Without Precedent

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Mar 2019

Member Reviews

Classic underdog v the big dogs legal thriller in the style of Michael COnnoley and John Grisham.

The author brings very liekable characters to life and you are of course rooting for the under dog the whole way through. 

Although fairly predicatble it is an enticing page turner with the question at the heart of the story: How do you face your family when your sister has died from a drug overdose due to drugs that were manufactured by a company your law firm wants you to defend?

A solid read for any fans of legal thrillers and no doubt would make a great movie one day.

thank you Netgalley for the advanced copy of Without Precedent.
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Great courtroom drama with a young attorney going up against a giant pharmaceutical company after a family member dies from an overdose.  Such a powerful story in today’s world of big profits over accountability. First read by this author!
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'Totally engrossing from start to finish..  A gripping plot that is fast paced , realistic, and chocked full of white knuckle suspense and daring action..
I could not put this book down.
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Without Prececent by J.D. Trafford is a David and Goliath courtroom battle between a small group with a cause and a giant law firm defending Big Pharma. This book is on point considering the epidemic of senseless opioid deaths occuring in recent years.  Matthew Daley is a successful Manhattan corporate lawyer who defends large pharmaceutical companies, without concern for the "little guys" who fall by the wayside. Until his sister dies of a heroin overdose after becoming addicted to pain medication prescribed by her doctor. Matthew finds himself on the other side of the courtroom when he decides to quit his prestigious job and moves to his parents' basement in order to sue the drug company that manufactured the pills that led to his sister's demise. His legal team consists of an old law school chum who has never practiced law and a few lawyers-to-be. A very lopsided court case indeed. I much enjoyed Without Precedent and look forward to reading more books by J. D. Trafford. If you enjoy legal thrillers with down-trodden plaintiffs going against big corporations, this one is for you. Thank you to Thomas & Mercer and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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Very well done! From the title through the simple, forward-moving prose as it skillfully peals back the layers of plot delivering one stunning development after another. And lead characters, so likeable that I continually checked to see how far along I was in the book to see how much longer I got to hang out with these people - devastated  attorney Matthew Daley, his brother Jackson, former colleague Sherman and Laura, a special person from his past! 

The author JD Trafford has clearly created characters to root for, more than any I can remember. In fact it is that one thing that stood out the most for me, how lead character Matthew developed into someone with an immense ability to bring out the very best in those around him. In the rag tag legal team he assembled, in his brother Jackson and in his parents. Very few people in real life and in fiction have the unique capability to do this. And in my view, that is the best definition of a hero.


I had thought to compare this to one of the best early Grisham or Scottoline lawyer novels but have reconsidered believing it clearly stands on its own merits with a one-of-a-kind voice, admirable character in Matthew and a relevant and worthwhile cause.

Thank you so much to Thomas & Mercer publishers for allowing me to read and review "Without Precedent."
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The author wrote a thriller that started with a bang and just kept going!  The twists kept coming, so I couldn't put it down.  I cannot wait to read more from this author!
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What do you do when you are being asked to put aside your morals and scruples for money? How do you face your family when your sister has died from a drug overdose due to drugs that were manufactured by a company your law firm wants you to defend? A choice must be made, and in Trafford’s novel, Matt makes that choice. This is definitely a case of David versus Goliath, as Matt, along with the help of a few friends, and his family takes a stand against drug addiction and the opioid crisis. You will find yourself rooting for him and his band of cohorts as they scramble to hold the pharmaceutical companies liable for the manufacturing of addictive drugs. This story is well-crafted and keeps you engaged the entire time. Anyone who is a fan of Scott Turow, Scott Pratt or Michael Connelly will enjoy this read. Thank you to NetGalley for the ARC and the opportunity to review.
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Hotshot lawyer Mathew was brought back to earth by a resounding jolt when his loving sister died of an opioid overdose. With his mind still in tatters after the burial, he is been shoved into the very arms of the manufacturers who created the drug that made her an addict. His is within a rock and a hard place but not for long he found where his heart was hiding all along with his family. It was a high profile case infused with high court drama. With adrenaline and emotions flowing in a charged courtroom, Mathew bared his soul for his sister and though he was weary and tired it was well worth it.
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JD Trafford is a master of the legal thriller genre, and this novel is no different. 
How much would you give up, to get justice for your family? Matt is an attorney, who specializes in defending Big Pharma. However, once his sister dies of a heroin overdose, he must reevaluate his career. Does he go after the pharmaceutical companies that are responsible for the manufacture of these addictive drugs, or does he continue to defend them?
Mr. Trafford, being an attorney himself, always writes an attorney the people can identify with, as well as the supporting characters. This story is well-crafted, and is recommended to anyone who is a fan of Scott Turow, Scott Pratt, and Michael Connelly.
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The characters are realistically written and drew me into the story from the first page. Though this book revolves around the courtroom and lawyers there was never a time when I was left confused due to overuse of legal terms or the terms not being explained.
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This is a story about accountability. The main focus is a giant, successful pharmaceutical company accused of contributing to the deaths of heroin addicts and a  lawyer who specialises in defending corporate companies. Only, for this story, he becomes the prosecutor not the defender.

