DiscoverMystery & Crime

Occupational Hazard

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Loved it! 😍

When a lawyer is canned from his firm, he is looking for a little retribution. What better way than to help a woman fight for her rights?

First and foremost, a large thank you to Reedsy Discovery and Alex S. Avitabile for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.


With two of Alex Avitabile’s books to read, I thought I would jump into this series head-on and hope for the best. Al Forte is a hard-working lawyer, but has a bad feeling about his firm’s annual culling process. When he sits down with senior partner, Gordon Gilbert, his worst fears are realised. Forte is told that his services are no longer needed and given two weeks to tie-up all his work. When he is sent on his way, Forte receives a call from another former colleague with a legal concern. Mary Woodley was once a receptionist at the firm and found herself in a compromising position with Gordon Gilbert. While she admits that she was a willing participant in their sexual encounter, she was dismissed soon after it was discovered that she was pregnant. Seeking child support and an acknowledgement of Gilbert’s paternity, Woodley asks Forte to help. Having spent his entire legal career in real estate law, Forte is not well-versed in what to do, but will do his best and ask around. When no one else can help run the case, Forte takes the lead, turning to his cousin, Mick, to help with some of the darker sides of the law. With Al pushing for a paternity test and a reasonable child support payment, Gilbert does all he can to stonewall, using the high-priced attorneys one would expect a man of his caliber to have on retainer. Al and Mick do their best to prepare Mary for the hearing, but some sleight of hand lands Al in jail for breaching the confidentiality of the issue at hand. Working to ensure Gordon Gilbert does not get the upper hand again, Al and Mick Forte will do anything they can, even if it means bending the rules. A decent legal thriller, lighter than what I am used to reading, it is surely a great way to spend an afternoon of reading. Recommended to those who like quick novels that can be devoured in short order, as well as the reader who enjoys a legal thriller with a twist.


I was pleased with this series debut, which allowed me to learn a little more about Alex S. Avitabile and his handful of interesting characters. Al Forte is a character whose interest in the law is second only to wanting to save face. After his dismissal, Forte seeks to right the wrongs that have befallen him and the client who falls into his lap. Cunning and willing to work outside the box, Al Forte calls on his cousin, Mick, to help in some of the grey areas of the law. Their partnership is sure to work well throughout the series, as Avitabile weaves a great connection between these two. Other characters emerge throughout this piece, which keeps the narrative moving effectively while entertaining the reader. These characters, some of whom I hope to see again, provide different angles to a story that is light, while being serious in some regards. While Avitabile is not seeking to create a hard-core legal thriller, he does well with this piece, pushing a serious issue while also adding momentum with each chapter. Avitabile is able to convey his point quickly and uses short chapters to keep the reader wanting to read a little more. I was able to read this in a single day and am eager to read the second book in the series, as the writing is easy to digest and the characters somewhat relatable. 


Kudos, Mr. Avitabile, for this great series debut. I will move to the next book in the series to see if things are just as good. 


Reviewed by

I love to read and review all sorts of books. My passion is crime and thrillers, but there are so many other genres that pique my attention.

While I am not a full-time reader, I try to dedicate as much time to my passion as possible, as can be seen on my blog and Goodreads.

About the author

Alex S. Avitabile retired as an attorney before writing the Brooklyn tales of his Al and Mick Forte crime fiction series. Alex grew up and lived most of his life in what used to be referred to as South Brooklyn, in the sections thereof now known as Carroll Gardens and Boerum Hill. view profile

Published on September 07, 2018

Published by

50000 words

Genre: Mystery & Crime

Reviewed by