Dead Man's Rule

Title:  Dead Man’s Rule
Author:  Rick Acker
Pages:  314
Year:  2005
Publisher:  Kregel Publications
Ben Corbin is a young attorney who has left a big name law firm to start his own practice.  He has been in business six months and has discovered he has no trouble attracting clients, but he does have trouble collecting his fees from them.  He is in the middle of prepping for a trial when a former client recommends him to Dr. Ivanovsky, a former Russian biological scientist.  The good doctor has paid $5000 to a certain small-time Russian drug dealer for the contents of said drug dealer’s brother’s safe deposit box.  The drug dealer’s brother is dead, but used to work for the CIA and KGB as well as smuggling on the side.  The doctor tries to get into the safe deposit box, but the band won’t let him as the necessary paperwork isn’t signed, transferring ownership.  Dr. Ivanovsky tries to get this from the drug dealer, but now the drug dealer won’t sign and claims he was never paid any money.  He now plans to sell the box to someone else for a great deal more money.
Dr. Ivanovsky presents his case to Ben.  Ben tells him he will probably spend more in legal fees than the $5000 he paid for the box and probably the contents of the box as well.  The doctor is adamant that he wishes to proceed with suing the drug dealer.  As the case progresses, things begin to look good for Ben and the doctor and then they have a setback.  This happens time and again.  Ben wishes he never would have taken the case.  Ben also suspects that what is in the box is far more valuable than some jewelry, which is what the doctor initially claims is in the box.  Soon people connected to the case begin to die or disappear.  Can Ben win this case?  At what cost?  What is the cost, not only to him, if he loses?
This was a good book, but not a great book.  There was a little too much legalese for me that bogged down a few parts of the book.  I did like how the author wove Christianity into the plot as well as the theme of trusting God in all situations and not ourselves.  There were some tension-filled moments for sure and a few suspenseful ones too.  I think the threat of biological warfare is very well depicted in the story and that the average person is oblivious to that threat.  I will be reading more of this author’s books and would recommend this one for those who like legal suspense.
My rating is 4 stars.

Note:  The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.  Other reviews can be read at  Also follow me on Twitter @lcjohnson1988, FaceBook at
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