Law and Disorder
by Mike Papantonio
Review by Joe Eriksen
SelectBooks Hardcover / eBook ISBN/ITEM#: 9781590793671
Date: 20 September 2016
Law and Disorder follows Nick "Deke" Deketomis, a well-to-do attorney from Spanish Trace in the Florida Panhandle. Over his extensive career representing victims and the disadvantaged, Deke has made more than a few enemies. As he leads a class action lawsuit against a worldwide company, Bekmeyer Pharmaceuticals, several individuals conspire to rid the world of their problem that is Nick Deketomis. One of them is Ken Thorn, a church softball coach with a damning secret that plays a recurring role in the novel.
After Thorn is killed in violent confrontation with Deke, Pastor Rodney Morgan and others conspire to have Deke imprisoned to get him out of their way. As the story progresses, Deke endures multiple public smearings, including leaks of unflattering information about his past and family, and even an attempt on his life. Deke later takes on an even more high-profile case against S.I. Oil and its owers, Kurt and Anton Swanson, wealthy brothers not known for their philanthropy. Deke presses on, never forgetting his humble beginnings. With help from unlikely sources, justice prevails in the end.
The primary themes of the novel are fighting corruption, perseverance through adversity, and standing up for the little guy. Deke dedicates himself to "giving a voice to the voiceless" and fighting on despite one setback after another. As a trial attorney, Deke shows that he is not afraid to play dirty to bring down those who play dirtier.
Law and Disorder was the first legal thriller I read, and going in, I was unsure of what to expect. I found the book to provide the reader with a brilliantly suspenseful experience that is well-paced dramatically. Mike Papantonio expertly ties plots together to make Law and Disorder into the compelling read that it is.
I recommend this book to anyone wanting a suspenseful thrill-ride through the life of a high-profile attorney who, despite all working against him, never wavers in doing the right thing. Those skeptical of being weighed-down with too much legalese should try the book, because, even though it is about an attorney and written by one, it explains relevant terms while keeping focus on suspense and the plot. I feel that once readers start, they won't be able to stop, as I couldn't when I flew through the book's 338 pages in four days. Having completed this first Deke novel, I find myself agreeing with Mark O'Mara: "I'm waiting for the next one."