Original Books

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Friday, May 7, 2010

Greater Love by Robert Whitlow

Tami Taylor's life has only become more complicated as she gets closer and closer to becoming a full-time lawyer. With her heart torn between two different men, passing the bar exam looks like a cinch. After passing it, she joins a firm of other female lawyers along with her ever-present friend Julie. There she takes on her first real case-representing a tight-lipped teenage girl the police found robbing someone's house for food. The girl has a secret, one she is not willing to disclose to Tami or anyone else. While she misses her family from Savannah and takes care of the elderly Mrs. Fairmont, she looks to Sister Dabney for hope from God. But when her client disappears while out on bond, the reputation is on the line. With so many things going wrong, it takes greater love to change things for the better.

As I expected, the last book in the Tides of Truth series is the worst. In order to please the public who gave him bad reviews for not including any interesting legal cases in the first two books of this series, Robert Whitlow wrote a typical court case to appease them. While the characters stay the same as before, the plot keeps this book from being five stars.

Tami and Julie remain to be the good characters they were in the first two books, as do Tami's parents and twin sisters. Mrs. Fairmont and Mrs. Bartlett remain the same. Vince is virtually nonexistent throughout the plot, and Zach has become a perfect character. Robert Whitlow has demonstrated throughout this series that he can craft good characters, much in contrast with his earlier books.

The family structure and life of the Taylors has been the focal point of the series, causing it to stand out from other legal series. This situation still existed in Greater Love. Had Robert removed this, the book would have been worse than it ended up. There were many things I expected Robert to do with this final installment of the series, most of which he fulfilled, much to my dismay. The thing I expected the most was for Tami to marry Zach so that this romantic subplot could not completely avoid kissing. This happened, of course. It would have been more interesting if Tami had married Vince or nobody since everything was already leaning toward Zach.

Another problem with the plot is the court case. In this book, Robert spent less time with Tami's family than he did in the first two books. This caused the first two books to thrive, and since Robert returned to a full-fledged court case, things got ugly. The biggest problem with the case, besides its being completely typical and predictable, is that Robert contradicted himself. In Deeper Water, he explored the issue of characters making too much out of a simple situation. In Greater Love, Tami speculates once again about something improbable, only this time, she was right.

At least there was a key character death at the end of the book to make things interesting. Yet there are too many other factors that keep this book from being five stars.

4 stars

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