By: Patrick M. Garry
Publisher: Kenric Books
Publication Date: April 2020
Reviewed by: Skyler Boudreau
Review Date: April 2020
The Discovery is a character-driven legal drama about a lawyer by the name of Frank Horgan. Readers follow Frank as he represents the patriarch of the McCorkle family in a legal dispute against the McCorkle children. While working on this case, he must do battle against a team of lawyers from a large New York law firm who aren’t above using blackmail to win.
Frank’s character is sometimes confusing, particularly in the first quarter of the novel. Readers are first introduced to him in his office. The narration paints him as “a man of the people.” (pg. 7) The audience is told from the beginning that Frank is someone who fights for other people. He undercharges those who can’t pay and takes a lot of cases that seem hopeless. He is fearless when going up against lawyers with better connections or more experience than him. After all of that is stated to the reader, Frank hurries to court where he is representing a young mother accused of abandoning her child in her car. This scene takes place only a few pages after the audience is told what a phenomenal person he is, but Frank does not demonstrate any of the claims in the prose. He’s rude and dismissive to his client and, while he does succeed in winning her case, he does not act like the “man of the people.”
Frank remains unlikable throughout most of the novel. He is equally dismissive to his father and several of his friends. As The Discovery focuses heavily on its characters, readers spend a lot of time in Frank’s head. Listening to him complain constantly about various people in his life becomes tedious after a while. He doesn’t have any redeeming qualities and reading from his point of view was frustrating.
His character eventually begins to turn around during the final quarter of the novel. Readers get to watch as he becomes more introspective and aware of how his actions affect those around him. Seeing his attitude finally begin to change for the better is a refreshing change of pace.
The writing itself was a little dense and difficult to engage with at points. The dialogue in particular could be a challenge to follow. There were often long conversations between characters without any clear indication of who was saying what. Vital pieces of information are often conveyed between characters during these conversations, and it doesn’t always come across in a concise, easy-to-follow manner. There are also several typos and grammatical errors in the second half of the book.
The strongest part of this novel by far is the on-going legal case between a father and his children. The McCorkle family, already estranged from each other, is being further torn apart when Clayton McCorkle decides to try and take back the family business, which he passed onto his children many years before the story takes place. Frank represents Clayton in the case. As he tries to piece together their side of the argument, Frank becomes wrapped up in a mystery that goes far deeper than a petty family dispute. Following along as he pieces everything together is a fun experience!
Author Patrick M. Garry also paints a vivid small town setting. Readers get to stroll alongside the characters as they walk through the courthouse, Frank’s office, or local diner Pull Up a Chair.
The Discovery is a book for people interested in intricate financial scandals and the court system. Potential readers should also not mind spending a lot of time in a very unlikable character’s headspace. The story is interesting and will draw its target audience in without a problem. That being said, this isn’t a great option for a reader looking to get into the legal drama genre. The intricacies of the case could be difficult to follow for someone without prior interest in law and financial crimes.
Quill says: The Discovery offers an interesting legal case wrapped in a mystery while also capturing the essence of a small-town scandal.
For more information on The Discovery, please visit the author's website at: patrickgarry.com