Water's Edge

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Overview

Sometimes small towns hold the biggest secrets.

Ambitious young attorney Tom Crane is about to become a partner in a high-profile Atlanta law firm. But first he must clear one final matter from his docket—the closing of his deceased father's law practice in his hometown of Bethel, Georgia. Killed in a mysterious boating accident, John Crane didn't appear to leave his son anything except the hassle of wrapping up loose ends.

But instead of ...

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Overview

Sometimes small towns hold the biggest secrets.

Ambitious young attorney Tom Crane is about to become a partner in a high-profile Atlanta law firm. But first he must clear one final matter from his docket—the closing of his deceased father's law practice in his hometown of Bethel, Georgia. Killed in a mysterious boating accident, John Crane didn't appear to leave his son anything except the hassle of wrapping up loose ends.

But instead of celebrating his promotion, Tom finds himself packing up his office, having suddenly been "consolidated." To add insult to injury, that same night his girlfriend breaks up with him . . . by letter.

Returning to Bethel with no sense of his future and no faith to fall back on, Tom just wants to settle his father's final affairs and getback to Atlanta. But then he runs into an unexpected roadblock—two million dollars of unclaimed money stashed in a secret bank account. And evidence that his father's death may not have been accidental. Worse still, a trail of data suggests his father played a role in an international fraud operation.

Tom follows the money into a tangled web of lies, theft, and betrayal. Along the way, he meets a woman who is as beguiling as she is beautiful. And her interest in the outcome of the case is just as high as his. She challenges Tom's assumptions . . . and his faith. Now he has to decide who he can trust—and how far a father's love can reach.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Christy Award–winning Whitlow (Greater Love) is a lawyer who knows his profession, as his newest legal thriller shows. Tom Crane is a hotshot young Atlanta lawyer who thinks he's about to become partner. Instead he gets pink-slipped, and dumped by his girlfriend, giving him lots of time to close out the smalltown law practice of his late father, who died in a boating accident. Circumstances slowly suggest that his father's death was not an accident; a second man who died in the boating accident has a beautiful daughter interested in the truth behind her father's death, and she's also an evangelical Christian. Characterizations are plausible, the mystery develops at a good pace, and the villain's a surprise. The Christian elements are heavy but not sappy; their centrality in the story will limit the potential audience to those already in sympathy with Christian fiction requirements. It's welcome relief nonetheless to have Christian fiction that doesn't center on romance, and Whitlow is certainly a competent writer. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781410443823
  • Publisher: Gale Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 2/15/2012
  • Series: Tides of Truth
  • Edition description: Large Print Edition
  • Pages: 595
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.30 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legalnovels set in the South and winner of the Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. He received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. Twitter: @whitlowwriter Facebook: robertwhitlowbooks

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Read an Excerpt

water's Edge


By ROBERT WHITLOW

Thomas Nelson

Copyright © 2011 Robert Whitlow
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-59554-451-3


Chapter One

Chiseled deep into the rock face of Stone Mountain, Georgia, is a football field–sized carving of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson. Young Atlanta lawyer Tom Crane was on the brink of a promotion as important to him as Lee's selection as commander of the Army of Northern Virginia—litigation partner at Barnes, McGraw, and Crowther.

The phone on Tom's desk buzzed. He picked it up.

"Arthur Pelham from Pelham Financial is on line 802," the receptionist said. "Do you want to take the call?"

"Yes, put him through."

"Good afternoon, Tom."

"Good afternoon, Mr. Pelham," Tom replied in his best professional voice.

"It's time you started calling me Arthur," the sixty-year-old investment adviser replied. "I was Mr. Pelham when you and Rick were playing on the same Little League baseball team in Bethel. You've been earning a paycheck long enough to use my first name."

"I'm not sure I can do that," Tom answered, relaxing. "Would it be okay if I called you Sir Arthur?"

"As long as you stay away from King Arthur." The older man laughed. "I heard too much of that when I was in grade school and someone wanted to pick a fight with me. Listen, I know you must be busy, but do you have a few minutes? It goes back to our conversation at the cemetery after your father's funeral."

"Sure."

"We had a board meeting in New York yesterday, and I brought up the possibility of hiring your law firm to handle some of our litigation load. Most of our clients are happy with our services, but there are always a few bad apples who get upset and file lawsuits for all the crazy reasons you're familiar with."

