By Way of Sorrow by Robin Gigl

I'm always on the search for the next great thriller. I just can't get enough of the suspenseful page-turning stories that keep me reading late into the night. I try to read a variety of genres, but thrillers have always been the safest bet to capture my attention. My last read was a classic sci-fi novel that I really struggled to work through, so I was eager to move on to something that had a quicker pace. Enter Robin Gigl's debut thriller By Way of Sorrow. Her publisher sent me an advanced copy to read, and it couldn't have come at a better time. Suspenseful, thoughtful, and thrilling, By Way of Sorrow was just the antidote I needed to cure my reading slump. 

Erin McCabe has just agreed to take on the highest-profile criminal case of her career. Sharise Barnes, a transgender woman, is accused of robbing and killing the son of a New Jersey State Senator. The senator's family says that Sharise tricked their son into sleeping with her so that she could rob him. Sharise has a different story. She says that when the son discovered that she wasn't born a woman, he got violent with her. Sharise stabbed him in an act of self-defense. The case is down to the word of a transgender prostitute against that of an influential politician. It isn't hard to guess which side of the story the courts will favor. 

Despite the odds being stacked against them, Erin believes that Sharise is innocent and is determined to defend her. Beyond her desire to see justice served, Erin's involvement in the case is out of something more personal. You see, Erin is a transgender woman herself. Like Sharise, Erin knows what it feels like to be a stranger in her own body. She's faced the challenge of having to live her truth or keep her family and friends. In taking on this case, Erin knows that her past will be brought to the forefront, but she can't let Sharise's case go. In Erin's eyes, the only thing separating her from Sharise is money and privilege. She has to help this woman win this case. 

The best thrillers combine a riveting plot with captivating characters. In By Way of Sorrow Robin Gigl does just that. The legal case pits the large political force against the small, marginalized minority. That dynamic of power versus weak drives most of the suspense in the novel. What elevates the story is Gigl's ability to write characters who strive to overcome their perceived weakness and turn it into strength. The main protagonist Erin is still coming to terms with being a transgender woman. She's accepted herself but struggles with how the rest of the world perceives her. Gigl imbues Erin with a sense of truth that is undeniable. She places her in real situations and allows them to play out as they would in the real world. As Erin finds her place in the world and builds her confidence in defending her case, we too gain an understanding of her character and how universal her story truly is. I was glued to the pages of this novel and can only hope that Gigl has more stories to tell in the future. 

For more information visit the author's website, Amazon, and Goodreads

(2021, 12)

This entry was posted on Tuesday, March 30, 2021 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

8 Responses to “By Way of Sorrow by Robin Gigl”

  1. I love when a book is good enough to pull me out of a slump! I'm glad this one did that for you. :)

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    1. I agree. After all this time reading so many books, I'm always happy to find my way out of a slump!

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  2. I always love returning to great read after one that I struggled through. Glad this one did that for you!

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    1. It is one of the best things to know that you'll be able to get through a book and enjoy it haha

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  3. The books that keep us awake at night are always the best ones! If I'm up late because of a book, it's because it's too good to put down, or I can't stop thinking about what I just read. I'm okay with both. :)

    I'm happy this one was a page-turner and that you enjoyed it!

    Lindsi @ Do You Dog-ear? 💬

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    1. I always love those stay up all night reads in the moment, but certainly pay for them the next morning!

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  4. I can see something like this actually happening in real life. This sounds like a good read.

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    1. I've definitely read news stories similar to this case. It is so said that we haven't been able to escape the stigma that comes with being transgender.

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