#112 ~ The Tenth Case

October 24, 2008 at 9:46 am | Posted in Books, Reading | 7 Comments
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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.


To buy this book, click here.


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  1. Even I don’t read a lot of legal thrillers, but this one sounds good.

    Somehow I don’t like the cover of the book very much, I wouldn’t have picked it up based on that.

  2. The cover of the book made me think it’s very graphic. I’m going to add it to my wish list since you compared it to the Stephanie Plum books.

  3. Well, I am certainly in the minority. I couldn’t even finish this book. I definitely didn’t like it. I’ve just come to the conclusion that legal thrillers aren’t for me!

  4. I liked it too, I thought the legal explanations fit easily into the narrative so that I felt like I was effortlessly learning a little something about the legal system. And Jaywalker is a flawed but completely likable guy.

  5. I love sarcasm and am always drawn to characters with a sarcastic take on their own lives. Great review, Jennifer.

  6. I love the sound of this! It sounds a lot like a TV show I used to watch called Shark. James Woods was the attorney with questionable morals. 2 seasons and it was cancelled 😦 Now I’ll just have to go buy the book to get my fix lol Thanks for the review!

  7. I’ve seen this one around, it does sound good. Great review!

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