Tom sat up straighter in his chair. Landing a client like Pelham Financial with offices in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and Washington, DC, would be the most significant event of his legal career. It would cement his rise to partnership status and give him instant influence at the highest levels of the firm.

"That would be outstanding," Tom said, trying to contain his excitement. "Would I be the primary contact person for your firm?"

"Yes, you're the man I trust. Lance Snyder, our general counsel, wasn't at the meeting yesterday, and I want to get his input before making a final decision. Until that happens and I get back to you, I'd ask you to keep this conversation confidential."

"Of course."

"Excellent. I'll be in touch with you by the first of next week." Arthur paused. "How are you doing personally?"

"Okay. I have to make a trip to Bethel soon to shut down my father's practice. Bernice Lawson is contacting his clients, but there are things only I can do. The trick is finding the time to work it into my schedule."

"You're not too busy to take on more business, are you?"

"No, no," Tom answered quickly. "And if I have the opportunity to represent Pelham Financial, it will become my top priority."

"That's what I like to hear. Every client believes his files are the most important matters on his lawyer's desk."

"With you, that will be true."

"Excellent. I hoped this would be a good time to bring this up with you."

"Yes, sir. It couldn't be better."

The call ended. Stunned, Tom sat at his desk and gazed out the window. Stone Mountain never came into focus. Future potential always outshines faded glory.

* * *

The following morning Tom and Mark Nelson, another senior associate in the securities litigation group, were in a small conference room down the hall from Tom's office. Spread before them were documents delivered the previous evening from a regional stock brokerage firm that had been sued by a small group of disgruntled investors who lost several million dollars in a corporate bond fund.

"What are we missing?" the dark-haired Mark asked. "Each of the plaintiffs signed comprehensive acknowledgment and disclosure documents. They knew the risks before they invested a dime."

The two lawyers worked in silence for several minutes. Tom laid out a complete set of the disclosure forms so that the signature pages were side by side, then carefully inspected them.

"Take a look at this," Tom said to Mark. "The handwriting for the signatures is similar, even though the names are different."

He slid the documents across the table to Mark, who held them up in front of his face.

"Maybe."

"Particularly the m, p, t, and w," Tom continued. "And one is from a man, the other a woman."

"So?"

"Yet both are written in a feminine style."

Mark leaned over for a closer look. "The originating broker on both accounts is a woman, Misty Kaiser. If you're claiming she forged both signatures, it doesn't fit the gender and makes you a chauvinist."

"Unless Ms. Kaiser is like the girl you dated last year who took you on a ten-mile hike and had to stop and wait for you to catch up every fifteen minutes."

"It was every thirty minutes, and I've got the right girl now," Mark replied, tossing a crumpled piece of paper at Tom's head. "Megan may not be as flashy as Clarice, but she's not texting me in the middle of important meetings demanding that I pick up her dry cleaning and stop for Chinese takeout on the way home."

"What about the signatures?" Tom persisted.

Mark shrugged. "I have to admit the handwriting is similar. Should we get an expert to take a look at them?"

"Maybe. But first let's find out if Kaiser is still with the company. I don't want to bring up something this inflammatory based on a random suspicion."

"I'll call Sam Robinson, the human resources director," Mark said. "He'll also know whether there are complaints on file from any of her other clients."

Tom looked at his watch. "Why don't we circle back this afternoon? I have a meeting with McGraw in a few minutes."

Mark sat up straighter. "Are you going to talk to him about a partnership?"

"That's for him to bring up, not me," Tom answered evenly. "You know McGraw. His agenda will be my agenda. I scheduled this meeting to ask for time off so I can close down my father's practice in Bethel."

"Okay, but just to let you know, I'm putting my name in for a promotion," Mark said.

"I wouldn't expect anything else. I'm going to let them know I'm interested too."

"What are you going to say if they ask us to critique each other?"

With the conversation with Arthur Pelham in his pocket, Tom knew the time would soon be right to broach the partnership issue with McGraw; however, he didn't want to hurt Mark.

"Becoming a partner isn't about cutting you down," Tom replied. "I'm going to make my case, not criticize you."

