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Reviewed by Shrabastee Chakraborty for Readers' Favorite
The small zoo Carolyn Warren runs with her daughters is not only a source of income but also a memory of her late husband, with whom she had constructed it years ago. The zoo boasts a Bengal tiger, christened Ms. Benny by her daughters. Their peaceful life shatters on the day Dean, an employee, throws his phone into Ms. Benny’s enclosure and gets severely mauled while retrieving it. As Dean sues Carolyn for millions of dollars, she might lose her beloved animals. While Jackie, Carolyn’s lawyer, tries her utmost to get a fair judgment, the charismatic Dean will likely sway the jury in his favor. Grudge Tiger by Judith Fournie Helms is a courtroom drama that will keep readers thoroughly engaged.
The novel had two distinct aspects, one concerning the legal matters and the other exploring the science behind Ms. Benny’s behavior. Helms aced both parts with equal ease so that it was hard to say which was her original area of expertise. She excelled at incorporating minute details and logical arguments that readers could easily follow without feeling overwhelmed. I loved that she delved deeper into each character and their backstories, making them realistic and relatable. I not only rooted for Carolyn and her daughters but could also sympathize with the antagonist, Dean. The case ended up transforming the lives of everyone associated with it. The ups and downs of the case made the story unpredictable, thus keeping me glued to the pages. I would wholeheartedly recommend Grudge Tiger to anyone who is an animal enthusiast or loves a courtroom drama filled with unexpected twists.