Table of Contents
- 1 Comprehensive Overview of the Plot and Characters in Rich Waters
- 2 Sign up for our newsletter and get my free legal thriller short story!
- 3 Rich Waters by Robert Bailey Book Review Continued
- 4 What I Thought About the Writing in Rich Waters
- 5 Robert Bailey’s Background
- 6 Book 1 in the Series: Rich Blood by Robert Bailey
- 7 Legal Themes and Issues in Rich Waters
- 8 Analysis of the Legal Accuracy in the Book Rich Waters
- 9 My Overall Critique of Rich Waters
Robert Bailey’s Rich Waters continues the story about Jason Rich, a high-profile torts attorney who is forced into taking a criminal defense case for Trey Cowan. I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars. I liked the courtroom drama (mostly at the end), and the book had a satisfying ending. However, I thought the author could spiff up the writing some … specifically how to write good dialogue and how to implement subtext … because his characters are too on-the-nose for my liking.
Comprehensive Overview of the Plot and Characters in Rich Waters
Rich Waters is the story of Jason Rich, a young attorney who is forced to take a car from the crime meth boss, Tyson Cade. When a local police officer Kelly Flowers is found murdered, the police arrest Trey Cowan, who was seen arguing with the victim early in the evening. Trey Cowan is Jason Rich’s client. The evidence is stacked against him, and it’s up to Rich to prove his innocence.
We first meet Trey Cowan, who is an ex-high school “five star quarterback” of the Guntersville Wildcats. Trey blew out his leg in the last season. He’s washed up … trying out for college baseball teams, but no one wants a one-legged has-been. We learn that his old football buddy, Kelly Flowers, is a uniform. And is dirty. Kelly wants Trey to make a drive for Tyson Cade, the local meth boss, and when Trey refuses, Kelly taunts him until they come to fisticuffs. Unfortunately for Trey, Kelly is about to get murdered … and everyone in the bar caught their fight on camera.
Next, we meet the protagonist of the story, Attorney Jason Rich. He’s playing some tunes on Alexa, hyping himself up for a big case. We also meet his niece, Nola, who right from the very first is a generally horrible human being. (We later find out that both of Nola’s parents were murdered. But like most of his characters, Nola is very black and white extreme. She’s too much of a teenager.)
But Nola is failing three of her classes. Her guidance counselor, Shawn Carter, is also a huge passive aggressive judgmental bitch. The kid is obviously trouble … and yet, this is the first time that Jason’s been called into the office to help, even when Nola was caught bringing alcohol and drugs into the high school. (Hello, that’s an automatic suspension right there??? Does the author have teenage children???)
We bounce back to Trey, who wakes up in his mama’s house. His ex, Colleen, texts him that the cops are at his apartment. Trey then goes and does something boneheaded, going to the high school football field and all-but makes a confession to his coach. We find out that he is under arrest for assaulting Kelly Flowers, and, oh, yeah, also being investigated for his murder.
(As an aside … I doubt that a police officer would say this. If he’s being investigated for a murder, they would take him in on the assault. And then grill him about the murder in hopes of a confession.)
We meet Sherriff Richard Griffith “Griff” next. We find out that Trey had a 12-gauge shotgun with a bullet expended in his cab:
A twelve-gauge shotgun was found in Trey’s truck. Remington model. Fingerprints on the handle were identified as Trey’s. His clothes are currently being checked for gunshot residue, but the results aren’t back yet. Ballistics is also going to compare the casings to the barrel.
We also got the first hint that Trey wasn’t the killer: why was Kelly at the barn (where he was murdered)? After this brief interlude, we meet Hatty Daniels, the lead investigator on the murder as well as the IA investigator. She just so happened to be investigating Kelly.
We next meet Tyson. We find out that Trey’s mama practically raised Tyson, and he always takes care of his own. So he says he will take care of the legal fees, and then we later see that he forces Jason to take the case.
My biggest point of contention here: even if Tyson Cade was Sand Mountain’s biggest drug dealer … Jason Rich still would have been paid. That breaks the “taking care of his own” code. Also, lawyers with a gun pointed at their heads do not make for a good attorneys.
Rich Waters by Robert Bailey Book Review Continued
Unlike my legal television show recaps, I try to steer away from too much of a blow-by-blow. That’s because my readers (a) want to read the book; or (b) have read the book and want to see what I think.
I will say, before I go further, that this is an Amazon-print. That means that Amazon owns the publishing house that publishes this book. It also means that it will be a good chance that it will be a Kindle First Reads or Richard Bailey will be a Kindle First Reads author in the future. In case you didn’t know, all of Kindle First Reads are Amazon-print books, for Amazon to push their own authors on their own platform.
It also generally means that the books are badly edited. I’m not quite certain if all of Amazon-print books are self-edited, or agent-edited only. But I do not find that the editing on Amazon-print books to be that great.