Mark took a deep breath and sighed. "They've been watching both of us for years. Nothing we say now is probably going to make much difference. But you can imagine how stressed out I am. I've been here almost eight years. If I don't make partner soon ..."

Mark didn't finish the sentence. He didn't have to.

* * *

Tom stood in front of the gold-framed mirror in the hallway on the thirty-sixth floor and straightened his tie. Six feet tall with broad shoulders, wavy brown hair, and dark-brown eyes, he was wearing the blue suit he usually reserved for court appearances. Reid McGraw was an old-school lawyer who sneered at business-casual attire. If Tom wanted to become a partner, he'd better start dressing like one.

The trip to the thirty-seventh floor was a journey to another world. Tom's floor was a beehive of activity with lawyers and support staff crammed into every available inch of space. Phone conversations spilled out from scores of cubicles. Humming copy machines spit out reams of paper. People walked fast, talked fast, and worked frantically because every tenth of an hour was billable time. On the floor above them, the senior partners operated from spacious offices with individual secretaries. Millions of dollars were discussed as casually as thousands.

Tom passed the office formerly occupied by his boss, Brett Bollinger. Tom liked Brett's cherry desk. When he moved to the thirty-seventh floor, he'd keep it. The beige carpet, on the other hand, would have to go. Something with a pattern would be nice. Clarice had a good eye for decorating.

McGraw's office was a corner suite with its own reception area. The senior partner's assistant was a very attractive young woman about Tom's age. When she was hired, Tom thought about asking her out; however, the risk was too great. If she didn't like him, it might cause her to make a sour comment to McGraw. His future at the firm couldn't be subject to the whim of a woman.

"Hey, Marie," Tom said when he entered the secretary's office. "Is he available? I know I'm a minute or two early."

The dark-haired secretary removed her headset and leaned forward with a glistening white smile.

"Go in. He's waiting for you. But don't run off when you're finished. I have a question for you."

"Sure," Tom said as he opened the door.

McGraw's desk was positioned where the exterior glass walls came together. The balding, medium-built attorney was turned sideways and staring at his computer screen. Through one glass wall Tom could see the gold-plated dome of the state capitol.

"Come in," McGraw growled in his deep voice.

"Hello, Tom," another man said.

Olson Crowther, the partner in charge of the corporate and real estate division of the firm, was sitting in a leather wing chair to the right of McGraw's desk. Crowther, a former JAG officer, sported a high and tight haircut. He stood and shook Tom's hand. Seeing two of the principal partners in the same room caused a rush of excitement mixed with anxiety to wash over Tom.

"Have a seat," McGraw said, pointing to a leather side chair in front of his desk. "We're waiting on Joe Barnes to join us on a conference call. He just got back from Spain and is working from home today. Marie should have him on the line shortly."

"Okay," Tom said, his mouth dry.

McGraw turned his attention back to his computer.

"Sorry about your father," Crowther said. "Did you receive the card I sent?"

"Yes, sir. Thanks."

"Did the police determine what happened?"

"No one knows for sure. They were fishing from a small boat on a private pond. It wasn't more than fifteen feet deep."

"Life jackets?"

"No. The authorities think the boat capsized. My father was a decent swimmer. Maybe he tried to help the other man and failed."

"Real shame," McGraw grunted.

Tom cleared his throat. "Speaking of my father, I need to spend a week or so in Bethel shutting down his law practice. There isn't much to it. After that's done, I can totally devote myself to my responsibilities here. Now that Brett's gone, I'd like the opportunity to—"

Marie's voice came over the intercom. "Mr. Barnes on line 803."

McGraw pushed a button. "Joe, are you there?"

"Yeah, but I'm still battling jet lag. The older I get, the harder it is to bounce back from these overseas trips. And in two weeks I'm off again to New Zealand. Do you remember the river where we caught those monster trout?"

"Yes."

"I'm set up with the same guide."

The fact that Joe Barnes, the founder of the firm, was on the phone meant only one thing. Tom's hands began to sweat.

"Wish I were going with you," McGraw said. "Olson and I are here with Tom Crane."

"Have you told him what happened with Crutchfield Financial?"

"No," McGraw answered.

Barnes spoke. "Tom, we've lost Crutchfield to King and Spalding."

