★★★★ Whisper of Hope by J.B. Millhollin is a sizzling legal thriller set in the suffocating, sweltering Nashville heat. When a big-shot businessman, Jack Whitmore, files for divorce from his wife, Hope, the lawsuit sends ripples through their lives that have implications beyond much more than just the end of their marriage. Though Hope had tried to make their marriage work for the sake of their son, Billy, she is forced to hire legal help in the form of a disillusioned divorce attorney named David Brenden. As the story opens, David is dealing with his own share of loose ends, including a failing marriage, a drug-addicted brother, and a mother whose ailing health has the family on high alert. David has seen numerous marriages end before their time, yet, instinctively, he knows that Hope is meant to be trusted, and he decides to help her fight for full custody of her son. But David and Hope will soon discover that the custody battle is just the beginning of a long period of painful moments—and plenty of beautiful ones, too.
Fast-paced, thought-provoking, and deeply romantic, Millhollin builds an intriguing premise around the core of a single divorce case, crafting a story where events spiral carefully out of control. It’s clear the author is well acquainted with divorce law—and legal proceedings, in general—which lends the novel an authoritative voice. Though light on description, the story still manages to feel highly cinematic in scope and execution; one could easily imagine this being adapted as a television drama. While the story is quite heavy on dialogue, which might turn off readers who are looking for a more atmospheric experience, quick scenes and a constant drip of dramatic tension give the book an almost breathless lightness, making it the perfect summer read.