Rick Cornell
LeRue Books (2015)
ISBN 9781938814143
Reviewed by Michel Violante for Reader Views (03/16)

“2051” is a legal thriller by Rick Cornell, about the American legal system, after the greatest act of domestic terrorism on American soil ever, an act known as “831” (August 31, 2049).

Under, the “Super Patriot Act of 2049,” a law that was hastily passed by Congress after an uproar from the public, any American engaging in kindness and charity to anyone seen as an enemy of the state can end up in prison for life for treason. This act gives the government a seemingly unlimited amount of power. That is exactly what happens when the government finds out that a pastor, Beau Browne, gave aid to a man convicted for soliciting a minor. The fact that the convicted man was innocent holds no meaning with authorities, and Browne’s nephew Antonio, who is also his attorney, is in for an uphill battle.

The premise of the story is fine, but I was a bit confused at times, beginning with the title, which sounds like an apocalyptic or post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel. I was unclear about the details of 831 and what actually happened, and that bothered me as I read. The narrative was also a bit confusing as I tried to decipher who was representing their point of view at certain times.

There are several engaging subplots with controversial issues, but where the book shines is in the courtroom. It is apparent that the author knows well his way around the courtroom, and the inner workings of the legal system. The fact that 2051 is not that far down the road is cause for alarm as to just how far down our government could spiral.

Readers of legal thrillers will enjoy “2051” by Rick Cornell. It is a relatively quick read that will provoke thought and reflection.

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