Monday, October 25, 2010

Review by JD: Buying Time ~ by Pamela Samuels Young


This book is part or a book tour from Pump Up Your Book! tours.

An easy to read and fast-paced thriller which will particularly appeal to those who like mysteries with a legal angle.

A Bit On The Plot:  A few key characters in the story are lawyers who are greedy, corrupt, power-mad and pretty much devoid of integrity; and one of them is about to become the U.S. Attorney General. Helping to put the legal profession in a better light, there is one “good apple in the bunch”, and she struggles against the odds to do the right thing and to catch the bad guys.

In the middle of the plot is Waverly Sloan, a lawyer who is in the process of being disbarred. Seemingly by coincidence he is approached to join a business venture which provides cash to terminally ill people in exchange for them handing over the rights to their life insurance. In theory this could be a virtuous business, but the problem is that it’s in the best interests of these investors for the terminally ill people to die sooner rather than later; and there are some indications that rather too many of those poor souls are dying shortly after finalizing the deals; sometimes under somewhat suspicious circumstances.

In short order Sloan is making huge amounts of money, but he seems to have lost what little moral compass he used to possess. Soon he becomes the target of a US Attorney’s Office investigation. It is an investigation which becomes more complicated when it transpires that Sloan has arranged for the sale of a policy belonging to the sick wife of a candidate to become the next U.S. Attorney General. She too dies shortly thereafter, and a can of worms is opened up. Soon both the investigators and those being investigated are in deep trouble.

John’s Thoughts:  The book has a cool and interesting plot, and Young propels the story along at a high pace.  It is easy to read, enjoyable, and an excellent book for an escape. I found some of the characters to be somewhat unbelievable – though maybe that is down to my good fortune in managing to avoid the legal system since moving to the the U.S.!  But it doesn’t really matter - this isn’t one of those novels where you are not looking for detailed, complex, nuanced characters; it is the twisty, turning plot that counts, and on that score the author has done a fine job.

According to the author and much to my surprise, it seems that this odd-sounding insurance broking business that targets terminally ill people does actually exist. This is very scary!  It’s also kind of surprising that Young herself is a practicing attorney; while this is a work of fiction she certainly has not portrayed her profession in a very good light.  I’d rate this book 3.5 stars and I’d recommend it to anyone who likes mystery thrillers with a legal bent to them.


Author Bio:   Corporate attorney Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. Fed up with never seeing women or people of color depicted as savvy, hot shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, Pamela decided to create her own characters. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by rising at four in the morning to write before work, dedicating her weekends to writing and even spending her vacation time glued to her laptop for ten or more hours a day.

The Essence magazine bestselling author now has four fast-paced legal thrillers to show for her efforts: Every Reasonable Doubt (BET Books, February 2006), In Firm Pursuit (Harlequin, January 2007), Murder on the Down Low (Goldman House Publishing, September 2008) and Buying Time (Goldman House Publishing, November 2009). New York Times bestselling author Sheldon Siegel described Buying Time, Pamela’s first stand-alone novel, as a “deftly plotted thriller that combines the best of Lisa Scottoline and Robert Crais.”

Pamela has achieved a successful writing career while working as Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for a large corporation in Southern California. Prior to that, she served as Employment Law Counsel for Raytheon Company and spent several years with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP in Los Angeles. A former journalist, Pamela began her broadcasting career as a production assistant at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, where she was quickly promoted to news writer. To escape the chilly Detroit winters, she returned home to Los Angeles and worked at KCBS-TV as a news writer and associate producer.

Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC, a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received her law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is the Fiction Expert for

Pamela is a frequent speaker on the topics of discrimination law, diversity, writing and pursuing your passion. She is married and lives in the Los Angeles area. To contact Pamela or to read an excerpt of her books, visit her website, or her My Space page.

  • Paperback: 370 pages
  • Publisher: Goldman House Publishing (November 1, 2009)

Amazon purchasing links for US/UK/Canada.

As always John (aka JD) will be addressing the comments for this post, so please don’t forget to check the follow up box for his response.

Thanks for reading!


Mystica said...

The scary bit is that something like this already exists. I thought it was pure fantasy only.

John D said...

Scary indeed. Two of my pet hates are insurance companies and the US legal system - so I find this both bizarre and mind-blowing. How did we ever get to this state of affairs?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...