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)
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This book is book one in the Joe Dillard Series. Joe is a cynical burned out defense attorney who keeps saying he will quit law in a year. All he wants is one innocent client.
The story takes place in rural Tennessee. A preacher is murdered after a visit to a strip club. The club owner hires Dillard to defend the club waitress, Angel Christian, who has been charged with the murder. Dillard’s personal life is in chaos, but he carries on with the defense.
The book is well written. I understand this is Pratt’s first book. For a debut book this is an excellent and well-crafted story. The portrayal of a cynical burned out defense attorney is realistic. The characters are well developed and are believable. Pratt has created a male-dominated southern culture for the story. The plot has some twists and turns and there is enough action as well as suspenseful courtroom drama to keep the reader’s attention. I did note that Pratt has created several strong women that are key to the story.
Tim Campbell does an excellent job narrating the story. Campbell is an opera singer, actor, voice over artist and audiobook narrator.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
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.
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?
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.
Good mystery writer. I feel he has had a bad experience with Christians and judges all implying hypocritical actions by all. Other than that,I love his references to East Tennessee,etc.
I would recommend this book and have recommended this book.
Well, Joe Dillard, of course!
Again, Joe Dillard
I have read all of Scott Pratt's books in the Joe Dillard series and another of his books, Justice Redeemed. I found them entertaining and interesting. I really don't like the fact that I see only one person's rating when I'm browsing for a book -- perhaps it's the last posted rating. This book received one star by the last person, I guess, who rated it. That is very misleading. Unless you open it up and read the reviews, ONE review with one star ... well, that's just not indicative of the book's entertainment value. Sometimes when reading a bad review by certain readers, I know if they don't like it, I probably will. But that's because I have so many books and read so many reviews, I guess. Anyway, in my humble opinion, a one-star rating does not do this book justice.
List of favorite books: Woodcutter - Reginald Hill, Consent to Kill, First Deadly Sin - Lawrence Sanders, Sniper Elite - Scott McEwen
The narrator read like a robot. I must have liked it a little bit because I finished it regardless. Or maybe I was too busy to look for another book while I was working.
It is a great opener to a 7 book series. Joe Dillard is a great character all around. His desperation just to have 1 innocent client, no pun intended.
I will finish the series. All his male voices sound similar. It becomes difficult to tell whom is speaking at certain points. Although Tim Campbell's voice is exactly what I would picture Joe Dillard's voice sounding like.
I felt for Angel, especially at the end. But the ending with Erlene made me laugh so hard.
The reason the story has 5 stars and the overall is 3 is as followed. My biggest overall issue, and it is the same with the ENTIRE SERIES. I purchased the MATCHING Kindle book, but they do not match. Almost every page has an altered word, and entire paragraphs have been added/removed from the audible compared to the MATCHING Kindle book. I enjoy reading along but it is difficult with this series. Truthfully it is unacceptable to advertise a matching book then it be this different, again pretty much every page has at least one altered word. At first I thought it was toning down some of the vulgarity on Audible, until halfway through a rant that was not in the book was spoken. But still overall a great book.
I often wonder when listening to an audio book if the narrator was different if I would enjoy it more. I definitely feel that was the case for this book. It did not immediately draw me in and leave me wanting more as many other people said. I felt this book was drawn out with a lot of story lines that were irrelevant and uninteresting. Ending was good. Overall a decent book, but not one of the best or most suspenseful. If I could do it over I would read it and not use the audio for this book.
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