Outskirts Press (2014)
Reviewed by Sheri Hoyte for Reader Views (05/16)
In “I Am That Fool,” a legal fiction novel by Rick Cornell, we meet Ryan Browne, a successful trial lawyer. After winning a monumental case against his archenemy, prosecutor David Schlegel, Browne is in a mood to celebrate, and celebrate big. When his wife Tania refuses to join in the celebration, Browne decides to celebrate on his own at a notorious strip joint called The Proud Stallion. There Browne meets a stripper, Celeste L’Hoir, and after a couple of drinks, they decide to continue the celebration at a local hotel. On the way to the hotel, Browne crashes his car and is charged with a felony DUI. His wife is so angry she refuses to post bail, and that is only the first blow, as Browne’s life spirals quickly downward. Brown must defend himself in literally, the case of his life, as he contends with unbelievable legal misconduct by the DA’s office.
“I Am That Fool” is the debut novel of Rick Cornell, an attorney who specializes in criminal appeals, and it is clear the readers benefit from his expertise as he leads us in his writing to places and circumstances that could only come from experience. It’s a short read at just 190 pages, but they are action packed pages from cover to cover. There are many twists in the plot to keep the reader intrigued and wondering how everything will all unfold, and a dramatic turn at the end certainly took me by surprise. I liked that Cornell did not bog the reader down with a lot of legal jargon but provided enough information and education relevant to the story. I would like to have gotten to know the characters a little better, but possibly, there is room for that in a series, or perhaps a sequel?
Overall, I enjoyed “I Am That Fool” by Rick Cornell and recommend it to anyone who likes a quick, easy to read legal thriller.