In a Nutshell: CJ Verburg Reviews Preet Bharara’s “Doing Justice” & Janet Dawson’s “Till the Old Men Die”

Doing Justice: A Prosecutor's Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of LawDoing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law by Preet Bharara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This book was originally meant as an experienced-based guide for up-and-coming lawyers, particularly prosecutors. Bharara’s distinguished career makes him a suitable author for it, and depicts him as a thoughtful, methodical, circumspect player in a complicated system. It’s well written and the cases he describes are well chosen. I enjoyed it, but the distinctions he draws between the different kinds of challenges a prosecutor faces became too subtle for me to feel, after 200+ pages, that I was still learning useful information.

Doing Justice does suggest Preet Bharara would be an admirable candidate for any job he may be up for in future, such as Attorney General of the United States.

Till the Old Men Die (Jeri Howard Mystery, #2)Till the Old Men Die by Janet Dawson
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

If you devour mysteries, this is a good one, especially if you’re familiar with the San Francisco Bay area. The plot is intriguing & the writing is capable. I particularly enjoyed following sleuth Jeri Howard into the local Philippine community. If I were reading this book on an airplane I’d have finished it. As it was, squeezing it in between other priorities, I set it aside (repeatedly), first because my sense of geography isn’t strong enough for me to care what roads Howard takes to get to what destinations, & second, because I’ve read (and written) so much crime fiction that at this point I’m looking to be deeply engaged by a distinctive plot &/or characters, not just to take an entertaining break from reality.

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