The Emperor of Ocean Park is a legal thriller involving a law professor, Talcott Garland, whose father was a prominent judge who was disgraced after being nominated for a Supreme Court chair by Ronald Reagan. The judge's nomination ended in disgrace because of his association with Jack Ziegler, a former CIA agent turned organized crime kingpin. After the judge dies, he leaves Talcott with cryptic clues involving some deep dark secret that Talcott must figure out, with a host of others either trying to help or prevent him from doing so.
This novel was certainly competently written. The author, a law professor, knows his legal wrangling, and there is enough action and tension to keep it interesting, but there were other things that kept it from being a good novel instead of just an okay one. For one thing, through two thirds of the book, everyone seemed to know more about the mystery than Talcott, and it didn't make sense that if they knew more about it than him, then why were they so reliant on him to find what the judge was leaving behind instead of finding it on their own. The other issue was that the reveal at the end wasn't as earth-shattering as all of the drama leading up to it. It was a bit of a yawner, in fact. A solid novel, but not one that you should go out of my way to read.
Carl Alves - author of Blood Street