“Intelligent and engrossing. . . . A superior legal thriller by a writer with talent to burn. . . . The novel's panoramic look at New York recalls Tom Wolfe’s The Bonfire of the Vanities.”
—Washington Post Book World
“Blind Man’s Alley dives into the skulduggery of commercial real estate dealings with enthusiastic gusto. . . . Peacock zips up and down plot twists like fire escape stairways running through those awesome Manhattan skyscrapers.”
—Los Angeles Times
“An ambitious thriller that delves into the interlocking worlds of real estate, law, journalism and politics.”
“Strong storytelling from a crime fiction up-and-comer. . . . [Peacock is] a stylist with flair and that will take him a long way. . . . This is an author who knows exactly how to blend it all in way that will solidly entertain.”
—The Dallas Morning News
“Dense, enthralling, complex, and extremely satisfying, Justin Peacock’s Blind Man’s Alley is an absolutely captivating read from an exceptionally talented writer who knows his stuff inside out.”
—John Lescroart, author of A Plague of Secrets
“Filled with real characters and lawyers that we can finally respect, Blind Man’s Alley is a legal thriller with a lot more gray areas than any Grisham novel.”
—San Francisco Book Review
“Move over John Grisham and Scott Turow. There's a new legal thriller writer in town who is on par with, perhaps superior to, these bestselling authors. Justin Peacock, whose first novel, A Cure for Night, won him high praise, has written another blockbuster novel, this one set in the cutthroat world of New York real estate. . . . A fascinating look behind the scenes of a dog-eat-dog business.”
—London Free Press
“Blind Man’s Alley never lets down, and Peacock keeps his finger firmly on the pulse of the graft, corruption and political conspiracy that marks the pages of New York City newspapers on a daily basis.”
“Blind Man’s Alley is cunningly plotted and utterly true to contemporary New York. It covers every level of the city, from the penthouses to the projects. And the characters are finely drawn—the good ones are never boring in their goodness, while the bad ones are as horrifying as New York produces.”
—Edward Hayes, author of Mouthpiece
…an angry portrait of Big Apple corruption and the efforts of two young people, a lawyer and a journalist, to resist its embrace…Blind Man's Alley is a superior legal thriller by a writer with talent to burn.
The Washington Post
More Grisham lite than Turow weighty, Peacock's second legal thriller falls short of the standard set by his Edgar-finalist debut, A Cure for the Night. When Duncan Riley, a rising star at a prestigious New York City law firm, accepts a pro bono eviction case, he welcomes this relatively straightforward diversion from the tedium of litigation practice. Then a complication arises: Riley's client, Rafael Nazario, is charged with the murder of the security guard at Nazario's public housing project who'd falsely accused him of smoking pot. While Riley gets approval from his mentor to continue representing Nazario, he feels pressured to cut a deal for his client, whom he genuinely believes to be innocent. Meanwhile, the attorney is receiving a great deal of attention from another client, Leah Roth, heiress apparent to a large real estate empire under scrutiny for its role in a deadly accident at one of its buildings. Peacock underdoes his characters' psychology, while the deus ex machina Riley uses to prove a sinister plot undercuts the book's atmosphere of gritty realism. (Aug.)
Duncan Riley is a young lawyer on the fast track to partnership at a top law firm in New York City; that is, if he does what he's told. That becomes difficult when his pro bono eviction case turns into a murder rap and the managing partner wants him to plead it out. Rafael Nazario is accused of murdering the security guard who turned him in for smoking pot, the basis of his housing project eviction. Duncan's firm's biggest client is behind the conversion of the housing project to a mixed-use property, but that doesn't seem to cause any conflict of interest. Duncan is convinced his client is innocent, and a reporter feeds him information that will help his case, if he is allowed to try it. It starts looking like the firm's biggest client is more involved than Duncan originally realized, creating additional pressure and some interesting twists.Verdict While not as strong as Peacock's Edgar Award-nominated debut, A Cure for Night, nonetheless this is good legal fiction with carefully crafted characters and deliberate pacing. Should appeal to fans of John Grisham or John Lescroart.—Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL
An up-and-coming New York lawyer must simultaneously defend a powerful developer and a young man accused of murdering a security guard in Peacock'ssecond novel (A Cure For Night, 2008).
As a product of a biracial, working-class family in Detroit, Duncan Riley often finds himself ill at ease with his role as a rising star at Blake and Wolcott, a white-shoe law firm in Manhattan. But partner Steven Blake has taken Riley under his wing and put him to work on the team defending Roth Properties—a commercial real-estate development firm and one of Blake and Wolcott's biggest clients—who need representation after a fatal accident at one of their construction sites. As a further show of confidence, Riley has been given some of the firm's image-burnishing pro bono work: He's defending Rafael Nazario, who, along with his grandmother, faces eviction at a Lower East Side housing project currently being redeveloped as mixed-income housing by Roth Properties. Just when things are going well for the Nazarios, young Rafael is charged with murdering the very security guard who got him in trouble in the first place. Although Riley doesn't have experience as a trial lawyer, he decides to defend Rafael against the murder charge, only to find himself under pressure from above to talk his client into taking a plea deal. Riley is torn between his career and his belief in Rafael's innocence, a dilemma further complicated by the attention he's getting from Roth Properties heiress apparent Leah Roth. Meanwhile, Candace Snow, an investigative reporter at the New York Journal, takes an interest in the Nazario case as she digs deeper into the Roth family's shady doings. Peacock, a former lawyer whose first novel drew comparisons to Scott Turow, brings this legal thriller—and especially the characters therein—to vivid life, portraying multimillionaires and project residents with skill. The prose is perfectly tuned, drawing the reader in without ever getting in the way.
Peacock writes compellingly about issues of class, identity and justice while still managing to keep the plot barreling irresistibly along.