Denial by Beverley McLachlin
Not only is she the first woman to ever hold the role of Chief Justice of Canada, but the Right Honourable Beverley McLachlin is also a novelist to watch for! Having read her memoir, “Truth Be Told,” I was very excited to receive an advance copy of her new legal thriller, Denial. (Keep reading for my full review!)
When everyone is in denial, how do you find the truth?
Jilly Truitt has made a name for herself as one of the top criminal defense lawyers in the city. Where once she had to take just about any case to keep her firm afloat, now she has her pick—and she picks winners.
So when Joseph Quentin asks her to defend his wife, who has been charged with murdering her own mother in what the media are calling a mercy killing, every instinct tells Jilly to say no. Word on the street is that Vera Quentin is in denial, refusing to admit to the crime and take a lenient plea deal. Quentin is a lawyer’s lawyer, known as the Fixer in legal circles, and if he can’t help his wife, who can?
Against her better judgment, Jilly meets with Vera and reluctantly agrees to take on her case. Call it intuition, call it sympathy, but something about Vera makes Jilly believe she’s telling the truth. Now, she has to prove that in the courtroom against her former mentor turned opponent, prosecutor Cy Kenge—a man who has no qualms about bending the rules.
As the trial approaches, Jilly scrambles to find a crack in the case and stumbles across a dark truth hanging over the Quentin family. But is it enough to prove Vera’s innocence? Or is Jilly in denial herself?
Thrumming with tension, Denial is a riveting thriller about the lengths we will go to for the ones we love and the truths we hold dear.
This post contains affiliate links; as an Amazon associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. This advanced reader’s copy was received courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley. As always, all opinions are entirely my own!
Even if you came into this book knowing nothing about Beverley McLachlin, it would be abundantly clear that this author has extensive knowledge of the law. The main case throughout this novel deals with a hot-button issue and you could really see the author’s legal mind at work as she crafted the story.
In particular, the courtroom scenes were really well done. I haven’t read many legal thrillers set in Canada, and I loved that unique element. The second half of the novel truly feels as if you’re sitting through a murder trial. As a reader, this has its pros and cons. On the one hand, I was very intrigued by this glimpse at how the legal world works. It felt authentic, thorough, and completely real. However, this realism meant that it was a little slower-paced than I was expecting. It’s more procedural than action.
That’s not to say I didn’t read my way through this book in a day or two. Because I did!
I found the story engaging, and the character of Jilly to be interesting. She has a lot going on in her life, and I think that rings true for most lawyers I know. I was also completely blindsided by most of the twists in this story.
If you love procedural-type legal thrillers (rather than action-based), I would definitely recommend checking this series out. (As a side note, this novel is actually the second installment in the Jilly Truitt series. While I didn’t have any issue jumping into book two, I do wish I’d read Full Disclosure first. There were some major spoilers (or at least, I felt they were) in Denial and I would definitely recommend reading this series in order.)
I look forward to seeing more novels by Beverley McLachlin in the future!