The Best People

A Tale of Trials and Errors

Fiction - General
432 Pages
Reviewed on 09/17/2019
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Christian Sia for Readers' Favorite

The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors by Marc Grossberg is a spellbinding thriller with exceptional characters. The first thing that gripped me and kept me turning the pages is the way the author uses the subplot to create suspense. The narrative builds on two distinct and compelling characters. Paddy Moran is a thirty-six-year-old former cop from Brooklyn, a street-smart and a newly licensed divorce lawyer hankering to create a great reputation in the courtroom. As the narrative begins, he is fired up after witnessing a great win in the courtroom. But after few successes, he faces a moment of choice and must determine if fame is everything about the legal game or if there could be more. Pilar Galt is a smart and beautiful single mother who has had her share of success and pain. Now her path intersects with Paddy. The outcome builds the climax that will have readers savoring every page.

Marc Grossberg has written a captivating story and it feels real as the reader navigates the emotions and the hearts of the characters. The characters are genuinely flawed and easy to identify with. Paddy’s quest for success as an attorney reflects the struggle that many people experience in order to get into the limelight but what is even more interesting about the narrative is how the author unveils the pitfalls in the path of the protagonist. The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors is written in beautiful prose, well-plotted, and balanced; a compelling story that invites the reader to reflect on their choices.

K.C. Finn

The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors is a work of interpersonal drama set in the field of divorce law, and was penned by author Marc Grossberg. Situated during the recent history of the high profile city of Houston, Texas (prior to the hit of Hurricane Harvey), this interesting tale combines the country club and highfaluting lifestyles of the rich and powerful with the small-fry everyman and woman trying to make it big in the city. We follow a single mother, Pilar, and a cop-turned attorney, Paddy, as their struggles and triumphs intersect on a steep learning curve in the big wide world.

Justice and deceit are major themes in this highly compelling dramatic work, but it was surprising to discover so much more richness under the surface once you get to know author Marc Grossberg’s characters. The landscape of Houston is intensely described, bringing readers into the rich cultural mix and the complex socio-economic structure that lands people like Pilar and Paddy where they end up but also casts that hopeful ray of light that everyone can make it big someday. This makes for a highly emotive struggle for both of them, making it hard to predict which way the plot will turn, and giving the reader a really deep connection to both heroes of the tale. The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors is, like Houston itself, a larger than life read with a lot more going on than meets the eye, and I would highly recommend it to legal fiction fans and personal drama readers everywhere.

Rabia Tanveer

The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors by Marc Grossberg is the story of Paddy Moran, a man who is determined to excel at whatever he does and he is not afraid of the consequences. Paddy Moran was a cop in Brooklyn, but he later decided to change professions and become a lawyer. So he moves to Houston, Texas, and claws his way to the top to make something of himself. He quickly finds his place and wins a couple of cases. Soon after that, he realizes things in Houston are not what they seem. From the moment the realization hits him, he knows that he has his work cut out for him. Now he has some decisions to make and he needs to make them quickly, otherwise the consequences are going to be too big for him to deal with alone. He has his intelligence and his experience, but that may nothing compared to what he has to face. What is he going to do now?

The Best People is a very entertaining novel that focuses heavily on the character and his development, something that is often ignored. From the moment I started reading this novel, I knew that I would not be able to put it down. Paddy is a unique man yet he has qualities that make him exceptional and relatable. His quest to change his life, make it better and make a difference in his life, is commendable. He worked hard; he tried his best and ensured that his hard work came to fruition. The flow of the story was great, the dialogues revealed a lot about the characters, and the overall pace was perfect for the development of the story. I thoroughly enjoyed it!

Asher Syed

The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors by Marc Grossberg combines the stories of two intersecting individuals. The first is that of Patrick (Paddy) Moran, a hungry new lawyer who wants to achieve more in the city of Houston, Texas than just managing uncontested divorces and small scale fender-benders. His big breaks come almost back to back, pushing him into the upper crust and giving him the recognizable standout of being one of Houston's Best People. On the flip side is single mother Pilar Galt, a striking temp who strikes up a romance with a supremely rich man. When their paths cross, it's make or break for a brash and ambitious lawyer who seems to (almost) have the world on a string.

The Best People is a deliciously written and well-executed satire on the lesser-known—but widely suspected—intricacies of the Texas elite and those who aim to reach them. Marc Grossberg creates a narrative that is equally bold and foreboding, with all the panache necessary to entertain and still level some great surprises. The characters and their development are the real stars here, driving the plot with wit and enough layering to authenticate a story that feels larger than life. Despite his questionable morality, Paddy is likable and somehow relatable and, despite her personal fragility, Pilar is a pillar of strength and intelligence. Together, Grossberg has woven a tale that will leave readers satiated, but hoping for another serving from this debut author. Very highly and enthusiastically recommended.

Romuald Dzemo

The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors by Marc Grossberg is a character-driven novel featuring two well-developed characters and exploring very strong themes. Thirty-six-year-old Paddy Moran is transitioning from being a cop to an attorney, and he has huge dreams of making a name in the field. Two high profile cases thrust him onto the winning path, but the tide changes rather quickly as his choices and ambition put new challenges before him. An encounter with Pilar Galt, an intelligent woman who has had her own share of struggle and pain, will change everything in his life.

The story is set in Houston, Texas, and the author does an impeccable job in exploring the humanity of the key characters. Paddy Moran is a quintessential character who reflects the competitiveness of the legal game, a character bent on succeeding. He is intelligent and has a unique charisma which sets him on the path towards success, but he also has a tragic flaw and readers will see how it plays out to define the course of his life. The subplot is deftly written following the life of Pilar Galt, a smart and single mother from the barrios. Her story creates suspense that keeps readers turning the pages. Marc Grossberg’s prose is crisp and the narrative is filled with interesting dialogues and descriptions that are attention-grabbing and terrific. The Best People: A Tale of Trials and Errors is poignant, filled with humanity and realism, a very enticing read for fans of legal thrillers.

ABG

This is the best novel I have read this year. This is a legal thriller set in Houston. Marc Grossberg has created believable characters who face difficult choices, which will affect their lives forever. The reader can understand why the characters do what they do, even when they may cross ethical lines. It is a fast read, because you always want to know what will happen next!