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Reviewed by Alex Ndirangu for Readers' Favorite
Chinese Wall is a fascinating legal thriller involving the FBI. After hundreds of innocent people die when a bomb explodes in the middle of the San Antonio Riverwalk Marketplace in Texas, only one of the four suspects is found dead. After a short time, the mayor of San Antonio is assassinated, and the mayor of Austin is kidnapped. Merit Bridges, a strong-willed, competent, and astute attorney, is appointed by the judge as special counsel in this case. However, this case involves top-secret FBI information, and Merit's job is to remove sensitive information from FBI investigation documents irrelevant to the case. Something doesn't feel right to Merit, and she suspects the FBI is hiding something. She hopes she is wrong until it later dawns on her that her intuition was right. The FBI has taken the defendant's wife and daughter into custody to influence his actions and decisions in the case. Merit will use her powerful will and tenacity to uncover the FBI's dirty tricks. Manning Wolfe guides you through this character-driven narrative in an entertaining plot that will keep you entertained until the end.
Despite being the fourth volume in a series, Chinese Wall can be read as a stand-alone novel. In addition, I liked the author's ability to keep me entertained throughout, this being one of the few crime fiction books I have enjoyed. Manning Wolfe's ability to paint pictures and create suspense is commendable. She helped me feel a connection to a time in history that I was only familiar with through legal texts and lessons. In addition, I appreciated how the author describes even minor occurrences. From Merit's spinning around on the wheels of her chair, sending papers flying, to all the sweet enchantment that makes the fictional premise plausible, I created vivid images that enabled me to resonate with Merit. I also liked how the author included a quote from my favorite American polymath, Benjamin Franklin, at the start of the story. Personally, this literary piece piqued my interest and made me wonder about the author's true intentions. The novel's mystery element was handled masterfully, as I was kept on the edge of my seat waiting to figure out the sections that left me in suspense. The author did an excellent job with this book, and I can't wait to read her first three installments.