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Reviewed by Asher Syed for Readers' Favorite
Ronald L. Ruiz's 120 Days is a crime thriller that revolves around a brilliant California attorney named Barbara Blake, who is on a meteoric rise as a public defender, with rapid promotions and lucrative job offers that could set her financially for life. Her professional and personal life are, however, at polar opposites to one another, the latter showcasing two failed marriages and enough backstory to overwhelm even the thickest case file. Of course, the thickest case file belongs to a new client named Alejandro Soto, a double-lifer now facing the death penalty. She caught his attention with a courtroom stare, after which he fervently sought her out to represent him. With his life hanging in the balance, Blake's own professional and personal life converge over the course of 120 Days.
Ronald L.Ruiz definitely knows how to write a legal thriller. Blake and Soto are phenomenal characters who, through subtle action on her part and gritty interaction on his, come alive within the first two chapters. This book is impossible to put down. This truly is a character-driven story with the added bonus of a plot that could, without question, stand on its own two legs. The aspects of prison life and courtroom drama feel authentic and exciting, but the personal relationship that develops takes this novel to a five-star level. There is a human element here that is only found in top-tiered crime fiction, and this book is filled with it. I adore all of the major bestselling authors of this genre and have finally found a new favorite that, in my opinion, belongs in the same league. A truly brilliant novel. An exceptional writer. Highly recommended.