Book of the Day

The 7th Canon Dugoni

The 7th Canon

By Robert Dugoni

Thomas & Mercer
ISBN 978-1503939424
Published 09/27/2016

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Killer Nashville Reader’s Choice Award

The 7th Canon

Killer Nashville review by Kelly Saderholm

In Dugoni’s book, “the seventh canon” states that a lawyer shall represent his client zealously within the bounds of the law, which is great, but what if your client is a priest accused of killing a minor under his care? And what if the lawyer in question is a 28-year-old, still wet-behind-the-ears defense attorney who has only been practicing three years under the sharp eye of his uncle’s law firm?

Robert Dugoni’s The 7th Canon is a well written legal thriller that grapples with these and other legal quandaries, while also delivering a fast-paced thriller, which will keep the pages turning to the exciting end. The main character, 28-year-old Pete Donley, shows promise as a young attorney but doubts himself, and with good reason. He grew up with an abusive father, and that past still haunts Donely. He is also anxious about his future which includes his young wife and toddler son. Donley is considering taking a higher paying job at a more prestigious law firm when his uncle, Lou Giantelli is suddenly taken out of commission just as Lou’s longstanding client and friend, Father Thomas Martin, desperately needs an attorney. Donely accepts the case and discovers that what appears to be an open and shut case is anything but. He finds himself in way over his head as he struggles with City politics, rogue cops and the dangers of San Francisco’s Tenderloin area of the late 1980’s.

Lovers of legal thrillers will enjoy this book, but honestly, it’s a great read for just about anyone. Although Dugoni is known for his series novels, this novel is a stand-alone and is a quick read.   Set in 1980’s San Francisco, this novel does not get bogged down in arcane legal jargon but moves at a quick pace to an exciting ending which this reviewer found quite satisfying. The characters are well drawn. The opening scene, in which Donley calls a parrot to the witness stand, not only draws us into the book, and adds a touch of humor, but also gives the reader a look into Donley’s character and his readiness to go outside the box to defend his clients. His creative thinking will certainly be useful as the story unwinds. 

Kelly Saderholm has written, blogged, and lectured about aspects of the mystery novel. She has moderated panels and presented papers at literary conferences, on both the Mystery Novel and Urban Fantasy. She is currently writing a non-fiction book dealing with Folklore in the American South. She is a recipient of a Kentucky Foundation for Women Writer’s grant. She lives in South Central Kentucky with her family and two feline office assistants.