Tom raised his eyebrows in surprise. Crutchfield Financial was one of the firm's largest clients. Its senior management didn't hesitate to file lawsuits to enforce their will and rarely settled claims until the eve of trial. Tom racked his brain for any way the litigation group might have contributed to losing the client. Nothing came to mind.

"Uh, that's too bad," he said.

"Aaron Crutchfield would have stayed with us," Barnes replied, "but there's been a power shift on the board of directors since Aaron retired, and the new chairman has strong connections with King and Spalding."

Tom licked his lips. "Are they going to pull all their litigation files?"

"Yes," McGraw answered. "Rumors have been flying for several months. That's one reason Brett took the general counsel job with Fairfield Group. As general counsel, he'll be able to keep Fairfield from bolting."

It was the perfect time for Tom to drop his bombshell about the call from Arthur Pelham. He clenched his teeth. Arthur's specific instructions to keep quiet about hiring the firm kept the news bottled up in Tom's throat.

"Our business from Linden Securities has been picking up," Tom said, bringing up a second-tier source of business. "Mark and I were working on a major lawsuit this morning. That should take care of some of the slack caused—"

"No, it won't," McGraw interrupted. "I talked with Bruce Cathay in Macon yesterday. There's overt fraud in that case. It's going to be a damage-control situation."

"Forged signatures on the disclosure documents?" Tom asked, shocked that his suspicions might be true.

"You talked with him too." McGraw nodded. "They fired the woman involved, and the insurance company on the fidelity bond is going to assume responsibility for defense of the case. They'll have their own counsel. The bottom line is we're going to have to make another cut in my litigation group, and you're it."

Tom's mouth dropped open. "I'm being fired?"

"No, no," Barnes replied from the speakerphone. "It's a staffing consolidation move."

Barnes's euphemism didn't change the result.

"When?" Tom asked numbly.

"Effective the end of the day," Barnes replied. "The firm will give you a good reference and pay a month's severance in addition to your accrued vacation and personal leave time. You've worked hard, and this was a difficult decision. That's why I wanted to be part of the conversation. I hope you appreciate that."

"Yes, sir," Tom mumbled.

"Very well. I'm going to grab a nap to knock back this jet lag," Barnes said. "You gentlemen finish without me."

The phone clicked off. Tom didn't move.

"There's not much else to discuss," McGraw said. "Bring Mark up to speed on any cases you've been handling solo this afternoon. He and I will reassign them."

"Is he going to make partner?" Tom blurted out.

"That wouldn't be appropriate for us to discuss with you, would it?" Crowther replied with a tight smile. "You heard Joe. We appreciate the work you've done, and I'm confident you'll find a good place to land. In the meantime, you can take all the time you need to settle your father's affairs without feeling rushed. My father was a small-town CPA, and it took twice as long to administer his estate than I thought."

"I'll send out a firm-wide memo about the change in your status within an hour," McGraw added. "Nothing negative about you."

Crowther stood and extended his hand to Tom. "Best of luck to you, son. You've been well trained and can take that with you wherever you go."

McGraw turned toward his computer screen. The meeting over, Tom stumbled from the office. He passed Marie's desk, faintly hearing her call his name as he dashed down the hall. Olson Crowther had made Tom's tenure at the firm sound like an advanced class at a canine obedience school. The dog part of the comparison was right. Tom felt like a loyal pet dropped from a car in the middle of the city and left to fend for itself.

The hustle and bustle of activity on the thirty-sixth floor now had a discordant tone. The first person Tom saw was a middle-aged paralegal who spent half her time working on Crutchfield files. His firing wouldn't be the only fallout crashing down from the thirty- seventh floor. He resisted the urge to grab the woman and suggest she clock out early so she could take her ten-year-old son to Chastain Park and play catch with a Frisbee. Tom avoided making eye contact with anyone until he reached his office and shut the door. Plopping down in his chair, he swiveled to the side and looked out the window. Stone Mountain hadn't moved; Tom's world had crumbled like a dried clump of red clay.

(Continues...)



Excerpted from water's Edge by ROBERT WHITLOW Copyright © 2011 by Robert Whitlow. Excerpted by permission of Thomas Nelson. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 30 )
Rating Distribution

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(9)

4 Star

(15)

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(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 30 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    highly recommended...

