Skip to main content

A Review of Contempt by Michael Cordell

It’s been some time since I read a legal thriller in the vein of John Grisham. So when I got my hands on this novel by Michael Cordell, I couldn’t wait to dive in and meet the main character, Thane Banning. Thane is a real estate lawyer who went to prison for five years for a murder he didn’t commit. After claiming his innocence for many years, he was finally released on a legal technicality. Now a free man, Thane must adjust to living on the outside and finding ways to connect with his wife, Hannah. 

Just when Thane is getting back on his feet and working at his old law firm, he is pulled in to defend, Scotty “Skunk” Burns, a former fellow inmate accused of murder. Unable to resist Skunk’s plea for help, Thane takes the case although he is not a criminal defense lawyer. Not only was this a risky move but he couldn’t blow the chance at going up against DA Bradford Stone, the same prosecutor who put him in prison for five years.

Overall, the scenes, characters and dialogue were realistic. The author did a good job at showing Thane wrestling with the effects prison life had on his life on the outside. The author also did a good job at showing the struggles career criminals like his friend Gideon had in adjusting to being free. It was also interesting to watch these two characters interact because if they didn’t have prison as a nexus, they would probably have nothing in common. However, I loved the respect they had for each other.

As a lawyer, I especially enjoyed the courtroom cat and mouse games both lawyers played in presenting their evidence. The leg work Thane’s legal team (Kristin Peterson, 3rd year USC law student and his friend and ex-con, Gideon) did was very calculating but effective. Without giving away any spoilers I think the ending was a bit rushed and more clues could have been given. Nevertheless, it was a good twist.

Another thing I wished the author explored a bit more was Thane’s relationship with his wife. There was no intimacy except for moments when they held hands. Although his wife was supportive, I felt she was a bit flat and this was a missed opportunity to show some sexual tension/desire between the characters. Despite this, it was a good read that held my attention. I would definitely recommend this novel and read more by Michael Cordell.

Two thumbs up!

My favorite lines: 

Thane finally looked away from the stain and glanced around the room. “Doesn’t make sense. Why would Skunk even be in this room? One glance says there is nothing here worth stealing. And if he heard Gruber coming, he wouldn’t try hiding in here: he would run for the back door.”

Gideon chuckled and sized Thane up. “Whoo-ee. Baby, would you lookit you. Thinking more and more like a criminal every day.” 

Thanks to TCK Publishing for a copy of this book and the opportunity to post a review. 

Rating:  4 stars

Here is the link to the book:

Contempt - Michael Cordell

Here is the publisher's website link:

And here is the author’s website:



Popular posts from this blog

National Poetry Month's Feature: Poet Virginia Davis

Poet’s Bio :   Virginia Davis is a mother, poet, middle school English teacher, blogger, coffee lover, and author of four titles. She has been writing since the ninth grade, when she started using poetry and journaling as positive outlets while coping with the heavy emotions that came with the death of her oldest brother and not feeling accepted by her peers. Since then, writing has been her saving grace and has served as her one safe space where she feels free to truly be her most authentic self.   She has self-published all of her books; her most recent title is a poetry compilation entitled The Mending , and it chronicles her poignant and victorious journey from heartache to healing. It is a poetic depiction of her choosing to take her broken pieces and transform them into something beautiful--art, and its most glorious form. Her first young adult novel will be released in the summer of 2020 and she is working on part two of The Mending.  Virginia has a BA in English from Mor

National Poetry Month's Feature: Poet Neil M. Noble

Poet’s Bio: Neil M. Noble is a Washington, D. C. native whose newest creation is Moods of a Lake and Selected Poems , a collection of 45 poems that covers more than half a century of his thoughts, observations, feelings and emotions about the world. His book includes a series of visual art images designed specifically for each poem that brings a wonderful synergy of poetry and art. Neil is also an adjunct professor who teaches construction related courses in the Baltimore area.   He and his wife enjoy traveling and spending time with family, friends and their dog.   To learn more about his work, go to DL: What are some of your reflections during the COVID-19 pandemic? NMN: My feelings about this virus are mostly sad. The reaction to this threat was not fast nor thorough enough. We will never know how many lives might have been spared had we come together sooner.  DL: In celebration of National Poetry Month (April), can you share with us a few of your

The Ladies Who Love Literature Book Club - Virtual Author Appearance

Like many authors, I’ve had to cancel a few in person appearances and other author events since the pandemic. Bummer. But I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from Georgia Harris, a friend of Emma Lou Black (the founder of the Heritage Book Club in Lexington, Kentucky) asking whether I would be available to meet virtually and discuss my first romantic suspense novel, Gotta Let It Go with her book club – The Ladies Who Love Literature.  Without hesitation, I jumped at the opportunity to connect with these avid readers via Zoom.  After we locked in the date (October 10, 2020 at 4 p.m.) I began communicating with Gayle Lloyd, a founder of the book club. She prepared a flyer (see below) with details of who they are, the types of books they like to read, and their logo designed by Belinda Stallings-Fields (another founding member) denoting the “chic, sophisticated persona of this group of enthusiastic readers." This was awesome! Needless to say, I was super excited w