4 out of 4 stars
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The Cooperating Witness by Mike Avery is a murder mystery novel that follows the case of the murder of Tony Francini, an accountant for Frank Romano, a mobster. It has been three years since Francini's murder, and now, there has been a breakthrough in the case as a witness has stepped forward to identify Nicky Marino and Danny Costa as the people responsible for the murder.
The state gives the job of defending Nicky to Bobby Coughlin, a defense attorney, as he couldn't afford a lawyer. Bobby's plan was pretty straightforward: get Nicky to accept a plea deal from the prosecutor's office. However, events that occur show that there is more to the story, and it is up to Susan, who is our main character and a law student working for Bobby, to uncover the truth. Did Nicky and Danny really commit the crime? If they didn't commit the crime, who did?
The story is set in Boston in 2007 and told in the third-person omniscient point of view, with clues dropped gradually as we proceed through the story. I appreciate the author's ability to create highly suspenseful scenes and ensure that readers relate to the characters, even though we do not see the events through the characters' eyes. My favorite feature of this book is the character depth. Readers will get a full understanding of what shapes the characters and their actions. As a result of this, readers will be more engaged in the story, and the book will evoke emotions of fear when the characters are in trouble and happiness when they succeed at anything.
Furthermore, the plot's structure is solid and without any plot holes, as we have the characters' aims, differences, and oppositions blended perfectly. The book relies heavily on the legal system, as we get a good look into how cases operate in that world. Some problems of the legal system in real-life are explored in this story as well. There is also an element of romance in the story as Susan develops feelings for Richard Charles, Danny's defense attorney. This element, in a way, added a level of uncertainty as I read, and it did not distract from the story.
The Cooperating Witness is an exceptionally well-edited book. I did not find any grammatical or typographical errors while reading, and I have to applaud the author and editor for this, as it ensured that my reading flow was consistent throughout. The only issue I have with the book is finding out why it took three years to find a witness. Besides that, there is nothing I disliked about the book.
All things considered, The Cooperating Witness deserves the maximum rating of 4 out of 4. The story kept me on the edge of my seat throughout, and excellent foreshadowing was employed. The twists in the ending were also satisfying. I would recommend this novel to fans of murder mystery and suspenseful novels. There is profanity included, so the book is not suitable for a younger audience.
The Cooperating Witness
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