Tuesday, November 5, 2013

G216 Book Review of The Alligator Man by James Sheehan

Name of Book: The Alligator Man

Author: James Sheehan

ISBN: 978-1-4555-0864-8

Publisher: Center Street

Type of book: Florida, thriller, 2005, secrets, father/son relationship, gripping, death, revenge, court scenery

Year it was published: 2013


Kevin Wylie's crooked boss wants to run him out of town, and Kevin's long-time girlfriend is ready to take a hike. He decides that now is the time to leave Miami, visit his father, who he hasn't seen in 28 years, and get some answers. Heading back to his hometown, he doesn't realize that he and his dad will become embroiled in a murder case.

The victim, one of the richest and most-hated corporate criminals in America has been dubbed The Alligator Man since pieces of his clothing were found in a local swamp. Billy Fuller had every reason in the world to want Johnson dead and all the evidence leads right to his doorstep. But legendary trial lawyer Tom Wylie believes in Billy and he and his son reunite to fight the courtroom battle for Billy's life.

The Alligator Man is a story of greed, anger, love, redemption and two powerful trial attorneys who fight to the end-- and risk everything--for the truth.


There are lots of fascinating and likable characters such as Kevin who hasn't had contact with his father for many years, and out of the blue his father's lover calls him to tell him the news. Kevin is best described as moral, follows the regulations as best as he can, and is incredibly intelligent in human psychology and how people think. Jeanette is an African-American woman lawyer that's best described as forceful and follows her job, and she is also stubborn and a strong woman who knows guns and how to use them. There is Tom, Kevin's father that was instrumental to civil rights and is an expert in the field. He and Kevin become fast friends and help each other out. There is also Carlisle who is an uncertified wildlife expert as well as a local and well liked by citizens in Florida. There is also Rosie who is the town's record-keeper of sorts and runs a cafe and so forth.


In life the lesson I learned from this book is that surprises come in unexpected packages, while from the book itself is that things are not what they seem.


The story is written in third person narrative primarily from Kevin's and Tom's points of views. From beginning to end the author does a really good job of keeping up the suspense and tension of the case, as well as an interest as to how all these things will tie up in the end. However, towards the end, the twists sprang up a bit too suddenly and were a bit out of the blue. I wasn't even able to guess half the time of what was going on and how it all would end.

Author Information:
(from goodreads.com)

born in New York, The United States September 12, 1949
genreMystery & Thrillers, Literature & Fiction, Politics

James Sheehan was born in New York City and grew up there in a four-room railroad apartment
with his five brothers and sisters.

He started working at the age of twelve, shining shoes at a local shoe-repair shop. At fourteen,
he had a newspaper round. He worked at a local delicatessen, an antique store where he stripped
and delivered furniture, as a construction worker during the summers, a short-order cook
throughout his college years, and as a roofer's assistant while he attended graduate school in

He is currently a trial attorney in St. Petersburg, Florida where he has practiced law for over 30
years. His experience of growing up in New York has shaped his life.


This was not my genre; I'm not a fan of court thrillers and I don't even watch TV shows that features court rooms. Finding myself loving and enjoying the book, as well as being shocked by twists and turns that the story goes into, really reminds me of a personal story of how surprises come in unexpected packages, such as my mom who got a miniature short-haired black and white dachshund which since she was a child she never wanted nor desired. (Funny thing is that this particular miniature dachshund chose her as a favorite!) The Alligator Man is exactly like that; there's heart, fascinating characters, a suspense that keeps going and going as well as a strong African-American woman character, and a wonderful balance between personal life and the court life of Kevin and other characters. Also, the twist at the end will really blow the reader away because you'll never see it coming. I got really wrapped up into reading the book, and finished reading it within mere days of receiving it. Sometimes I was a bit confused on certain things, especially at the end when I had to re-read few things to understand what and how it happened, but I do promise that the ride is well worth it and the lesson I re-learned is the same one my mom has learned; surprises come in unexpected packages. My favorite parts of the novel included the dialogues, very likable and genuine characters that I loved spending time with and the fascinating built of the case as well as various surprises that Kevin and Jeanette presented. I think what I would have liked is a bit more focus on romance between Jeanette and Kevin which seemed a bit too sudden for me, and I really am dying to learn more about the villains.

This is for TLC Book Tour

James Sheehan’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Monday, November 4th:  Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, November 5th:  Svetlana’s Reads and Views
Monday, November 11th:  A Bookworm’s World
Tuesday, November 12th:  No More Grumpy Bookseller
Wednesday, November 13th:  Literally Jen
Monday, November 18th:  Bibliotica
Tuesday, November 19th:  My Bookshelf
Wednesday, November 20th:  Bibliophilia, Please
Friday, November 22nd:  Joyfully Retired
Monday, November 25th:  Mockingbird Hill Cottage
Tuesday, December 10th:  Kritter’s Ramblings

5 out of 5
(0: Stay away unless a masochist 1: Good for insomnia 2: Horrible but readable; 3: Readable and quickly forgettable, 4: Good, enjoyable 5: Buy it, keep it and never let it go.)

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to see that this book pulled you in even though it isn't something you normally would enjoy. Thanks for being on the tour!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...