Losing Faith
Adam Mitzner
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Buy *Losing Faith* by Adam Mitzneronline

Losing Faith
Adam Mitzner
Gallery Books
368 pages
April 2015
rated 5 of 5 possible stars

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Occasional bedfellows, political ambition and sexual attraction sometimes provoke unexpected conflict and devastating betrayals. While high-powered corporate defense attorney Aaron Littman is at the top of his game in the prestigious New York City firm of Cromwell Altman Rosenthal and White, he is aware that many covet both his success and high-rise office overlooking Central Park. Aaron is married with twin teenage daughters. So is the Honorable Faith Nichols, the woman with whom he has conducted a brief and very secret affair. Now there is a case on the table, an unpopular one that will deliver Littman to the mercy of Judge Nichols in court. Littman has no intention of defending Nicolai Garkov, a Russian hedge fund manager on trial for securities fraud, money laundering, and obstruction of justice. It can be a career-making case for Judge Nichols, who has aspirations for the Supreme Court. Then Garkov threatens exposure to a reluctant Littman should the attorney refuse to represent him.

Such is the setting for the mayhem that follows, the simple facts that can turn years of hard work and a few minutes of stolen pleasure into a scandal that can cost a man his family, his job, and his reputation. Nothing in this thriller is the way it seems, precisely planned twists and turns that are dramatically executed. Forget about preconceived notions; Mitzner presents a daunting maze that vibrates with unexpected tension and surprises, the give-and-take of office and judicial politics rife with secrets and betrayals. Prepare to be seduced.

This is a high-stakes game for those folks at the top who swim with the sharks, a tough sell for empathy. Mitzner does it anyway, building his characters less on the strength of their wealth and power than the human weaknesses that plague us all: the temporary excitement of a risky affair, the belief that one can actually make a difference in a position of power, and, in Faithís case, the challenge of a successful female in a manís game. Peripheral characters shore up the unfolding drama, from Sam Rosenthal, who has guided the trajectory of Aaronís career in a firm that often changes the law for the better, to the devoted junior attorney whose loyalty to Littman is a sure route to the upper levels of Cromwell Altman. Nichols has her trusted supporters as well, from clerks Sara Myers and Kenneth Sardinoff to political advisor Jeremy Kagan. Faithís husband, Stuart Christensen, may be necessary to her image, but she merely tolerates the man at the side of an up-and-coming judge.

This novel isnít just a high-class soap opera or the vindictive actions of a hungry and dangerous shark (Garkov) circling the water for prey, but a more Machiavellian study of secret machinations and hidden agendas in service to a specific goal. While Rosenthal warns Littman of the inherent dangers in representing the infamous Garkov, Littman dare not take his eyes off the particulars of the problem at hand, unable to focus on a subtle takeover threat by partner David Pierce and an upcoming vote in the ominously named Committee of Committees that will determine the future of the firm. Taut and compelling, Mitznerís Losing Faith is beautifully orchestrated, a series of unexpected events ratcheting up the suspense as a man at the peak of his career becomes the prime suspect in a scandalous murder, all of his secrets laid bare in a hushed courtroom. The verdict is read.

Originally published on Curled Up With A Good Book at www.curledup.com. © Luan Gaines, 2015

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