Patrick M. Garry
Kenric Books (2020)
Reviewed by Jill Rey for Reader Views (12/2020)
“The Discovery” is a love story for small towns as the pull between small and big makes its way to the pages in the form of a legal battle between family members.
Author, Patrick M. Garry, provides readers with an action-packed legal drama as a small-town lawyer takes on a New York powerhouse firm in a seemingly unwinnable contract law dispute. With a subtle romance brewing behind the main event, “The Discovery” brings readers family tension, male friendships and Frank, a quiet lawyer with feelings that get in the way of ethics once in a while. All of these ingredients mix for a twisted, yet exciting result.
Garry takes a unique approach to unraveling Frank’s life, peppering every few chapters with first person narrative accounts from Frank’s past customers, wife and other participants in his life leading up to the present day. At first, these accounts were intriguing as I anticipated they’d be used to create an explosive finale in which Frank’s ethics would be thrust further into the spotlight, but as the end drew near it became clear their sole purpose was to provide further context into Frank’s history as his private persona endures throughout the pages.
“The Discovery” is a thought provoking, well researched legal drama, infused heavily with faith as Frank becomes friends with an ex-nun who entangles herself incidentally in donations meant to hinder Frank’s case. Garry lyrically dives into often tough topics of God, addiction, regrets and ethics. One such conversation on faith provides a strong foundation on what to expect between Frank and Emily’s conversations as they each dig into their own pasts, regrets and futures:
“’But God is not a human being, we can all agree on that. So, we have to experience him differently than we experience people. We have to experience him not as a physical object, but as a connection with our soul, a little like the way two lovers connect in their deepest way. And before you know love, as a noun-before you know someone as a lover-you have to love, as a verb. I think….’” (p. 226)
Garry does an extraordinary job of delivering readers with an engaging and exciting legal battle, while fearlessly wading into complex subjects and conversations between characters. Frank is not the small-town lawyer readers may stereotypically expect as “The Discovery” leaves bibliophiles cheering on his relationship, legal fight, and struggle to do the right thing.