Todd M. Johnson

Todd M. Johnson

PW review of The Deposit Slip

Debut novelist Johnson, like fellow Christian novelists James Scott Bell and Randy Singer, has worked many years as a trial lawyer, a profession that seems to serve budding novelists well, perhaps not because they are accustomed to framing and structuring narratives of event but because they have seen much of the underbelly of society. When Erin Larson finds a deposit slip for $10 million in her recently deceased father’s safety deposit box, she hires Jared Neaton to help her find out where the money came from and why she never saw any signs of it. To take the case, Neaton must return to his hometown and face his father, who did time in prison for embezzlement. Johnson writes vividly; describing Neaton’s fathers eyes, he writes, “They showed no fight; only a rush of unexpected pain. It drained all the satisfaction out of the rage, seeing his dad like a fighter who wouldn’t raise his gloves.” With an irresistible set-up, suspense, a subtle love triangle, strong dialogue, characters, and a focused plot, Johnson makes a strong first literary case.

PW review of Fatal Trust

At the start of this tangled legal thriller set in 2018 from Johnson (The Deposit Slip), Sean Callahan, an Irishman whose father was an IRA hunger striker, approaches St. Paul, Minn., attorney Ian Wells about a trusteeship set up by his late father in 1998, for the late James Doyle. The trust named three beneficiaries to Doyle’s estate: Callahan; Doyle’s son, Rory; and Doyle’s brother-in-law, Edward McMartin. It stipulated that the three men would receive the proceeds only if they avoided involvement in any criminal activity for 20 years. The 20-year period has just ended, and someone must determine whether the three men are eligible to receive their inheritance. An exorbitant fee convinces Wells to agree, but he’s soon involved in a messy and dangerous investigation that will turn his personal and professional lives upside down. At the heart of the case is a fatal robbery at an art gallery 35 years earlier, “the largest art theft in Minnesota history.” Johnson reveals one surprising secret after another…

Library Journal review of Fatal Trust

For young Minnesota attorney Ian Wells, keeping his deceased father’s law firm afloat while contending with his mother’s deteriorating health pushes him to the brink. When a new client promises him $200,000 for a week’s worth of work, he jumps at the chance. Big mistake. Thanks to its engaging characters and dizzyingly twisty plot, this legal thriller makes the perfect vacation getaway for John Grisham and Robert Whitlow aficionados.