Author: Paul Batista
First Published: 2014
Page Count: 253
Film/ TV Adaptation: No
Rating: 3/5 Stars
A high-profile murder set in the Hamptons, dangerous drug lords, and infidelity await readers who try to solve the mystery of a billionaire’s untimely death.
*Suspenseful court scenes *Twist ending
*Slow beginning *Lack of closure *Misleading book jacket
“‘I’ve survived.’” Juan Suarez, a gardener for the tenth richest man in the world, finds himself the prime suspect in his employer’s murder. As an illegal immigrant from Mexico, he has few allies to help defend him against these accusations until renowned trial lawyer, Raquel Rematti decides to take on his case. However, defending Juan against one of the richest families in America is not her only challenge. Raquel’s life becomes threatened by a powerful group whose primary interest is to make sure Juan is found guilty.
This was another Batista book I thought I wouldn’t enjoy, but as I hit the middle of the story, I found I was fairly drawn into the plot. The drama of Batista’s books usually centers around the court room proceedings of the cases. The Borzoi Killings are where the author really shines as a legal thriller author. The court scenes were suspenseful and sharply written. The back and forth between the defense and the prosecution was nerve-wracking and made the book fly by. And after I thought I had one hundred percent figured out “who done it,” as they say, Batista throws a curve ball ending at you that I didn’t see coming and made me admire him for that sudden twist.
Initially, the book is a bit dry. The beginning is all about introducing Juan and his tough as nails trial lawyer doesn’t even make an appearance until much later in the book. Once you get to the meat of the book, where the Hampton billionaire’s secrets are slowly revealed, the story really grabs you. The story from that point on is great, but I found the description on the back of the book to be a bit misleading about what you can expect out of the rest of the story. Juan’s trial lawyer is said to straddle “the dangerous line between concerned involvement and forbidden passion” when it comes to Juan’s defence. I have no clue what this is referring to because there is not an ounce of chemistry or flirting or romantic tension between Raquel or Juan. The story doesn’t need this element to it; it’s stands perfectly well on its own. However, I really didn’t like the misleading blurb, because that just does not accurately represent the story. And my last small qualm with the book was that the twist ending comes at you so fast that you don’t feel much closure. Batista leaves it open for a sequel, but the reader doesn’t get enough time to digest the big reveal before the book comes to an abrupt close.
I’m not a huge fan of the legal thriller genre but I did find this one interesting. Batista is getting better and better with each novel at creating thrilling stories, but he still has yet to create a book that really blows me away. Nevertheless, it’s a quick read that readers who love crime drama will speed through with pleasure.
*I received a free copy of this book for this review from the author.