Abduction!, the world’s hottest online game from the world’s hottest online game developer, the anonymous shadow figure known to the world only as Poniard (think, an online Banksy), accuses real-life media mogul, William Bishop, known to the world as William the Conqueror (think, Rupert Murdoch) of the abduction and murder of the well-known film starlet Felicity McGrath some years before. What’s a tycoon to do but sue Poniard for libel and defamation? As we all know, though, truth is an absolute defense to libel.
That’s the set-up for Robert Rotstein’s latest legal thriller, Reckless Disregard, (Seventh Street Books, 2014) and what a fun ride this book is. Our hero is Parker Stern, a burned-out trial lawyer with a secret past. Once at the top of the Los Angeles legal heap, Parker has lost his love for the law and is terrified of the courtroom. Now working from a sparsely furnished room the mediation service provides, he’s spending the prime of his legal career as a two-bit mediator, handling the legal dross that none of the other mediators wants, the slip-and-falls, evictions, Worker’s Comp claims. Out of nowhere he gets a chat message from Poniard, asking him for representation in the libel suit. Poniard will not be denied and offers to pay him any fee for the best legal talent available. And we’re off!