Saturday, February 11, 2012
Book Thoughts - Gods and Fathers by James LePore
Synopsis from publisher:
Matt DeMarco is an accomplished Manhattan attorney with more than his share of emotional baggage. His marriage ended disastrously, his ex-wife has pulled their son away from him, and her remarriage to a hugely successful Arab businessman has created complications for Matt on multiple levels. However, his life shifts from troubled to imperiled when two cops – men he's known for a long time – come into his home and arrest his son as the prime suspect in the murder of the boy's girlfriend.
Suddenly, the enmity between Matt and his only child is no longer relevant. Matt must do everything he can to clear his son, who he fully believes is innocent. Doing so will require him to quit his job and make enemies of former friends – and it will throw him up against forces he barely knew existed and can only begin to comprehend how to battle.
I read LePore's first novel back in 2009 (A World I Never Made) and enjoyed it, so I was looking forward to checking back in with this author. I was expecting this novel to be a quick, exciting read, and was not disappointed. As before, LePore writes about events that feel as though they could be happening at this exact moment - current political and global events give the storyline a feeling of authenticity that makes some of the more unbelievable moments ring true. The man knows how to write a good thriller, and I definitely enjoyed it.
My problem with the novel was that I really, really disliked the main character. I get that he is an ex-marine = tough, no nonsense, etc. etc. But I found it more and more difficult through the arc of the novel to find myself feeling any sort of sympathy for him. All of the bad situations of his life seemed to be solely of his own creation, and their was nothing in his attitudes or actions that ever made me root for things to go well for him. I really couldn't figure out why the strong, impressive female character LePore created would even consider having a relationship with him. The uber-macho male lead is what keeps me from reading a lot of books in this genre, and I remember now why they bug me so much.
If, however, this is a genre you generally enjoy I would definitely give this author a try. Even though I had a major problem with the main character, I found the bones of the novel intriguing enough to keep reading, and I did in general enjoy it. I would certainly read another of LePore's novels. Recommended for fans of the genre.
Source: review copy from publisher via NetGalley - thank you!
MPAA rating: R for language, violence, adult situations
My rating: 6/10