Review: The Alligator Man by James Sheehan

About the book, The Alligator Man:

The Alligator Man

Kevin Wylie’s crooked boss wants to run him out of town, and Kevin’s long-time girlfriend is ready to take a hike. He decides that now is the time to leave Miami, visit his father, who he hasn’t seen in 28 years, and get some answers. Heading back to his hometown, he doesn’t realize that he and his dad will become embroiled in a murder case.

The victim, one of the richest and most-hated corporate criminals in America has been dubbed The Alligator Man since pieces of his clothing were found in a local swamp. Billy Fuller had every reason in the world to want Johnson dead and all the evidence leads right to his doorstep. But legendary trial lawyer Tom Wylie believes in Billy and he and his son reunite to fight the courtroom battle for Billy’s life.

The Alligator Man is a story of greed, anger, love, redemption and two powerful trial attorneys who fight to the end– and risk everything–for the truth.

Get your copy from Amazon.

About the author, James Sheehan:

James Sheehan

James Sheehan was born and raised in New York City, the fourth child of Jack Sheehan and Mary (Tobin) Sheehan. There would eventually be six children. He moved to Florida in 1974 to attend law school and became a lawyer in 1977.

He was a trial lawyer for thirty plus years. Prior to that time, he worked at various jobs: paper boy, shoeshine boy, iron worker, stock proofer, grocery boy, dishwasher, short order cook, and restaurant manager.

Presently, he is a law professor at Stetson University College of Law and the Director of the Tampa Law Center.

James currently resides in St. Petersburg, Florida near his two sons, his 5 grandchildren and one great-grandchild. James youngest daughter, Sarah, lives in New York City.

Connect with James:

Website: James Sheehan, Author
Facebook: James Sheehan, Author
Twitter: @James_Sheehan_

My Thoughts:

I’ve been reading James Sheehan’s work for a couple of years now, after being introduced to it when his publisher sent me one of his novels asking if I’d review it. I said sure, and now they send almost everything new that he writes, although The Alligator Man actually came to me via TLC Book Tours first. Apparently the Universe REALLY wanted me to read this book, because the copy from his publisher showed up a few days later.

The Universe was not wrong. The Alligator Man is a legal thriller that merges Sheehan’s consistently solid writing style with an entirely new set of characters, and I enjoyed it immensely. (Translation: this is NOT one of his Jack Tobin novels. It’s a one-off with new characters.)

Sheehan’s own experience as a Florida resident and as a law professor and director of the Tampa (Florida) Law Center serve him well for the ‘a’ plot of the book – the story of Kevin Wylie and his father Tom and their attempt to prove Billy Fuller’s innocence. The courtroom scenes pop the way few such scenes ever do, and the language feels authentic.

The ‘b’ plot – the reforming of the father/son relationship between Kevin and Tom – is well drawn, but not quite as compelling. I’ve read reviews referring to these scenes as ‘wooden.’ I wouldn’t go that far, but I’ll confess that I felt like there wasn’t quite enough depth in those parts of the novel. Maybe that’s natural masculine reserve, or maybe it’s just my own perception.

This issue in no way impacted my engagement with the novel as a whole.

In any case, if you like legal thrillers, if you like courtroom drama, if you (like me) spent many hours of your lifetime glued to episodes of Law & Order, but wanted to go deeper, you will (like me) thoroughly enjoy The Alligator Man.

TLC Book Tours

This review is part of a virtual book tour organized by TLC Book Tours. For the rest of the tour stops, follow this link.

Review: ExtraLife, Inc., by Kfir Luzzatto

ExtraLife, Inc.
Kfir Luzzatto

Product Description (via

David Wolfson, a Jerusalem scientist, claims to have found the cure for cancer. He and his wife, Tamara, seek the help of Richard Lunz, a Tel Aviv attorney, to fight the powerful bureaucrats who want to appropriate David’s invention. Richard can’t resist the temptation to participate in what looks like the discovery of the century and it takes a first death to make him doubt that something in the project is not what it seems. And then other people die. Following clues that take him to Eastern Europe and to America, Richard finds more answers than he wished for. But he just can’t stop looking.

My Thoughts:

When Kfir Luzzatto asked me, in April, to read and review ExtraLife, Inc., I said yes, because it sounded like a really gripping read.

I was not disappointed, because in this novel Luzzatto gives us a medical and legal thriller that not only has great characters, but also looks at some crucial ethical issues: science vs. money is one of them, but another is the question of the line between professional ethics and scientific research.

Despite – or perhaps because of – the weighty themes, Luzzatto keeps the audience entertained. From the opening, where no names were used for over a page, and we, the reader, are a bit unsure what is happening, to the globe-spanning cat-and-mouse games; from the chilling knowledge that people are dying, to the book’s satisfying ending there is not one moment of dullness. The pacing allows us to become absorbed in the story with pauses to regroup, and at no point did I want to skip ahead or tune out.

To many, any book with “cancer” in the back-cover or flyleaf blurb may seem like it couldn’t possibly be entertaining, but ExtraLife, Inc. not only entertains, but provokes real thought.

Goes well with…
Chicken shawarma, Greek salad, and iced hibiscus tea.

Buy this book:
– At using the link above.
– At

This review is based on a digital copy that was provided by the author. The published version may differ slightly in format and editing.

Review: Terminal Ambition by Kate McGuinnes

Terminal Ambition
by Kate McGuinness

Product Description/Synopsis (from
Maggie Mahoney wants justice for women at her law firm.
The firm chairman wants to be Attorney General.
Only one can win in this legal thriller.

Sweeny, Owens & Boyle sits at the top of Wall Street law firms. Brilliant and beautiful, Maggie Mahoney became a partner and the trophy wife of its managing attorney. Her husband’s death renders Maggie an outsider with the firm’s male establishment and creates a power vacuum.

Obsessed with his dream of becoming the next Attorney General, firm chairman, Andy Anderson, chooses a surprising replacement: Jack Slattery, a reputed sexist. Jack’s background hardly qualifies him for such a prominent position. Maggie suspects Jack has something on Andy, but what is it? Forced to become a sleuth, she stages a break-in to gather evidence.

Andy’s ambition drives him to desperate measures. With proof of misconduct in hand, Maggie demands justice, but it comes at a high price.

If ambition rules, can justice prevail in this legal thriller?

My Thoughts:
When I was offered the chance to read and review Kate McGuinness’s legal thriller Terminal Ambition, I was really excited. I may have kissed corporate life goodbye several years ago to be a self-employed writer/actor/improviser, but I still appreciate a good story. (I’m still waiting for someone to write one centered on the mortgage industry.)

I was not disappointed. McGuinness’s protagonist, Sweeney and Owens law partner Maggie Mahoney is as three dimensional as any of the women I know in real life, and I had no trouble connecting with her. As a feminist myself, I also had no trouble sharing her very real frustration at the double standard she had to deal with, as a woman in general and as a woman in an overwhelmingly male industry.

But Maggie wasn’t the only character whose story appealed to me. I was also very much intrigued by Ginger and Rosalinda, as well as by the mystery of what was really going on with managing partner Erling “Andy” Anderson.

Aside from compelling characters, Terminal Ambition also had a story that was well balanced in terms of character development, plot development and pace. I’ll confess that the prologue left me expecting more of a murder mystery than a true thriller, but once I was into the novel, it was a fast read that left me really satisfied.

The last section of the book teases the next novel from McGuinness – another Maggie Mahoney story – I’m already looking forward to reading that.

Bottom line? Terminal Ambition is terminally awesome.

Goes well with…a vodka martini and a plate of sushi.