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    Review of SLIP & FALL by Nick Santora (see his website)

    State Street Press, June 2007

    Rob Principe graduated at the top of his Columbia Law School class and decided to go into business for himself, representing those injured by careless corporations and slipshod equipment. Unfortunately for Rob, the business doesn't exactly roll in. When his banker starts demanding mortgage payments, his wife announces she is pregnant, and his sister is dumped by her husband--and pregnant with a Downs syndrome baby, Principe is desperate. A chance run-in with his gangster cousin gives him an idea, a win-win. Too many people can't pay what they owe the gangsters for gambling debt. Rather than killing the deadbeats, the mob could have them fake a work injury and send to Rob. Rob would sue, keep his cut, and the mob would get the deadbeat's share. Even the deadbeats win--since they're not killed. It's rough for Rob to sacrifice his morals like that, but he manages.

    Getting in bed with the mob has its challenges, though, and Rob soon finds he is in deeper than he'd imagined. Getting out, though, won't be easy. Concerns about ethics soon take second place to staying alive.

    Author Nick Santora's prose keeps the pages turning, with Rob continually faced with dilemmas that offer no easy way out.

    Several flaws keep SLIP AND FALL from reaching its full potential. First, Rob's financial issues might have been serious, but he was a top graduate from a top law school. Surely he could have taken a job with a major law firm rather than joined up with the mob. Second, it was hard to sympathize too much with Rob once the mob let him off the hook and he voluntarily went back to them. Third, I found the resolution fine for Rob, but not very satisfactory in terms of justice or lessons learned. Finally, the characters were mostly flat--dad proud, wife nagging, sister whining, cousin Joey manic-depressive, and Lou Turro channeling Marlon Brando.

    SLIP AND FALL shows plenty of promise for Nick Santora and makes a quick airplane read. It could have been a lot better, though.

    Two Stars

    Reviewed 7/21/07

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