    It's my first time reading Robert Whitlow and I can say I am not disappointed. Water's Edge is a well-written, well-paced, action-packed mystery with well-rounded characters and strategically placed twists that will definitely keep any enthusiast of the genre turning the pages well into the night. Whitlow is indeed the master of legal suspense, and he doesn't fall short of proving that in this novel with a little Christian flair. This book has also reflected some Christian values that felt real and personal, almost tangible through the words. I often found myself reflecting on these valuable thoughts myself, thus helping me relate with the characters more. I highly recommend this to people who are close to losing faith and are in constant search of their purpose in life. You'll gain your much needed insights through all the excitement and drama of the plot-- definitely worth your time, don't you think?

    I got an ARC of this book through Booksneeze.

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2011

    too much

    how can you justify charging less than $1 more for paperback versus ebooks?????? Us Nook book owners are really being taken advantage of and we have been pushed too far - Kindel is looking better and better.....

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 1, 2011

    Rather 'Meh'

    Water's Edge, a lawyer named Tom Crane suffers a recent loss when his lawyer father drowns. This leads him to his hometown of Bethel to close down his father's law practice and he gets caught up in various webs. Of course, I cannot reveal anything to you people because that would just spoil everything.

    The story, in all was sound and there was flow. But unfortunately, it lacked the general energy needed for any piece of fiction to be readable. To me, it was a bit of a disappointment. I can see that Whitlow tried to give his story emotion and he does attempt to make the readers connect with Tom but his attempts were not quite successful. This novel did not really stir up any emotions and the overall feel of the book was a bit of a let down for me.

    The plot was sound but it was a somewhat dull plot. Even though Whitlow tried to spice things up with various twists and turns it didn't really work. Character development was another thing Whitlow should work a bit more on. The characters were all rather boring except for Tom's late father's assistant, Bernice. She was the only one with any real personality. I know most of the characters were supposed to be respectable Christians but they were all too goody-goody and dull. Not many of them had color and the ones that did had some rather dull colors, to be honest. Dialogue was also rather standard but it wasn't up to the standards of being called original. The descriptions Whitlow provided are pretty good. He was rather concise and direct and that's quite a good thing. The scene's were also pretty good and realistic but there was nothing there to set Bethel apart from any other small American town you might read in books. Personally, I though the Painted Rock thing was a bit of a cliche.

    Overall, the message was a good one but it did not inspire me much. It was a path well-worn and that makes it normal and the oomph of it all was just not there. Perhaps someone without any faith at all would find it a bit more inspiring? But one who has been raised faithful would not feel the message's effects. Perhaps a little, at most. In terms of entertainment it was not such a success. It fits a typical law genre and that makes it a bit of a bore. It's a nice story, but that's all it is. It's nice.

    Frankly, I was let down. I expected a bit more from a back cover blurb that made it sound so intense. So yeah, I wouldn't go about recommending it. Someone in need of a law genre piece might like it but this is just not my cup of tea. Not at all.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011

    Another great book by Whitlow

    This is the second book by Robert Whitlow that I have read and I was not disappointed. Great story, a few difficulties and plot twists thrown in, and enough intrigue to keep the pages turning.

    I like that the situations in his books are realistic. The characters are so real that you can honestly see the events of these books unfolding. I found myself more than once thinking, "I know someone just like that."

    The book is a great read. If I had any hesitation about it, it would be that most people don't have the eye-opening experiences quite as clearly and openly as the main character is this book does. It usually doesn't come so easily and with such clarity. But in all honestly, from time to time I am sure it does, so although it isn't exactly "normal" to have such momentum in one's faith, it is certainly not impossible.

    A great read that I would certainly recommend. Great for most any age, but certainly best understood by adults. It's an easy read that does not bore and would be great to take on vacation or a flight.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their Booksneeze review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 20, 2014

    Good Book! I enjoy reading Robert Whitlow books!

    Good Book! I enjoy reading Robert Whitlow books!

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  • Posted June 19, 2012

    A Great Read!

