O’Brien’s Law | Critical Book Review

San Francisco, 1979. In John McNellis’s legal thriller, O’Brien’s Law, readers are transported to the vibrant and tumultuous world of 70s San Francisco. Flipper O’Brien, a newcomer to a prestigious law firm, finds himself entangled in a web of legal complexities and personal challenges.

A Legal Chessboard

Buckley, the firm’s ruthless lawyer, seizes an opportunity to rid himself of Flipper by assigning him a seemingly impossible case. As Flipper navigates the treacherous waters of the legal world, chasing down $50 million in missing bearer bonds, he realizes the stakes are higher than he could have imagined – risking not only his career but also his relationships and even his life.

A Romantic Undertone

O’Brien’s Law is not just a legal thriller; it’s a romantic journey. Initially, Flipper juggles his burgeoning relationship with Marybeth alongside his demanding legal career. However, as the plot thickens, the romantic aspect takes center stage, overshadowing the legal intricacies.

Authenticity of 1970s San Francisco

The novel skillfully captures the essence of 1970s San Francisco – its laidback work culture, simplistic relationships, and, of course, the iconic hairstyles. McNellis effortlessly weaves the setting into the narrative without overwhelming the story, providing subtle nods to historical landmarks and events, including a discreet acknowledgment of San Francisco’s role in the early LGBTQ+ movement.

Functional Writing and Cinematic Vibes

McNellis’s writing style, while simple and straightforward, vividly paints scenes and emotions. The author’s knack for functional writing makes the novel reminiscent of a cinematic experience, where concise descriptions and character actions speak volumes.

A Discordant Harmony

Despite its strengths, O’Brien’s Law has its drawbacks. The fusion of romance with the legal thriller feels like blending oil and water. The novel undergoes a genre shift, transforming from a realistic legal thriller to an action-adventure halfway through. The initial cut-throat business atmosphere clashes with the later meet-cute romance, leaving the reader feeling like they’re reading two distinct books.

Conclusion

O’Brien’s Law is a multifaceted narrative with gripping elements – the romance, the historical backdrop, and the legal intricacies. While it may lack seamless integration, the novel remains a quick and entertaining read. McNellis’s understanding of the legal world and meticulous research into the setting elevate the story, making it a compelling choice for those who appreciate a blend of legal drama and romance.

Publisher, Genre, Print Length, and ISBN

PublisherGenrePrint LengthISBN
IndieBookViewMystery, Thriller & Suspense / Romantic316 pages9781736352519

San Francisco, 1979. In John McNellis’s legal thriller, O’Brien’s Law, readers are transported to the vibrant and tumultuous world of 70s San Francisco. Flipper O’Brien, a newcomer to a prestigious law firm, finds himself entangled in a web of legal complexities and personal challenges. A Legal Chessboard Buckley, the firm’s ruthless lawyer, seizes an opportunity…