Friday, November 1, 2013

The Body on the Floor of the Rotunda, latest review


Following is a review that was published in the "About Books" section of the November/December 2013 Montana Art's Council's "State of the Arts" newspaper: 
The Body on the Floor of the Rotunda 
by Jim Moore 
Published 2013 by Raven Publishing, Inc., Norris, MT 

$26.00 Hardcover 

Jim Moore
In his latest novel, Jim Moore immediately grabs the readers' attention with the description of a body falling from the fourth floor balcony in the Montana State Capitol, ergo, the title. 

Readers are introduced in short order to Senator Lynn Bruce, an attorney from Roundup, who becomes central to the story when he is enlisted to defend the prime suspect in what eventually is determined to be a case of murder. 

The author's background as a former state senator and lawyer give him the credentials to pen an intriguing murder mystery, set in the midst  of a busy legislative session, where both the accused, Senator Audrey Welter, and her defender, Senator Bruce, are trying to fulfill their elective duties while grappling with the elements of an impending with the elements of an impending trial. 

The murder victim was a trusted aide to the governor with a checkered past, working her way up the social and political ladder. More than one person would have appreciated her demise.

Untangling the details and solving the crime brings the accused and her attorney in close contact, which spices the story with romance. 

One of Moore's strong points in his work is his familiarity with courtroom scenes and dialogue. It lends his tales the authentic feel that you get from someone who has "been there, done that." Cindy Younkin, attorney and former Majority Whip for the Montana House of Representatives, agrees: "The intertwining of the legislative process, cross party politics, unscupulous politicians, murder and a senator/attorney/rancher who helps the damsel in distress makes for a great story," she writes. 

Moore is a retired lawyer, cattle rancher and former Montana Senate Minority Leader, who lives near Bozeman. His previous books include Ride the Jawbone and Election Day

—Judy Shafter