Sunday, June 26, 2016

Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King

Wolfe, M. (2016). Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King. StarPath Books, LLC. 

Adult / Legal Thriller

I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 Stars   

GOODREADS BLURB: MERIT BRIDGES, an attorney and widowed mother in Austin, Texas, works hard, drinks too much wine, and sleeps with younger men. When Merit goes after a shady corporation threatening her client, she encounters hired gun Boots King. His charge is simple, “Stop her!” Merit and her team – including Betty, a mothering office manager with a bad-ass attitude – struggle to stay alive, while they navigate a labyrinth of legal issues, and prove once again that you don’t mess with a Texas lady lawyer.
HALL WAYS REVIEW: Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King is a promising start to a series with real potential.  Author Manning Wolfe gives readers a strong but compassionate female protagonist and an eclectic cast of memorable characters who keep the story interesting (as does the Austin, TX setting). 

Readers will fall in love with Merit's assistant, Betty, who has some humdinger sayings that belong on a line of tee shirts. Thanks to Wolfe's detailed descriptions, it's easy to visualize Betty as well as others including the slick Boots King himself.   Those familiar with Austin will recognize a lot of places mentioned in the story and can easily make a list of places to eat based on the meals Merit eats.  Dollar Signs is full of Texas-isms and particularly Austin-isms, but at times, it's also a little too showy with the name/brand dropping.
In addition to the characters and setting, also detailed are Wolfe's descriptions of the attorney world, which include a lot of legal jargon but not so much to overwhelm the lay-person.  The behind-the-scenes look at all the preparation and research that must happen for a trial was interesting, but what encapsulated it all for me was when Merit has finished her pitch to a judge and reflects to herself, "Hours and hours of work and strategy for such a short little speech. It was like cooking all week for Thanksgiving and eating in only twenty minutes."

Wolfe does a good job of building tension when readers know there's danger and main character Merit doesn't and has let her guard down (though it was a little puzzling why Merit isn't ALWAYS guarded given what has happened and that she is increasing the pressure on the opposition.) There are other small plot pitfalls, the story at times ventures into stereotyping, and the book needs a thorough editing (typos, wrong words, and numerous punctuation errors), which dropped my rating but may not bother some readers at all. Overall, Dollar Signs is a well-paced and action-packed legal thriller worth a look, and I expect the sequel to be strong.   

Thank you to Book People for having a print copy for me to buy so that I could read and give my honest review -- the only kind I give.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR (from Goodreads): Manning Wolfe, an author and attorney residing in Austin, Texas, writes cinematic-style, smart, fast-paced thrillers with a salting of Texas bullshit. The first in her series, featuring Austin lawyer Merit Bridges, is Dollar Signs: Texas Lady Lawyer vs Boots King. As a graduate of Rice University and the University of Texas School of Law, Manning’s experience has given her a voyeur’s peek into some shady characters’ lives and a front row seat to watch the good people who stand against them.  Connect with the author:  

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