Cover Image: Law and Addiction

Law and Addiction

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Member Reviews

A young attorney with a personal vendetta goes after a trio of pharmaceutical companies he blames for the opioid epidemic in this legal thriller.
Let’s not make any mistake about it. The opioid problem in North America is huge and it’s not going away any time soon. With Covid taking up most of the pages and space in the media, this problem has taken a bit of a back seat. I’d hazard a guess that it is an even bigger issue after the dust has settled.
Mike Papantonio addresses his commitment to this crisis in the introduction to his novel. It has long been an issue with him in his legal profession and he’s gone to the mat with Big Pharma during his career. It shows in this novel
I found this to be a very good read. There was humor, pathos and it painted a fascinating picture on how this epidemic has destroyed in many cases small town America. 
You can tell that the author has disdain for Big Pharma as well he should. He manages to convey a good story and put forth an interesting amount of information to support his claim. I believe it would be a much bigger issue and we would be in a much better position to fight these monsters if the media was not bought and paid for as well.
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If you like the Ozarks (the Netflix show) I think you might like this? 
Interesting novel, very timely. My one caveat is that the "good" characters all have really nice things. Which sometimes begs the question, would it be easier to do good things if you were afforded the ability? 
The story moves quickly, many characters, but well done.
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It’s a very good book. 

It’s about a young man named Jake whose younger brother died from an overdose of opioids.

 Jake has decided to become a lawyer and fight the opioid crisis that has killed so many people. He teams up with two other lawyers who have more experience than him, and they start to gather up all the information they can get their hands on to fight the big pharma, the pill mills, and the dealers.  

Jake is soon found out and kidnapped, but by who and why? What do they do to him, and how does he escape? Do they win their case, or does the defendant win for the big pharmas? What happens to Jake and his girlfriend after she stops taking the opioid pills? 

This is a good book to read if you want to know about the opioid crisis or have an interest in learning about what it is and how it started. 

3 stars.
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Law and Addiction went into so much detail that I feel almost qualified to be a lawyer. Please don’t misread that for sarcasm. Other legal thrillers I’ve read skim over important facts and it results in the book becoming less believable and the storyline starts growing holes. It was nice to be able to really feel like I was right there with Jake and the team, caught up in the excitement of the trial.

There might be a lot of legal information in the pages of this book, but that doesn’t mean it is a slow-moving read. In fact, it is quite the opposite. The story moves forward quickly without losing detail or the chapters feeling disconnected. Plus, there are also some side storylines: the opioid crisis in the US and Jake’s blossoming relationship with his teenage crush. Saying that, Law and Addiction does very much veer on the legal side rather than the emotional. Be prepared for that if it is your first time delving into the legal thriller genre.

Finally, the author is a lawyer himself, and is used to working on cases similar to this. Therefore, this is an extremely well-researched book but not just on the legal side, but in reference to the opioid crisis too. It was pointed out to me in the past how badly some authors write about the crisis; they state the obvious, throw it in just to diss the US, presume that readers have absolutely no clue as to what is going on. Law and Addiction does the opposite. It treats the reader like an intelligent person, deciding to go into detail which is not generally public knowledge.
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Law and Addiction was an incredibly powerful, thought provoking novel. I was pulled right in from Chapter One and could not put it down. I felt a range of emotions throughout the novel, anger, compassion, hurt – but definitely a lot of anger.

The story begins with the death of Blake, Jake’s fraternal twin from an overdose. Jake, who was just finishing law school, is shattered as he never saw the signs of addiction in his brother. He is left wondering how did this happen, could he have done more, should he have seen the signs and so many more emotions. His hometown has been ravaged by opioids – people he has known his whole life are struggling with addiction. The town has quickly become a ‘zombie land’, where there is no hope, poverty and the citizens are feeling the physical and mental damage from opioids. The book really brings home that addiction is not always what you believe it is – any one can suffer from addiction and we need to pull apart the stigma of addiction, so that they can receive help.

Jake (like so many of us), feels anger – anger for his brother and the people of this town. But when he starts to do some digging, the facts that he finds is astonishing and he knows that he wants to make a difference, to ensure that no one suffers the loss he felt. He is prepared to go to war with the pharmaceutical companies to ensure that this is stopped.

