Natalie is back in town, returning from Mallorca to the firm after several years enjoying life as the landlord of her very own Spanish bar with her wayward boyfriend, Jose. Her reality check came when she received a call from her mum’s next-door neighbour explaining that Anna, her rock, had been found on the floor after suffering a stroke. Without thinking she heads home to help Anna get back on her feet and then decides to stay. So, with a heavy heart, she contacts her old boss, Jack, in the hope that there will be something available at her old law firm in the city.
Jack instantly takes Nat back much to the outward disapproval of his partner, Wesley. Originally at Law School together, Nat and Wesley had mixed in the same group and had even been known to flirt occasionally. But that was then; now she would prefer to keep her distance and stay away from his loathing stare.
She doesn’t need to worry about bumping into Wes too frequently however, because just like old times, Jack is keeping her busy with cases he would prefer to keep away from prying eyes.
First up is a case involving his estranged son Julian, who is currently being held on assault charges against his pregnant girlfriend, Aisha. Within hours of her return, Nat can honestly say it feels like she has never been away and is soon being used once again as Jack’s confidant rather than working on profitable Goldman Law cases like everyone else in the company.
Unsure of her place, and feeling a bit like a meddling busybody, Nat picks up not only the cases Jack has specifically labelled for her eyes only but also the jobs that Wes and Jack’s wife and partner, Catherine, don’t want to undertake. From auditing cases to making potentially newsworthy, embarrassing family issues disappear it would appear that Nat has become the partners’ lackey.
It is Wesley’s attitude to her that finally gets to her, however – the abrupt conversations, the sullen expressions every time they pass each other, the frosty messages left. They were friends. They went to university together. She thought that they could have even had feelings for one another before his wife Andrea, but perhaps she was mistaken.
At nearly 40 though, should she really care what people like Wesley think of her? Is everything as it first seems, or has Nat once again jumped to conclusions, just like she did during her younger years?
My Thoughts on Convictions
This is unlike any other lawyer novel I have read. As you would expect, the narrative unfolds across a series of cases that the law firm is working through, but the cases are simply a background setting for the main storyline which features Nat and Wes.
It is the friction building between these two that led me to race through the pages. I wanted to know how it would end. Could they end up being civilised to one another or would the hostility between them grow further? Was there more to their relationship then either of them were prepared to admit during the early chapters?
There are also some tough topics mentioned, although not in a lengthy manner. Issues like sexual assault, entrapment, and attempted murder are broached alongside abuse of power, marital affairs, and Munchausen by proxy. In fact, on reflection, it should have been quite a heavy novel to plod through, but it was anything but.
I flew through the pages, consuming the storyline wanting to know what was going to happen next. Would Nat stay in the UK or return to Mallorca? Would Jack and Catherine cause more pain for one another with their secrets? Could Wes find himself thawing towards Nat or was their icy relationship to remain throughout the book?
With so many different threads running through the novel, I wanted to find out what was happening whilst at the same time, it is one of those books that I didn’t really want to end. It is a book that has left me feeling slightly bereft for the characters; I want to know more. I closed the book wondering, what happens next?
Thankfully this is the start of a series by Caro Land and Nat is due to return in the future, so while I may be at a loss for now, hopefully, the second instalment will be available shortly so I can return to the dramas of Natalie Bach.
Have you read Convictions? What novels have you read that leaves you wanting to know more?