I started this book, initially, back before it was published in 2019. At that time, I could not get into it, so I moved on to another book. I am not sure why I picked it up again or why I read it to completion. I felt like I was slogging through the book, as I still could not really get into it. Sometimes, I get stubborn and feel like I need to complete what I start. So, almost 4 years after it was published, I finally completed it. I am not sure if I can even 100% tell you what this book was about. Where it started and where it finished are loosely connected, but the story took such a shift, that it is hard to remember where we began. However, thinking back I can tell you that it began with a private school (BMI), now long defunct. It highlighted the way that people who attended the school together, continue to be committed to a brotherhood where they help each other and stay connected. It began with a suicide that happened on campus, many years ago.
In the present day, we meet Max, an attorney, who is beginning retirement. He went to the school, and was contacted by the Alumni Association to help them stop the school from being torn down, and want it to be declared a historic site, instead. He has his stepdaughter, Beth, take on the case (and the law firm). In very short order though, this becomes a much more complex situation than just stopping the school from being torn down, and some serious bad guys are brought on the scene, making life a little less safe for Beth. Despite this, Beth is on a mission, and gets further and further entrenched in the "case" and everything that comes with it. Thankfully, her FBI ex-boyfriend, is available to come and assist with some of the complicated aspects of what she is uncovering. I could go on, there is so much more to this story, but I do not want to spoil it for those of you who wish to read it.
If you did not guess from the beginning of the review, I did not like this book. I found the writing to be simplistic, and the story to be disjointed. I had a hard time caring for any of the characters, and found the ending unsatisfying. I hate to writer negative reviews, as I know that every book written was done so with a lot of hard work and care behind it. While I did not read this author's first book, which was "critically acclaimed," I can tell you that this one does not meet that criteria for this reviewer.
Everyone is different though, and I book I do not like maybe a book you love, so judge for yourself. Do not just take it from me!
Thank you to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
Beth is a young lawyer that agrees to help save an old military academy from destruction. Soon the school and Beth are wrapped in a mystery. Money goes missing and more and more former students become involved, this is a case that may mean more than her career, it might mean her life.
It's a mission to save an old military school. I can totally respect that. So here goes this legal thriller. Only, it's not like others I have read. It's a bit jumpy, which i can deal with. It's a lot less thriller and a bit more suspense/military. It's not dry, but it isn't face paced. It's a LOT of legal. I didn't mind that, I may have learned a few thing things. The good news is that it's not a long book.
Thanks to Net Galley for providing a digital copy of this book. A positive review is never required. This review contains my thoughts about this book.
Alumni Association by Michael Rudolph is a thriller. The problem, in my opinion,Alumni Association by Michael Rudolph is a thriller. The problem, in my opinion, is there are just too many things going on. It skips from one thing to another and it’s hard to keep up. Having said that, I still enjoyed the story. is there are just too many things going on. It skips from one thing to another and it’s hard to keep up. Having said that, I still enjoyed the story.
This book is a legal thriller but for me didn't quite live up to the "thriller" aspect of its hype. It may simply be the pacing that is a little off or something more within the plot direction but there was something lacking for me that never dove deep enough to have me on the edge of my seat wanting to turn the pages. It is a good read, but could be tweaked to be better.
This legal thriller takes a twist when alumni don't want their beloved former military academy demolished. It isn't because of the fond memories, but rather the dark secrets that hide there that drive the efforts of the alumni to try to get the former academy preserved as a historical landmark. Where did the money go and what other secrets entangle the alumni of this academy.
I love great legal thrillers, and Alumni Association has the inklings of wanting to be great, but it does seem to fall somewhat short. The principal of the story involves Beth Swahn, a managing attorney who has been tasked with representing a group called the Alumni Association. She represents their interests in the sale of a former academy that has gone to ruin, and the land it is on is being sold. The Association wants the building and the underground tunnels preserved. The tunnels hold many secrets and the secrets don’t want to see the light of day. As Beth starts to argue the case, her firm starts receiving threats. It soon becomes clear that someone doesn’t want her to win the case to protect the tunnels and the derelict academy building. In the face of intensifying threats, Beth vows to set things right and hunt down those responsible for the threats on her own. Beth is a strong character, but I was kinda missing a complete picture of a villain here. There is a clear bad guy, but his motivations are opaque and I never fully understood what his motivations were other than just being bad. The storyline did jump around at times making it hard to follow. Certain aspects of the story were a little unrealistic to me. It is a short quick read. May have stronger appeal to some over others. Novel supplied by Netgalley.
