12 Months To Live

Hachette Audio. Sept. 2023. 932p. ISBN 9781668623398. Audio. $27.99. THRILLER
Patterson and Lupica’s latest collaboration (after The House of Wolves) follows Jane Smith, a grimly determined criminal-defense attorney who has never lost a case. Jane is defending Rob Jacobson, a sleazy real estate mogul accused of murdering an entire family—Mitch and Kathy Gates and their teenage daughter, Laurel. Jane is not convinced of Jacobson’s innocence, but she aggressively defends him in court. At the same time, Jane’s personal life becomes more complicated. She is diagnosed with cancer, and unless she receives treatment immediately, she has only 12 months to live. In another twist of fate, she rescues a stray dog and then develops a relationship with a veterinarian. Narrator Eva Kaminsky does an excellent job of breathing life into the characters. Still, even her skilled narration can’t compensate for the contrived, overblown plot and coincidences that may be a stretch for even the most loyal listeners.
VERDICT Patterson’s and Lupica’s many fans may put up with the novel’s flaws, but this is an optional purchase for most libraries.
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