Obviously written by someone familiar with the legal system in the United States, this book gives an in-depth look at how a case is prepared and fought. At times the minutia can be a tad dull, but the precision is fascinating and easy to follow for a layman like myself.

This is also the story of the lawyer and his disjointed family, how they do not take responsibility for their own issues, instead choosing to deal with them through alcohol, drugs or stonewalling. The protagonist has a similar approach and experience in his personal and romantic relationships. In one case he abandoned a girlfriend and in the other instance he found out the romance was over by stumbling across an incident. So he wants the pharmaceutical company to be accountable for the consequences of its actions while he isn't himself.

The climax to this interesting book comes towards the end in the trial itself. This is exciting stuff. It is not  overly dramatic but clever and subtle. This highly effective style keeps the book admirably skilful with a cheeky little twist. 

#withoutprecedent #netgalley
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I  enjoyed reading this book. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It is my first book read by this author. I hope to read more books by this author.
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The stakes are high. The game was deadly. Lives are on the line.
Here comes Matthew the corporate rising lawyer who goes against the pharmaceutical companies to shut 'em down.
Now he's facing a more personal battle as his own sister has died from heroine overdose.
However, heroine is similar in fashion to another drug available for pain and can be highly addictive.
What if these companies are knowing providing a drug they know is hard to get off of without assistance?
Matthew is an underdog that's about to find out as he takes on the challenge to right the wrongs for his sisters name and his families reputation.
A fab read!
Thank you to JD Trafford, the publisher, NetGalley, and Aldiko for this ARC in exchange for this honest review.
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In J.D. Trafford’s latest legal thriller “Without Precedent”, Matthew Daley felt as if he was untouchable as he climbed the litigation ladder at a prestigious firm in New York, until his world imploded. The devastating loss of a family member to a long-time addiction and finding out that his romantic life was not what it seemed sent Matthew back to his humble beginnings.  This novel is a commentary on the world of addiction and the big pharmaceutical companies that only see dollars and not humans and the toll addiction has had on our country. Mr. Trafford has written this book in a manner that will leave the reader cheering in the end.  I was given an advanced copy of this book, and all of the opinions expressed in this review are my own.
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An earnest and heartbroken attorney goes up against evil corporate America to bring justice to the millions of those who, like his sister, are harmed every day by, in this case, opioids. Trafford has taken a classic theme and made it topical.  Matthew, the crusading hero, has good reason to rethink his life- until recently he's made his very good living off defending the very pharmaceutical companies which he is now attacking.  Oh, and he employed a blame the victim approach.  It's always nice to see someone work through their past and do good.  The characters, including the family (loved the mom), are well drawn and the law is explained well.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC. For fans of legal dramas.
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This is a terrific David and Goliath courtroom drama that kept me on the edge of my seat. ( What is more exciting than seeing if a big pharma company can be beaten by a lawyer, a teacher and some kids still in law school?) But it is also a story about how money and power can corrupt the individual and poses the question: Is there some way back from there, or will it be too difficult to resist the temptation of the big bucks?

As we journey through the process of the decision to litigate what seems an unwinnable case with Matt Daly, after his fall from grace with one of New York's biggest law firms, we wonder if in losing everything he can find himself and gain a renewed respect for his family which he seemed to have lost long ago. Or will this be just  a platform to assuage his feelings of guilt?

While the twist at the end seemed  a bit contrived to me, it still left me wondering and provided another layer of complexity to the characters. The ending line says it all, "Of course, everything is hypothetical."

It would make a great film.
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I haven’t read many legal thrillers, despite studying law & being interested in the subject - you just don’t come across many compared to your standard crime & psychological thrillers which are everywhere (nothing wrong with that, I enjoy those too!). This is one that I hope gets the publicity & attention, because it’s a very good one. Well written with clearly a lot of knowledge coming from the author, & based around a subject which is massive in both the US where it’s set, and here in the UK - opioid addiction. 