    Water’s Edge by Robert Whitlow was a joy to read! I love legal dramas and this was a great read. It starts with a young attorney, named Tom Crane who returns to his small hometown to finalize plans from his deceased father’s law office and while there uncovers some mysterious events. Even though the main character has lost everything to move back to his hometown, he encounters people and places throughout the book that return him to his faith. He also uncovers things about himself that will last a lifetime. I truly enjoyed, the writing of the author and how he describes the main character in detail and his surroundings throughout the book. I highly recommend this book and was very pleased to review this complimentary copy from Thomas Nelson publishing.
    *The opinions I have expressed are my own and I was not compensated in anyway.

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  • Posted March 7, 2012

    Excellent reading!

    I have read many of Robert Whitlow's books and Water's Edge ranks right up along with the others. As a Christian I appreciate Mr. Whitlow's commitment to write intense mysteries without bringing in sex and filth. He has a way of keeping your attention so much so that you can't put the book down. His characters have morals and standards that you can agree with. An added bonus is at the same time you are learning some interesting things about the law. I would recommend this book to a wide range of age groups.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2012

    A favorite author!

    Intriguing!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 6, 2011

    Early Grisham-like.

    While a little plodding and predictable, there were too many ends not too securely tied. The characters are believable enough in their fleshing. Plenty to discuss in a book club.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 10, 2011

    Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow

    Hello! I've gotten a new book from booksneeze- "Water's Edge" by Robert Whitlow. Before I get started, though, I need to tell you that I received this book for free from the Thomas nelson publisher through the booksneeze program, and I am under no legal obligation to give this book a good review. Whatever I say about this book is how I really feel. So, now, let's move on with the review. I've never read a Robert Whitlow book (even though the cover says he's a best- selling author.) But I've really enjoyed this one. It was kind of a mystery, a modern day one, with a mysterious death, surprising hunk of change, a beguiling woman and an international fraud operation. Just to name a few things. This book could compare to John Grisham, but more spiritual in nature. I enjoyed it and would probably like to read more of his books in the future. This book is well- written, thoughtful, and exciting. I loved the ending, as well. It finished quite nicely. This book also comes with a reader's guide at the back (which honestly kind of surprised me- I mean, how many adventure books have reader's guides? Lol ?) All in all, I give this book four out of five stars ?

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  • Posted August 9, 2011

    Lawyer Suspense

    Water's Edge
    Robert Whitlow
    Published by Thomas Nelson
    Source: Review copy from Book Sneeze
    Tom Crane is an up and coming lawyer in Atlanta. His father is killed in a boating accident and Tom needs to return to Georgia to close up his father's law office. Prior to his leaving for Georgia, Tom is released from his position at the law firm without much explanation and his girlfriend breaks up with him. With no job and no girl to hold him back Tom leaves for Georgia to stay with his great uncle Elias.
    Back in his hometown Tom sees best friend Rick and his wife (Tom's ex-girlfriend) Tiffany, along with Rick's Dad Arthur who owns a large financial company. They all encourage Tom to stay and reopen his father's law practice. Tom gets an offer from a company in Georgia as well and is conflicted in what option he may take.
    While cleaning out his father's office he finds an empty folder and some clues that lead him on a trail to Mr. Addington, the man who was in the boating accident with his father. Rose Addington is settling her father's estate and Tom confides in her the suspicions he has found on an off shore banking account with a large sum of money in it. Suspicions range from Mr. Addington and the Sr Mr. Crane as being conspirators to a fraud operation. Neither Rose nor Tom believes that could be as both of their fathers were Christian men and lived their lives accordingly.
    The trail of deceit runs back and forth between Tom's father and Mr. Addington, to corporate people involved Pelham Financial, to the head owners at Pelham, to Tom and Rose being in on it. The novel weaves a web of twists and turns in conflicts and resolutions, the very best resolution being Tom accepting Christ as his savior and that transforming Tom into a different man.
    Robert Whitlow is one of my favorite authors, having read many of his novels, I did enjoy this suspenseful legal story. It isn't my favorite of his works, but it is still top notch!
    I received a copy of this novel from BookSneeze in exchange for an honest review.

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  • Posted August 3, 2011

    Water's Edge

    It's been quite some time since I read a good legal thriller, and therefore, I was really excited when Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow is up for review in Booksneeze. Water's Edge is a very interesting legal thriller and the writing and plot development reminds me a little bit of John Grisham's work.

    This book is definitely a keeper and I love how the storyline keeps me on my toes and spook me a little bit when I read it in the middle of the night.

