The Florida Bar

Florida Bar Journal

Fast Break

By Terry Lewis Book Reviews

Image of Fast Break book coverTerry Lewis has done it again. Former Leon County Circuit Judge Lewis has made the sometimes drudgery of legal work spring to a vibrant life. In his latest crime mystery novel, Fast Break, he has provided readers his typical high-quality work of intrigue with some unique twists.

In Fast Break, Lewis departs from his brain’s left side with protagonist Kate Marston a former collegiate basketball player who possesses keen legal skills being on the brink of losing her legal career, her family, and her life.

Some familiar characters from previous crime mysteries reappear, but Kate is the intriguing focal point. As the father of many daughters, one who is a lawyer, this reviewer can say with confidence that Lewis has taken on the female role well including sharing the struggles of the female attorney trying to balance the roles of professional and parent.

Lewis also shows a bit of whimsy he describes the book shelf in a judge’s chambers as not only containing caselaw reporters and legal treatises, but “also some works of fiction — mostly legal thrillers by Grisham, Turow, Lewis and others.”

An author putting their works on the same shelf with Grisham and Turow may seem a bit presumptuous. That is just not the case with Lewis’ works. As an avid reader of lawyer-written works, Lewis exceeds Grisham and others in many ways. This reviewer would much rather read a Lewis novel than say, for example, a Grisham novel. Lewis writes in a far more spirited and down-to-earth manner. Although both hale from small towns (Lewis from Perry, Florida, and Grisham from Jonesboro, Arkansas); Lewis makes scenes involving the technicalities of the law far more interesting to the average reader. Both explain legal complexities well, but Lewis draws the reader in to the soul and emotions of his characters and makes them not only interesting, but real.

Many readers are waiting for Lewis to write a sequel to his Revolutionary War novel, Incognito, and that would be great, but Lewis should not depart from his skill in making legal work intriguing and his ability to pair that with the intricacies of subjects ranging from life in a small town to life at the highest levels of politics in Florida’s Capital City.

If at an airport and looking for a good read for a long flight, I would take a Lewis novel on the plane and leave the Grisham or Turow work on the shelf at the airport book store. And, if I were looking to produce the next blockbuster movie involving a street lawyer or a legal professional at the inception of our nation, I would make a screenplay from a Lewis book.

Fast Break is available on Amazon.

Lonnie N. Groot practices law in Daytona Beach Shores.