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Time Hails Roosevelt As a First Novelist to Watch, Comparing His Work to Bestselling Author Scott Turow
By Andy Greenberg
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Kermit Roosevelt with his book
Mark Clayton, a protagonist in Kermit Roosevelt's new legal thriller, In the Shadow of the Law, finds himself in the unenviable position of a newly hired associate at a top corporate law firm. Drowning under a Sisyphean work load, he's forced to work nights and weekends. He gives up all remnants of a social life. He even eschews regular bathing, all in the hope of wringing out a few more billable hours.

It's hard to imagine where he would squeeze in the time to write a bestselling novel. Yet Roosevelt did just that, penning his first work of fiction during the two years he spent as an associate with Mayer Brown & Platt LLP before joining Penn Law's faculty as an assistant professor in 2002.

And although Roosevelt humbly calls In the Shadow of the Law "a sort of hobby," the novel has received extraordinary critical acclaim. Time included the book in a round-up of "Five Fantastic First Novels," saying that "Roosevelt writes about the law more passionately and entertainingly than anyone since Scott Turow." Publisher's Weekly calls it an "outstanding debut" that "transcends the legal thriller genre." Library Journal describes it as a "superior novel," and Alan Dershowitz's New York Times review lauds it as "an impressive first novel," recommending it "with real enthusiasm."
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