“Reckless Disregard” is the second Parker Stern Novel in Rotsteins’ legal-thriller series. To avoid his battle with stage fright that happens when trying cases in a courtroom, Parker Stern, a top-notch attorney, has recently become a Judicial Alternative Dispute Solutions (JADS) mediator. However, Parker’s days as a JADS mediator may not last long when he receives an opportunity to defend a video game designer in a libel lawsuit that is just too intriguing to pass up.
Poniard, a well-known video game designer, has recently released Abduction. The object of the game is to solve the real-life kidnapping and murder of an actress who disappeared in 1987. Poniard does not make any effort to hide the identities of the 3D anime characters in the video. The only identity Poniard insists on hiding, even from Parker, is his own.
As Parker searches for witnesses to testify and evidence that he can present in court, Poniard becomes more uncooperative and only gives out tidbits of information through the video game as new levels are reached. When the few witnesses that Parker has found start dying, he becomes more determined than ever to get to the truth. But, in this case, everyone has secrets they want to stay hidden and pasts they want to keep buried.
Rotstein uses Brighton, a ten year-old gamer, to explain the game to the reader and follow a player through the different levels, all of which relate to what is happening in the story. “Reckless Disregard” is smoothly written with a well-thought-out plot. The characters have flaws that make them realistic and leave the reader wanting more.
FTC Full Disclosure: A review copy of this book was provided by its publisher.