4 stars out of 5
Well, if I've learned anything after nearly 55 years of marriage, it's that when in divorce court, never trust a living soul. At this point, though, I'm in full agreement with the wife of the philandering husband in this, the second book in the author's Family Court series: I've invested far too much time in the one I've got to get rid of him now.
And in this case, that wife - Martha Grimm - is willing to pay handsomely to accomplish exactly that. But what she wants to avoid at all costs is suing her husband. When she puts that challenge to her attorney, though, the initial reaction is something like, say what? Putting their heads together - and realizing that no solution to their client's request means no fees - the attorney and her associates come up with the notion of putting the state's little-known (and probably never used) law called "Alienation of Affections" into play. As such, the firm can sue the wayward husband's mistress - herein known as "The Floozy" - thus taking the husband out of the equation and allowing for a trial by jury instead of the more typical judge's decision.
What happens behind the scenes in divorce court is revealed in this very short novel (I read it in one sitting and one-and-a-half glasses of a decent sangria). But most interesting to me were the characters, beginning with the Floozy, who's desperately trying to dress the part in court (using her paramour's credit card, of course) and the height-challenged judge who's just trying to get in 10 years so he can retire with a hefty pension for life. Then there's the Great Negotiator, a.k.a. Floozy's lawyer, who always delivers results (whether or not he'll manage that here I'll never tell). Even "The Dress" - the ill-fitting number Floozy picked for her day in court - plays a significant role.
All in all, it's a fun look inside the workings of divorce court. I thank the author for providing a copy for me to read and review.
Alienation of Affections by Portia Porter (Cheetah Press, August 2016); 141 pp.