#112 ~ The Tenth CaseOctober 24, 2008 at 9:46 am | Posted in Books, Reading | 7 Comments
Tags: defense attorney, fiction, Jaywalker, Joseph Teller, legal thriller, The Tenth Case
The Tenth Case by Joseph Teller
This novel starts off at an ethics hearing for Harrison J. Walker, a widowed and somewhat unscrupulous defense attorney who is put on a three year suspension after getting caught on video as a client demonstrated her appreciation of his legal assistance on her knees. Before his suspension begins, Jaywalker – as he is commonly and most appropriately known – convinces the judicial panel to allow him to finish ten cases already in progress, arguing that it would be unfair to his clients to have to find another lawyer at this late juncture. The first nine of those cases are completed efficiently and smoothly. After all, Jaywalker has a long record of getting his clients acquitted. His tenth case, however, is the case he was most drawn to. He is defending Samara Tannenbaum, a streetwise and uncouth ex-Vegas cocktail waitress, in her murder trial. Samara has been accused of murdering her much older, billionaire husband. Despite her cheap and easy past, she is the one client that Jaywalker was unable to take to bed the first time he defended her for while on her husband’s payroll.
The Tenth Case is a fun legal romp that reminds me a lot of Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum novels in its tone and pacing. It is the perfect book to read for a pleasant diversion, so long as you don’t mind a hero with questionable personal morals. It was just that about Jaywalker that appealed to me. He’s not condescending. Instead, he’s down to earth and can relate to his clients. After all, don’t we all have our own demons? Deep down, he believes in what he does and often cares for his clients – and not just carnally. He believes in the legal system that he describes in interesting detail. His sarcastic take on his own life more than makes up for his occassional smarminess.
Joseph Teller told a fun and suspenseful tale. As someone who doesn’t read a great deal of legal thrillers, I appreciated the quick explanations that made their way effortlessly into his prose. He quickly had me rooting for his imperfect narrator. I’m looking forward to meeting up with Jaywalker again.
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