Saturday, June 20, 2009





My second book for Maggie's Southern Reading Challenge is The Legal Limit by Martin Clark.


In The Legal Limit, the main character, Mason Hunt, is a young attorney who finds his ascent from a miserable childhood with an abusive father to career success undermined by his complex relationship with his older brother, Gates, a former high school football hero turned bad. Mason knows Gates is poison but cannot forget the debt he owes his brother for protecting him from their abusive father. The inevitable trouble comes one drunken night while Mason is still in law school, when the Hunt boys, still in their early 20s, find themselves cornered by a drunken redneck on a deserted country road. Gates shoots and kills the man, and Mason takes the lead to protect Gates from the repercussions of his crime. (Apparently, this story is based on an actual crime from the 1980s).

While Gates’ life continues to spiral downward, Mason goes on to marry a beautiful artist and work as the district attorney in his home town of Stuart, in Patrick County. Unwilling to ever take responsibility for his actions, Hunt's wild ways land him in jail on a 44-year sentence for drug trafficking. He comes to resent his younger brother's refusal to use his power to spring him. Fraternal bitterness leads to blackmail, leaving Mason "morally hog-tied, an accessory after the fact, the entire damnable bundle laid at his feet by someone he loved dearly."

The theme of The Legal Limit deals more with good v. bad/moral vs. immoral, than with legal vs. illegal. The characters are complex - none are all good, or all bad. For most, right and wrong are situational determinations based on what will benefit that character the most at that time. On a side note, one character’s closeted homosexuality is awkwardly dealt with.

I liked this book, and Clark writes a good thriller, but the ending was a bit anti-climactic, and seemed to me to be a bit of a cop out. Clark may be on his way to being the next Grisham (and by that I mean Grisham in his heyday, not the watered down version we get today), but he’s not quite there yet. Nevertheless, I’ll definitely pick up his next book.

6 Comments:

Blogger sage said...

You may remember that I reviewed the book last September--at that time I also said the ending is the weakest link in the book. I did like it and will have to go back and check on how he handled the character's homosexuality.

I remember when reading this that the part of the closet homosexual and his blackmail struck too close to home for me. You may remember that I lost a friend to suicide a few years ago--I didn't know this about my friend, nor did others who were close to him... And blackmail was involved in his decision to end his life.

Thanks for your review.

5:20 PM  
Blogger Diane said...

sage - I'm sorry to hear about your friend. . . . I can't imagine living with such a big secret

9:01 PM  
Blogger Tiffany Norris said...

Ooh--sounds gritty and complex--perfect Summer Southern reading!

6:38 AM  
Blogger gaohui said...

Davidson garment is a quintessential Harley abercrombie Outlet davidson item, especially if you feature ones Harley decked abercrombie and fitch over. Featuring the whole distinctive line of leather abercrombie sale jackets, t-shirts, buckles, hats, belts, boots abercrombie & fitch and helmets, feeling of guilt reason this is abercrombie not to accessorize to max.A decent buy Harley enthusiast will abercrombie uk go in closet and grab a Harley t-shirt, leather jacket and boots. But, abercrombie london does your closet contain present accessory considering all abercrombie and Fitch Polo of? The Harley helmet. With out them your road abercrombie Polos trip could end in disaster.

7:47 PM  
Blogger chunxue said...

During the World War II, Art Deco jewellery was abercrombie & fitch a very popular style among women. The females started abercrombie wearing short dresses and cut their hair short. And cheap abercrombie & fitch such boyish style was accessorized with Art Deco jewellery. They used abercrombie and fitch long dangling earrings and necklaces, multiple bracelets and bold abercrombie outlet rings.Art Deco jewellery has harshly geometric and symmetrical theme instead abercrombie & fitch sale of free flowing curves and naturalistic motifs. Art Deco Jewelry abercrombie clothing today displays designs that consist of arcs, circles, rectangles, squares, and discount abercrombie triangles. Bracelets, earrings, necklaces and rings are added with long abercrombie and fitch UK lines and curves.One example of Art Deco jewelry is the Art Deco ring. Art Deco rings have abercrombie and fitch outlet sophisticated sparkle and bold styles. These rings are not intended for a subtle look, they are meant to be noticed. Hence, these are perfect for people with bold styles.

6:05 PM  
Blogger sad said...

I have spent most of my life in Kenya,tory burch East Africa I was intrigued to hear MBT shoes,tory burch shoes otherwise known as Masai Barefoot Technology.MBT shoes are most definitely not a fashion statement and can look a bit odd. tory burch outlet Invented in 1997 by Swiss Engineer Karl Mueller, Mbt's are seen as a highly performing aid to fitness. cheap tory burch MBT's are designed to be breathable, flexible and comfortable. tory burch boots The MBT shoes uniquely mbt designed sole, very similar to the 'tyre shoes' often worn by East African Tribal people, are said to mimic walking around barefoot in the sand.tory burch flip flops MBT shoes are slightly weighted and distribute weight evenly across the entire foot and as your body reacts to the weight and instability of the mbt shoe's sole design, muscles,tory burch handbag often those neglected, are made to work to correct this instability.tory burch handbags outlet Could there then be a better way to tone up when the only fitness aid you need is a pair of MBT shoes? tory burch heels MBT shoes can have a beneficial effect on the entire body and MBT shoes are said to enhance both training and massage effects on the body.tory burch flats Here are a few reasons why: All you need to do is start walking. Walking is probably one of the , most popular, tory burch flats cheap simplest, cheapest and enjoyable recreational activities one can find. Walking alone improves circulation, boosts your immunity, strengthens the performance of the lungs and heart, betters your mood, improves muscle tone and gets you out of the house.tory burch wallet Add a pair of Mbt shoes to the equation and many of the benefits are magnified and mbt schuhe muscles, not often used, start to be trained.

8:27 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home