Legal Thrillers

October 17, 2019

Lescroart, John. THE RULE OF LAW: A Novel. Atria Books. February '19. $27.00. Eighteenth in the Dismas Hardy series. " 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." Simultaneous release on Audio CD from Simon & Schuster Audio. Trade paperback edition. September '19. $17.00.

Massey, Sujata. THE SATAPUR MOONSTONE. Soho Crime. May '19. $26.95. Second in the Mystery of 1920s India series. "India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Sahyadri mountains, where the princely state of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic accident. The state is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and her daughter-in-law. The royal ladies are in a dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's counsel is required. However, the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince's future, but she knows she is breaking a rule by traveling alone as a woman from Bombay into the remote countryside. She arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace's deadly curse?"

Massey, Sujata. THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL. Soho Crime. November '18. $16.95. 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!

Patterson, James. JUROR #3. Little, Grand Central. February '19. $15.99. "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."

Papantonio, Mike. LAW AND ADDICTION: A Legal Thriller. Waterside Productions. May '19. $24.95. "MIKE PAPANTONIO PULLS BACK THE CURTAIN ON AMERICA'S DEADLY OPIOID EPIDEMIC IN THIS SPELLBINDING THRILLER ABOUT GREED, CORRUPTION AND THE POWER OF PERSONAL CONVICTION." Jake Rutledge is about to graduate from law school when his twin dies of a drug overdose from opioid painkillers. Returning home for the funeral, Jake learns that his brother wasn't the only person to die - there's an epidemic in the area and he believes the pharmaceutical companies are to blame. Jake intends to get justice for his brother and all the other victims and convinces Deke, an attorney is a large law firm to work with him. The two men are confronted with death threats, attempted bribes, and illegal schemes as they try to uncover the truth. When Jake suddenly disappears, Deke begins a desperate search to find him while trying to continue working on the case.

Rosenfelt, David. DECK THE HOUNDS. Minotaur Books. October '19. $16.99. 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'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." Available in paperback.

Scottoline, Lisa. FEARED: A Rosato & DiNunzio Novel. St. Martin's Griffin. August '19. $16.99. 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."

© 1996-2019 Bill Palmer.