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

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

It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview with Sharon Buchbinder, author of Tears of the Wolf

Author’s Bio: Amazon best-selling author Sharon Buchbinder’s broad range of writing includes internationally best-selling textbooks and award-winning novels that tell haunting tales of love, family secrets, forgiveness, extraordinary abilities, truth, justice, and redemption. She believes happily-ever-afters are born through strengths developed in overcoming adversity in fiction and real life.  Sharon’s Western romance ghost stories are woven with supernatural and Native American paranormal suspense elements. Set in small towns in the American West with strong female heroines, sexy male heroes, secret government agencies, undercover agents, shape-shifters, werewolves, weretigers, ghosts, jinnis (genies), telekinesis, teleportation, and remote viewing, these stories will make you wonder about those bumps in the night. For more information go to: Deliah Lawrence: What inspired you to write your book? Sharon Buchbinder: The Missing and Murdered Indige

It’s A Book Thing Presents: An Interview with Bonné Bartron, author of Whispers

Author’s Bio: Award-winning screenwriter and director Bonné Bartron has always loved books, but it took the world shutting down for her to finally write one. Whispers is a spine-tingling thriller with a sharp satirical perspective, the perfect genre for her to cozy up to in these unprecedented times. The most humorous moments live in the tension of fear, and Bartron serves both up in her debut novel.  On October 6, 2020, Whispers debuted at #13 on the satire best seller charts, and #10 on the Amazon new release best seller list. On October 8, 2020 Whispers took #1 and #2, for the paperback and e-book respectively, on the Amazon Best Sellers New Release charts in the following categories: sociology of abuse, satire, mystery, and political misconduct.  Deliah Lawrence: What inspired you to write your book? Bonné Bartron: It was more of a response to feeling silenced. I saw something else spreading with COVID and realized if I was going to have any chance of helping or contributing at al