Tuesday, February 8, 2011

A Review of "Breach of Trust" [9]

Breach of Trust by David Ellis
Putnam, ISBN 978-0399157103
February 3, 2011, 432 pages

He didn't know that I had an agenda that differs from the federal government's. They were trying to catch some swindlers. I was trying to solve a murder.
Jason Kolarich was trying to do the right thing for his family. Having left the county attorney's office for a much better paying job at a high power law firm, he was in the middle of a very high profile case involving a state politician. The hours were long and exhausting, but he never suspected that waiting for a phone call from someone he thinks has some information about the case would have had such devastating results for his own personal life. Waiting for that call, a call that could never come, would result in the death of his wife and his infant daughter.

It is a year later and Jason is, to put it kindly, drifting. He never returned to his old job, instead starting up a small, very small, private practice, so he was unaware that the informant he was waiting to hear from night was killed, murdered the same night Jason's own life was destroyed. And he can not help but believe there is some sort of a connection. He holds himself to blame for both incidents and while he knows that he can't bring back his family, he thinks he can find out who killed Ernesto Ramirez and find some sort of justice. Little does he know that he will soon find himself in the middle of an FBI probe of the corrupt Illinois state government, wire taps, secret meeting, kickbacks...and some people who will not stop even at murder to protect their positions.
"I am the son of a con artist. My father didn't teach me much in the way of ethics or set any kind of example for me. But I learned a lot about deception."
It is very lucky for Jason that he has that talent, because he will be called upon to use it, to stay out of jail and  to stay alive.

Let me say, I am not usually a big fan of political and legal thrillers. Often, they seem to get so bogged down in complicated details that I lose sight of the story. And it would certainly be possible in this book. There is a big cast of characters, any number of sub-plots, so many twists and turns, that this book could have been a confusing mess...except that Mr. Ellis is an excellent writer that turns it instead into a compelling, very entertaining book.

First of all, in Jason Kolarich, he creates a very good lead character, someone the reader can really identify with. Jason is not perfect, and he knows it, and the book is better for it. He is a loose cannon who doesn't, in a way, really care what happens to himself, who feels he has nothing left to lose, and that makes for some great, believable action. Then throw in any number of well developed, very interesting minor characters and a nice little personal story for Jason, and the reader is hooked. The plot is complicated, with a lot of people who have a lot of different motivations, but in Ellis's skillful hands it never become confusing. Also, the plot moves along in such a nice, steady pace that it always stays interesting which, for me and my short attention span, is really saying something.

David Ellis knows of what he writes, since he is a lawyer and was, in fact, the Impeachment Prosecutor in the trial of former Illinois Governor Blagojevich. But more than that, is he a quite good writer who is able to take his knowledge and experiences and turn it into a quite good book.
For fans of legal thrillers, a must read, but a book that any reader looking for a well written and entertaining book will enjoy.

My thanks to Library Things Early Reviewers program..and the publisher of course...for giving me a copy of this book.


  1. OOh, sounds good to me, I like legal thrillers. Only ones I don't care for is medical. UgH!

    Never read Ellis before but you make him sound very worth while.

    Thanks for such an excellent review.

  2. I do love a good legal thriller, so I'll add this to my wish list.

  3. Thanks for the review. I like it when my SO & I can read the same book and discuss it.
    Love & Hugs,

  4. Kaye, it seems Ellis has written 5 or 6 other books, none of which I have read...too many books, too little time.

    Kathy, if you are a legal thriller fan I can't help but thing you will like this one a lot.

    Pamela, this is a book I think a lot of men would like..lot of action...but just enough emotion to appeal to those into gun play.

  5. I remember reading a review of a book by this author before. Maybe Devourer of Books, when she was highlighting Chicago authors? Anyway, if I recall, the guy is quite the dude. Sounds like he writes a fast-paced read...right up my alley.

  6. Can I crash the party? I am flattered to read the review here and hope everyone likes the book. I would love to hear constructive feedback (positive, negative), if you are so inclined. You can email me at Dave@DavidEllis.com.

    Otherwise, happy reading and hope to hear from you!

  7. Oh, I want this! I love legal thrillers! You didn't say where it is set? Kindle County? Whoops, I mean, Chicago?

  8. Hey, hear that Mr. Ellis? Sandy says you are "quite the dude"...lol

    Certainly you may crash the party. I am always happy to have an author read and comment on my reviews. Although in the past the communications have usually been irate e-mails.... So this is a nice change.

    {I was so excited, it took me three tries to get this comment spelled correctly. At least I think it is now correct.}


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