Arrested for a murder you didn't commit? Michael Gresham is a criminal attorney who defends his clients with an iron will. They know that when he takes their case, they are probably going to leave the courthouse a free man or free woman. But what happens when the defender becomes the defendant himself? A law partner will have to step up and do for him what he can't do for himself. Isn't that how it should work?
Who defends the defense lawyer... Watch up close as a tried and proven criminal defense lawyer is forced to face the most important case of his career. If he wins, he's a free man. If he loses, he will die in prison. A lawyer named Harley Sturgis comes on the scene just in time - if she's not too late already. It's her chance to shine in a career that has all but crashed and burned around her. But here comes her last chance, a chance to redeem herself and win the case that can restore both her and Michael Gresham's careers. One courtroom thriller that curls around and surprises even the most keen listeners...
A legal thriller sure to satisfy the most demanding listeners of legal fiction and lawyer novels. For the fans of John Grisham and Michael Connelly, the novels of John Ellsworth are burning up the Amazon charts with over 500,000 downloads. Be one of the first in your group to discover this amazing writer and his long list of books and exciting characters.
©2016 John Ellsworth (P)2016 Audible, Inc.
I love espionage, legal, and detective thrillers but listen to most genres. Very frequent reviews. No plot spoilers! Please excuse my typos!
Michael Gresham: The Law Partners may be the best legal thriller of the hundreds I have read or listened to. It is Book 3 in the Michael Gresham series by John Ellsworth. By all means, listen to the two earlier books in the series first. All three are very inexpensive when purchased at Amazon getting both the Kindle and Audible versions with Whidpersync for Voice. Audible Studios released all three novels on August 16 of this year.
I've down rated Stephen Hoye's narration with earlier books. Maybe I'm getting accustomed to his style, but he did a superb job with this novel.
Full disclosure... I got less than half way and gave up. I saw no need in continuing because I saw no signs that the book was going to change course.
The book begins fairly well with a single Chicago PD Officer confronting a "Teen" (it is never said how old this teen is... meaning he could be thir-TEEN or nine-TEEN) who is a known Crips Gang-banger with a violent history and reputation. The "teen" (NOTE: he goes from being a Gang-banger to being a "teen" because that allows the story unfold unchallenged...just like in the news). The "teen" is out of his mind, stoned on Crack, has intimidated store owners, and now is walking down the middle of a busy street. The officer confronts the male who turns and rushes at the officer refusing to stop. The officer shoots multiple times, at first hitting the boy in presumably non-lethal areas. When he continues to come at the officer, the astonished and now frightened cop, shoots him twice in the head which body cams show were fired "AS" the suspect was collapsing at the cops feet.
Outraged by white cop shooting unarmed black "teen" the city erupts in violence and the City D.A. decides (and it is hinted that the decision is influenced at least in part by politics) to arrest the cop for Murder. So far so good as one could argue that the shooting was either justified or not and a good legal battle ensues. But this is where the story begins to turn South and what I think maybe the authors view of life takes over.
The cop, mad that he has been arrested despite the fact that he is "Connected" to highly influential people in Chicago, decides to exact revenge by murdering the D.A. that is handling the case and framing the D.A. that made the charging decision. The authors mindset creeps in as we see the brutal cop, planning and executing his devious plan because of course, cops are devious brutal planners that when not killing innocent gang-bangers plot to kill prosecutors. FYI - The "Well Connected" cops DO NOT ride single man cars in gang neighborhoods of ANY CITY much less Chicago.
So that is the premise and in jumps our hero, Attorney Michael Gresham. He is hired by the framed female D.A. who calls him to her apartment at o-dark-thirty after waking to discover the body (minus half its head due to gun-shot wounds) of her colleague dead on the floor in her apartment. NOTE: Do we really feel bad for an attorney who wakes from a "black-out" to find a colleague dead on her floor and calls her LAWYER that she once slept with 2 times instead of the police? In any case, Hero Attorney arrives, and immediately begins coaching his friend on what lies he will tell on her behalf and then begins stealing or destroying evidence and sanitizing the scene. After 30 minutes of trashing the most damning evidence he calls the police to report the murder.
Seriously twisted and ironic, the author (via his main character) laments that the arriving Detective will sanitize his report to not include some possible evidence that he [the cop] does not like... while at the same time our hero Lawyer Gresham is edging out of the crime scene with the evidence he is planning on concealing.
It just goes on and on with our hero lawyer challenging the lead Detective... read that DARING him, to give it his best shot in proving the lawyer had tampered with the scene. The lawyer is then offended when the "EVIL COPS" do come after him. He then hires his partner, a female pit bull of an attorney to defend him on "trumped up charges" that he is an accessory. That's right, when a cop shoots a gangbanger it is murder, when a lawyer that steals evidence and sanitizes a crime scene is charged, it is a wild and unjustified setup.
The new female hero attorney (Harley) is supposed to make us cheer as she is a take no prisoners tough that goes for the throat when our other hero is attacked and beaten by the "arresting officers". So not only are cops brutal ( "... they kicked him in the head... because that is what cops do, it is an unwritten rule for cops. Once they got the guy down, go for the head...) but they are stupid. Obviously NO ONE would figure out who did it if the officers arresting a high priced high profile attorney stop a block from the police station and kick him near to death. Good plan.
But back to our female lawyer HARLEY... she is supposed to be cheered but she is nothing more than an obnoxious Legal Bully threatening to sue everyone she encounters. She even at one point threatens to sue a nurse taking care of the newly admitted Gresham, who has severe head injuries, because the nurse woke him up.
OK, so that is a very long setup to simply say... the story is cliche hatred of cops (and I think it is likely the authors position portrayed by the characters) who can do no right and sleazy unethical lawyers who do no wrong. Or in the alternative, if they DO wrong, it is justified because the cops were going to tilt the scales had not the lawyers beat them to the punch.
It just got to the point of absurdity. NOT HELPING AT ALL was the narrators haughty and arrogant voice inflection for all main characters, that just multiplied the "ICK factor".
In all, just not readable for me. If I want social justice lectures, I will just read the paper or watch the news, thanks very much.
John Ellsworth has just become my favorite author. This is the second of his books I've read. I highly recommend these books for anyone who enjoys the best in legal thrillers.
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