A combination of mystery, legal issues, and ivory tower academia's tenure politics, Long Knives features Jenna James, former member of a high-powered law firm and current law professor up for tenure at UCLA.
Jenna is happy with her move from Marbury Marfan's prestigious firm to her current role as law professor at UCLA. She's a popular and successful teacher--her life is less stressful, but still busy. She has a boyfriend, but isn't sure about the depth of their relationship.
Until a student dies in her office, Jenna has been looking forward to becoming tenured faculty. When it turns out that Primo Giordano's death was a result of a poison introduced by the coffee Jenna offered him and and the treasure map Primo brought with him disappears, Jenna becomes a person of interest and then a suspect.
Jenna turns to old friends Oscar Quesana and Robert Tarza for help when she becomes a target in the murder investigation and has a law suit filed against her for stealing the treasure map.
Is Jenna simply a suspect or is she a target? Was the coffee intended for Primo or Jenna?
Jenna and old friends and associates Oscar and Robert are determined to solve the mystery and prevent Jenna's shot at tenure from going awry.
Long Knives held my interest from first to last. While I think the reason for trying to pin the murder on Jenna is a bit far-fetched, part of me is well aware that people have been ruined or killed for even more fatuous reasons. The news and social media publicize bizarre reasons for murder and revenge every day.
I'm interested in reading Death on a High Floor, Rosenberg's first novel that introduces Jenna, Oscar, and Robert.
Rosenberg is a former editor of the Harvard Law Review and currently practices in a small firm in the LA area. Another author tidbit: "Charles B. ("Chuck") Rosenberg has been the credited legal script consultant to three prime time television shows: L.A. Law, The Practice and Boston Legal, as well as the TV show The Paper Chase (Showtime)."
Read in January, 2014
NetGalley/Thomas & Mercer
Legal Thriller. March 1, 2014. Print version: 502 pages.