Reviews by L. J. Roberts


GERRY SPENCE – Blood on the Table. Forge Books, hardcover, March 2021. Setting: Contemporary Wyoming.

First Sentence: Ringo felt something hard poking him in the ribs.

   Famed trial attorney Gerry Spence takes readers to small-town Wyoming, where 11-year-old Ringo must fight against corruption, prejudice, and hatred in order to protect his family.

   Time skips are frustrating, but time skipping between 1947,1940, and 1945; then, back to 1940, to 1947, to 1926, is just too much. What happened to telling a story in a linear format?

   The characters, almost all of whom are dislikable, read as stereotypes. Perhaps it is because stereotypes are based on reality that they make the book unsettling.

   Unfortunately, the plot gives the reader nothing to grasp, yet Spence is an excellent writer. You feel it, you know it, but the format and darkness of this story overwhelm the quality of the writing. And then the conclusion. No one knows better than a lawyer that justice is blind and not always served well. But oh, how one always hopes.

   Blood on the Table is dark and violent and might work for those who love noir. Spence; however, is an amazing writer. Here’s hoping his next book is more reminiscent of his book Court of Lies.

Rating: Poor.