As he begins his lawsuit (with the help of two other lawyers) against the pharmacy companies, the story really speeds up. We uncover bribes, death threats, illegal distribution and the list goes on. The story has so many working parts but it never feels overwhelming. Instead, you realize how far people will go for financial gain and corporate greed. It leaves you feeling disappointed with people but with some hope that there are still good people out there fighting for the rights and protection of all people.

This is an amazing novel from start to finish – a definite must read novel. The plot was fantastic – not what I was expecting but incredible all the same. It was educational but entertaining, but definitely leaves you with a lot of food for thought.
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I have to say, this book was a little difficult to review; not because it was a bad book, but because it had so many elements going for it so well and some that did the complete opposite.

All in all, though, it had some really hard-hitting aspects that made it a compelling read. Read on to know why you should definitely read Law and Addiction, and what you could expect in the form of a couple of turn-offs.

Overall Rating:
8 out of 10

Plot:
9 out of 10

Characterization:
8 out of 10

Primary Element:
8 out of 10 for its thrill

Writing Style:
6 out of 10

Part of a Series:
The story reads as a standalone, but Deke has appeared in Mike Papantonio's work before - in Law and Disorder and Law and Vengeance.

Highlighted Takeaway:
The facts behind the fiction - I found myself shocked at the sheer extent of the opioid crisis. Some of those numbers seem fantastic but, sadly, are very real. You'll find yourself thinking about the extent of the devastation and even talking about it often, during and even much after you're done with the book.

What I Liked:
- The theme of the book - a real David v/s Goliath story that showcases the goodness and courage of regular people.
- The technicalities that showcase the schemes behind the epidemic were shared (for the most part) in an easy-to-understand manner, giving you better insight into the problem and its growth.
- The surprisingly emotional aspects that come at you out of nowhere but leave a resounding impact. These parts manage to really drive home how much loss this problem has caused.

What I Didn’t Like:
The book jumped a lot; it seemed like the story was based around a few pivotal scenarios and the bridge between them wasn't too elaborate. Consequently, it often felt like you were reading disjointed chapters, where some remained highly technical (to the extent of being theoretical) and others seemed like proper fiction.

Who Should Read It:
I think anyone who enjoys mystery and thrillers, especially those by John Grisham, will enjoy Law and Addiction. 

Who Should Avoid:
No one. Everyone should give Law and Addiction a shot, even if you aren't too used to the genre of legal thrillers. There are some drawbacks (jumps and over-technicality at points), but everyone should be privy to the statistics, basic premise, and general outlook this book offers; especially in this day and age where almost every single one of us remains at the risk of unwittingly becoming dependent on medical pills or unintentionally ending up addicted. 

Read It For:
A reality check on the negative effects of over-reliance on medication. The problem of medical pill addiction is very real and has nothing to do with strength, weakness, social status, economic standing, or even upbringing. This book helps you see it for what it really is.

Two things you absolutely cannot deny is that Mike Papantonio knows his stuff and that he is extremely passionate about the causes he's fighting for. That, and the way he brings to light difficult realities, is enough reason for me to say that I will definitely be reading more of his work. And you should too.
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Before I read this book I checked the author out. Mike Papantonio is one of the good guys that make a difference as he battles the big 'untouchable' companies through the courts that put profit before people. I instantly liked this man and as I read his book I knew why he is so darn good at his job. He knows how to connect with ordinary people. This is his third book, my first, and he has gained another follower in me.
The main characters that he writes about have a warmth about them that is instantly likeable. Jake is like that, one week before he graduates as a lawyer he is called home because his twin Blake had died of an overdose. From the first meeting with Jake, it was like I could feel that a part of him was missing and he would never be the same again. While he has been away his home town had succumbed to the quick fix doctor prescriptions of wonder pills that cured all ailments. Within months people were hooked on them. The death toll from overdoses across all the states hit a record high and was still climbing while the pharmaceutical companies produced more. Jake was determined to make them take responsibility.
The story has heart, it has courage and danger, everything a good fiction story needs. Besides Jake, one of my favourite characters has to be Deke. Deke was a top-notch lawyer that Jake inspired to be like. Clever, witty and successful, he had fought and won huge lawsuits against the giants that used people like fodder to feed their bank balances.
A brilliant storyline that gets a point across in a way people will remember. Highly recommended.
I wish to thank NetGalley and the publisher for an e-copy of this book which I have reviewed honestly.
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I have never been so surprised and shocked at how an author has truly explored and written a truly compelling, heartbreak and anger inducing story about the real life tragedy and effect that the opioid epidemic.  

