Fatal Trust
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Fatal Trust

Bethany House / 2017 / Paperback

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Criminal defense attorney Ian Wells inherited a law practice from his father in Minneapolis. A new client offers him two hundred thousand dollars to find out whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none of the men can have a criminal record for the past twenty years. He finds out the trust has links to an old criminal enterprise and an unsolved art theft. Now Ian is under criminal investigation as the money from the crime begins to surface.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 384
Vendor: Bethany House
Publication Date: 2017
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0764212354
ISBN-13: 9780764212352

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Publisher's Description

Riveting Legal Suspense from Lawyer Todd M. Johnson

Ian Wells is a young criminal defense attorney struggling to build a Minneapolis law practice he inherited from his father while caring for a mother with Alzheimer's. Nearly at the breaking point, everything changes for Ian when a new client offers a simple case: determine whether three men qualify for over nine million dollars of trust funds. To qualify, none can have been involved in criminal activity for the past twenty years. Ian's fee for a week's work: the unbelievable sum of two hundred thousand dollars.

Ian warily accepts the job--but is quickly dragged deep into a mystery linking the trust with a decades-old criminal enterprise and the greatest unsolved art theft in Minnesota history. As stolen money from the art theft surfaces, Ian finds himself the target of a criminal investigation by Brook Daniels, a prosecutor who is also his closest law school friend. He realizes too late that this simple investigation has spun out of control and now threatens his career, his future, and his life.

Author Bio

Todd M. Johnson has practiced as an attorney for over 30 years, specializing as a trial lawyer. A graduate of Princeton University and the University of Minnesota Law School, he has also taught for two years as an adjunct professor of international law and served as a U.S. diplomat in Hong Kong. He is the author of The Deposit Slip and lives outside Minneapolis, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter. He can be found online at www.authortoddjohnson.com.

Product Reviews

4.7 Stars Out Of 5
4.7 out of 5
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Quality:
4.2 out Of 5
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Value:
4.3 out Of 5
(4.3 out of 5)
Meets Expectations:
4.1 out Of 5
(4.1 out of 5)
96%
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  1. tickmenot
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Too Good to be True?
    January 11, 2018
    tickmenot
    Kansas City
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    About to lose the law office his father started, Ian Wells is desperate to find a way to hang on. Additionally, he is the main caretaker, and financial provider for his Alzheimers stricken mom. His friend, Brook, wants to know why he has never taken their relationship to the next levelactual dating, perhaps with marriage in the future. Unknown to Brook, Ian has never had the courage to ask her. Suddenly, work on an unusual trust case falls into his lap. Even though this is outside the type of work he likes to do, he changes his mind when he is offered $250,00, more than ten times the normal fee.

    As Ian starts this work, he becomes suspicious about the source of the money. At first, he doesnt want to dig too deep because the extra money could do his law practice, and his mom, a lot a good. But as time goes on, he discovers many skeletons in his clients closets, and shockingly, in his own. Then he realizes he is being framed as the fall guy for a big crime. He doesnt know who to trust, or how to get out of the horrible mess he finds himself in.

    I love mysteries and thrillers, especially legal ones. The author did a great job not giving the ending away, so the one who did it was unexpected, and he crafted a good story line. Despite this book being published by a Christian publisher, there wasnt a faith message, or a Christian character in the story. Wonderfully, this is a clean tale, with no sex or profanity, along with lots of interesting characters. You will experience lots of twists and turns in this four-star book, and most likely, you will get a surprise ending.