Will I read more by Robert Bailey? Yes.
This is because authors … like wine … get better with age.
What I Thought About the Writing in Rich Waters
I would consider this book to be fairly decent, plot-wise and legal-wise. Bailey’s writing style is fast-paced and engaging, with plenty of twists and turns to keep the reader guessing. He does an excellent job of building tension and suspense throughout the book. The ending was satisfying except for the situation with Nola, who I hated.
The main issues that I had were in the realm of the writing. Different authors of course have different styles, but it is my opinion that Robert Bailey is not a good writer. If I was his editor … I would strongly encourage him to take a writing course. The main issues I had:
- His dialogue needs a lot of work. Mostly in the realm of subtext. People do not always continue to have the same stream of thought process in their conversation … sometimes, you have two (or more) different conversations at the same time. Or one person is saying one thing, and another person is hearing quite another.
- His constant references to the first book really got on my nerves after … the 500th time.
- His constant references to Jason’s alcoholism were equally annoying.
- I figured out who was the killer after the first time I saw the character.
- Everyone was an addict of some sort, or had PTSD, or something very wrong with them. Yet, everyone was able to walk around and function perfectly fine. That was everyone who wasn’t a sociopathic killer. If the entire town is addicted to meth, then we’d have a bunch of idiot zombies. Just so everyone knows, meth is highly addictive. People wouldn’t be doing other drugs. They would want the meth, and the meth only.
- Everyone on the good side was Supa Ex-Military Special Forces. Also not realistic.
- He needs to work on Nola’s character. Straight up, I hated her. I wasn’t supposed to like her (she’s a meth addict), but every person has some redeeming qualities. Even meth addicts. She needed to have some kind of growth by the end that wasn’t caused by Jason.
- On the characterization: His characters are generally too self-actualized. (See above.) Nola, for example, was way too knowledgeable about her feelings. She was a shallow and stupid 17-year-old kid who was addicted to just about everything. As a general whole, addicts do not understand their emotions. That’s why they are addicts. If the death of her parents is what caused her issues, she needs to at least have some kind of self-actualization, e.g. she shouldn’t have that self-actualization when we first see her snort some drug. That should be at the end.
- It also made me mad that everyone hated Jason. I understand that it was supposed to be the low point in the book, but the characters hated him for no reason whatsoever. I wanted some depth and explanation. It wasn’t good enough that Nola hated her uncle. She needed to hate him because she felt like he abandoned her when she needed it the most (after both her parents were murdered). He’s rich. So she should have thrown it in his face. Now that would have been cool.
- Why is the book named Rich Waters? It literally had nothing to do with water.
Robert Bailey’s Background
Robert Bailey is a former defense attorney who has written several legal thrillers. His experience in the legal system gives his books a level of authenticity that is often lacking in other legal thrillers.
Book 1 in the Series: Rich Blood by Robert Bailey
Attorney Jason Rich has made a fortune from his ostentatious billboards. But then his older sister, Jana, is accused of murdering her husband, Jason needs to take on the town he grew up in … including Jana, the woman with the drugs, the affairs, and the gaslighting.
Legal Themes and Issues in Rich Waters
One of the major themes in Rich Waters is the idea of police corruption. The book highlights how some police officers can abuse their power and manipulate the legal system to their advantage.
Another theme in the book is the idea of justice. The author shows how the legal system can often be flawed and how it’s up to dedicated attorneys like Jason Rich to fight for their clients’ rights. The book also highlights how difficult it can be to achieve justice in a world where the powerful (and criminal) often have an unfair advantage.
Analysis of the Legal Accuracy in the Book Rich Waters
Overall, Rich Waters is a well-researched and accurate portrayal of the legal system. The author clearly has a deep understanding of the law and the legal process, and this shines through in the book. The courtroom scenes are particularly well-done, and the author does an excellent job of building tension and suspense during these scenes.
That being said, there are a few minor inaccuracies in the book. For example, the author portrays the trial process as being much faster than it actually is in real life. Trials can often take months or even years to complete, whereas in the book, the trial seems to be completed within a matter of weeks. However, these minor inaccuracies do not detract from the overall accuracy and realism of the book.
My Overall Critique of Rich Waters
Rich Waters has received high praise from both readers and critics alike. The book has an average rating of 4.5 stars on Amazon, with many readers praising the author’s ability to keep them engaged throughout the book. One reviewer writes, “This book is a fantastic legal thriller. The plot is well-developed, the characters are interesting, and the legal accuracy is spot-on. I couldn’t put it down!”
Critics have also praised the book, with Publishers Weekly stating, “Bailey’s latest is a gripping legal thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. The characters are well-developed, the plot is engaging, and the legal accuracy is impressive.”