date: July 9th, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-525-65632-6
Page count: 352pp
Publisher: Knopf
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2019




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