RICH BLOOD by Robert Bailey-Book Review by Joseph Snoe

RICH BLOOD is the sixth Robert Bailey legal thriller I’ve read.  The characters are all new, except for Powell Conrad, who was a district attorney in the McMurtrie and Drake 4-book series, and is a trial judge in RICH BLOOD.

I liked Rich Blood, partly because it’s a good novel, partly because I like Robert Bailey’s novels, and partly because I lived in Alabama and recognize some places (like Cumberland School of Law) and some fictional characters in the novel bear a resemblance to real-life Alabama characters.

THE PLOT: The protagonist in RICH BLOOD is Jason Rich (note the tie-in to the book’s title). Rich is a personal injury plaintiffs’ attorney who blankets the state with billboards with the slogan: “In an accident? Get Rich!”

He’s in disfavor with the traditional bar, and with his father (may he rest in peace), a respected trial lawyer who was embarrassed by his son’s marketing methods. The Director of the state bar also keeps an eye on Rich.

Complicating matters, Jason Rich is an alcoholic. He was finishing an 83-day rehabilitation stint when he learned his estranged sister Jana had been arrested for hiring a hitman to murder her wealthy doctor husband (the hitman was successful I’m sorry to say). Things look bad for Jana. The murder happened shortly after her husband said he wanted a divorce and was making his money inaccessible to Jana. Jana needed $50,000 to pay her drug dealer. She was also having an affair with the dealer as part payment for her drug debts. The hitman when captured said Jana paid him $15,000 to kill her husband. Coincidentally (or not), Jana withdrew $15,000 from the bank about the same time. The drug dealer doesn’t want to be dragged into this mess, and threatens to hurt or kill Jason Rich’s nieces (Jana’s daughters) and Jason if he is implicated in the trial proceedings.

Jason’s rehab mentor, his law partner, and several others strongly advise Jason NOT to take the case. The stress could drive him back to his alcoholic ways. Moreover, Jason has never tried a criminal case, and not many civil cases.

Naturally, he takes Jana’s case.

The novel has the biggest red herring I’ve ever seen. I fell for it big-time. Hence, I was thrown for a loop before I realized I had been taken.

I liked the story. Two minor qualms. I don’t like how the book ends, but it’s Bailey’s novel, so what can I do? Second. There are many characters and I often had to backtrack to remind myself who some characters were (and not confuse them with another character). Only a minor inconvenience.

This is the first book in the series. The second book in the series, “Rich Waters,” is due out next June 2023.

My rating: 4 Stars


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