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In the Shadow of the Law | [Kermit Roosevelt]

In the Shadow of the Law

Morgan Siler is one of Washington, D.C.'s most powerful K Street law firms, its roster of clients stocked with multi-billion-dollar corporations. Through the obsessive efforts of its founder's son, Peter Morgan, his father's old-fashioned business has been transformed into a veritable goliath, embracing bankruptcy and merger divisions that Archibald Morgan had deemed ungentlemanly.
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Publisher's Summary

Morgan Siler is one of Washington, D.C.'s most powerful K Street law firms, its roster of clients stocked with multi-billion-dollar corporations. Through the obsessive efforts of its founder's son, Peter Morgan, his father's old-fashioned business has been transformed into a veritable goliath, embracing bankruptcy and merger divisions that Archibald Morgan had deemed ungentlemanly. As Peter reaches the pinnacle of his career, his firm is embroiled in two difficult cases: a pro bono death-penalty case in Virginia, and a class-action lawsuit brought against Hubble Chemical of Texas after an on-site explosion killed dozens of workers.

Assigned to these cases is a group of young associates and seasoned partners struggling to make their way in the firm. Mark Clayton, fresh out of law school, is beginning to loathe his dull workload, and to be frightened by the downgrading of his personal life, when he is assigned to the pro bono case. Assisting him is the mercurial Walker Eliot, a brilliant third-year associate whose passion for the law is as great as his skill at unraveling its intricacies. The aggressive, profane, and wildly successful litigator Harold Fineman is leading the Hubble defense, assisted by first-year Katja Phillips, whose twin devotion to productivity and idealism intrigue him, and Ryan Grady, another first-year, whose quest to pick up girls is starting to interfere with his work.

In this complex, ambitious, and gripping first novel, Kermit Roosevelt vividly illustrates the subtle and stark effects of the law on the lives not only of a group of lawyers, but also on communities and private citizens. In the Shadow of the Law is a meditation about the life of the law, the organism that is a law firm, and its impact on those who come within its powerful orbit.

©2005 Kermit Roosevelt; (P)2005 Books on Tape, Inc.

What the Critics Say

"Impressive." (The New York Times Book Review)
"Outstanding debut....A fascinating insider's look into the culture of a high-stakes firm....Most of all it's the vividness and complexity of the characters, drawn with the precision and authority of a winning legal argument, that heralds the arrival of an exciting new voice." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.5 (69 )
5 star
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3.9 (15 )
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4.5 (15 )
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  •  
    Emese Wahiawa, HI, USA 06-30-05
    Emese Wahiawa, HI, USA 06-30-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    107
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    "Excellent"

    This is a great audiobook, I could hardly put it down.
    The book shows the inside workings of a high powered D.C. lawfirm through the eyes of some of its associates and partners. Some of the characters are likeable and some are less so but all seem human, real, and very well developed.
    Do not expect a high energy courtroom thriller though. Instead, this book leads the listener into the inner intricacies of the law, the lawfirm, and into the minds of the lawyers. In addition to the actual happenings, the characters tend to philosophise about their lives and the law, which makes this book somehow deeper and more gripping than the usual legal mysteries.
    The reader was also very good and definitely added to the listening experience.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kolby Midway, UT, USA 08-24-05
    Kolby Midway, UT, USA 08-24-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
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    "Rich, intelligent work."

    Kermit Roosevelt does a supurb job of opening a window into the life of a big firm lawyer. He articulates an intreguing story, and creates characters as real as if you saw them everyday at work. In the end, I felt as if losing friends when the story ended. Excellent work! I look forward to other novels by Roosevelt. (If you find that the story lags a little, keep going, it all ties together).

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Hendersonville, TN, USA 07-25-05
    Christine Hendersonville, TN, USA 07-25-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    "Highly recommended!"

    What a book! I've never written a review before, but I was so taken with this novel I just had to sign on and give it my highest praise. I've recommended it to all my peers in the local bar association. Far from your typical legal thriller, this book instead gives insight into the varied and complex motivations of the different characters and how the practice of law has affected/changed them, as well as the inside workings of a law firm. The author offers a broad spectrum of philosophy and in-depth analyses of the law, yet manages to do so without lecturing or boring the reader. Can't believe this is Roosevelt's first book and can't wait for the next one. I'm so glad I got the unabridged version...I never wanted it to end. Also, cudos to the narrator, Craig Wasson, who was excellent.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Luke Sherman Oaks, CA, USA 08-02-05
    Luke Sherman Oaks, CA, USA 08-02-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing first book!"

