The Land Grant
An Alejandro Del Fuerte Legal Thriller by Carlos Cisneros
Review: Brownsville (Texas) attorney Alejandro "Alex" De Fuerte should be looking forward to a new life with his bride-to-be Gigi Montemayor, but when the case of lifetime is dropped into his lap, one that promises not only millions of dollars in fees but the notoriety that he craves … if he wins, he can't help but take it on in The Land Grant, the second legal thriller in this series by Carlos Cisneros.
Years earlier, the owner of a extensive tract of land in Texas left the property to the Catholic Church. While the land itself is generating a steady stream of revenue, it is the mineral rights below ground that provide the Church with an income in excess of $25 million a month. But there may be a problem for the church: the man who willed the property may not have been the legal owner of the mineral rights, setting up a potential court battle to determine who is entitled to the vast wealth buried underground. Alex takes on the case, but the 40% contingency fee he negotiates blinds him to the forces that will do anything to prevent him from winning.
The Land Grant is a fast moving legal thriller, one with a strong premise, but with a storyline that quickly becomes excessively cynical and ultimately quite depressing. The moral of the story is an interesting, and potentially clever, variation on "be careful what you wish for; you might just get it" … but really isn't developed very well. The plot is fairly straight-forward and moves along a reasonably predictable path right up to the very end where, little surprise, there is the obligatory twist. And while this plot device is set up appropriately, and is completely consistent with the overall contemptuous and disdainful tone of the story, it nevertheless seems wrong somehow. Every book doesn't have to have a happy ending, but this one — while there is a glimmer of hope on the final page — is surprisingly bleak.
Acknowledgment: Arte Público Press provided a copy of The Land Grant for this review.
Review Copyright © 2013 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
The Name Partner
Arte Público Press (Hardcover), March 2010
ISBN-13: 9781558855946; ISBN-10: 1558855947
Location(s) referenced in The Land Grant: Brownsville, Texas
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The Land Grant by Carlos Cisneros — An Alejandro Del Fuerte Legal Thriller
Publisher: Arte Público Press
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $16.95