Friday, October 24, 2014

Certainty by Victor Bevine

Good morning, readers. Today I'm part of the TLC book tour for Victor Bevine's debut, Certainty.

William Bartlett is a young lawyer still working to prove himself in his chosen career when he takes on a case that may be more than he can handle. It is the summer of 1919 and a local clergyman, beloved by many, has been accused of a shocking crime. Pressure is on Bartlett to push a plea to a lesser crime, but the ramifications would still be hugely detrimental. Certain that the priest is innocent, Bartlett pushes forward with a trial, intent on proving the man's innocence. But as attention on the case increases the trial becomes more complicated than Bartlett ever imagined. 

I like the idea of Bevine's book - shining light on a really quite shocking piece of history that I'm sure almost no one is aware of. I had some issue getting into the book, though.

We meet Bartlett and Kent immediately, as Bartlett picks Kent up from jail. It's a nice intro to the lawyer with a story about his father's connections and his own first understanding of the law. We then jump back to Bartlett and Kent's first meeting and the beginnings of the plot conceived by certain Navy men to crack down on undesirables in Newport. And I quickly got lost. I trudged through, though, breaking out of the seamen's scheming and back into Bartlett and Kent's tale, relieved to return to the characters I'd connected with initially.

At this point the book takes on a tone akin to any legal thriller. The pacing picks up, the trial begins, the plotting on the part of the characters is revealed...

I share in another reviewer's opinion that this was something of a shocking read. I found myself quite emotionally affected by Certainty, disturbed by the actions of the characters and the case itself. I did find it to be a fair picture of the time - there was much going on in 1919, including the devastating Spanish Flu epidemic - and Bevine takes care in including those aspects of time and place into the overall story of the case itself (this case, by the way, is known as the Newport Navy Vice Scandal if you'd like to read more about it).

Certainty is well written but was, again, hard for me to get into. It was a combination of the subject, keeping the various players organized in my head as I was reading, and simply being unprepared for (or not in the right mood for) such a heavy topic. (Honestly, I'm sure it was more mood than anything as I've been craving more seasonal fare of late.)

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Victor Bevine you can friend him over on Facebook and follow him on Twitter.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

Thanks for sharing your thoughts on this book for the tour.