Cheri Reviews The 7th Canon by Robert Dugoni

When I saw a new stand-alone novel by Robert Dugoni on, I couldn’t help but click “request.” I had already finished the first 3.5 (three novels and a short story) in his Tracy Crosswhite series and enjoyed most of them quite a bit. You can check out my review for the first in the series here.

The thing that I’ve discovered about Dugoni is that he can be very hit or miss with the execution of his stories. Sometimes they can be fast paced and intense and other times slow or have convoluted plots where detectives are able to deduce solutions out of what feels like nowhere. I’ve learned to be cautious with my expectations when it comes to this author. His newest release, The 7th Canon, was on the fast paced and intense side and it may be my favorite of the Dugoni books that I’ve read.

Here’s the blurb from Amazon if you care to read it:

In San Francisco’s seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he’s a killer—and worse—Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.

For three years Donley has cut his legal teeth in his uncle’s tiny, no-frills firm, where people come before profits. Just as Donley is poised to move on to a lucrative dream job, the shocking case lands in his lap, and he must put his future on hold while putting his courtroom skills to the test. But a ruthless DA seeking headlines and a brutal homicide cop bent on vengeance have their own agendas. Now, as he unearths the dirty secrets surrounding the case, Donley must risk his neck to save his client’s life…and expose the face of true evil.

I found myself liking Peter Donely quite a bit. He’s not the idealistic, young attorney out to save the world but a father and husband trying to figure out how to make a better life for his wife and toddler son. Once I got past the first few chapters, I struggled to put the book down because the story kept unfolding and I was completely caught up in not only the case, but learning about the lives of Donely and the private detective, Frank Ross, both of whom have dark days in their pasts that won’t let them move on.

At the end of the book, I was satisfied with the outcome of the case and where the characters ended this leg of their journey. If this ends up being a series, I would happily pick up book two. There is an audio version of this one but I’ve not heard any of it so I can’t speak to the narrator. I read this one with a combination of my eyeballs and a text-to-speech app.

I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

You can download a sample or purchase The 7th Canon by clicking here.

Nikki Reviews Barring Complications by Blythe Rippon

I’ve got to say I really enjoyed the writing and overall story of this book. It was well-edited, polished, and impressively researched, which I hugely appreciate. The story surrounds the attempted defeat of DOMA by the presentation of a case to the Supreme Court, which holds Victoria (Tori) Willoughby as one of the newest Justices to take the high court. She is a closeted lesbian, although many have suspected her homosexuality for years. Things get a bit complicated with the introduction of the prosecution, a flame from Tori’s past named Genevieve (Vee) Fornier. They parted as they took two different courses in their lives. Genevieve chose to be open about her sexuality from the start, fighting for LGBT rights throughout her career. Tori chose to reject their relationship (and her feelings) in order to stay on course with her lofty career goals. Both women got the careers they wanted, but at the expense of something that “might have been.”

As I stated, the research on this book is top notch. So much attention to detail gave me quite an outlook on the judicial system in a believable way, and the author should be applauded for her ability to educate the reader without boring them with legal jargon. The characterizations were excellent, and I really cared about the protagonists, wanting them to be successful both in their careers and out of them. The last third of the book dragged a bit for me, but it wasn’t because it was uninteresting, I just found it to be a bit unbelievable. So much attention is paid to the two women’s feelings in the past, and their yearning for each other, that the resolution of their relationship (and any associated scandal) felt kind of hurried and under-developed. It didn’t make me dislike the book at all, it just left me a little bit disappointed.

However, the secondary characters (who are DELIGHTFULLY snarky and adorable) really made me fall in love with them. The humorous interactions gave me insight into Tori and Vee’s personalities and were a breath of fresh air.

So overall, if you’re looking for a romance that focuses primarily on the getting together of two women, you might be disappointed in this one. However, if you’re looking for a really interesting take on the judicial system with a little bit of love on the side and likable characters, you’d do well to pick this one up.