Conscious Bias: A Monica Spade Novel

4 reviews

About this ebook

A legal thriller that explores visceral bias, cultural alliances, and the power of love in Apple Grove, Wisconsin.

The crime-

A month ago, in a drunken stupor, Trevor McKnight--son of the prominent McKnight family--punched Abdul Seif in the face at a college bar and left him unconscious on the sidewalk. Even though Abdul was rushed to the hospital, he died a few days later. Now, Trevor is on trial for the felony murder of Abdul, a Saudi foreign exchange student.

The client-

Monica Spade is a rising star among lawyers in her small city of Apple Grove. When the president of the hospital asks Monica to prepare high-profile physicians to testify at Trevor's trial, she eagerly agrees, thinking their heroic attempts to save Abdul's life will be straightforward testimony.

The defense-

Trevor's slick defense lawyer deploys a number of deceptive tools to obscure the facts and shift the focus of the prosecution, including taking aim at Monica's physician clients.

The bias-

Monica is shocked to find herself in the middle of a ferocious courtroom battle that uncoils demons of bias against a Muslim with dark skin who isn't from Apple Grove. Faced with death threats and her career in jeopardy, Monica is forced to make a choice--help the hospital and DA, or succumb to the pressure of her law firm and the powerful McKnight family.

The romance-

While in the public eye, Monica develops romantic feelings for Shelby St. Claire, a sexy art teacher who dazzles Monica with pantherine grace at CrossFit class. Struggling with her fear of being outed at her sexist, all-male law firm, Monica must decide whether to risk her career for love and justice.

Ratings and reviews

4 reviews
Becky Baldridge
July 14, 2019
Conscious Bias left me with mixed feelings. The book had great potential but I felt like it never quite got there. In the acknowledgements, the author calls this one a legal thriller with strong female leads. I did appreciate the strong women in the story, but I didn't find anything even remotely thriller-like. There is some action, but the story reads more like a cozy mystery except there really isn't much in the way of mystery here either. We know who the bad guys are pretty quickly. That said, I did enjoy the legal side of this one. The courtroom scenes are interesting and fast-paced. The rest of the book is more comedy with a touch of romance than anything else. Speaking of comedy, I think reporter Tiffany was supposed to be comic relief, but the bubble-headed dialogue was so over the top that she quickly became caricature-like and the more I read of her, the less I wanted of those parts. The first time she said something completely ridiculous was amusing, the rest were just eye-roll inducing. Now, for our main character, Monica, the star of the show. I like that the author hit on some prevalent issues with Monica working in a so-called man's world and being afraid to come out professionally. However, things seem to come a little too easily for our protagonist. Oh, she has her share of troubles, but once she addresses them, it's like good things start pouring down - she tells her boss about a particular problem, and bam! problem solved. And what is up with this woman? Sexy is one thing, but Monica gets hit on by everybody. It's just a little over the top. In the end, I did have some problems with this one, but there were also things I liked, so I'm left right in the middle. I think with a bit of tightening up, Monica Spade could be a solid series. It doesn't all have to be drama, in fact, I like comedy mixed in. But sometimes less is more, and in this case, I would've much preferred a few good laughs over the groans that a certain reporter pulled out of me. I will add that I liked the monkey. He was unrealistic but did create some funny situations. From the way things were left, I would assume that this is just the introduction to Monica Spade, so I'll be interested to see how things go from here.
5 people found this review helpful
A Google user
August 22, 2019
Fantastic read! This book takes a unique behind-the-scenes perspective of a criminal trial, while simultaneously exploring how the main character experiences and responds to conscious bias. The author does a great job of capturing how this character’s response varies depending on whether the bias is directed at a friend, a client, a family from outside of the local community, or herself.
1 person found this review helpful

About the author

Alexi Venice delights in offering readers the chance to escape the absurdities of our harsh, contemporary reality for the sanity of fiction. Her popular San Francisco Mystery Series is a crime drama that tests the bonds of love and loyalty among Dr. Jen Dawson, Detective Tommy Vietti and District Attorney Amanda Hawthorne.

Venice's 30-year legal career informs her medical and crime fiction. She also personally researches her adventure scenes, including flying a jet, shooting assault rifles, wake boarding in the Caribbean, testing her strength at CrossFit, doing yoga, and getting the crap beat out of her boxing.

Venice, who used to live near San Francisco, is married and now spends most of her time in Wisconsin.

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