    I read this as soon as it came out, and I just could not put it down. The characters are very well done, and the story is original and fun. Also, this book is not only for those interested in law. It just happens to be what the author knows a lot about, and what he has to say about life in a law firm is illuminating. At the end, one can understand why a jurist like Roosevelt chose the ivory tower (or did he?) - this book speaks to fast trackers, and non fast trackers of all stripes.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dan palo alto, CA, USA 07-25-05
    Dan palo alto, CA, USA 07-25-05
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A good listen, but nothing great"

    While I completed the book, I found only a few occasions where the story actually grabbed me enough make me wish I could keep listening even once my commute listening period was over.

    The book was hardly a revealing glance into the world of washington law firms, but at times seemed like a prolonged swipe at lawyers for working too hard and ignoring other factors of their lives.

    Often, the story line was easy to predict before the author "revealed" the next step in the plot-line to the listener, and there were points when I felt I was listening to cheap dime-store fiction. That said, certain aspects of the book were interesting and in some cases even amusing, though they were too few and far between for me to recommend this book to a friend.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeff Alexandria, KY, United States 04-08-12
    Jeff Alexandria, KY, United States 04-08-12 Member Since 2012

    "something about yourself"

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Should have listened to some other reviewers"
    What did you like best about In the Shadow of the Law? What did you like least?

    I was very disappointed in this book. The main reason I bought it was for the Narrator. I had just listened to 11-22-63 (Stephen King) which was excellent. Some reviewers thought this book was not so good. Others thought it was outstanding. I chose to listen to the


    Has In the Shadow of the Law turned you off from other books in this genre?

    Perhaps.


    Which character – as performed by Craig Wasson – was your favorite?

    Hard to say. Didn't really care for many.


    Do you think In the Shadow of the Law needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

    Um....NO!


    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Baycyd San Francisco 02-26-12
    Baycyd San Francisco 02-26-12 Member Since 2005

    Baycyd

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "True picture of the practice of law"

    As an attorney of 28 years, including stints as a prosecutor and in private practice, I can honestly say that this book rings more true than any other legal "novel" I have ever read. Now, when I'm asked by someone in college whether to go to law school, I refer them to this book. If they can get through this book, then they can get through the practice of law. This is definitely not a slick legal thriller or a quick listen. I savored it over about 10 days and was sorry to hear it end. Too bad that Kermit Roosevelt III only wrote one novel -- the rest are scholarly legal tomes. I'd give anything to read more fiction by this author (who is now a professor of law).

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Daniel 07-25-06
    Daniel 07-25-06 Member Since 2004
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    "A waste of credits"

    If you thought you hated lawyers before you read this catastrophy, you'll absolutely loath them by the end (if you bother to get to the end). This is about the most muddled story line I have come across in years. The book is badly written and horribly structured. Half the time you won't know where you are and eventually you won't care.

    Your only hope is that after you fling the discs out of your moving car into a field that no child will pick them up and mistake this train wreck for a readable book.

    How do these things get published? Have all the editors died or something?

    Save your credits and your sanity...

    2 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nicole McKeesport, PA, USA 08-29-05
    Nicole McKeesport, PA, USA 08-29-05 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    "Boring......"

    What a waste of book credits. This book is slow and the author seems as though he didn't know what he wanted to talk about. He jumped from storyline to storyline. There is no continuity to this story and it takes FOREVER....I wish this author would decide which character he wants to deal with and deal with him and/or her, but he seems to jump from character to character half the time with no consistency. If you want a book that will put you to sleep this is it. What a waste!!!!!!!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alton Park Forest, IL, USA 07-20-05
    Alton Park Forest, IL, USA 07-20-05 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    203
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    "Excellent book and characters"

    This book is absolutly fantastic! The characters are well developed the plot and story lines of the basically 3 cases are good . this book kept me engaged and was filled with great humor as well. Also the ending to each character was different. this added to the delight of the book ; as everyone in life changes according to their experiences and the same happens here to the characters in this book . this is well worth the money and i look forward to other books from this author.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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