A follow-up to 2009’s Fatal February, Justice in June finds lawyer Mary Magruder Katz yet again embroiled in various cases that threaten her sanity, her personal life and, well, her very life. Barbara Levenson’s second book is a great read and a good choice to add to your summer reading list.
Mary Katz’ life changes drastically following two phone calls. The first phone call came from Judge Liz Maxwell, whose years of dedication are threatened by wrongdoings happening in her court, wrongdoings that she is being framed for. The second phone call came from the family of Luis Corona, a young Argentinean national who was supposed to land in Miami to close a business deal on behalf of his parents and who instead simply disappeared.
The tension of working on two difficult cases make things a little difficult for commitment phobe Mary and her boyfriend Carlos; they really become hard when Carlos is sued by his clients.
Justice in June is a well developed story; there are many details given to us by the author which fit beautifully in the storyline, making it richer rather than bogging it down. Most of these details come back later during the story and the entire thing wraps up at the end, making it a satisfying read.
At first I thought the author trying to write about three big cases at the same time was being a little bit unrealistic, and that the book would be messy at times. However, we were expertly led through each one of them by Levenson, who managed to resolve each case satisfactorily.
The characters that populate Justice in June are just as well developed; they become at times quite intriguing, and reading the book becomes just as much about finding out what happens in the story as finding out more about the characters. What I appreciated the most about the book is that, as someone without a law background, I was kept abreast of various important details and information about procedures without feeling like I was being patronized, or being drowned by awkwardly shared information. Explanations flowed throughout the book, most of the time without any hiccup, which makes me think that perhaps the author is a natural teacher.
Despite the multiple storylines, the details and the character development, the pace of Justice in June is fast while seeming pretty realistic (at least to someone like me who doesn’t work in the legal field). It also provides for an extremely à propos social commentary on the state of the American legal system with regards to the treatment of terrorism suspects. It’s definitely a book that you can’t let down.