Reading the authors not in this story I knew that Mike Papantonio really put work into his research and how this topic is close to his heart. 

This was a really fast paced and easy to read story. I flew through this story and had a lot of emotions as I made my way through the court case and following our main character trying to deal with his grief and doing what he can to save other people from what happened to his brother.

The fact that Law and Addiction focused on how normal people who went to get help from doctors ended up becoming addicts and how the pharmaceutical companies started creating addicts for greed and more profit. 

I believe that Mike put a lot of himself into this story and showing that we need to stay educated on what’s going on in the world around us because sometimes big companies and the government are not out to help us sometimes. 

The overall plot is about our main character is gathering a legal team to combat the pharmaceutical companies and help with this epidemic and save people but another plot starts to form that I was not expecting. 

We follow another part of the government who are also corrupt and greedy also hurting people for their own profit. This story truly sparked anger and outrage within me because of how true this story is and how cruel the world truly is. 

As our main character Jake is creating his legal team we see him going from being left alone after his twin brother has passed away and has no other family to choosing and creating his own family. This shows the importance of chosen family as well as given family which I really liked. 

Law and Addiction is classed as a legal thriller which I haven't read enough but I really loved following the research, gathering of information and arguments in this case. I have always had an interest in the Law so I loved seeing Mike put his studies and degree of Law into this story.

All in all this was such an amazing and thought provoking novel which sparked a hell of a lot of emotions in me. If you love legal thrillers about real world issues this story is for you.
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Law and Addiction is a stellar thriller which successfully manages to shed light on a central topic affecting thousands in USA while also introducing a set of interesting and unique characters. Jake Rutledge, recently graduated from law school, is devastated to find out that his twin brother died of a drug overdose and that many others in his hometown are suffering just as badly. He decides to take measures and enlists the help of one of the most successful partners in another law firm, Nicholas Deketomis, in order to unearth the unjust horrors surrounding the opioid crisis and big pharma industry.

I must admit that I did not know just how serious the opioid epidemic in USA was. A quick Google search while I was still in the first few chapters of the book made me realise how dangerous yet unaddressed it was which made me even more eager to read on to understand the topic further. The main character, Jake, is bold and assertive and I was pleasantly surprised at his willingness to expose big pharma's scheme. His personal experience also meant that this was clearly a topic close to home as he greatly missed his brother which evidently encouraged him to succeed even more despite the many setbacks.

The writing is articulate and succinct and it became clear to me from a very early point that the author has a lot of experience in the legal industry. The prose was clear and easy to follow however I found the speech too wordy and stilted. At times, particularly in the courtroom, it almost felt like I was reading a movie script. This did not hinder the quality of the writing although it was enough to discontinue the flow.

One of my favourite aspects in the book, apart from the tough yet well researched subject matter, was the change in pace. I usually enjoy fast-paced thrillers with lots of action however I particularly enjoyed the slower parts in the book and the contrast with the fast-paced ending. The final chapters were intense and full of energy as the courtroom action drew to a close. A close and personal encounter with a powerful group meant that Jake ultimately understood the effects of opioids firsthand and this personal touch, although unfortunate and distressing, allowed for an even more compassionate approach.

Mike Papantonio has paved the way for success with Law and Addiction as well as emphasising the importance of tackling the opioid crisis with force through an exciting and action-filled thriller. I encourage those with little knowledge on the subject to read the book, as well as lovers of courtroom drama and legal procedurals.
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have to say the publishers blurb really says it all so that makes it a bit difficult to review.

However, here goes…...Jake is a lawyer who’s brother was addicted to opioid medication and dies as a result. Jake decides to sue two pharma companies who market the drugs to highlight the extent of the problem ravaging the country.

