ARC (Advanced Reader Copy), Series & Collections, Suspense, Thriller

Rich Blood & Rich Waters (Jason Rich Series,) by Robert Bailey

Jason Rich has failed at a lot of things in life: beating his alcohol dependency, relationships with women, and living up to his father’s expectations. Despite that, and thanks to a series of tacky billboards along the highway, Jason has still drummed up his own version of success as an ambulance-chasing personal injury lawyer.

When Jason is forced to defend his sister after she is charged with killing her husband, everything changes. Now he must transition to criminal law, reconnect with his splintered family, and enter the grimy world of drugs, dirty cops, and murder. Not an easy task for a man already on the state bar’s radar. Rich Blood gives us lots of expository information about Jason Rich’s personality, boundaries, background, and courtroom tactics.

In Rich Waters, Jason is blackmailed into defending a fallen local hero accused of killing a cop. His personal life is a mess, but he has his allies. Always on retainer are the three ex-military Tonidandel brothers, former Screaming Eagles who double as security and friends. Plus there is Izzy, his law partner; Harry, his investigator; and Ashley, his AA sponsor. This motley crew help to keep Jason grounded and safe, but are put at risk by a powerful enemy.

Well-written legal thrillers, like this series, are a fun way to break out of my reading comfort zone. There are lots of characters to keep track of, puzzle pieces to assemble, ongoing stories, plot twists, and reveals. I’ve become pretty skilled at pinpointing killers in murder mysteries, but both Jason Rich books kept me guessing until the very end. That’s a good thing. Plus we are treated to a very multi-faceted main character who is always fighting one demon or another, whether personal or professional.

Rich Waters ended with a very sewn-up conclusion, so I don’t know if more books will appear in the series, but I, for one, would like to see others. They are fast-paced, intelligent reads. I recommend both and to read them in order.

9/10 Stars for each book and for the series.

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