A masterwork of crime and black comedy, George V. Higgins is in his element as he spell-bindingly recounts lawyer Jerry Kennedy’s more fragrant cases. Keen to take some time off, Jerry Kennedy plans a short holiday en famille at Green Harbor, his eclectic clients don’t get the memo however. His drive-by clientele, the car thieves, pimps, drug dealers and boatyard mechanics are diverse in all respects but one, persistence. Matters come to a head when a midnight intruder breaks into Kennedy’s home, knife drawn and determination blaring in his eyes. In deciphering the imposter’s intentions, Jerry’s qualities of honesty, responsibility and downright hard work are seriously put to the test. Brimming with a bevy of bimbos, bent cops and bad actors, Kennedy for the Defense shows us the Boston crooks-and-cops world through an attorney’s eyes.
©1980 George V. Higgins (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
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.
LOOKOUT: Higgins writes needle sharp dialogue. They pierce to the essence of character and culture. "Kennedy for the Defense" was written as the 70s ended - and these characters take you there just as surely as Uber will get you to the mall.
Snowflakes are people which discomfort melts. Trigger warning: They'll find a hell of a spew of discomforting words here. Oops, did I write "hell"? Sorry for the micro-aggression. Wait, no I'm not. Nor should anyone be sorry for an opportunity to visit the 1970s in this Uber-ride into a culture that's still in the storage units of at least 40% of the population and probably 60% of Audible listeners.
I'm really liking Higgins' books. His ear for speech patterns is pitch perfect enough to tune pianos. And they reveal more than Beyoncé's costume designer. The title's great since Kennedy's defense so rarely brings him into court. Yep... I'm off to purchase "Penance for Jerry Kennedy" the next in this series. Can't wait, especially if Stephen Bowlby again brings his Boston steeped tongue to the cast.
The back-and-forth banter in this book is rapid-fire and always very, very clever. People go on for long stretches with nary an "uh" or "ya know". Every riposte is what you wish you'd said long after coming up tongue-tied in an exchange. I'll bet five minutes worth of dialog in this book took George Higgins hours to write, looking for the perfect bon mots, wise cracks, pacing, and timing.
That said, I loved it. If I want to hear people talk like my neighbor George I'll go talk to George. I know nobody talks like Higgins's characters, but they are fun to listen to.
The dialog sets the pace for the plot. It too is clever and very well-timed. Eccentric but completely believable characters abound. On finishing I immediately bought the next in the series, "Pennance for Jerry Kennedy", also narrated by Stephen Bowlby.
In all, a very good read.
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