Sunday, September 19, 2010

Book Review - My Lost Daughter by Nancy Taylor Rosenberg (Blog Tour)

Title: My Lost Daughter
Author: Nancy Taylor Rosenberg
Year: 2010
Page: 447
Genre: Fiction - legal thriller

New to me author? Yes
Read this author again? Maybe (maybe the older books?)
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: A free copy from the publisher for review, as part of a blog tour. I was NOT compensated for this review in any other way and my review is not "pre-viewed" by the publisher.

Summary (from
Lily Forrester is a tough judge in Ventura County, California, who has overcome adversity and heartache to achieve a position where she can help those who can’t help themselves. The current case before her is the sensational murder trial of a woman who tortured and killed her beautiful two-year-old son. Lily is determined to see justice done but she’s thrown for a loop when she receives word that her own daughter, Shana, is on the verge of dropping out of law school. Fearing for her daughter’s mental health and pressured by the looming trial, Lily takes Shana to a supposedly prestigious treatment facility.

Which is when things go horribly awry. The institution is far less interested in treating patients than it is in bilking the insurance companies out of extravagant fees…and they are less than scrupulous about patients’ rights. Lily has to use all her intelligence and street smarts to find a way to free Shana. And time isn’t on her side, for there is a sociopath who is using the hospital to stay safe.

A sociopath who has decided that Shana is his best new obsession...

First Sentence:   
Death was approaching.

Why did I pick this book?
I was contacted to see if I want to receive this book for review, as part of a blog tour. I haven't heard of this author before, but I love reading witty legal thriller, especially if they have clever court scenes. So I was happy to give this a try! The premise sounds interesting!

My thoughts:
  • It seems lately, that legal thrillers I'd been reading all LACKED court drama. I love it when the lawyers in the book find loop holes and set up the defendants or witnesses to fall into their trap. (Okay, I wouldn't want to face such lawyers myself, but it adds so much more drama - "Gotya!") This was no exception. There were some court scene about a minor case, but that was it... so this is more like a suspense novel, rather than a legal thriller according to my definition. It just happened that the main protagonist, Lily, is a judge.
  • I can't say I like Lily, or her daughter Shana who also played a main role. I think this is Book 3 or 4 in the series? I hadn't read any of them, but you can almost read this as a stand alone. There were some "flash back" to fill the gaps, but I don't know if readers who'd been following the series will find the info redundant or not. I guess that's difficulty in writing a series - how much background to give so that new readers will know who these characters are, but not so much that loyal followers will get bored. Anyway the reasons I don't really like them is Lily is obviously smart enough to be a judge, and yet she seems rather dumb in other decisions she made, particularly regarding her daughter... now I suppose someone's IQ does not necessarily correlate to how good a parent they are, however, I'd imagine being a judge, you would at least make logical decisions (or I hope anyway!), but that was really lacking in her personal life. Lily's daughter Shana is 28 years old, but she acted more like a spoiled 16 years old. Enough said. Her love/hate relationship with her mother seemed to change overnight which I found unrealistic. 
  • I don't know if it is because I haven't read the previous book, but I found some details not matching up - e.g. Lily and Shana had this incident years ago, and they didn't report it. However, it seemed like everyone in the book knew what happened to them.
  • There is also some inconsistency in the book - e.g. p56-57, Lily had lunch, then went back to court to the defense lawyer's opening, then she called the court to rest. What the defense lawyer had to say wasn't THAT long (a couple of pages?), but it was already 6:30pm when she looked at the clock! Okay maybe I'm nitpicking, but hey, I'm reading a legal thriller, my mind automatically over-analyze all the evidence to see if I could figure out who the killer was! That's why I love reading murder/mystery, because I love piecing together the puzzles to see who-dunit. So it's HARD not to see the little details not adding up.
  • Some dialog seems a bit forced and not very natural, especially the conversation between Lily and daughter Shana. 
  • I thought another character, Mary Stevens, an FBI agent, would play a bigger role, but was disappointed that her involvement was minimal. It seemed like she is a recurring character from the previous books. I would like to see her in more action. She is probably the character I like the best in the book
  • I was disappointed that I guessed who the bad guy was early in the book :( I thought there would be more twists... 
  • I do like the Epilogue in the book, kinda like the end of a movie where they'll tell you what happened to each characters. Though some may see that everything was tied up a bit too nicely
  • Would I recommend this book? If you are looking for a courtroom drama-type of legal thriller (as I was hoping for), then you will probably be disappointed. I miss the TV show Boston Legal! However, if you just want a beach-read type of suspense book, this might not be a bad choice (since I don't usually read chick lit, these are my type of beach read).
  • I'd be having a Give Away for this book - yay my first ever give away! So please see my other post. I'd love to hear what you think - I think I may just be overly picky or have high expectations :) 
     Rating: 3 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

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    1. Stacy from Novel Source completely sold me on this one, nice to read another review, definitely will tell you what I think Christa.

    2. I love courtroom novels too, but the action should be in the courtroom not outside. Sad that this book doesn't deliver on that. I have it to read and review as well, sigh, let's hope it is a worthy read.