A Book Spy Review: ‘Necessity’ by D.W. Buffa

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NecessitySeveral presidents have been murdered, but none of their killers have ever stood trial. . . until now. 

When defense attorney Joseph Antonelli (returning for the first time since Buffa’s 2005 novel, Trial by Fire) agrees to represent Kevin Fitzgerald, a senator from California, he instantly becomes a major part of American history.

But the question is. . . is he on the right side of history?

Having never lost a single case in his illustrious career, Antonelli now has his work cut out for him, as Fitzgerald is accused of murdering President Walter Bridges while onboard Air Force One. According to Fitzgerald, the president was in cahoots with Russia, thus giving him a legit reason to murder the commander-in-chief. Taking things a step further, Fitzgerald argues that not only were his actions just — but they were, in fact, necessary.

Citing a portion of the federal Law of Necessity, which permits an individual to act in violence in order to stop further harm from being done, Fitzgerald declares himself innocent. Not everyone believes him, obviously, but his wife does — and she’s able to convince Antonelli, who is skeptical at first, to represent her husband. Instead of federal courts, the trial kicks off at the state level, and it doesn’t take long for Antonelli to realize his perfect record is in serious jeopardy. Worse, his own life might be in danger. . . 

D.W. Buffa is no stranger to penning controversial thrillers, and his latest offering, considering the current political climate, is perhaps his most timely novel so far. The premise is tantalizing, and overall Necessity is well-written and expertly structured. In a lot of ways, this book reminds me of Stephen Coonts’ two most recent thrillers (Liberty’s Last Stand and The Armageddon File), both of which are provocative and tailor-made for those on a certain side of the political spectrum. The main difference is that Buffa and Coonts appeal to opposite sides of the argument.

A talented writer, Buffa hooks readers early on and keeps readers off-balance with plenty of suspense. The court scenes are full of tension as both sides present their argument, and Buffa, himself a former criminal defense lawyer, does a fine job incorporating facts into the storyline, similar to the way Brad Meltzer and Steve Berry build fiction around historical facts. 

Necessity is a daring, bold, and shocking thriller. . . very few writers have the chops to pull off a story like this, and D.W. Buffa is definitely one of them.

 

Book Details

Author: D.W. Buffa
Pages: 352 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 1947993089
Publisher: Polis Books
Release Date: April 24, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 7.0/10
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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

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  1. An excellent statement about Buffa’s newest novel. Welcome back to Joseph Antonelli, one of fiction’s most interesting attorneys. Welcome, also, to Buffa’s unique presentation of topics that are considered taboo. Is murder justified when our country is placed at serious risk. Who decides, and what are the consequences? His previous books, “Evangeline” (2010) and “The Dark Backward” confront different and equally perplexing crimes, and are very much worth reading.

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