M2D4 Toe Tag: The Midnight Call by Jode Millman

Find Jode Millman

The Midnight Call is a legal thriller. Jessica Martin is a corporate attorney whose mentor, Terence Butterfield, is in big trouble – the bloody kind. Jeremy Riley is the past-his-prime defense attorney Jess brings in to defend Terence. Hal Samuels is the Assistant District Attorney pressured to make sure justice is a big, public win. But it’s not that easy – it never is. Past relationships cloud the facts until the web is indeed a tangled one.

Bottom line: The Midnight Call is for you if you like thrillers rooted in a court room with drama driven by personal choices of good people put in bad situations.

Strengths of the story. The story is told in three parts. In the first, we see firsthand the wheels that are set in motion by the midnight call. From the opening phrases through the Grand Jury, the story is well crafted, working through the angst and strategy of a murder trial. The middle part of the story shifts focus to the private lives of the main characters and how the publicity and pressure of the trial affects their choices and their families. The characters are put in difficult situations, and we watch as, for some, emotion overrules good judgement. The final sequence returns to the trial, where the lawyers roll up their sleeves and finish the job. The story telling throughout is detailed and reasoned.

Where the story fell short of ideal: Compared to other legal thrillers, The Midnight Call does not go deep into the detail of the law and courtroom procedures. This will be a plus for readers who love the air of a legal thriller without the grainy detail and a minus for those who like to get so granular, sand falls from the pages. With the story focusing on the three attorneys, the accused killer Terence Butterfield is not front and center, so we do not get his side of the story. While the story tied off the legal strings, it left me with a few unanswered questions.

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