Friday, February 9, 2018

Necessities by Boyd Taylor

Genre: Suspense Crime Fiction, Adult Fiction
Publisher: Katherine Brown Press
Date of Publication: December 5, 2017
Pages: 225

Donnie Ray Cuinn returns to Austin to defend a war hero accused of murder. David Lewis lost both legs in Iraq, but he has overcome his nightmares and his disabilities by sheer willpower. He has learned to run and to box and is a successful newspaperman with a beautiful wife and son. Now the nightmares have returned and he must stand trial for murder. With twists that never seem to end, this gripping legal thriller is filled with suspense and indelibly drawn characters dealing with love and betrayal.

Rating: 4 of 5 stars 

Necessities is a suspense-filled drama written by fellow Texan Boyd Taylor. As the story opens, we meet David Lewis, an Army veteran who lost both legs during war. Now back in the U.S. (Cleveland, Ohio) and working as a journalist he reconnects with an old college girlfriend Cordelia "Cory" Lehrer. They begin a whirlwind romance, and she sees David and their relationship as an opportunity to capitalize on her father's fortune he's amassed as a newspaper publisher. 

The majority of the first part of the book sets up David and Cory's romantic relationship then-turned loveless marriage. A couple of years into the marriage and after David and Cory have had a son together, David finds himself on trial for murder and must prove that the shooting in which he participated was accidental. The event is a bit reminiscent of the Oscar Pistorius case. Couple that with David's odd marriage arrangement and his PTSD as a result of the war, you have the makings of an excellent book (and maybe even a movie!) 

At this point, the recurring character of the series, Donnie Ray Cuinn enters. He serves as criminal defense attorney for David. From there the pace is the book picks up dramatically. I found myself rushing to each next chapter in hopes of finding out what verdict might be assigned. 

This book grabbed my attention from the start and kept it until the very end. I finished it in about five days, which is pretty fast for me. I enjoyed the suspense, the mystery, the unique family dynamic, and the legal thrill. It's also fun to read a book about places with which you are familiar. The latter part of the book takes place in Texas, specifically Austin, which is one of my favorite cities. 

My only critique would be that the set-up of David and Cory's life seemed a little unrealistic. It seems almost unbelievable that she would fall in love with him so quickly. Even more so, that David (or any man really) would agree to the marriage agreement she proposes after conceiving their son. Having said that and without giving away spoilers, this seemingly weak plot development makes sense at the conclusion of the book. However, it did bug me as I read the book. (Sometimes it all really does make sense in the end.) 

RecommendationThis was a fast read with a lot of detail that kept my interest the whole way through. I would recommend this for anyone who enjoys mysteries and courtroom dramas. I am looking forward to reading the other books in Mr. Taylor's series. 

Until next time ... Read on!

Boyd Taylor lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and their Havanese dog Toby. Necessities is the fourth novel in the Donnie Ray Cuinn series. In a former life, Boyd was a lawyer and a corporate officer. A native of Temple, Texas, he graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in government and an LL.B. from the law school.

​Boyd's first novel Hero was prescient in its story about fake news. His second novel, The Antelope Play, dealt with drug trafficking in the Texas Panhandle, an unfortunately accurate forecast. The third, The Monkey House, involved commercial development of a large green space in the center of Austin, all too familiar to Austin residents. Whether his upcoming novel Necessities predicts future events with the accuracy of the earlier books remains to be seen.

Connect with Boyd: Website | Facebook

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  1. It's always good to read a review from a fellow Texan. Thank you for your thoughtful and insightful review.

    1. You're most welcome! Thank you for writing such a page-turning story!