It seems that what started out as being good in premise...failed for me in the execution...
I've been wanting to read this one for a while. I liked the blurb, it definitely intrigued me and I like Andrew Grey, so quite honestly I thought things were golden with this one.
'Legal Artistry' had all the making of an awesome romantic/mystery/thriller story. I mean come on stolen Nazi treasure, a lawyer who falls in love with his client, brothers on opposing sides of a court case that had international ramifications...potential so much potential...and then fail.
In summary this story is about one man's struggle to recover stolen artwork that is his families heritage. When Dieter's grandmother dies and leaves everything to him. He discovers that he should own several pieces of artwork that were stolen from his family by the Nazi's and in turn became the property of the Austrian government. Turning to a family friend for legal help brings Gerald Young into Dieter's life and together they begin to unravel the mystery of how Dieter's heritage came to be in a museum in Austria. Sounds good right?
So why the fail? Where did it happen? Let's start with the court case because truthfully in some ways it was my favorite part of the story but I was left feeling more than a little disappointed and skeptical about things because of the fact that part way through I had the thought that 'if I was a lawyer this would be my dream case not only because yes, it would make a lawyer's career but mostly because I'm pretty sure every lawyer who has ever passed the bar would agree that they could only hope and pray for the evidence they need to win their case to fall into their laps with the ease that it did in this story. I mean it bordered on magical how easily things came together for this case.
Add on to that, the fact that while Gerald Young is totally on top of this case and knows the case inside out, he is facing his brother, Angus, as opposing counsel...his brother, who is suppose to be the star of the family law firm but really only came off as being a bully. Who does't really bother to prepare for court, he just figures he can steamroller his way over anything...so this totally resolved the mystery of why Gerald didn't work for the family law firm for me and toss in every lawyers dream judge, fair, impartial...see what I mean? Sometimes...things are just too good to be true.
However, what really did me in on this one was Dieter or more accurately Dieter along with his and Gerald's relationship. I'm usually ok...even good at times with MCs who are kind and sweet and basically seem to still have their rose colored glasses on...I don't mind a bit of naivete in my characters because hey there are people like this n the world so, it's nice to have them appear in a story from time to time. But Dieter...well his level of naivete was just too much. I just couldn't buy it. Him and his delicate, tender feelings...nope, sorry one can still retain some innocence and naivete and be a grown up and for me that just wasn't him, nope, Dieter felt more like someone who was silly and immature and at times simply clueless than he did a sweet young man who'a a bit naive.
Oh and the sex, let's not forget about the sex...because there was sooooo much of it and at times if felt more like it was impeding that story the enhancing it...It just didn't work. My least favorite thing here was Dieter and his whole "I'm the client and if I want to kiss my lawyer, I will." are you f*ing kidding me? Wrong on so many levels this was wrong.
Ok, last thing on the list of what went wrong...the narration. Again I thought I was safe. John Solo was the narrator on this and for me usually does an ok job as long as there aren't any children involved...oh, lordie my ship has sunk. The first part of the story takes place in Dieter's childhood...need I say more? But hey, it's only a few minutes and then we move to the adult years so it'll be ok from here...right? No, so many of these voices were much closer in how they sounded than what I've come to expect from this narrator and they all seemed to have a superior, pretentious quality to them that just...I'm sorry but they irritated the hell out of me and maybe this was just me, so let's leave this part on my shoulders.
Whether it was me or not at the end of it all this one did not work well for me. I want to give the second book a shot and hopefully things will be better...but maybe I'll just read the book and skip the audio, whatever...the one thing I know for sure is what I got with this one ended up not being what I was expecting it just didn't work for me so I'm moving on to the next one.
An audiobook of 'Legal Artistry' was graciously provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.