I read the whole book and it was good, but I could never get into it. The plot was well written and so were the characters but they never came alive for me. I received this ebook from NetGalley free for an honest review.
Alumni Association by Michael Rudolph was a legal thriller that wasn't really my jam. When I read a thriller, I like a story driven by twists and drama and suspense. This one was more driven by logistics and legal "stuff" that just wasn't enough to captivate me. This one was about a lawyer working with an alumni association who doesn't want their historic military campus to be sold to be re-developed. What I hoped with a premise like this was that I was getting into something like The Skulls with all the secret society mess. Again, that wasn't what this was. It was more about different characters using different legal strategies and financial schemes to get the upper hand. There were also some secret tunnels involved, but I needed them to have so many more secrets than they did to be really captivated with the thrills. Overall, this sounded exciting, but the brand of thriller just wasn't my thing, but maybe it's yours? I owe a thanks to NetGalley for allowing me to check out this read.
I had a hard time stayinng connected with this book. I enjoy when a book grabs your attention within the first few pages and doesn't let go until you are finished, and even then leaves you begging for more. This book did not do that. I struggled numerous times to get attached to this book. I even read the first three chapters oin one sitting, thinking that maybe the grab was a little further in. No grab. Struggled to finish. Sorry !
I had high hopes for Alumni Association after reading the description of the book. The cover looked intriguing and the story seemed solid and unique. Unfortunately I was let down after being so hyped to start reading.
The story is based on a an alumni association of a school that is set for demolition, but the alumni want it preserved as a historical landmark. But really, do they? Or is there more they are hiding that would crush them all if it got out?
Let me start by saying I did not finish this book. I tried. I really did. It’s not that the story couldn’t be a good one, but the flow of the story was way off. I am a true believer that the beginning of a story is just as important, if not more important, than the climax. Those first few chapters are what grip the reader and make them want to keep reading. Alumni Association did not grip me. I felt like I was just reading dialogue and it wasn’t smooth. Very choppy. Almost as if I was reading a script with none of the fluff helping the reader picture the scene. Choppy and disjointed are words that come to mind.
The plot line was a decent one and could have definitely kept my attention if their had been something in those first few chapters that really hooked you. By definition a thriller should be just that, but I was not thrilled. If there was more suspense and thrill towards the end of the book, I apologize for not seeing it. But I just couldn’t bring myself to keep reading after spending so much time trying to force myself to enjoy this novel.
I’m a firm believer in second chances and therefore I will definitely try out another Michael Rudolph book. This one may have just not been my cup of tea, which is why I encourage others to pick it up and try it out for yourself. Just because I didn’t care for it, doesn’t mean it’s not for someone else. So, try it out!
Everyone feels some nostalgia for their old schools but when it's a military academy that is closed and up for sale, why pull out all the big guns to protect it? That's the premise behind Alumni Association. The story is a solid one but the telling sometimes does not advance the story as much as stalls it. The characters are all well developed but do not seem to be realistic to the situations. This was a good book that is well worth the time to read.
Alumni Association by Michael Rudolph is the second in a series featuring lawyer Beth Swahn. Here, she represents the Alumni Association of Bordentown Military Institute trying to avoid demolition of one of the school’s historical landmarks for real estate development. The school has produced many men of influence and power, and the tunnels beneath the building to be razed contain secrets that a few don’t want to come to light.
