One month after publication, Call From the Jailhouse continues to garner positive media coverage. The San Francisco Book Review post on the novel follows below:
Author Rick Novak, MD, does an exquisite job of crafting a scenario in which a man is accused of murdering his lover and her husband and brings it all the way into a full jury trial. Call From the Jailhouse introduces readers to top defense attorney Cicely Vella. Cicely is a savage in the courtroom and is able to present to the jury all the reasons why they should acquit. Cicely’s marriage to an anesthesiologist named Sam Vella ended in divorce almost a year and a half ago, although there were certainly times when she missed him. When Sam calls Cicely from the county jail and tells her he is being accused of murder, Cicely knows she must defend him. Although their marriage didn’t work out, Cicely knows Sam didn’t kill anyone.
I loved the way the book was crafted. It starts with the phone call and then goes back in time six months to tell the readers about how Sam meets his married lover, Scarlett. The story is carefully told, with no important detail left out. As a San Francisco Bay Area native, I loved that I knew where so many of the referenced places were, including the Pacific Athletic Club (now The Bay Club), the Stanford Dish, and Kings Mountain Road. I admit that I looked up the Mahogany, where Sam meets Scarlett, and as I guessed, there was no such place listed. It seemed like it could have been modeled after the Rosewood Hotel in Menlo Park.
Call From the Jailhouse moves at the perfect pace. As Sam and Scarlett’s secret relationship starts to bloom, Sam finds himself falling in love with her even though she treats him like she owns him. So, how does Sam find himself accused of murder?
The last half of the book is dedicated to Cicely defending Sam in court. All evidence seems to lead to Sam, even though most of it is circumstantial. They say, write what you know, so Novak’s extensive knowledge in the medical field allows him to cleverly insert medical references, such as a medicine used to paralyze patients to allow doctors to insert a breathing tube. It’s details such as this that give the readers a full understanding of the events that take place in the book.
The court case is my favorite part of the book. This is also where there is a huge twist in the plot that gets uncovered. Cicely is a fantastic attorney who has integrity, grit, and grace all rolled into one small Black woman. Sam is a romantic at heart who finds himself in a black widow’s web. Call From the Jailhouse has fabulous characters, beautiful backdrops, and a plot that will pull you closer with every page.
Reviewed By: Kristi Elizabeth
|Page Count||331 pages|
|Publisher||eXtasy Books Inc|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|