Robert Whitlow grew up in north Georgia. He graduated magna cum laude from Furman University with a BA in history in 1976 and received his JD with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law in 1979. A practicing attorney, he is a partner in a Charlotte, NC law firm. He and his wife Kathy have four children and nine grandchildren. Robert began writing in 1996. His novels are set in the South and include both legal suspense and interesting characterization. It is his desire to write stories that reveal some of the ways God interacts with people in realistic scenarios.

In this interview, Robert talks about his latest legal thriller, Relative Justice.

FF: What inspired the story in your book?
The story was inspired by my interest in exploring family dynamics in a law firm, thus the name, Relative Justice. I thought it would be entertaining to show what it might look like for a father, son, daughter in law to practice together in a small, Southern, law firm.

FF: What can you tell us about the main characters in your book?
There are two main characters in the book. David Cobb isn’t a typical lawyer. He’s more interested in dispensing God’s wisdom than battling in the courtroom. But when faced with the need of helping a long-time family friend who’s been ripped off by a big pharmaceutical company, David the mild-mannered lawyer changes into David the warrior who wants to take down Goliath. Katelyn Cobb is David’s sister-in-law. She is working for a high-powered litigation firm in Washington, DC. At the top of her profession, Katelyn doesn’t see working with her brother-in-law in Wilmington, NC in her future. But circumstances bring them together. And the case for the family friend makes David and Katelyn comrades in arms (mostly!).

FF: Which character surprised you the most?
Emerson Chappell, PhD, the antagonist, surprised me the most. There are facets to his character that I didn’t anticipate!

FF: Why do you think storytelling is such a powerful way to share truth?
Jesus told stories. We tell stories. People love stories. It’s the oldest form of instruction and education.

FF: What can you tell us about your next book?
My next novel is a new story with a fresh set of characters. Set in the mountains of north Georgia it’s a story about life, death, greed, and redemption.

FF: What kind of research did you do for this book?
I don’t do a lot of research for my novels. I’m a lawyer so that part is pretty easy. I’ll research medical and scientific matters but don’t go too deep. And there’s always the option to simply make something up. After all, it’s fiction!

FF: What do you want readers to take away after reading your book?
I want readers to be entertained and inspired.

FF: What are the biggest challenges for you as an author writing in your specific genre?
My genre doesn’t create challenges; it opens the door to freedom of expression! I love the fact that I can include spiritual/faith elements in the stories because that’s common in the world in which we live. As a Christian, I have the opportunity to portray these matters in a way that’s credible.

FF: What authors or books have inspired you as an author?
I’ve been influenced by Earnest Hemingway and his journalist style of story-telling along with the thousands of depositions and court hearings I’ve been a part of. Brief narrative, lots of dialogue.

Relative Justice
Robert Whitlow
Thomas Nelson
Genres: Suspense, Legal Thriller
Release Date: April 12, 2022

ISBN-10: ‎ 0785234705
ISBN-13: ‎ 978-0785234708

Book Summary:
For the attorneys at Cobb and Cobb, the pursuit of justice is about more than legal expertise; it’s a family matter.

David Cobb is not a typical lawyer—he’s more interested in dispensing God’s wisdom than pertinent legal advice. High-stakes litigation is way outside his comfort zone.

For many years Zeke Caldwell has been concocting home remedies made from natural ingredients found in the coastal marshes near Wilmington, North Carolina. One of his remedies proved so effective that he patented it with the help of David’s father. Now he suspects a big drug company has stolen his formula. What he doesn’t know is that the theft has deeper, more evil roots.

When Zeke asks David to help fight the drug company, David knows the suit is beyond his expertise and experience. But his sister-in-law, Katelyn Cobb, is a rising star attorney in a prestigious Washington, DC, law firm. The courtroom is her second home. Could she help? Would she even consider it?

Life’s circumstances compel the lawyers to face, not only patent piracy, but personal obstacles and struggles that threaten to rip apart the fabric of the family. The fight for Zeke requires all the relatives to unite for justice.


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About The Author

Robert Whitlow is the best-selling author of legal novels set in the South and winner of the prestigious Christy Award for Contemporary Fiction. A Furman University graduate, Whitlow received his J.D. with honors from the University of Georgia School of Law where he served on the staff of the Georgia Law Review. A practicing attorney, Whitlow and his wife, Kathy, have four children. They make their home in North Carolina.