Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Review: Closest to the Fire by Karen A. Wyle

Genre: Non-Fiction


“Write about the law -- and get it right!

Learn your way around the legal landscape!

The world of law and lawyers, with its suspense, its moral quandaries, and its ripped-from-the-headlines subject matter, provides wonderful material for fiction. This guide will help writers explore these many story possibilities -- while avoiding the also-numerous pitfalls awaiting the unwary author. It can also serve as an overall reference for law and prelaw students, or for anyone wishing to understand more about the American legal system.

Included throughout the book are ideas for stories or story elements based on the content and available for the readers' use.”


“Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle's childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9.

Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two daughters.”


Closest to the Fire is positioned as a guide to help authors keep situations involving US law in their fiction reasonably credible. The author even throws out ideas and suggestions for how a particular legal principle might be used in a compelling story to good effect for readers who are inclined to take the idea and run with it. I spotted more than a few of those suggestions that I’d like to read. The only problem for me is that I’m not an author and odds of me ever writing a book that is fiction are worse than the odds of me winning the lottery (and I never buy lottery tickets).

However, as I’ve said more than once in online discussions, I’m not a lawyer, but I often play one on the internet. The law and the legal system is something that’s always interested me. I’ve read more than my share of legal thrillers by Turow, Gresham, and Rebecca Forster, among many others. While I’m not sure most people want to dive in and read this from virtual cover to virtual cover like I did since it is designed more as a reference than an entertaining read, I suspect there are others out there beyond the target audience who might find this worth reading. If you think you might find it interesting, I’d bet you will.

Buy now from:            Amazon US        Amazon UK

Format/Typo Issues:

No significant issues

Rating: **** Four Stars

Reviewed by: BigAl

Approximate word count: 210-215,000 words

No comments: