Ezekiel Blackbird is under the gun in more ways than one. He's a fresh law school student trying to start his own practice, he is newly employed by Alex, a defendant facing the charge of murdering a Hollywood actress at a party, and he is well over his head in more ways than one.
As Ezekiel probes events surrounding the party's tragic outcome and his client's involvement, he uncovers clues that not only indicate Alex's innocence, but test his loyalties and ability to be an effective criminal defense attorney.
The first thing to note about Blackbird is that it offers a satisfying probe of Zeke's personal life as well as his professional challenges. These facets keep the plot multifaceted as it flows through events, choices, and consequences on more than one level.
Zeke's love life is a mess, he's under pressure and threats from more than one angle, and he questions his own integrity and objectives even when he faces a kidnapper who removes him from a restaurant date or causes him to drop the ball with his client.
Another strong note to Blackbird is that events aren't always related from Blackbird's viewpoint. Readers enjoy the juxtaposition of proceedings from Victor's viewpoint, as well, which allows a dual-pane examination of both sides of the same coin as Zeke confronts one of the biggest criminal cases and puzzles in his career, which evolves from what he had perceived as an unsatisfying introductory case in his new practice.
Can Zeke absorb the kinds of life lessons that will lead him to become a better criminal attorney even as he fights for his own life and that of his client? Blackbird is an engrossingly changing read that tests readers' own ability to presume innocence or guilt. The cliffhanger conclusion promises more to those who find Zeke, Lexi, and others an engrossing set of characters.
Diane C. Donovan, Senior Reviewer
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