Free of Malice by Liz Lazarus

January 16, 2016
Book Review, Liz Lazarus, Free of Malice, InToriLex
Free of Malice


Laura Holland awakes in the middle of the night to see a stranger standing in her bedroom doorway. She manages to defend herself from the would-be rapist, though he threatens to return as he retreats. Traumatized with recurring nightmares, Laura seeks therapy and is exposed to a unique treatment called EMDR. She also seeks self-protection— buying a gun against the wishes of her husband. When Laura learns she could have gone to prison had she shot her fleeing assailant, she decides to write a hypothetical legal case using the details of that night. She enlists the help of criminal defense lawyer, Thomas Bennett, who proves to be well versed in the justice system but has an uncanny resemblance to her attacker. As the two work together to develop the story, Laura’s discomfort escalates particularly when Thomas seems to know more about that night than he should. Reality and fiction soon merge as her real life drama begins to mirror the fiction she’s trying to create. 


This book has wonderful suspense and an accurate portrayal of the legal system which kept me intrigued the whole way through. The main character Laura has to deal with the aftermath of a horrible attack, she tries to keep it together while controlling her fear. Barbara was her therapist, the included  notes from their session, gave me useful insight into the kind of thinking and behavior that was abnormal. This was a great contrast because the story is told from Laura's point of view most of the time.

The author has clearly done her research about how the legal system works, the legal explanations and descriptions ring true with my own experience as a lawyer. As Laura learned about her hypothetical trial, I kept thinking over and over about how most people should learn what's it's like to be charged and tried for a crime. The author also did a really job with character development, so good that I was disappointed that I didn't get more explanation about their lives. The book includes a great song called "Let Me Breathe" that you can listen to by scanning the QR code included in the text of the book. This brought a unique element to the book, I appreciate when authors take risks that add layers to the reading experience.

The ending surprised me and left me curious about the other character's who weren't as fleshed out. The only downfall of the book for me is that I didn't have a emotional connection to the main character. I would recommend this to any reader with a interest in thrillers, you will definitely enjoy what you learn along the way.

This book was provided to me by the Author in exchange for an honest review. 


Jazmen said...

The blurb totally blew me away. I mean wow, that's nuts. I'm glad you really liked this one and it went over so well. Nice review!

InToriLex said...

Thanks for commenting, it was definitely a thrill to read

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