    The publisher has provided me with a complimentary copy of Fatal Trust through Bethany House Publishing for the purpose of review. I have not been compensated in any other manner. All opinions expressed are my own, and I was not required, or influenced, to give anything but an honest appraisal.
  2. Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    great suspense
    October 29, 2017
    Thereadmaster
    Davenport,Iowa
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I loved this story. This is the first book I have ever read by Todd M. Johnson. It will not be the last. This really held my interest. I did not want to put this down. This was a wonderful book about lawyers and trusts and how these work. There were many twists and turns. I never quite knew what was coming next. I loved Ian and his family and the people working for him. I received a copy of this book from Bethany House for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
  3. Fitzysmom
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Review from Rambles of a SAHM
    October 10, 2017
    Fitzysmom
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Oh my goodness, I will definitely be on the lookout for more from Todd Johnson. Fatal Trust is the first book I have read of Johnson's but it isn't his first. He's also written The Deposit Slip and Critical Reaction. He's an experienced attorney and it shows in his writing. The plot of Fatal Trust was complex and took me on a very tense journey.

    Ian Wells is the main character and he's easy to relate to. He finds himself in between a rock and a hard place when a too good to be true solution comes along. Everything in him is telling him to not take the case but instead of listening to his better judgement he does it anyway.

    The story is completely absorbing because all of us can put ourselves in his shoes. We've all done something we knew we shouldn't but we did it anyway and then we're left to face the consequences. The wonderful part is that there is a God in heaven who chooses to shower us in mercy. In Ian's case it involves his long-time friend Brook.

    The exciting part for me is that according to a Q&A with the author the ending of Fatal Trust corresponds with his previous book The Deposit Slip. You can bet I'm going to go download that to my Kindle. Plus he's in the process of writing another book that will round out the series and tie all the loose ends of these two books together. Now that's something to look forward to!

    I received a copy of this book to facilitate my review.
  4. Jen Pen
    Midwest
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Definitely an author I will read again!
    October 5, 2017
    Jen Pen
    Midwest
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 4
    This review was written for Fatal Trust - eBook.
    SUMMARY:

    As a new young lawyer hoping to keep his late father's law practice current while taking care of his mother who suffers from Alzheimer's, Ian Wells is willing to take just about any case that he is given. Amid his stress of life and bills, a thirty-five year old case resurfaces which Ian accepts. While investigating the case, Ian soon realizes this simple case may become a criminal investigation perhaps even involving his own family...

    A PENNY FOR MY THOUGHTS:

    As a new author to me, I was quite impressed. Suspense and mystery surround investigations, high stakes and criminal activity. Though maybe just a bit busy in the first few chapters, once the storyline evolved and the main character emerged, I found it hard to put the book down. With flashbacks to history interspersed with current time, this novel by Todd Johnson was well written and kept my attention easily. Definitely not the last book I will read by this author, Fatal Trust has ensured a new fan and future reader.

    RATING:

    4.5 (out of 5) pennies

    *I received a complimentary copy of Fatal Trust from Bethany House Publishers for my honest review*
  5. Vicky
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    4 Stars Out Of 5
    Fatal Trust
    September 21, 2017
    Vicky
    Lafayette, Indiana
    Age: 55-65
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    Fatal Trust by Todd Johnson envelops all the necessary things that will capture your attention and keep it till the end. A simple job, an unbelievable payout, but in risking it all on blind trust, he may lose everything. That is the lure that prompted me to read this book.

    Ian Wells is a young ambitious Minneapolis attorney who is trying to build up his law practice. His mother has Alzheimer's and he is caring for her. How to give both his law practice and his mother's needs is stressful and the money is not coming in to pay the bills. Ian is approached by a client and the demands seem reasonable. Ian must judge whether three men qualify for nine millions dollars of trust funds. He must also determine if these three men have been involved in any criminal activity in the past twenty years. Sounds easy, but Ian only has a week to find out the answers. That sounds reasonable for the payoff of two hundred thousand dollars. Who wouldn't accept this "easy money" deal. The plot thickens..there is a mystery surrounding the money and an illegal activity connected to an unsolved crime that dates back to Prohibition. The more Ian digs into the investigation, the more he is targeted. This simple job is out of control and threatens his career, his future, and his life.

    This is my third book by Todd Johnson and it is another winner. The story line is full of twists and turns along with surprises that I did not see coming. Since the author is a lawyer, the story has more structure and what happens in discerning truth and finding the bad guy.

    Thanks to Bethany House Publishers for this book to review and give my honest opinion.

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