Follow Here To Purchase Death on a High Floor: A Legal Thriller

Author: Charles Rosenberg

ISBN: 978-0615492391

Publisher: Sliding Hill Press

Charles Rosenberg's debut novel Death on a High Floor, a somewhat off-beat and at times comic journey into thriller territory, is jump started when its lead character, Robert Tarza, a high powered Los Angeles attorney with the firm of Marbury Marfan discovers early one morning on the eighty-fifth floor of his firm's office building the body of his colleague, Simon Rafer, lying face down on the floor with a dagger between his shoulder blades.

Tarza becomes “a person of interest” by the LA law authorities when he innocently confesses during his interrogation with Detective Spirtz of homicide that he touched Rafer's body to determine if in fact he was dead, and thus causing some blood to stick to his shirt. Shortly after the interrogation, Tarza meanders into a nearby Starbucks where he meets a junior associate of the firm and one whom he mentored, Jenna James. James surprises Tarza by telling him that she heard about his ordeal and she has composed a list of five suspects, wherein Tarza is placed at the top. As she further states, Tarza was never very fond of Rafer and he even told her when she first interviewed with the firm “to watch out for that asshole Simon Rafer, whose only interest in life is to become managing partner of the firm, and if he has to do it over your body, or anyone else's, he will.” When Rafer did become the managing partner, he hurt several individuals and as Tarza was very loyal to his friends, she could imagine him killing Rafer for what he did to them. James further mentions that she overheard the cops say that they nailed him.

What really throws Tarza for a loop is when James tells him that she was Rafer's lover, and furthermore urges him to engage her as his defense attorney, notwithstanding that she has been practicing law for only seven years with very little experience in the field of criminal law. After some reflection and prodding, Tarza agrees to have James as one of his defense attorneys on condition that she hire as the lead attorney an experienced attorney, Oscar Quesana.

As more of the storyline unfolds, we learn that Tarza is a collector of rare coins and he recently sold Rafer an Ides denarius of Brutus, which was the coin Brutus minted to commemorate his assassination of Julius Caesar on the Ides of March. However, shortly after acquiring the coin, Rafer accused Tarza of selling him a fake and requested that he be immediately return to him the five hundred thousand dollars that he paid for it.

The story-telling of this thriller really grips the reader and never lets go as all kinds of theories to ponder about are thrown in including the possibility that Rafer's murder was tied in with some kind of drug trafficking scheme involving the laundering of fake rare coins that may have prospered within the confines of Marbury Marfan. In addition, the spotlight is also thrown on some of the other candidates that formed part of James' list that may have had a motive to kill Rafer. The challenge faced by the two defense attorneys seems to be overwhelming, as the more they discover only seems to solidify the incriminating evidence against their client.

One of the main pleasures of this novel is Rosenberg's masterful style in creating attention grabbing moments with compelling narrative tension, which is particularly in evidence with the chapters devoted to Tarza's preliminary hearing. It is here where Rosenberg really shines, as he seamlessly injects into the novel his vast knowledge of criminal law and experience as a legal script consultant to prime-time TV series shows as LA law, The Practice, and Boston Legal. At times I indeed thought I was watching one of these shows with all its drama, particularly when James punches all kinds of holes in the testimonies of the prosecutor's witnesses that will keep readers rooting for her in her quest to prove the innocence of her client. In the end, and despite the slow pacing of some of the middle chapters, which could have been avoided with a little content editing, Rosenberg manages to pull off a thoroughly entertaining rip roaring read.

Follow Here To Read Norm's Interview With Charles Rosenberg Author of Death on a High Floor: A Legal Thriller

Follow Here To Purchase Death on a High Floor: A Legal Thriller