A preacher is found brutally murdered in a Tennessee motel room. A beautiful, mysterious young girl is accused. In this Mystery Readers International finalist for "Best Debut Mystery" criminal defense lawyer Joe Dillard has become jaded over the years as he's tried to balance his career against his conscience.
Savvy but cynical, Dillard wants to quit doing criminal defense, but he can't resist the chance to represent someone who might actually be innocent. His drug-addicted sister has just been released from prison and his mother is succumbing to Alzheimer's, but Dillard's commitment to the case never wavers despite the personal troubles and professional demands that threaten to destroy him. Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will leave you shaking your head in wonder, An Innocent Client - the first in the acclaimed Joe Dillard series - will also leave you wanting more.
©2012 Scott Pratt (P)2013 Scott Pratt
"Pratt's richly developed characters are vivid and believable, especially the strong Southern women who fight their male-dominated culture from behind a facade of vulnerability in this brilliantly executed debut." (Publisher's Weekly)
My favorite genre is mystery/thriller especially espionage. I dislike the paranormal. Some non-fiction. 1000+ books in my Audible library.
An Innocent Client is Book 1 in Scott Pratt's Joe Dillard legal thriller series. It is superbly written and narrated. Joe Dillard is an ex-Army Ranger lawyer who never wanted to be a defense attorney but went into the business because working for the local prosecutor pays so little. With his wife Caroline and he having two children before he finished law school he has been stuck in his private practice for years and now that their son is in college with a scholarship and their daughter a high school senior with a promised scholarship, he and Caroline are working toward getting enough money to afford to work as a prosecutor. Caroline is his paralegal.
Joe has a history of capital murder cases and is the best criminal defense attorney in the northeastern Tennessee where he practices. Most of his capital cases are with indigent clients assigned him by judges and the state pays him $100 per day which is not allowing him to save the money his family needs. Everything changes when he is offered $250,000 plus expenses to defend a beautiful young female client arrested on a murder charge. An Innocent Client is about that case. The state's case is very week and the client claims innocence. The offer is too good to turn down. This novel is about that case. The characters are well developed and very vivid.
The Innocent Client is not just a good first book for a new author, it is a great suspense/thriller novel. I recommend it.
I love to read books set in interesting places or historical settings. I especially love mysteries and thrillers.
I wanted to like this first legal thriller in a series, but have nothing good to say about it. I enjoy learning more about the criminal or civil justice systems (Turow, Grisham, Martini), but this book was predictable with no thrill at all. I kept listening thinking it might improve and ended up furious that I wasted so much time. The narration was not good either. His change of voice for different characters was terrible.
I rarely give a 1 star review. I am probably too generous at times reviewing books. I will probably be stricter with my stars going forward.
People who haven't read legal thrillers or dont usually read them
Something by Scott Turow
If the narrator had not been so bent on his terrible imitations of female voices
A lot of the court room action
No. Good effort but there are much better legal thrillers out there
Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.
Looking for the kind of legal thriller that Scott Turow used to write? Here's a guy NOT PREACHING his ideological message. Here's a nifty noir voice. I just listened to Dashiell Hammett's Maltese Falcon where the hard-boiled detective got invented. Scott Pratt's in that league. Like Hammett he's writing straight entertainment while playing the various techniques of fiction like a jazz pianist pulls in the riffs and chords you expect from hands that can find the dark a well as light keys.
Tim Campbell's created this ensemble cast with same sort of note-perfect sense as Pratt. Did I like it? I just downloads the next Joe Dillard book. Wadda-you think?
terrific story kept interest throughout .. enganced by excellent narration.. the combo is right...hate the way amazon directs the review process
couldn't turn off my I pod . I really enjoyed every aspect of this book . fast paced, great performance and it was not dull and predictable. I want more Pratt and Campbell
Good Books Don't Promote Violence
This book is pretty well written; however "Joe" was just too whiney for me to enjoy the story. Joe is a successful defense attorney who is tired of defending scumbags. Who put a gun to his head and forced him to practice that type of law? Does he volunteer at a legal clinic or quit to work for a charitable organization? No, he whines about wanting one innocent client while earning enough money to do whatever he likes. He has strained relationships with his mother & sister, but never made an effort to resolve his childhood issues and rebuild the family bonds. I like flawed characters but not those who wallow in self pity.
No, there are lots of more interesting books out there
Maybe, if you get a better narrator.
First Scott Pratt book
change tone of voice once and awhile
Introduction to Scott Pratt's Joe Dillard - not on the same level as Sandford's characters - ordered second in series.
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