Do NOT be taken in by comparisons to works by John Grisham and Greg Iles. Other than the fact that several of their books also have a lawyer as a main character, the similarities stop there. In my humble opinion, the author tried to do way too much in this book, tackling real estate deals gone bad, corporate politics and backstabbing, pedophiles, romance, drug lords, money laundering, international intrigue and several other bits and pieces that I lost track of. I’m sure the kitchen sink is in there as well. I also found the number of significant connections Beth Swahn apparently has at her fingertips to be unbelievable.
The publisher’s book blurb does this author no favor by raising the bar so high with its afore-mentioned comparison to top best-selling authors. This book gets 2 stars from me. It’s a quick read, but nothing memorable.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for allowing me to read a copy of this book in exchange for an unbiased review. All opinions expressed here are strictly my own.
The setting is dispute between the historical society, a real estate developer and certain members of the alumni association from the prep school which use to occupy the site, who have a lot to lose if the tunnels beneath the site are disrupted. The protagonist is a sharp female attorney who recently became the head of a law firm involved with this dispute. Large sums of money go missing and she and those close to her are being threatened to back off from this case.
I usually love legal dramas and suspense novels, but I never really warmed up to this one. The back story and scandal involved were interesting, but I felt there was almost too much legal and technical procedures described, to promote believability - I don't need absolute proof to enjoy the storyline, if the book is well written. I also found the dialogue between the characters to be a little forced. And I didn't care whether she and her ex ever got back together or not, in fact, it would have been a little more interesting if there was more tension in the relationship.
Alumni Association is a short novel that is more legal than thriller.
A closed military school is scheduled for demolition but the school’s alumni association is trying to register it as a protected historical building. However, the real reason for saving it is for the multiple uses of the tunnels hidden beneath the school. Beth, an attorney, is hired to represent the association.
There is a whole lot of plot in Alumni Association but it doesn’t hang together well. The book seems choppy. Strangely, it seems both too long, with too many extraneous details, and too short to get to all the plot points in a more organic manner as some of the decisions didn’t seem believable. It also moves too slow to be a true thriller. However, I did enjoy the lead character, Beth, so 3 stars.
Thanks to Ballantine Books and NetGalley for a copy in exchange for an honest review.
I wanted to love this one - I work in the legal field and love John Grisham et al. This one, however, took me a long time to get through. I had a hard time following the story, and why a lawyer would be flying down to the islands to catch a killer. It seemed a little extreme and far-fetched to me.
Beth Swahn's father has a military history that goes back to his military education at BMI. Slowly, the old military academy is falling to ruin, and two other of its' previous students are vying to purchase the property for development. There is more to it than what meets the eye however, as Beth discovers that there may be information hidden deep underneath the academy in the tunnels that could shed light on a history of cover-ups and deceptions over the years. Money disappears, "secret inventors", and a decades old mystery turn Beth from attorney to sleuth as she tries to follow the threads and remain alive to see the right thing done.
I couldn't finish this book. The dialogue was absolutely terrible, and the legal procedures were inaccurate.
This is a fairly entertaining legal thriller with an equally fairly entertaining plot. There is too much legal information that slows the storyline down. I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and am voluntarily leaving this review
The Quest to Save an Old Military School Turns Deadly
The Bordentown Military Institute, now defunct, is embroiled in a controversy about whether to sell the building, once the home of Napoleon’s elder brother, to a developer. Many of the prominent men in Bordentown were once cadets at the school. Now they want to preserve it, or is it the extensive tunnels under the school?
Beth Swahn is an attorney in her stepfather’s law firm. He’s an alum who wants to preserve the old school. Beth gets the assignment to keep the sale from going through. As the case progresses, she becomes increasingly concerned about how far someone will go to stop the demolition and more important, why.
This is a moderately entertaining legal thriller. The plot is a good one with plenty of complexity and twists. However, it is marred by uninspiring dialog and long passages of description. Beth is a good character, but the effect is dulled by a great deal of somewhat arcane legal procedure information that slows the story and may not be interesting to the average reader.
If you love legal thrillers with lots of concentration on legal procedure, you may enjoy this book. However, for the average reader, I found it rather slow going.
I received this book from Net Galley for this review.