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  • Writer's pictureNZ Booklovers

If That’s What It Takes by Les Allen

This page-turning read opens in 1972 in Belfast with an altercation between the IRA and the British Army, with Sean McBride making a controversial decision that will change many lives. Fast forward to 1982, and we find Sean living in New Zealand under a false identity working as a private investigator. He forms an unlikely alliance with Northland lawyer Jim Mansell, who is helped by his highly competent but unconventional secretary, Kelly.

They soon find themselves battling against dirty businessmen who are determined to get whatever they want, even if they destroy others in the process. Even Jim’s legal business partner turns out to be a crook, and in the course of the novel, they fight a series of David and Goliath battles, the stakes seeming to get higher and higher. Between them, do they have the skills and talent to overcome the many obstacles thrown at them?

If That’s What It Takes is a legal thriller that follows an engaging cast of characters, with a tale full of drama but told with a great deal of warmth. It is a compelling read that offers some insight into the legal world. It draws on the author’s experience working in law firms and is all the better for this authenticity. Enjoy a slightly nostalgic read that celebrates a side of New Zealand not usually seen in novels.

Reviewer: Karen McMillan


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