One Night in Amboise
Title: ONE NIGHT IN AMBOISE
Author: Ken Malovos
Genre: Legal Mystery
JIM HANSEN AND CORINNE LARSON are overseas college students at Amboise, France. After meeting at a local bar they leave and encounter a drunk. JIM hits him and the man may be dead. At the manor house where they live, they kiss and make love. The next day she accuses him of rape but does not formally charge him. He denies the charge. The police investigate the killing of the drunk.
After they return to California, CORINNE struggles with the whole incident, wondering if she was at fault. She talks to her sisters and then seeks professional help after turning to alcohol. JIM goes to law school and becomes a deputy district attorney, always wondering if the allegation of rape will surface and whether he did the right thing. He marries another overseas student from Amboise.
ALICIA OBREGON contacts JIM and asks him to dismiss the criminal case against her husband. She informs JIM that she knows all about Amboise and threatens to expose him. He throws the case, thereby allowing a guilty person to go free. Over time he pays her money.
JIM is appointed a judge and ALICIA continues to blackmail him. CORINNE’s husband comes to Sacramento and confronts JIM in his chambers. JIM says he is sorry about the whole thing. JIM goes to a rehabilitation facility but in a few weeks he leaves, feeling he has resolved all of his concerns.
ALICIA is found dead. ALICIA’s husband is charged with her murder but he implicates JIM because he knows all about the blackmailing scheme. JIM then is arrested and must stand trial for the murder of ALICIA. The prosecutor focuses on JIM’s motive. JIM asks noted trial lawyer MIKE ZORICH to represent him. JIM turns down a plea bargain and a sensational jury trial follows. JIM is not truthful with his wife, his attorney or the jury. CORINNE’s husband testifies. The jury cannot reach a decision and JIM must live with a tarnished reputation amidst unsettled questions whether he killed ALICIA and raped CORINNE.
This is the first book I have read in this series. Although, it will not be my last one. Instantly, I connected with the storyline as well as the characters. What I liked the most was that the opening moments involving the younger Jim and the events that brought the story to the present state were not given in tons of details. The author just let the moments from that night play out through the story.
While, Jim may not be the most likable guy; you do feel for him a bit when he finds himself entrapped by his secret past. Alicia, the blackmailer is not someone that me the reader would be friends with as well.
Then there is Mike and Corinne. First, Corinne. It seems that she could not catch a break where it involved Jim. He had no remorse for his actions, which I do believe that he was guilty of taking advantage of Corinne. As far as lawyers are concerned, Mike Is a personable one. I did not experience a ruthless side to him in this book but the side I saw I liked. Also, I have to briefly talk about the ending. It let me with my wheels spinning. A perfect ending. All you need is just one night to read and finish One Night in Amboise.
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Ken Malovos has been practicing law in Sacramento for over forty years. He spent twelve years with the Public Defender’s Office and twenty-five years as a business litigator. He now serves full-time as a mediator and arbitrator. Ken has written two previous Mike Zorich novels and both have been recognized by Chanticleer Book Reviews. Contempt of Court was a First Place Category winner in the legal genre of the Mystery and Mayhem competition in 2014. Fatal Reunion was a finalist in the Thriller and Suspense competition in 2016. Ken and his wife live in Sacramento.
His latest book is the legal mystery, ONE NIGHT IN AMBOISE.
Visit his website at www.malovoslaw.com.