The only disappointment I had reading this was when I got to the end! I wish I could read more about Matt & his family, who I grew to love while reading.
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I’m a bit of a nerd when it comes to politics. I started reading law and crime procedural type novels in the seventh grade, starting with the classic Presumed Innocent. I took on a political science minor in college. My favorite class? Constitutional Law. Yes. I’m that person.

When Without Precedent popped up on my radar, I snatched it up without hesitation. Exposing Big Pharma? Showing the impact our health care system and corporate setting for medicine can impact us personally? I was so excited to read this book, and upon reading it, it rendered my opinionated self temporarily speechless. Is this a good thing? Not exactly.

I have to give the author a lot of credit. This book has some of the most well done research I’ve seen in a very long time. Trafford knows the ins and outs of opioids in medical corporations down pat: he knows the arguments for, against, how people in Big Pharma often behave, and how it affects families. More than that, though, it impacts a lot of the scenes in Without Precedent. The ones where this knowledge plays an important role are riveting with tension, such as when Matt has to watch his sister die from her overdose, and they set up the rest of the book. It is clear that Trafford not only researched the topic, but he cares a great deal about it. He’s passionate about the issue. This isn’t a book that was researched for the sake of plot. It was plot that was born out of the author’s passions and background. It’s refreshing to see.

The problem with Without Precedent lies in the characterization and dialogue. Sometimes it feels like the author is plugging in stereotypes and cliches, and they aren’t even consistent throughout the book. Matthew’s mother is tough and doesn’t take any crap, but is a nervous drunk. Matthew’s brother is a redneck liberal (I’m sorry, what?), and Matthew’s sister wrote verbatim how she got a drug issue in journals they found in a hotel. And I could go on. A lot of the characters and scenes between them seemed way too convenient and on the nose, and I realized at about chapter five that it was because they are: the main purpose of these people were to push the plot along, and as a result we have cardboard stand ins instead of actual characters. Matthew is the only character who showed true dynamic growth, and even he had hiccups along the way. It often felt like the author plugged in cliches that he read from different books depending on the situation. This resulted in 4th grade level dialogue sometimes, and in a procedural book that is tackling such complex topics, it’s jarring.

Another issue I had was the ending. A perfectly good defense team dissolves due to a series of careless mistakes, and it doesn’t feel like Matthew wins the case from his own skill. He’s lauded as a world class lawyer, and while I can understand throwing seemingly unsurpassable obstacles to build tension and suspense, he doesn’t get out of his own accord. Instead, deus ex machina comes to the rescue, which drives me insane, and it also underscores the relevance of the issue. Again, a lot more thought was put in the plot rather than the characters. It impacted the very structure of the book in a negative way.

Also, ALL of the characters in this book have eyes that sparkle more than a Twilight vampire.

This being said? I sincerely, sincerely hope the author continues to hone his craft and write more books. For all of its flaws, Without Precedent is just so dang earnest. When it came to the laws and issues presented, I learned a lot. What became very clear about Trafford and his work here is that he loves what he does, and the passion he has for writing was so infectious that it propelled me from page to page until the end. I’m not sure if I would have finished this book without his enthusiasm, care, and research.

I would like to thank NetGalley and the author for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Big-time lawyer defends monolithic corporation and wins case. Loved one dies as result of corporation’s wrongdoing. Attack of conscience hits lawyer who goes after big business. Does the plot sound familiar? The author does a great job of taking a tried and true formula and turning it into an excellent story with well-developed characters and subplots to make it a compulsive read.
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I absolutely love a legal drama and this did not disappoint. It was fast moving, engaging and I really enjoyed the intricate details Trafford went into with the case. 

Matthew Daley is a corporate lawyer, working in a large firm in Manhattan and a newly minted partner. He has a beautiful fiancé and a luxurious lifestyle. Matthew wins a huge case by defending a pharmaceutical company and his career is soaring. Things get tricky when sister later dies of a heroine overdose, attributed to her initial addiction to the drugs manufactured by those same pharma companies he defends. Matthew chooses his conscience over the money, returning to his hometown to begin a courtroom battle against the New York lawyers to obtain justice for his sisters death. The odds are against him as he is assisted only by an old lecturer and a group of law students and the stakes are high, as his reputation is on the line. 

I really enjoyed Trafford's focus on opiod painkillers and their link to this type of addiction. I also loved the feeling of Daley fighting, as the underdog, against the big corporate firms and although I felt some of the plot was a little too neat at times from a legal perspective, I still thoroughly enjoyed the writing. 

A big thank you to @netgalley #thomasandmercer and #jdtrafford for this advance reader in exchange for my honest review. This will appear on my instagram reviews on 19 February 2019.
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