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Cram Down: A 3J Legal Thriller book #4 by Mark Shaiken

A deeply engrossing and riveting legal thriller…

Shaiken’s fourth installment in the 3J Legal Thriller series features a winding crime plot that’s enriched and deepened by touching on issues of human greed, power play, violence, class, and race. James and Bella Franklin, the owners of Abode LLC, a non profit aimed at providing affordable housing to marginalized communities in Kansas City, Missouri, suddenly find themselves in hot waters after their lending bank, Commonwealth, declines their loan renewal request. The Franklins hire 3J to represent them. 3J and Pascale approach Amadi Browne who is against his brother Jordan’s decision to cut the bank’s ties off with Abode. But Amadi disappears under suspicious circumstances. Shaiken efficiently renders the setting and the place, creating a convincing portrait of Kansas City, with its history of organized crime, violence, and discrimination. Though it focuses on 3J and Pascale trying to get their clients justice, this tale is less a legal thriller than a financial crime drama set against the backdrop of racial and class disparity. Told in third-person omniscient narrative with interludes of Amadi’s first-person voice, the novel shrewdly draws a parallel between the Franklins’ devastating struggle to keep Abode afloat and do something good for the marginalized Black community and 3J and Pascale’s determination to get the best for their clients. Shaiken crafts an intriguing relationship between Amadi and Jordan, prickly and thoroughly authentic. Moses and Rome’s detective work adds to extra interest. Meanwhile, McFadden’s entry sets a menacing tone. The winding plot, which centers around a battle of wits between Adobe and Commonwealth, thickens in the middle when Amadi gets kidnapped. A clever plot twist gives the third act further infusion of energy. A captivating crime yarn set in red-hot Kansas City.

Cram Down

3J Legal Thriller series #4

Mark Shaiken

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Pub date September 13, 2023

ISBN  978-1734557190

Price $14.99 (USD) Paperback, $0.00 Kindle edition

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