    Love the character's dynamic and the unexpected twist and turns in this story. I highly recommends this book to those who love legal thrillers.

    I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars. I received an ARC of this book from Thomas Nelson Publisher. I was not required to write a positive review for this book.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Christian fiction at it's best!

    Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow is Christian fiction at its best--a good story with plenty of life lessons. Tom, an up and coming attorney, has everything--great job, great girlfriend, and living in the perfect city to get even more; however, all this turns around quickly. His great job in an elite law firm where he thought to become one of the partners is gone. And in the same day he loses his girl, too. Wow, his perfect world disappears. With no job, he heads back to his small hometown to close his dad's law practice since his dad had recently died from a boating accident. What he thought would be an easy and quick task, turns into a major investigation that becomes important for him to find the truth. While going through his dad's papers, he discovers two million dollars in a secret bank account. Plus, his father's accident may not have been an "accident." Even worse, his father may have played a role in an international fraud operation. Tom begins to dig for the truth and along the way meets a beautiful, beguiling lady who is as interested and involved in the case as he is. Robert Whitlow is a great Christian fiction writer. I have read several of his books and have loved them all. He tells a great story while interweaving many valuable lessons. His writing is like John Grisham without the language. Whitlow seems to understand what separates Christian fiction from regular fiction is not just the absence of the rough language and vulgar love scenes but it is the inclusion of God throughout the story! Many of our Christian fiction writers are basically fiction writers with no language, but this book emphasizes what is important while telling you a good story. That is Christian fiction! Don't just entertain me but show me that God is important! Teach me a lesson to live by. I received this book free from the publisher through Booksneeze Publishing Group. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.

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  • Posted August 2, 2011

    Christian Fiction Thriller

    Before I picked up this book, I had heard of it being compared to John Grisham's books, and that it was a mystery. Well, I'd call it more of a legal thriller than a mystery, really. A few parts of the book seemed to drone on to me, but then other parts were page turners. I have a feeling this book would appeal much more to men than women. It is also more on the heavier side of Christian Fiction, so if this isn't your usual cup of tea, be warned. Note that I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for sharing my thoughts on it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 28, 2011

    Suspense With a Hint of Religion

    Tom Crane had a bright future. A great job. Any minute now he is going to be made partner of a high profile firm. A beautiful girlfriend.

    Amidst all this, there is just one small matter of winding up his deceased father's law firm. His father was killed in a boating accident. He needs to go back to his hometown Bethel, to close down the practice before he can get on with his perfect life.

    Then out of the blue, disaster struck. He was fired from his work and his girlfriend broke up with him through letter. At that time he felt real lost and was contemplating of taking his own life. He have nothing else to live for.

    However, God works in a mysterious way. When Tom was in his lowest, Elias was there to advise him. Elias was a religious man.


    Tom took one day at a time. While cleaning his father's stuff he found that there was a large amount of money in an account.

    This roused his curiosity and he starts to dig deeper. It was like opening a can of worms. I won't spoilt your enjoyment of this book putting a spoiler here. It's better for you to read it for yourself.

    At the beginning, I can't help to compared this book with John Grisham's "The Firm" or "The Partner". I guess most people would do this too as John Grisham had set a precedence to it.

    However, I discovered that there is something special about this book. That is a hint of religion in it. Actually, it blends well with the plot and is a very good combination.

    There are many books that are fill with suspense and actions in the market. And so far, this is the only book that I come across that also promote the believe in God without sounding overly pious.

    In my opinion this is a great book for those who love to read suspense and thriller but does not like to be bombarded with those foul words nor ungodly messages. Great for teenagers and adults.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 : "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted July 28, 2011

    First Law Read-Very Good

    I generally do not purchase for myself books that are written about law, even though I enjoy watching TV shows about it. However, I was interested in Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow.
    I was quickly brought into the book by the character Tom Crane who had everything going for him. Whitlow did a great job making this character's life seem perfect in every way only to have it quickly torn apart in more ways than one. The book slowed down for a bit after the initial set up was given and once Tom Crane got to his hometown city of Bethel. It was difficult for me to get excited about the book. It seemed to go without any sort of climax. However, the last 100 pages I was very interested in as the book certainly did reach a climax and gave you a definite turn of events. Some of the events in the book were slightly predictable, however, all in all, it was a good read.
    I would be interested to read more books by Robert Whitlow. He did a great job creating his characters and the setting. He made the story understandable for those of us who do not have a background in law. I look forward to reading more books by this author.

