Ever since reading The Girl on The Train last year, I got hooked on Thrillers. I really like the suspense factor and it’s a nice change from my go-to NA, Contemporary Romance genre. In the past few months, I didn’t find the time to read too much thrillers, unfortunately, and this is why I was even more excited to dive into A Conflict of Interest.
Alex Miller not only has a loving wife and a beautiful daughter, he is also the youngest partner in one of New York’s most prestigious and powerful law firms. At his father’s funeral, Alex meets an old family friend who asks him to represent him in a high-profile criminal investigation case of an alleged brokerage scam. But this case is everything but the usual. Alex soon finds himself in a web of lies, deceit and temptation. His entire future is in jeopardy and the only way to prevent that is to find out the truth.
I had mixed feelings before heading into the book. Don’t get me wrong, the blurb sounded great, but it was rather the fact that this book was a legal thriller. I don’t know how you feel about it, but legal jargon could be another language altogether. Given the fact that I am not an English native speaker, I was even more concerned. In the end, that concern was unfounded. Although I had to look up the German translations of most of the legal terms, Adam Mitzner also provided the reader with detailed explanations, which I really appreciated.
The only times I come in contact with the US legal system is when I watch “Suits” or “How To Get Away With Murder”. I really enjoy watching those but I often don’t understand why something happened or why a lawyer made that exact move. In addition to them speaking really fast, I miss explanations. In the rare case that the actors do explain their moves to the audience, they do it with even more legal terms, which doesn’t help me at all, unfortunately. Mitzner, however, painted an entire legal picture right from the start and let the reader not only witness an entire case from the beginning, over to the trial preparations, the trial itself and finally to the conviction, he also explained the lawyers’ reasons behind certain moves.
Alex Miller was a likable character right from the start. He did everything he could to help is father’s oldest friend. In the course of the story, however, it became clear that Alex is not a superhero after all and only a normal guy with real problems. I really enjoyed reading about Alex’ professional life and was also intrigued with his personal life that played an important role in this novel, too.
Michael Ohlig, the old family friend, was a very dubious character to say the least. I had a very hard time to figure him out, since he was very mysterious and difficult to read. His whole character was questionable and up until the very end of this novel I didn’t know what to think of him.
The story itself started off a little slow for me. A slow paced story is nothing bad per se, this is just my personal opinion, since I am used to more fast paced ones.
If you’re wondering how an entire story can be about a high-profile criminal investigation case, prepare yourself for some surprises. I really enjoyed the depths of the story as well as the connection between even the littlest and inconspicuous things. Although I had a few minor turns and twists figured out, the big plot twists, however, I did not see coming.
After reading the novel, you wouldn’t think that A Conflict of Interest was Mitzner’s debut novel. The story was very well plotted and the characters were very thought through.
I guess what made the book even better was that Mitzner’s knowledge about everything legal came from experience. Mitzner is a lawyer in NYC himself, and although I think that he researched maybe a few things, he drew most of the story from his everyday work life.
I really enjoyed reading my first legal thriller and I will definitely pick up another book by him.