Pattinson's Curse

A Johanna Pattinson Legal Thriller Book 1

Fiction - Thriller - General
296 Pages
Reviewed on 03/03/2017
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Mamta Madhavan for Readers' Favorite

First in a series of three books, Pattinson's Curse (A Johanna Pattinson Legal Thriller) by Graeme Arnold is all about the legal career of Johanna Therese Pattinson who lived on a sheep farm in Western Victoria, Australia. Being raised in a man’s world, Johanna’s oppressed life changes when she moves to Melbourne to work as a solicitor. The story chronicles her journey from that of a solicitor to a barrister, and finally to a judge. Her story also reveals how her life was shaped by four men who influenced her in different ways, making her the person she is. Her choices are always not what she would want them to be. The open ending of the first book will make readers eagerly anticipate the next two volumes to find out how Johanna’s career will shape up and how she will evolve as a person.

The story is compelling and the author shares some insights about the legal profession through the plot. The characters are all strongly portrayed, especially that of Johanna which will remain in readers' memories because of the complexities and strength she shows in her character. Some characters in the story are challenging, some leave an impact on readers, and the courtroom scenes make the story engaging. There are some intense moments, dramatic ones, and some funny ones which give the plot a good pace and movement. The author's fluidity in expression makes the book an entertaining and easy read. The characters will leave one curious and interested to learn more about them and their exploits, hence the next book will be worth waiting for.

Liz Konkel

Pattinson's Curse by Graeme Arnold is the first book in the Johanna Pattinson legal thriller trilogy. From a sheep farm in Victoria, Australia to a legal career, Johanna must work her way through a man's world in order to pursue becoming a judge. She begins her career in 1981, expecting to escape her past, but quickly realizes the past may not be so easy to get rid of. Going through different years from the 70's and 80's, Johanna finds that she may want more than what she's been striving for. Along her journey to the top, her life is affected by four different men that will force her life into different directions.

The opening of Johanna's first day at BSL sets the tone for the novel, and stood out to me as what I should expect. The first thing she noticed was the smell which is described as: “The office in which she was sitting stunk: in fact it reeked. The stale body odour was rank.” Of course, the smell came from the office manager, Clive, who she described as casting an approving eye over her when she first entered the office. Between the two descriptions, it definitely shows that she may have gotten this opportunity, but she's still stuck in man's world. I was annoyed on her behalf for having to deal with Clive and other situations and egos later. But Graeme Arnold delivers a satisfying moment in the end that had me cheering. Pattinson's Curse has a strong lead in Johanna following her career and her heart as she finds her way, and deals with opposition. This is a must-read for those who enjoy a good legal thriller.

Danita Dyess

Sex, lies, sabotage and injustice are the key components of Pattinson's Curse, a legal thriller by Graeme Arnold. In 1981 in Melbourne, Australia, Johanna Pattinson, a top-notch law student, has entered the prestigious law offices of Brown, Squires Lobethal. She has met the esteemed litigator (and kiddie porn lover) Albert Fashom who is representing Dr. Sergio Domieri, respected urologist turned underworld kingpin. Domieri partners with Harold Oldbucket to produce a penile enhancement, Thormann. But Harold alters the formula and produces a rival substance. Later, Johanna discovers that Domieri agreed to Oldbucket's claims. But when Domieri offers her $50k to keep his secret, her decision unleashes a chain of events no one could have predicted.

The cover was beautiful and intriguing. However, Pattinson's Curse caught me by surprise. Although the language was profane and graphic, I thoroughly enjoyed the plot. Graeme Arnold's 20-year legal background was evident in this 263-page, action packed thriller. I variously identified with Johanna's day-to-day existence, whether she was sequestered in the law library, addressing her legal colleagues, or writing drafts. Tony Domieri's sleazy escapades were my favorite, but Sergio's lifelong journey captivated me. All of the characters were authentic and flawed and it was revealed in the dialogue. Arnold's proficiency with the female experience was uncanny. Johanna's struggles and triumphs were totally believable. Pattinson's Curse is highly recommended for legal professionals and anyone enjoying a fast-paced thriller that will keep you guessing.

Lucas J

A thoroughly engrossing and enjoyable read. As a member of the legal profession, I can say the book was disturbingly accurate in its insights into the legal profession (disturbing because working in the law is not always a pretty place to be!) and some of the characters who inhabit it. The plot reeled me in and then kept me enthralled with a combination of fast paced courtroom action and background entanglements (I don't want to give anything away). Many of the characters, including the central protagonist, were a challenge in that I either came to actively dislike them or have mixed feelings about their morality and motivations. However, this complexity of character was, for me, perhaps one of the most enjoyable aspects of the book in this age of superficial fluff where every central character seems to be a hero who slots nicely into a little box. I see that this is the first part of a trilogy and, in that regard, the "non-ending" is perfect and has left me hanging out for the next installment. I look forward to seeing Johanna's character (and life) evolve - perhaps the legal profession can redeem itself yet!

Beverley Hanton

This turned out to be a well written part one of a series and has the perfect segue into the next novel. It is difficult to review the main character without giving away the plot. It took me time to come to grips with Johanna and I am looking forward to future exploits. I hope that we see a resolution to the other cases in the next installment. Will be waiting for its publication.

Alicia Huxtable

Interesting to say the least. Johanna Pattinson is a lawyer who hates injustice and that's what this story is about. It tells of the men who entered her life and had an impact on the person she became.
The storyline moved along at a good pace and the characters were well developed.