Judgement Day by Andrew Neiderman

(Sequel to Devil's Advocate)

At long last: the prequel to The Devil’s Advocate—packaged together with that original novel, which Al Pacino, Keanu Reaves, and Charlize Theron turned into a blockbuster movie. Revealing the story of how the law firm of John Milton & Associates came to be, this will change forever how you think of the original The Devil’s Advocate book and the major motion picture that made it a household name.

When the promising young attorney of a prestigious law firm is found dead on the sidewalk twenty stories below his posh New York apartment, everyone rules it as a suicide. Everyone except Lieutenant Matthew Blake—a detective with a legendary track record and a notoriously unorthodox style. Blake sees something more nefarious in the attorney’s death, and he slowly uncovers a murder plot so twisted that it could only have been concocted by the devil himself.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not) John Milton—a handsome, charming, and unflappable defense attorney—strolls into the grieving law firm with a mind to replace the unfortunate attorney. Little does the firm know that Milton’s plan extends far beyond just becoming a partner.

“Age is a funny thing. People tend to think it can be measured only by time, but events crowd days into weeks, weeks into months, and months into new years.”

I enjoyed the Devil's Advocate movie well enough (Pacino is an acting perfection) and I used to read Andrew Neiderman novels as a brooding teenager, so when I saw the 2-1 deal offered at Amazon to not only get the original, but the prequel, I was so in.

At first glance, the writing felt a little awkward and stilted. The opening read like a typical cheesy opening would. It didn't endear me to the book for awhile, but when I finally got through the pacing and accepted the writing style, the story picked up and improved.

The story isn't fully complex, and it still always reads cheesy a bit (what devil doesn't doesn't?). There isn't much creepy or that interesting about backdoor maneuvers to take over a law firm. There aren't any twists and not many surprises either - when deaths happen, it's kind of expected, and no one I was attached to or could give a hoots about anyway.

Characters walked around in stereotypical clothing, but even so, it holds a small charm that cheesy horror books do. By cheese I mean such things as big plot holes and characters that seem to be in the story just to play types - like the detective who used to want to be in seminary and who can supernaturally spot evil somehow. Despite being a plot prop, detective Matthews was probably the best character.

Even if you know it's not award-winning fiction, it can still be a book that's hard to put down. It's like Neiderman struggled to find his footing a bit, but once he did, it was a smooth going walk and the rest of the world just faded away while I sunk into the story.

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