5 out of 5 stars
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The Legacy is an engrossing legal mystery novel penned by James Gilbert. The book follows Adam Chauncey, a junior associate in a prestigious law firm named Smithson and Dwyer. One day, out of the blue, Bill Evans, a senior partner at the firm, invites him out to lunch and asks him to sign on as the co-executor on a mysterious will. Eager to please, the young Adam does as he is told without even knowing whose will he is signing on. A year later, Adam's life takes a drastic turn when he is called to perform his duties as the co-executor of the will. Bill Evans conveniently falls sick and Adam is entrusted to execute the will as soon as possible. Though the will appears simple on the surface, something does not sit well with him, especially after reading the will-maker's letter in the attachment. With the help of Sally Warren, a super-intelligent paralegal, Adam decides to follow his hunch and investigate the intricacies of the will.
What makes Adam suspect the will? What will he find after his investigation? How will his findings affect his legal career?
The Legacy had my attention from the very first page. I love how Gilbert builds Adam's character. Adam is a man of many layers. We are introduced to a junior at a renowned law firm in Chicago, who thinks that his goal in life is to climb the corporate rungs and be a senior partner. It is pretty interesting to see him get disillusioned. Also, I like how Gilbert gives us glimpses into Adam's past. The way he links Adam's relationship with his mother and Percy Landsman's own quest to find his identity is praiseworthy. In fact, I love how James Gilbert tackles the question of identity in this book.
Sally Warren is an amazing character as well. I love how she is always there by Adam's side without being overbearing. She is quite mysterious, and like Adam, I wanted to get to know her as well as possible. Though Percy Landsman does not appear in flesh and blood in the storyline, we get to know a lot about him through Adam's and Sally's findings. He was a complex man. I could not help but feel sorry for him. I applaud the author for creating such a nuanced gray character.
James Gilbert is a master storyteller. I love how he makes us ponder about the gray sides of life. His depiction of the legal career is apt. The way he presents both sides of the moral scale is worth praising. One of the best parts of the novel is indeed Gilbert's vivid writing style. He actually brings Chicago to life with his words. The city itself becomes a living character. The way he describes the changing weather and the contrasting neighborhoods made me feel like I was there in the city with Adam and Sally.
Overall, I truly enjoyed reading James Gilbert's The Legacy. I did not find anything worth disliking. Hence, I happily rate it 5 out of 5 stars.
I recommend The Legacy by James Gilbert to fans of legal mysteries and realistic fiction novels.
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