Miami Law & Love Story

Bruce Von Stiers

There are a lot of attorneys out there. In the wake of John Grisham's success, several are writing books. Some of the books are terrible and some are quite good. There is another segment of novel writing lawyers that have material that is good, but could have been just a little bit better. Such is the case of the book that I just read. The title of the book is Ocean Court. It was written by Arlaine Rockey, an attorney based in North Carolina. The book was published by Xlibris Corporation.

Avery Guerin is an attorney for Miami Legal Aid. She is a good lawyer with a strong sense of advocacy for her clients. She is also in love with Jonathon Britten. Jon is another lawyer in the MLA.

The book starts off with what looks like a blackmail attempt and then a murder. It seems that a sometime client of MLA by the name of Spider has turned up dead. It supposedly was an accident but Jon and Avery have their doubts. When it turns out that Spider was indeed murdered, Avery and Jon investigate is death.

They seem to be bumping into a Cuban cop and his Anglo partner a lot. Who are they and what did they have to do with Spider's death? Avery also picks up a new intern by the name of Stuart.

Other characters in the book include Perry, David, Foo, Alex and Alice. There sure are a lot of folks whose name starts with A. You have to read very carefully in some parts of the book or you might get the characters confused. I know I did at one point and had to reread part of a chapter in order for it to make sense.

While Avery is pining away for Jonathan, he gets murdered. Someone else who's pining for Jon is Foo. She is secretly in love with Jon. She is as covert in her feelings about Jon as Avery is overt. This makes for an interesting triangle for the reader to sort out.

On top of finding Spider's killer, Avery now takes on the task of finding Jon's as well. This leads her into some interesting situations. Is one of her colleagues responsible for the murder of Spider? And is that same person the one who killed Jonathan?

The plot of Ocean Court could have been flushed out more. The relationship between Avery and Jonathan could have been explored better. And the reason for Spider's death was very predictable.

Anyone who's seen Basic Instinct can find some interesting parallels here.

Overall, Ocean Court was a decent mystery. Aside from the use of too many names with A in them, the story line was understandable and easy to follow. I just wish that there were more intrigue and less muddled I-love-him-but-he-loves-someone-else stuff.

For a first effort, Arlaine Rockey did a good job. Maybe by the time she has a couple of more under her belt she'll be on the same level as John Grisham.

For more information about Arlaine Rockey, visit her web site at To check other titles from Xlibris Corporation, you can call 1-888-7-XLIBRIS or check out their web site at

As an addendum, the editor for the book should have checked for more grammatical errors. There was an extreme under usage of commas and semicolons in the book.

Copyright © 2000 Bruce E. Von Stiers