Sunday, February 15, 2009

'Slip & Fall' by Nick Santora

I have never been really crazy about legal thrillers. The ones that I did read tended to be a little too boring for my taste and with so many suspense and thriller books on the market nowadays, I just concentrate on reading what I really enjoy. Because I already had Slip & Fall by Nick Santora on my bookshelf, I decided I would give this genre one more try. I am glad I did.

Slip & Fall tells a story of one guy, who’s a product of his environment. It tells a story of how the cost is not worth the value, and one mistake can ruin and erase everything good and proper done before. Robert Principe is a personal injury attorney, fresh out of Columbia Law School. He managed to make his family of blue-collar workers proud by attaining a graduate degree and getting away from the snares of break-neck life his father led. He seems to finally have it all: a beautiful wife, a private practice, a wonderful and committed office secretary, who also happens to be his supportive friend, and parents, who are extremely proud of him. Yet, it all starts to fall apart, as he gets into financial troubles because his legal practice does not bring in enough money to cover expenses. Robert has also a bad luck to have an Italian mob cousin, who’s out to make some profit off of Rob’s career. One wrong decision puts Robert on the path to destruction and to life, where striving for a reputation of a stand-up and honest attorney has no value.

I have to say that the book was surprisingly enjoyable. It is Nick Santora’s, who is a co-executive producer of Prison Break, first novel and proves his skill at writing a fast-ride thriller. The action is quick, the characters are very well portrayed, both the good and the ugly and the intricacies of legal system quite gripping. If I had the time for it, Slip & Fall would definitely be a one-night read. There’s a good balance between the dialogue and descriptive passages, so that a reader does not get a chance to feel bored but will rather want to keep reading to find out what happens next.

For me, the best part of any book I read is some kind of insight and deeper truth that the author leads me to discover. I look for it in any genre and I wasn’t disappointed with Santora’s book either. He is able to make us think about the familial bonds, ask the question of how devoted we should be to our own family, no matter how distant and what we are ready to give up for them. Most importantly, we get a chance to see the struggle between achieving success by all means necessary and choosing the moral, ethical way of living, even if it means it might get us homeless one day.

Favorite quote:

"I started thinking about the working man’s curse. The working man wants his son to never have to make a living the way he did, so he works long and hard for years. Eventually, proudly, he sends his boy out into the world to make his fortune, a fortune that is not dependent on a strong back and good knees. What the working man doesn’t know is that he is pushing his child into an unknown world - a world where his son doesn’t know the rules. The other sons in that world, the fifth-generation white-collar kids, the kids whose grandparents captained the Mayflower instead of stowing away in the boiler room, those kids knew the rules. They knew how the game was played in the world of suits and cigars, of polished shoes and sit-down lunches."

CHALLENGES: 2009 Suspense & Thriller Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge, 2009 Ban On Sending Challenge