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.
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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