Monday, December 9, 2013

Entitlement - Book Review

Entitlement by Mike Worley is a fast-paced crime novel.

An Erica Roberts goes missing and detective Angela Masters has a gut feeling that it is more than just a woman who disappeared – and she’s right. Erica is said to have been on her way to break up with her boyfriend, lawyer Gordon Kennaly, the day she disappeared. The novel follows Angela as she follows small leads on Erica’s disappearance and eventually takes the case to court.

The most interesting thing about Entitlement is that the prime suspect, Kennaly, is a lawyer. So there is a lot of focus on how he seeks to bend the law to get what he is entitled to and plans concocts a crime and his way out of it.

The theme of “entitlement” dominates the novel. The reader gets excited every time the word ‘entitle’ and its variations pop up, like here He was used to intimidating people to get his way because to him, he was entitled to have what he wanted, any time he wanted it.” (p. 81).

The prime suspect in Erica’s disappearance his Gordon Kennaly, her lawyer boyfriend, who is selfish and sees himself above everyone and everything. When the reader first meets Kennaly and his secretary Jane Braun, we see how her response of ‘Gor-then ‘Mr. Kennaly’ indicates a not-so-professional relationship between them.

Jane Braun is blindly in love and infatuated with her boss Gordon Kennaly and would do anything for him. She is very jealous but nonetheless very loyal. It becomes clear that Kennaly’s relationship with Erica was not as bright and sunny as he had told Angela. An example of Jane’s idiotic-blindness is seen during the trial. She follows Kennaly’s orders without thinking how they would harm her or the trial itself. “Unknown to the prosecutor, or Braun’s own lawyer, Kennaly had surreptitiously passed a message to Braun through Morton two weeks before the trial began. Wear that special outfit that you know I love, and tell them everything when you testify.(p. 140)

Unlike CSI and other criminal-case series on television, Entitlement shows the perpetrators’ conversations, actions and reactions. So, the reader sees everything from the criminal’s point of view and how they plan to get ahead of the police and the law. For instance, we see the conversation between the lawyer and his secretary, the feeling of dislike for them increases as we see their dishonesty. Also, unlike television series, the mystery does not end at solving the kidnap-and-murder case but goes beyond that to the court, where there is a lot of play between attorneys and witnesses. Kennaly is an experienced lawyer and his secretary, Jane, is a blind and infatuated follower, who would do anything for him - even if it costs her her life and freedom. She strives to please a psychopathic murderer so long as it impresses him and keeps her in his favour.

Worley’s characters become more interesting when compared and contrasted to one another. The reader cannot help but compare Elisa Montgomery, the lawyer handling the case on behalf of the District Attorney’s office, with detective Angela Masters. Montgomery makes a bad plea bargain, for the state, when she offers Jane Braun a one-year jail time. It is stated several times that Montgomery is not a fan of the detective; though it is clear that Masters has the stronger character, thus pushing Montgomery into the shadow.

Although narration in Entitlement is in the third person, we see the different characters' perspectives in the use of language to describe situations or other characters.

The short paragraphs and chapters add to the quickness of the novel. A reader can easily finish the novel in a day or two.

Entitlement is by all means a five-star crime novel. I couldn’t put it down!

For more about Mike Worley's Angela Masters series, follow him on Twitter and check out his website.