By Jay Nussbaum
The Toby Press, LLC
Funny title caught my attention browsing at the library. Picture of a guy in karate pose standing on a scale of justice helped me drop it into my bookbag.
I don't usually get into lawyer-themed books (or police-themed or CSI-type or pretty much anything with too much suspense--my heart can't take it!) So when I first started reading and discovered this was going to be "lawyery", I groaned.....and kept reading (like I usually do). But this time, I was pleasantly surprised. By the end of Chapter 4, the main character, J.J. Spencer, is in a street brawl with a bike messenger and things start to get really interesting.
The main gist of the story is that J.J. was sort of forced by circumstance into law school and he doesn't really know if that's what he wants to be when he grows up. As a matter of fact, he knows it. His hero is a cop who used to help his family when he was a kid, and really, he just wants to help people too. So when an opportunity comes at his law firm to hold a hand out to someone who really needs his help, he does it. Only he doesn't really think about the consequences first and ends up starting a whole chain of events in motion that he is unable to stop.
In the process of all this, the main character has some flashback moments of law school and some of the people he has known. The title of the book comes from a lunch he has with a law professor where the professor is eating soup called A Monk Jumped Over a Wall where he explains the story of how the soup got it's name. Apparently there was once a monk who sat in the monastery day after day doing whatever it is that monks do. But then one day, someone made this soup just outside the monastery, and the aroma wafted over the wall. The monk was so intoxicated by the smell that he jumped over the wall to get the soup, and never returned to the monastery.
All of us have a life path we have chosen. And sometimes something comes along that pulls us off that path and veers us in a direction we never could have expected (for good or bad). I sort of took that as the "theme" of the book.
Just the right balance of good story-telling, emotion and suspense. I'd recommend this one all around and think it's appealing to men and women alike.
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