Riveting Legal Suspense from Lawyer Todd M. Johnson
Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian's fee for a week's work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.
Ian warily accepts the job--but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.
My Review of Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson
Like a roller coaster, Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson, gives us a thrill ride that keeps us guessing and the pages turning till the very end.
Ian Wells is feeling pressure these days. As a new defense attorney his law practice has been anything but easy. Trying to close cases for his late father’s practice, Ian relies on another attorney to send clients his way that unfortunately are not paying well if at all. On top of his career troubles his mother has fallen victim to Alzheimer’s disease and is needing more attention than he is able to provide. As Ian struggles with little clients of his own, money woes and his mother’s failing health an unexpected client presents himself that seems too good to be true. A trust worth millions of dollars prepared many years ago by his father Connor Wells has finally come due. The monies according to the trust are to be divided three ways provided each beneficiary had not been involved in any illegal activity since the trust’s draft in 1998. Connor Well’s was to receive two hundred thousand dollars once the investigation was completed and the monies distributed. That money will now fall to Ian if he decides to take the case and investigate the three beneficiaries. Ian is dumbfounded at the staggering sum his father was to receive. Although some attorneys have been known to charge large retainer fees, even this amount is a little suspicious. With mounting pressure to pay bills and provide more care for his mother he decides to take the case against his better judgement. As time goes by and Ian investigates the three beneficiaries he finds he has more questions than answers. The more he investigates the three beneficiaries the more he discovers a dark criminal past that goes back decades including an art heist involving a murdered security guard. Convinced his father may have been involved Ian digs deeper to get at the real facts and becomes a target by the very people who hired him. As Ian gets closer to the truth he enlists the help of a close friend, Brook Daniels from the District Attorney’s office. Together they will work to uncover the truth, but not before Ian and his mother become the next potential victims.
I really liked this book. I will say it again, I really liked this book. I have not read a mystery (thriller) in a long time so I jumped at the chance with Fatal Trust and I was not disappointed. Todd M. Johnson had me hooked from the first page till the very last. The twists and turns of the plot kept me guessing and I was very surprised at the end. The characters the author portrayed elicited many feeling as a reader. My favorite was Ian. Kind, intelligent and fearless to find the truth he was a perfect hero. Brook was on my favorite list too as was Ian’s legal assistant Katie. Katie’s loyalty and Brook’s affection for Ian was evident as both women put their careers and friendships on the line to get at the truth. Ian’s mother Martha was extremely complex and I appreciated all the surprises her character brought to the book.
As for the bad guys and every good mystery has them, Sean Callahan’s character made my skin crawl. Cruel and determined he would do anything to get what he felt he deserved. Rory Doyle on the other hand was a sad character. Never escaping his past, he lived with all the trauma and dysfunction of his father’s crimes. All the characters created melded together to make one exciting storyline. Like any good book I was anxious to have the mystery solved, but was sad when it was over. A great read for a warm summer night or any time, Fatal Trust will not disappoint.
Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson is an exciting read with all the twists and turns every good mystery reader loves. A great story with suspense and a little romance to enjoy with a glass of wine or a cold lemonade on a warm summer night.
I want to thank Bethany House via NetGalley for an advanced reader copy of Fatal Trust by Todd M. Johnson for a fair and honest review.
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