Dead Man’s Rule by Rick Acker

Intrigue, Suspense Action Thriller

“Dead Man’s Rule” is a fast paced adventure novel. Rick Akers has combined conspiracy, courtroom drama, biochemical warfare, and plot twists throughout the story. These include the Russian Mafia, terrorist activities, the FBI, the CIA, and the implications of activity by the KGB twenty-five years ago.

Dr. Mikhail Ivanovsky an eccentric Russian scientist engages attorney Ben Corbin, newly established in his own legal practice, in a matter regarding the legal ownership of a safety deposit box and its contents. Before the case goes to trial the other party in the case suddenly dies. His death is attributed to a drug overdose. His attorney, Anthony Simeon, invokes a technicality of law, the Dead Man’s rule. This law bars one party of an oral contract from testifying about an agreement if the other party is dead. Ben was without his key witness reducing any chance of winning the case.

When Ivanovsky discloses information of a virus designed for bioterrorism the case takes on a new significance. A team of colleagues from Ben’s college and law school days become join Ben in collaborating to gather key information through FBI and private channels. A terrorist plot is uncovered directly related to the contents of the safe deposit box. The non stop action, recurring conflict and a complex plot kept me trying to outguess Acker’s plot as he built intrigue and suspense.

Ackers writing is well researched. He is knowledgeable of legal matters and familiar with the Chicago locale. His plot is imaginative and creative. His characters believable and well developed. Engaging dialog adds to the integrity of a complex story line, investigative procedures, courtroom protocol, and legal ethics.

Ackers carries a strong theme of man’s search for meaning, confronting death, and of man’s imperfections. He brings a positive message of God’s forgiveness which is evident throughout the book. Rick Acker is destined to make an important impact on the future trend in this genre of Christian Fiction.

Kregel Publications, 978-0825420061

As reviewed for Midwest Book Review.