The legal thriller genre owes its current popularity to the ever-prolific John Grisham. But Grisham has overstayed his welcome and now seems to write from rote. Welcome debut novelist R. P. Finch, who – like Grisham and Scott Turrow – writes of a legal world that he knows from the inside. Finch practiced law more than thirty years and his experiences – plus his vivid imagination and sly sense of humor – have prepared him well for his next career as a novelist.
“Skin In the Game” (Livingston Press, April 10, 2013) is hilarious – a rare commodity in legal thrillers – mixing a healthy dose of quantum mechanics with the internecine backstabbing at Big Law to yield a page-turner with wide appeal. Skilfully plotted and richly peopled with a sympathetic protagonist, a whip-smart and well-connected love interest, and an unforgettable supporting cast – including malapropist mobsters and lap-dancing entrepreneurs, squirrelly over-achieving first-year associates and washed-up senior partners – Finch pulls us headlong on a comic romp across a giant swath of corporate America. The humor is often subtle and frequently laugh-out-loud funny, while the taut storytelling, though a bit tech-heavy, twists and turns, keeping the reader wondering where we’re heading, along the way to a tidy – and satisfying – conclusion.
R.P. Finch’s novel is ambitious, literate and delightful. A good read. I couldn’t recommend it higher.