The Isotoner Ordeal - Book Review

The Isotoner Ordeal

Author: Christopher Leibig
Genre: Fiction - Drama
Publisher: Traveller's Playground Press
Date Published: February 19, 2018
ISBN-10: 1980335257
ISBN-13: 9781980335252

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Book Review of :  The Isotoner Ordeal


The Isotoner Ordeal by Christopher Leibig creates a dark, complex story about a defense lawyer who doggedly defends clients accused of various crimes, even murder. He can commiserate with the accused because he was once himself an accused murderer. His name is David Stillman, and the story opens with him sitting in his favorite bar, Ragtime, ruminating over his past when an elegant attractive woman strolled in, purposely took the stool next to him and immediately engaged him in conversation.  She exuded an air of confidence and before the night was over,  Michaela Fitzgerald with her southern accent and beauty had captured David’s lonely heart and soon thereafter seduced him, or maybe it was the other way around.

 David was a young lawyer with a closet full of skeletons, and Michaela was a probation violator with an unsavory past waiting for the disposition of her current court case. She was older than David and unrepentant of her transgressions. Oddly enough, David starts to reveal his past and finds her an attentive listener.  He came from a good family, in fact, his father was a lawyer, but he ran with and was a juvenile delinquent.  He and his cohorts were in their mid-teens smoking, harassing others, vandalizing, bullying, and trying to earn the status of badass. They wanted to be a part of something that gave them status among their peers and their membership in their group also provided the camaraderie that they sought. Many of their actions were thoughtless and dangerous that could have easily resulted in injury to others or major damage to property; things like dropping pumpkins or large balls of iced snow on the top of moving cars or stoning homes. They built their own tree fort in the woods, learned to hide in storm sewers, engaged in targeting a village of midgets with harassment, egged homes, assaulted and robbed a Domino’s Pizza man, seriously vandalized a car, ruined a lawn and much more – their rein finally culminated when being accused of murder.

But who is this femme fatale, this mysterious Michaela Fitzgerald and why did this “Mrs. Robinson,” character become so interested in David Stillman?  Was it the fact that Michaela was in trouble and wanted a lawyer that she felt she could pay for his services and loyalty by sleeping with him? Over just a few days, she has gained David’s trust and admiration, and he unburdens his soul.

The novel tells multiple stories in tandem, the new relationship David has with Michaela, the background of his previous murder case of teenager Tracy Chisholm accused of killing Alvin Watkins AKA Blue Cheese, his own back story of being accused of murder, and Michaela’s case that is unfolded slowly as they get to know each other better. All the stories swirl about with little obvious connection, but masterfully Leibig merges them together for a satisfying conclusion.

The Isotoner Ordeal reiterates the saying, “Don’t let the past steal your present.”

Christopher Leibig is an excellent and prolific writer. If you enjoy legal thrillers, I urge you to try him. You won't regret it.

Reviewed by: David H

About Christopher Leibig


Christopher Leibig is a novelist and criminal defense lawyer who lives and works in Alexandria, Virginia. His 2016 novel, Almost Mortal, won many national awards, including the Next Generation Independent Book Award for "Best Religious Fiction of 2016." The Chanticleer International Book Award, "Grand Prize for Paranormal Fiction" - 2017, and the Pencraft Award for "Best legal Thriller, 2017." His first two published books, Saving Saddam (a 2008 novel about the trial of Saddam Hussein) and Montanamo (a 2010 novel about Guantanamo Bay detainees being housed in a small Montana town's prison) were published by Artnik Books in London. Saving Saddam was re-released in 2014 under its original American title, The Black Rabbit. Chris also has several published short stories - Secret Admirer (The Cynic on-line magazine 2004) Coldcocked (Skyline magazine 2004), Fly (The Cynic on-line magazine 2009), Intervention (Traveller's Playground Press 2014), and Paradise City (Traveller's Playground Press 2014). The Black Rabbit, Montanamo, Intervention, and Paradise City are also available on audiobook by Audible. Chris's 2018 novel, The Isotoner Ordeal, won the Next Generation Independent Book Award for "Best Ebook of the Year."

Chris's law firm, the Law Office of Christopher Leibig, represents individuals charged with or being investigated for serious criminal offenses throughout Virginia and in Washington. DC. His firm has received numerous awards and recognitions, including inclusion in Washingtonian Magazine's Top Lawyers in Criminal Defense every year since 2011. Chris has also published numerous articles on criminal defense and related politics - including in the Huffington Post and The Examiner - and appeared as a legal expert regularly since 2009 in print and television media - including Fox News, CNN, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and Sports Illustrated. In recent years Chris has regularly handled high profile criminal cases in the DC area and travelled abroad to speak to law schools. Since 2012, Chris and his colleagues have lectured on criminal defense throughout Virginia, and in Scotland, Ireland, Trinidad, The Bahamas, Jamaica, Denmark, Bulgaria and Portugal.

More information about Chris can be found at

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