THE LAST ALIBI by David Ellis

G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Pub date: August 1st 2013

Jason Kolarich, defense attorney, is in a lot of hot water. Kolarich is back at work after blowing out his knee when a strange case comes through the door. A man claims that two women he is acquainted with have been killed and he is concerned that the police will suspect him. Kolarich gives his strange new client some advice, but soon a third woman is killed. Although the client claims he has an alibi for the night, with a little investigation Kolarich finds that the alibi doesn’t hold water. In fact, his client was alone during all three murders. Kolarich’s gut tells him that something is off, but between the pain pills for his knee and the lovely new woman he is seeing, his brain is a bit foggy and he can’t put his finger on what the problem is. Soon Kolarich realizes he’s being set up and it isn’t long before he finds himself the one on trial–for murder.

The narrative moves back and forth between Kolarich’s trial and the events leading up to it. In a lesser author’s hands this might have ruined the flow of the book, but Ellis uses it to wonderful advantage, building incredible tension. The trial sequences reveal fascinating tidbits, but you are also deeply interested in learning about the events leading up to it—and how Kolarich got himself into such an ungodly mess. Ellis obviously knows the inside of a courtroom, bringing a sense of realism to the courtroom drama, while keeping the pace hopping. Ellis’s handling of witty dialogue and often flat-out sarcasm is a joy to read—rivaling Harlan Coben. The pace was furious while the suspense kept me squirming in my seat. If we’re lucky, THE LAST ALIBI won’t be the last book from Ellis in this dynamic series.