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  • Posted July 27, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Murder mystery, faith and romance make for a good combo

    Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow is about a young lawyer named Tom Crane who is on his way to becoming a partner at an Atlanta law firm. The untimely and suspicious death of his father leaves him needing to tie up loose ends in the small town of Bethel, GA where he grew up. Before leaving Atlanta, Tom's world does a 360 when he is fired from his job and dumped by his girlfriend. He returns to Bethel in hopes of quickly settling his father's affairs, but in the processhe finds a significant amount of money that is unclaimed. Tom finds out that there are webs and webs of lies that come with this money, and he wonders if his father could have been part of an international money laundering scheme. He meets a young woman along the way who is smart and beautiful and tests his faith.

    This book reminds me of a John Grisham novel with lots of Christian influence. The beginning of the book was a little slow, but once Tom made it to Bethel and started uncovering more and more suspicious things about his father's death and law practice, the plot really began to take off. This book leaves you guessing the outcome of not only Tom's faith in God, but also who he can and cannot trust. This book is inspiring because Tom wasn't exactly close to his father, but he will stop at nothing to make sure the right person is brought to justice, and he finds out that the apple doesn't fall too far from the tree. It has a lot of mystery and packs a lot of talk about God and faith with a little splash of romance. If you love mysteries and romance, then you're sure to enjoy Water's Edge.

    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze® book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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  • Posted July 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great Read!

    Sometimes, the things that seem to make the most profound and impossible changes in our lives are the ones needed to move us forward. Tom Crane lives the perfect example of this. He has a great job in an impressive law office, thinks he will make partner, has a father who is also a lawyer, and then there is the beautiful girlfriend. But, as the story begins, disaster strikes taking all of this away from him. Tom returns home to Bethel to not only close his father's law practice, but to also take a few moments for himself. Everything seems fine until he discovers two million dollars in a secret bank account. Where did it come from? Why the interest in some of his father's cases? Was his father's death really an accident? The road Tom takes will help him discover the answers to these questions, find those he can trust, and rediscover his faith.

    I enjoyed this book because the story is well written and the characters seemed real. There are twists and turns, poignant moments, and lessons to learn throughout the story. I recommend this book to anyone who likes suspenseful novels. It might also be fun for book groups to read and discuss. Thank you, Net Galley, for the copy I read on my Nook!

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  • Posted July 20, 2011

    Water's Edge Has an Edge

    You think you have had a bad day well sit down open the book Water's Edge by Robert Whitlow and you will meet Tom Crane. He is the guy they sing country songs about, in one day he lost his job at a huge law firm in Atlanta; he lost his girlfriend and his cat. On top of all this news he must go to his small town childhood home to close his father's law practice. When he gets to his hometown he starts the process of finding other lawyers to take his Dad's clients on. His Uncle Elias starts talking to him about faith. Tom has not had faith since he was a child. Tom finds a large amount of money in a secret bank account when he does this he opens a can of worms. I want to tell you more but I don't want to spoil the book for you. I have to say I really enjoyed Tom. This was my first book by Robert Whitlow and I enjoyed it. He is a very good story tell. This book is actually a book that is in a series I did not know that when I chose this book. I have to say I was able to follow along easily. I will be reading his others in the series. I liked Tom. I felt bad for him at first but I was excited he opened him self to God. Tom is quite a likeable guy. This story is very much a legal on but is suspenseful with twist and turns to keep you turning the page. I will admit that I thought it started off slow however I was hooked a few chapters in. I also have to say the book made me want to visit Georgia as well. I give this four stars. It is definitely a great read. If you like Christian fiction this book is for you. If not you still might enjoy the suspense it is worth a try. Now here is the part of my blog that I have to tell you I was given a complimentary copy of this book from Book Sneeze. This review is totally my own opinion.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 17, 2011

    Excellent thriller!

    Water's Edge is an excellent legal thriller! It would be an ideal book for book club discussions.I will continue to read books by Robert Whitlow.

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