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The Legacy

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Member Reviews

It's a fast paced suspense which kept me on the edge of my seat. I enjoyed the book thoroughly. The writing style of the author made me invested in the story. The narration kept me guessing who the killer is.
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What a fantastic beginning! It is a powerful introduction to what to expect. The psychological elements keep you turning the pages, heighten the tension, and get under your skin. I adore the pace and the author's experience reflecting in the story because it centers on other people whose lives were impacted by Jeremy in addition to the death (murder) that took place, rather than just the circumstantial evidence in the case!  The bulk of this inquiry depends on the suspects' discussions and clear-cut story points. It's a process designed for people who prefer not to get too caught up in details! 

Law professor Emma Thornton, unwavering in her belief, has to work her way through a maze of falsehoods and deceit to find the truth and defend a disturbed young man who has been falsely convicted of murder. The Legacy is not just a gripping tale; it also symbolizes the triumph of the human spirit to endure against overwhelming obstacles. 

C. L. Tolbert's novel The Legacy (2023) is set in New Orleans and stars Emma Thornton, a law professor from Louisiana. Jeremy Wilcox, a twenty-one-year-old man with schizophrenia, is the primary suspect in his mother's death. When Emma Thorton is requested to defend Jeremy, she looks into the matter and attempts to make sense of the scant information that is provided. Emma learns that someone is lying to her and that things are not as they seem when she queries relatives and medical professionals. Emma finds herself in perilous situations and potentially fatal events as a result of her own irresponsible disregard when investigating the family dynamics underlying the killings. She is also concerned about the teenage mischievousness of her twin sons. 

Thanks to Netgalley, Level Best Books and Partnersincrime Tours for an advance copy for my honest review.
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The Legacy (2023) by C. L. Tolbert is set in New Orleans and features Emma Thornton, a Louisiana law professor. Twenty-one-year-old Jeremy Wilcox suffers from schizophrenia and is the main suspect in his mother’s death. Emma Thorton is asked to defend Jeremy and she investigates, trying to make sense of the too brief details she is given. As Emma questions family and medical professionals, she discovers things are not as they seem and someone is lying to her. In uncovering the family dynamics behind the murders, Emma’s own reckless indifference leads her into dangerous situations and life-threatening events. Her twin sons' teenage hijinks are also causing her concern. An enjoyable three and a half stars rating, even if there is an element of disbelief in Emma’s careless actions. With thanks to Level Best Books and the author, for an uncorrected advanced review copy for review purposes. As always, the opinions herein are totally my own, freely given and without inducement.
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Thanks to Net galley and the publishers for this ARC. I voluntarily read and received an ARC copy, all thoughts and option are my own. 

 The story is about a Jeremy who has schizophrenia and accused for the death of his mother, whose family has an history of schizophrenia and somewhat about Emma, Jeremy's attorney who gets kidnapped twice by the actual murderer and also about her family having a bad past that's repeating itself.  The book was so good it captured my attention in just the first chapter, not only was it fast paced the suspense kept you on edge and kept you guessing who was the killer. 

𝗘𝗔𝗧𝗜𝗡𝗚: ⭐⭐⭐⭐. 𝟱 / 𝟱
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The Legacy was SUCH a good book! The book was so titled because of the legacy of schizophrenia in the family. The story was staged around lawyer and law professor Emma Thornton. The story was set in New Orleans. She was given a case for Jeremy Wilcox who was accused of murdering his mother. He was 21 years old and a schizophrenic. There were others in the picture, too: Jeremy's aunt and uncle, Holly and Brad, and a Dr. Radford. Also, Jeremy's father was killed.

As the story progressed, the three additional people became suspects. Emma kept making poor choices and found herself kidnapped twice. The first time with her assistant Annabelle, and the second time alone. Both times she was able to escape.

The side story was about Emma's family: Ren, her husband, and Billy and Bobby, her sons. Ren was an NOPD detective. Billy and Bobby found themselves in trouble more than once. First of all, there was a bully in school who was harassing Billy. One day Billy decided to take matters into his own hands and he invited the bully over behind their apartment building to fight. There were going to be two people fighting against him so Bobby got involved. They came home with black eyes, scrapes and scratches. They ended up befriending one of their opponents, Terrance. It turns out he was able to get free beer from a bartender that he knew. And then, on a particular day, Ren saw Bobby smoking. That night, Billy admitted to smoking too. So with the problems with the boys and Jeremy's case, Emma had her hands full.

I really liked the way the author wove the story. She successfully threaded Emma's family concerns through the murders. And she was able to tie everything up with a nice little bow. I was impressed with the development of the characters. And I had absolutely no problem following the story line. I'd like to read this author's other books. All in all, I gave it five stars.
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I liked this book but I just couldn't get into the story. I didn't like the writing style but overall the story was good.
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When law school professor Emma Thornton agrees to defend Jeremy Wilcox, a mentally ill young man, arrested for the murder of his mother, she digs deep into the facts surrounding his case and is assured of his innocence. Proving it takes all her resolve as she delves into his family and their secrets, and puts her own safety in peril as she works to free her client.
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C.L. Tolbert’s The Legacy threads together the best elements of mystery and suspense to deliver a riveting story of deadly deceptions and long-buried secrets. When law professor Emma Thompson agrees to represent Jeremy Wilcox, a young man with a long history of mental illness accused of murdering his mother, even she isn't convinced of his innocence. Emma's quest to uncover the truth takes her on a dangerous journey, as she fights to untangle the web of lies shielding the killer and implicating Jeremy. As threats against her mount, Emma finds herself engaged in a complicated battle that pits her quest for justice against her relationships with those she holds most dear.

The Legacy is a tightly plotted novel and thoroughly satisfying read. Highly recommend.
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I happily jumped into this, the fourth in the series, without having read any of the previous books because good mystery series are built for exactly that. This one worked perfectly; I had a sense that there were some elements of the main character, Emma Thornton's, family life that probably had backstory to them, but there was nothing here that wouldn't make sense for a first-time reader.

I enjoyed the central mystery here; there were blinds and misdirects aplenty, and there was a well drawn family set-up surrounding the victim, Sally, with resonances across generations that added interest and enabled alternative theories of the crime. The various suspects' motivations seemed natural and I had some different theories as the story progressed, which is always a good sign. I found the parenting and personal-life elements the least compelling, perhaps in part because there was in-series context I was missing, but I appreciated that Tolbert avoids any too-direct parallelism between the crime being solved and the lawyer-cum-detective's personal circumstances. Stylistically, I found some of the descriptive paragraphs without dialogue had a real 'stage directions' quality, especially in the early stages of the novel. I think this works for the genre, with audiences who are inevitably used to similar cold-opens on TV and film, but it might not be to every reader's taste.

There are a few details that were obviously changed during the drafting process that haven't all been caught: the accused, Jeremy, is Adam at one point, and his father calls him 19 when he's clearly 21 elsewhere; and Dr Rayford crops up a few times as "Raymond" (I did think perhaps this might be his first name, but that's given elsewhere as Douglas). I know I makes tweaks like that regularly as a writer, so mention them just in case it's useful and they can be tidied up pre-publication!
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