Friday, December 16, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: Death On A High Floor by Charles Rosenberg

Death On A High Floor:  A Legal Thriller is a Legal Mystery Thriller.

Simon Rafer, senior partner in the law firm, Marbury Marfan, has been murdered.  Simon was a "cleaner" and he didn't care who he cut from his team, if you weren't pulling your wait,  you were fired.  Simon didn't hold any bars when it came to success and believed he had game.

Robert Tarza, another senior partner and co-worker of Simon's, was the first upon the scene and has become a suspect.  Robert doesn't believe he has anything to worry about as he doesn't have a motive so he feels safe in his assumptions that Simon deserved what happened to him.

Jenna James is Robert's friend and colleague and she is quick to point out the reasons why Robert may have a motive and it all surrounds an ancient coin that Simon accused Robert of forging and trying to sell.  In an email, Simon threatens to expose Robert for the fraud he is.  Robert is beginning to see that some things he may have done do not look favourably for him.

Detective Spritz believes Robert killed Simon and will do whatever it takes to uncover the truth.  He doesn't trust Robert and finds his stories aloof and off-handed, like he has something to hide.  All Detective Spritz needs are the pieces to put everyone in their places the night Simon was murdered.

As the group work to find out who killed Simon; Robert can feel the noose tightening around his neck.  Jenna and he rush to play detectives themselves, but will they be in time or will Robert face trial for a crime he may not have done?

I thought for a debut novel this was fantastic, I had to keep reminding myself that the author is a green and not a seasoned veteran of the trade.  I thought the primary and secondary characters all worked well with the plot and brought life to the story.

I enjoyed Robert and his pragmatic attention to his life.  I thought Jenna and he made a great friendship even though I found Jenna to be a bit on the abrupt side.  I thought their sleuthing was often comical and the antics of the two brought a nice pace to the story.

I often got frustrated with Detective Spritz, sometimes his apparent refusal to believe the truth made you want to scream.  I thought he was a great antagonist to the story.

The court rooms scenes were believable and worthy of reading.  The plot twists and turns are wonderful and the final outcome of the story and the culprits is a wee bit of a shocker, though the reader does begin to draw the conclusion well before the final scene, it is a nice twist.

I would give Death On A High Floor a three and a half out of five stars.  I thought the court room scenes read great, however, sometimes the dialogue wasn't just and felt forced.  The build up to the end was great, but I felt the ending somewhat fizzled.  The outcome wasn't described as good as I had hoped and I felt it was over before it had begun.  However, for a debut novel it was great and author Charles Rosenberg is definitely going to be a around for a while.

SYNOPSIS:
When the much-despised Marbury Marfan senior partner Simon Rafer turns up dead, with an ornate dagger buried between his shoulder blades, it comes as a surprise to no one. Simon was an abusive boss and had recently been on the warpath, clearing the "dead wood" from the legal firm he treated as his personal fiefdom. Nearly a thousand attorneys and associates, scattered across four continents, had good reason to want Rafer dead, but homicide Detective Spritz has his eye trained on Marbury Marfan partner Robert Tarza, in particular. Tarza and his friend and colleague---and maybe a bit more---Jenna are soon forced to play detective themselves, in a race to find the real killer or killers before Spritz finishes assembling a collection of evidence that will make a very credible case against Tarza.

 
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