Legal Thrillers








November 4, 2018

Lescroart, John. POISON: A Novel. Atria Books. September '18. $16.00. Seventeeth in the Dismas Hardy series. "From the bestselling author...comes a gripping thriller featuring attorney Dismas Hardy as he investigates the murder of a wealthy man whose heirs are all potential suspects. Finally recovered from two gunshot wounds, Dismas Hardy is looking forward to easing into retirement and reconnecting with his family. But he is pulled back into the courtroom when Grant Wagner, the steely owner of a successful family business, is murdered. The prime suspect is Wagner's bookkeeper Abby Jarvis, a former client of Hardy's, who had been receiving large sums of cash under-the-table from the company - but she insists that she's innocent. Preparing for trial, Dismas investigates the Wagner clan and discovers dark, twisted secrets, jealous siblings, gold-digging girlfriends, betrayals, and blackmail. The closer he gets to the Wagners, the clearer it becomes that Dismas has a target painted on his back."



Lescroart, John. THE RULE OF LAW: A Novel. Atria Books. February '19. $27.00. Eighteenth in the Dismas Hardy series. "...attorney Dismas Hardy is called to defend the least likely suspect of his career: his longtime, trusted assistant who is suddenly being charged as an accessory to murder. Dismas Hardy knows something is amiss with his trusted secretary, Phyllis. Her out-of-character behavior and sudden disappearances concern Hardy, especially when he learns that her convict brother - a man who had served twenty-five years in prison for armed robbery and attempted murder - has just been released. Things take a shocking turn with Phyllis is suddenly arrested at work for allegedly being an accessory to the murder of Hector Valdez, a coyote who'd been smuggling women into this country from El Salvador and Mexico. That is, until recently, when he was shot to death - on the very same day that Phyllis first disappeared from work. The connection between Phyllis, her brother, and Hector's murder is not something Dismas can easily understand, but if his cherished colleague has any chance of going free, he needs to put all the pieces together - and fast."



Massey, Sujata. THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL. Soho Crime. January '18. $26.95. First in a new series introducing a spunky new protagonist partly inspired by India's first female lawyer. Set in Bombay in the 1920's, Perveen Mistry joins the family law firm after receiving a law degree from Oxford. Due to some tragedies in her past, Perveen is extremely interested in protecting the legal rights of women. Her first case is to write the will of a very rich Muslim business owner with three widows, but things don't add up when she discovers all three of the woman have given up their claims to the estate and that everything is supposed to go to a charity. Becoming suspicious, Perveen starts an investigation. It soon becomes apparent that she is right when a murder ensues. Now she must not only figure out what is going on, she also must expose a murderer! Trade paperback edition. November '18. $16.95.



Patterson, James. JUROR #3. Little, Brown and Company. September '18. $28.00. "Ruby Bozarth, a newcomer to Rosedale, Mississippi, is also fresh to the Mississippi Bar - and to the docket of Circuit Judge Baylor, who taps Ruby as defense counsel in a racially charged felony. The murder of a woman from one of the town's oldest families has Rosedale's upper crust howling for blood, and the prosecutor is counting on Ruby's inexperience to help him deliver a swift conviction. Ruby's client is a college football star who has returned home after a career--ending injury, and she is determined to build a defense that will stick. She finds help in unexpected quarters from Suzanne, a hard-charging attorney armed to the teeth, and Shorty, a diner cook who knows more than he lets on. Ruby never belonged to the country-club set, but once she nearly married into it. As news breaks of a second murder, Ruby's ex-fiance, Lee Greene, shows up on her doorstep - a Southern gentleman in need of a savior. As lurid, intertwining investigations unfold, no one in Rosedale can be trusted, especially the twelve men and women impaneled on the jury. They may be hiding the most incendiary secret of all."



Rosenfelt, David. DECK THE HOUNDS. Minotaur Books. October '18. $24.99. An Andy Carpenter Mystery. "Reluctant lawyer Andy Carpenter doesn't usually stop to help others, but seeing a dog next to a homeless man inspires him to give the pair some money to help. It's just Andy's luck that things don't end there. Soon after Andy's encounter with them, man and dog are attacked in the middle of the night on the street. The dog defends its new owner, and the erstwhile attacker is bitten but escapes. But the dog is quarantined and the man, Don Carrigan, is heartbroken. Andy's wife Laurie can't resist helping the duo after learning Andy has met them before...it's the Christmas season after all. In a matter of days Don and his dog Zoey are living above Andy's garage and become two new additions to the family. It's not until Andy accidentally gives away his guest's name during an interview that things go awry; turns out Don is wanted for a murder that happened two years ago. Don not only claims he's innocent, but that he had no idea that he was wanted for a crime he has no knowledge of in the first place. It's up to Andy to exonerate his new friend, if he doesn't get pulled into the quagmire first."



Scottoline, Lisa. FEARED: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel. St. Martin's Press. August '18. $27.99. Sixth in the series. "In the new thriller from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline, Mary DiNunzio's ruthless nemesis Nick Machiavelli is back...with a vengeance. When three men announce that they are suing the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm for reverse sex discrimination - claiming that they were not hired because they were men - Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato are outraged. To make matters worse, their one male employee, John Foxman, intends to resign, claiming that there is some truth to this case. The plaintiffs' lawyer is Nick Machiavelli, who has already lost to Mary once and is now back with a vengeance - determined not to not only win, but destroy the firm. It soon becomes clear that Machiavelli will do anything in his power to achieve his end...even after the case turns deadly. The stakes have never been higher for Mary and her associates as they try to keep Machiavelli at bay, solve a murder, and save the law firm they love...or they could lose everything they've worked for."



© 1996-2018 Bill Palmer.