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Illegally Dead    by Gregg E. Brickman order for
Illegally Dead
by Gregg E. Brickman
Order:  USA  Can
Pendulum, 2004 (2004)

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*   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

A lawyer is poisoned in a courtroom as he tries a malpractice suit. Other lawyers are killed in what would seem like normal circumstances, but investigation proves that other factors are at work. Nurse Tony Conte is a former Special Forces medic. Although caught up in his wife's serious illness, he finds that he can't let a good friend be charged with murders he is sure the physician did not commit. He puts his life and freedom on the line to clear his friend's name.

There's one lawyer dead on the first page of Illegally Dead and others follow in close order. Action and suspense writhe together on almost every page. Though the story seemed to me to start off slowly, it picked up speed and never stopped until the last page. The author, Gregg Brickman, has a working knowledge of courtrooms and hospitals, especially emergency departments. Tony comes on strong but is believable, though his children never seem to be part of the story. His swearing in Italian is a cute idea but becomes unreal, somehow. Both Tony and his wife Jennifer seem shallow, needing to be fleshed out more.

The novel's typos were a bit off putting, but never slowed down the action. Illegally Dead is a first book for Brickman, who has made a good start in her chosen profession.

Note: This can be ordered as an ebook at Pendulum Press.

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