Monday, July 31, 2017

Todd Johnson: Fatal Trust

By Kelly Bridgewater

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian's fee for a week's work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job--but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

From Amazon

My Thoughts:

I love a good suspense story which threatens the characters' well-being whether it is death or hunting for a clue to some mystery that they find themselves in. I have never read anything by Todd M. Johnson, but the synopsis for his newest release Fatal Trust sounded right up my alley, so I gave it a try.

From the first chapter, I had a hard time getting into the concept of the novel because Johnson introduced so many characters and plot lines that I was confused for the first couple of chapters, but then Johnson started to focus on one character, Ian, and the story started to flow a lot better. The story does hop around from a number of perspectives, but luckily, he does switch chapters every time he does.

The writing is clear. I had no problem visualizing the numerous settings or the characters as they roamed around this world. Johnson did a good job at creating a story that kept my attention.
The characters Johnson created were invested in the issue and wanted to solve the task set before them. Ian is a determined lawyer who wants to leave his father's shadow and make a name for himself. This new case for me might just be the thing. Unfortunately, the case has twists and turn to make a good suspense that kept me on my toes. Ian doesn't change throughout the novel. He works on solving the case and loves his mother. At the end, he is the same character, maybe a little wiser with his experience, but nothing else.

The plot is completely different than anything I have ever seen with a suspense novel, which I enjoyed immensely. Johnson knew how to keep his characters guessing as much as the audience. The novel kept moving at a fast pace, and I finished it in one day. I did have a problem with the ending. The story had the fill of something huge coming at the end. Johnson led me there and started to show something big, but then he dropped it and had the characters at a hospital and summed up the conclusion. A little disappointing for me.

Overall, Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson starts and finishes not to my taste, but the middle was well-written and held onto my attention. Don't ignore the novel. It is completely different and worth your time if you like mellow suspense novels.

I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson from Bethany House Publishers, but the opinions stated are all my own.

My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

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