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The Law of Second Chances    by James Sheehan order for
Law of Second Chances
by James Sheehan
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2008 (2008)
Hardcover, CD
* * *   Reviewed by Tim Davis

There ought to be a law that guarantees the following: Everyone deserves a second chance. In James Sheehan's exciting new novel, The Law of Second Chances, some of the characters would enthusiastically support such a law.

In no particular order consider the following:

Consider Benny Avrile, 'a real thinking man's thief' who meets an attractive woman in a New York City bar, and quicker than he can say homicide Benny finds himself in jail waiting for his day in court on a charge of first degree murder.

Then consider Henry Wilson, a career criminal on death row whose time is running out unless someone can persuade the State of Florida that Henry is - as he insists - innocent of the murder charge on which he was convicted.

Now consider Jack Tobin, a successful attorney whose wife is facing a life-threatening challenge, and Jack - despite his remarkable abilities in the courtroom - suddenly feels thoroughly inept and useless.

Next consider Luis Melendez, a New York City tough guy who turned his back on his family, but now - because his son desperately needs someone who will believe in him and help him - Luis is looking for a way to erase all the sins of the past.

Finally, consider Carl Robertson, a multibillionaire oil executive whose personal relationships, financial prospects, and pursuit of everyday happiness are abruptly and permanently curtailed.

Now, think about this: All of these characters - and plenty of others - converge in The Law of Second Chances, a powerful legal thriller in which veteran trial attorney James Sheehan proves that he is also a first-class storyteller. As a riveting examination of the redemptive power of second chances - and as a poignant love story - The Law of Second Chances goes beyond the stereotypical courtroom thriller and becomes instead an extremely effective literary novel in which the dignity of human relationships becomes the central theme. Readers looking for top-notch writing from a truly gifted novelist will certainly enjoy The Law of Second Chances. Don't miss it!

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