Heikki's Reviews > Diary of a Small Fish

Diary of a Small Fish by Pete Morin
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Oct 13, 2011

it was amazing
Read from December 06 to 12, 2011

Entertaining, fast courtroom drama with a very human feel.

This review is from: Diary of a Small Fish (Kindle Edition)
To start off, I don't usually read courtroom drama. I've done the Legal 101 reading Grisham, and I did enjoy the early two or three books, but since that I've not touched the genre.

One of the causes for that is that the American legal system is very different from the one we have in Finland, and it's like learning a new game to be able to understand what happens. This usually leads to info dumps and lots of backtracking for the reader to understand what happened.

Pete Morin's book succeeds brilliantly in carrying the story and offering the uninitiated reader just the right amount of information; the legal story is easy to follow and it is very interesting too. Paul Forté's plight in the maelstrom of a corruption trial is believable in the extreme. There is none of the "As you know, Bob,..." type of explanatory tirade.

Mr Morin cuts the picture of Forté so close he becomes very real. I happen to have a brother with the same attitude towards the game of golf that I could relate to people that Forté has to explain his stance on the game. It also serves very well as the glue that bonds together the world view of honor codes that Forté has.

The human interest side of this book is also handled very capably; I was hooked by the character of Shannon right after she had the nerve to ask Forté a question at his first meeting with the jury, and it had precious little to do with the trial. I should also say that Morin is an adept observer of emotions and the effect they have on humans - his portrayal of Forté's broken marriage is on a par with John Updike's Rabbit books.

The variety of characters appearing in the book is quite large, but they all serve a purpose and there are no superficial, pasted-on personnel. Of the side characters my favorite was Sidney Hartfield, the 90+ year old former SEC official. Morin has considerable talent in imbuing his characters with just the right feel; Hartfield especially brought chuckles to me as I read. Ah, chuckles: there's many a moment in this book when you laugh out loud because Morin knows the world he writes of and has the linguistic wit to bring it out too. I am envious of his one-liners and sarcasm.

All in all, I think you can't go wrong if you are in search of a quick-paced book with twists and turns, intriguing plot, wine and osso bucco. This book is to be highly recommended.
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