Author: James Sheehan
Publisher: Center Street, October, 2013
Genre: Legal Thriller
Format: Paper and eReader
Source: Publisher via TLC Bood Tours
My Rating: A+
In this novel an “Alligator Man” is a term coined to describe a CEO who goes about swallowing up whole corporations, taking the good parts and spitting out the remaining scraps. Roy Johnson was such a man. One of the companies he ruined was called Dynatron. To get a picture of the devastation, think Enron.
Roy Johnson left the Dynatron with hundreds of millions of dollars in his pocket and then let the company to go bankrupt. Employees lost their jobs, health insurance and pensions. Some people died. With no health insurance, they didn’t have the resources for good care.
Now, years later, Roy Johnson is living in south Florida, off in a very small town west of the Everglades. He doesn’t have much of a life isolated in his mansion in the swamp. He does like to drink late at night and take a walk along a county road that goes past his home. One night he is hit by a car which causes him to fall off the side of the road into the swamp. It’s the mating season and the alligators are aggressive. The Alligator Man has fallen in with his own kind – the alligators.
Most everyone believes this is pure justice but some good basic detective work shows it was murder. Who would want him dead? Nearly everyone. How to narrow the field? Again, good simple detective work.
This was an exciting novel to read. What I’ve told you so far is just the beginning. There’s a lot to the story and, best of all, it’s character-rich. Let me share with you a couple of my favorite characters:
- Carlisle Buchanan is a young man who grew up in the Everglades. He is most at home out on the water. He knows his way around the waterways. He understands how to maneuver an airboat through the mangrove trees and over roots. Carlisle is a part-time auxilary deputy who found of Roy Johnson’s clothing and his wallet. He’s also the one who found an eye-witness as well as a good clue as to how the man was killed. He’s the one who has good basic detective skills, better than experienced officers.
- Kevin Wylie is a young man with lots of experience as a criminal attorney. He’s also the son of a legendary attorney. Unfortunately, father and son haven’t seen each other in twenty-eight years. They are together now representing one of Kevin’s childhood friends who is accused of murdering Roy Johnson.
There are so many good “people” in this book that the author made me care about them all. Each one of the characters has a nicely developed story of their own. Fortunately, the author has woven them together to make the larger story very compelling.
In addition to compelling characters, the story is very fast paced. The chapters are short. reminding me of a good James Patterson novel. Each chapter is focused on one particular character and segment of the story.
At the end of each chapter I was so involved that I wanted to keep going – had to keep going. It never felt disjointed to go from person to person and from one story line to another. For me, it was storytelling at it’s best.
By the end of the novel I was satisfied – but I wanted more books by James Sheehan. I have two of the author’s books waiting for me on my kindle. I’m eager to get started. Watch out for this author. I think we’re going to be seeing a lot more from him. Even our local public library has The Alligator Man and there is a waiting list! Whoa – I don’t need to say more
About James Sheehan
Born and raised in New York City, Sheehan moved to St. Petersburg, Florida to attend Stetson Law School and was a practicing trial attorney in the Tampa/St. Petersburg area for 30 years. He is now the Director of the Tampa Law Center at Stetson University College of Law and is also a Visiting Professor of Law. Sheehan is the author of three acclaimed legal thrillers, the bestselling The Mayor of Lexington Avenue,The Law of Second Chances and The Lawyer’s Lawyer.
To connect with James, visit his website, Jamessheehanauthor.com.
I want to extend my thanks to the publisher for my copy of the book and to TLC Book Tours for allowing me to be a part of it all. To see other stops on the book tour, visit the schedule here: TLC Book Tours
Thanks to the publisher, I am able to give away one copy of The Alligator Man. Open to US/Canada residents. Please leave a comment indicating you are interested in the giveaway. The Giveaway will end November 30.