Obviously they are not happy with this and do everything they can to ‘persuade’ him to drop the case.

This is a truly chilling legal thriller due to its subject matter, the opioid crisis is not going away…..so who should be brought to account?. This is a tale of greed, corruption and heartbreak. Gripping and scary in its reality.

Thank you to the publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read this for free. This is my honest and unbiased review.
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Papantonio was a highly regarded tort lawyer before he began writing Legal Thrillers. His very successful career includes a turn as President of the National Trial Lawyers Association, and was selected as one of the youngest trial lawyers to be inducted into the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame.  Many readers may recognize him from his nationally syndicated radio show"Ring of Fire". Law and addiction is his third novel following the success of Law and disorder (2016) and Law and Vengeance (2017).  

In Law and Addiction, Papantonio takes on the pharmaceutical companies who are responsible for the current opioid epidemic in the United States.  Our protagonist, Jake Rutledge, is filled with anguish when he learns of the death of his twin brother, Blake. Blake has died from a drug overdose. Like many addicts,  has been able to keep his addiction hidden from his brother.  Filled with remorse, Jake returns to his home town. vowing to avenge his brother. He finds a community riddled with the effects of addiction; almost apocalyptic in appearance.  The economic foundation of the community has floundered,  Many of the remaining citizens are tied to the chains of  craving for a fix... his town is now sneeringly called "Zombieland"

Jake decides to tackle the source of the problem.  Those who engage in corporate greed, and the lawyers who assist them are his targets.  He soon realizes how out of his depth he is.  Not only is he swimming with sharks, there is chum in the water.  Fortunately he has the sense to request help from  Nicholas Deketomis. 
Readers of Papantonio's earlier works have met him in Law and Disorder.  The taut chilling thriller takes the reader on a page turning adventure into the opioid nightmare. 

As a former Mental Health Counselor specializing in addictions, I was impressed with the accuracy and the depth of Papantonio's research.  By focusing on the legal aspects, he is able to present the problem along with  a possible solution. In our tumultuous world, where short attention span reigns, Papantonio reminds us that truly ignorance does equal death.  A stimulating read for our times. 

Highly recommended

Full disclosure I received the ARC copy from netgalley and Waterside Productions in exchange for an unbiased review.  Thank you for this opportunity.
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Really good!  Well written, interesting.

Like the title says it's about law and drug addiction, a real epidemic, a real big crisis. 

A really good thriller with interesting characters, fast paced, captivating from page one.  You don't want to put it down.  

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for allowing me access to this book.  This is my honest review.   All opinions are my own.
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This is a timely legal thriller. Our country is facing a crisis in the our communities as we deal every day with new opiod overdoses. The cost is more than we should be willing to accept.

I had some complaints about this book, but after closing it, I realized my complaints were perhaps petty, but also a good strategy to sharing the more important message of this story.

We are given a perfect hero. He has had some challenges in his life, but he is a crusader and he's smart and kind and able to get things done. He interacts with other perfect people who cherish their wives, work upstream, but still have plenty of money to fly around on private jets. Some of this was hard to swallow in the moment. However, what this group of really good people set out to accomplish and the battle they have on their hands may require really good people.

What Papantonio does very well in this novel is to shine a light and humanize the opiod crisis. We go into West Virginia and see all of the different mechanisms at work. As readers, we get to see the desolation and heartache the influx of drugs have caused. We get a taste of addicts, people in recovery, drug mules, and people who take advantage of the situation financially.

There was a lot of sitting around and discussing next steps as our dream team of lawyers plotted their next moves, but this never felt unneccessary or repetitive. During the course of the story there was also love, friendship, humor, grittiness, twists and turns. 

The author is clearly well-versed in this type of law and in this growing crisis. This is a book people should read to help understand why the opiod crisis is not going away and why each of us should care.

I want to thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.
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I’ve read a couple of books by Mike Papantonio  and have enjoyed them all. They are all easy to read and fast paced. I highly recommend this book.
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Excellent mix of thriller, law, corporate greed, drug addiction epidemic. The timeliness adds to the tension of the excellent writing and authentic characters.
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