Law and Disorder, by Mike Papantonio

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A Book Review

Nicholas Deketomis (Deke) is a Florida lawyer who has become very successful with class action lawsuits. Having won billions in judgments, he is now involved with multiple cases going after huge corporations.

Currently On His Schedule

First, a drug company apparently willing to overlook the harm their biggest selling drug may cause. The drug, Ranidol, is approved as a birth control pill. A happy side effect from the drug is weight loss. Naturally that makes it a best seller for the company. It turns out there are other side effects, far more severe. The drug is believed to cause liver damage, heart attacks and strokes, in the very young at that.

Next, we find a Texas corporation that has contaminated the soil and water to the extent that many residents now suffer from deadly illnesses.  Then there is a mega church straining its tax exempt status.  Each case demands much of Deke’s time and attention. All three of them are active at the same time.

In this setting, in the middle of the three major cases,  Deke kills a man.

Now What?

Self defense? Overreaction? Anger issues? These days that becomes very unclear. With skilled manipulation, anyone can be made to look guilty or innocent. The book clearly demonstrates how hard it is to hide anything today. Between phones, photos, texts, and social media, access is too easy to use to disadvantage.

Can Deke go forward when he may be charged with murder? When so many want him stopped? What is behind it all—or more important, who?


Law and Disorder is definitely a solid legal thriller. The tension is there right from the beginning, both inside the courtroom and out. Investigating turns dangerous, risky. With stakes so high, some will go to any extreme to protect themselves.

The novel twists between the investigations, from the huge corporations to the inner workings of Deke’s law firm, to politics at a local level to the national. The characters are well depicted, both good and bad.

And in the midst of it all are Deke—and his family. Their characters were especially well developed, between his relationship with his wife, and the issues one would have with a teenage boy and college age daughter. Deke wants to give the voiceless a chance. Still, taking on a major corporations may be an overwhelming, even deadly task. Someone will use any means possible to stop Deke, including murder. As one case intertwines with another, the answers always seem to be just out of reach.

For Further Consideration

There is much to discuss—or debate–within this complex novel. Ordinarily I wouldn’t comment beyond that, but the author stresses it.  Perhaps his goal is to increase discussion.

While I enjoyed the solid suspense of the story, the politics of it distracted at times. Nearly all businesses are designed to make money, including law firms.  Greed can be found in any–perhaps all–industry, along with good motivations.  Justice is something most of us want.

I do recommend this one! It will get you thinking even as you race across the countryside with Deke, trying to find answers before someone close to him is hurt or killed. It’s an exciting read!  Looking forward to what comes next for Mr. Papantonio.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Alzheimers HQ and Simple Living Ideas

Author: Merry Citarella

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