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Publisher's Summary

Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything.

When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, is Mick's best friend, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death.

Mick's played both sides of Philadelphia's courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he'll need every one of them to win.

But as the trial progresses, he's disturbed by developments that confirm his deepest fears. This trial, one that already hits too close to home, may jeopardize his firm, his family - everything. Now Mick's only way out is to mastermind the most brilliant defense he's ever spun, one that may cross every legal and moral boundary.

©2017 William L. Myers Jr. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,015
  • 4 Stars
    769
  • 3 Stars
    399
  • 2 Stars
    142
  • 1 Stars
    103

Performance

  • 3.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    843
  • 4 Stars
    512
  • 3 Stars
    370
  • 2 Stars
    208
  • 1 Stars
    233

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    1,015
  • 4 Stars
    618
  • 3 Stars
    323
  • 2 Stars
    115
  • 1 Stars
    70
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  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars

The reader ruins it!

This book has an interesting plot and storyline, but I just couldn't finish it because of the reader. His overly dramatic take on the characters is cartoonish and exhausting. It's like he doing a parody. No bueno.

31 of 33 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Fire the Narrator

The narrator made this audiobook worse than it really is. I listened to it at 1.25x the normal speed which helped a little. Thank goodness I purchased this audiobook on a daily deal. I would not have wasted a credit on it.

27 of 30 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Good story, bad narrator

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

The narrator sounded enraged throughout the story. At certain points, when anger was appropriate, I was worried he might rupture his vocal cords. Other than that, it was a very good read with unexpected plot twists. I would recommend it in book format.

What was one of the most memorable moments of A Criminal Defense?

The highly original ending.

What didn’t you like about Peter Berkrot’s performance?

He sounded like a person in desperate need of anger management.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I needed breaks from the narration.

26 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

This is almost unlistenable.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The narrator's voice is so unpleasant that it's hard to know if the story is any good.

Would you be willing to try another book from William L. Myers? Why or why not?

Not with this narrator.

How could the performance have been better?

I have NEVER written a review here, but this reading is so awful that I had to write a note.

Was A Criminal Defense worth the listening time?

No

Any additional comments?

I think I've said it all above. Just awful.

31 of 36 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

You Think You Know.... But Do You?

This book started off slow for me, but I think that had more to do with the narrator than it did the writing. There were quite a few characters introduced in short succession and their voices did not sound all that different, so it took me a while to sort them all out. The narrator was subpar for the first third of the book. Everyone talking sounded like a version of Clint Eastwood talking thru gritted teeth with an edge, even on the most meaningless of text. It was truly annoying. I wanted to scream, there are more emotions other than bitter angst! but Peter eventually got much better the 2nd and 3rd parts of the book. His voice started to come alive at the trial and it only got better from there. I finally started to relate and feel the characters. I give Peter Berkrot 3 stars because I thought about quitting the book several times from his beginning narration.

But I am so glad I did not! This book is full of twist and turns; some very obvious and others catch you by surprise. I really enjoyed the trial. It was well written and I felt like a juror because I didn't know who did what either, even with the internal thoughts of the main character. The writing from the trial forward kept me hanging on until the end. The reveals are wonderfully executed and timed just right. I am impressed with the debut novel from William Myers and look forward to more legal dramas from him in the future.

30 of 35 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Narration Nightmare

I am only about half way through this book but I am thinking of abandoning ship because of the incredibly aggravating narration. Others have said the same, and I wish I had taken heed. The narrator speaks every single sentence like he is spewing venom. Every word is an angry, raspy snarl spoken with such dramatic urgency that it is utterly exhausting to listen to and a total distraction from the story. Why oh why did he choose (or was he directed ) to do it this way? It makes no sense at all. The plot thus far is actually quite interesting, and although none of the characters are particularly likeable that is not an issue for me. I am going to try my best to just grit my teeth and listen to more of it so I can see where the story goes, but it will take a heroic effort to endure more of this exasperating narration. Such a shame.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • kathy
  • jasper, GA, United States
  • 04-07-17

Best Legal Thriller I have ever read!

Legal thrillers fascinate me especially if they are written as if the case could actually happen. This author presented this case to the reader without the assumption of any legal knowledge. The book was fast paced with several twists that you will not see coming. If I had to guess who authored this book, my guess would have been Scott Turow. The narrator was perfect for the book and kept up with the identities of each character. I am shocked to find that this is the first book for this author! I can not wait for him to write another book. To top it off, you do not even have to spend a credit to purchase the book at this low price. For legal thriller enthusiast, you will not be disappointed.

23 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Ted
  • Lancaster, PA, United States
  • 07-11-17

Entirely Ruined by Peter Berkrot's Reading!

It's tough to review William Myers, "A Criminal Defense" since it's got to be heard through Peter Berkrot's terrible interpretation and characterizations. Look, I'm from Philadelphia with a slew of family members who worked as cops and firefighters. We all grew up with tongues trained by Philly's peculiarly anachronistic take on the English language. There's a small strop of America that extends from southern Jersey through Baltimore where people speak like us. Peter Berkrof instead speaks like he thinks tough- folk from the Broncs or maybe 1930s Chicago spoke. And frankly, none of them sound like that either.

So yeah, Berkrot's ghastly Philly-sound destroys the meticulously accurate sense-of-place that William Myers created in the book. But much worse than that, Berkrot starts at the very top of snarly-fury which leaves him no place to go with these characters. It's really a pity since Myers has neatly crafted an interesting crime/trial adventure here. Actually Berkrot's reading's inexplicable to me since I recently listened to him do a nice job with Thomas Perry's "The Old Man".

Maybe I'll get another in Myers', Mick McFarland novels.... but not if Berkrot's reading it. BTW, I notice that there are director credits at the end of many Audible books. The lousy reading of this book makes me wonder just what an Audible director does? Anybody know?

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Lia
  • Sutton, Australia
  • 05-12-17

Sluggish And Complicated Plot



A Criminal Defence was a sluggish story about a high-powered defines attorney unable to control his client who is on trial for murder. The tale opens with the Mick leaving the home of a young man who truly needs defending, but that opening is given virtually no content in the novel. Instead, the focus is on a millionaire businessman whose contact in China are on the verge of bringing about a monster of a deal with businesses and the government of China when the millionaire becomes the centre of a murder investigation.

The millionaire suspect, David Hanson, had a penchant for cheating on his wife; he kept several houses for his clandestine affairs and several women occupied those places, all on David's dime. One of those women, a rising news reporter, had just broken a story about corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department, a story that already has seen one very public assassination of a crooked cop who turned State's evidence. That loose end of the plot is never brought to completion.

The plot just becomes more and more complicated, sometimes to the point where the listener loses interest in the story. This loss of interest is assisted by the William Myers' writing style, where trivial details are pushed forward while the story bogs down. The rambling backstory should have been much shorter. The author does wrap up the murder mystery, bringing all the players together in a rather convoluted climax. Doubtful that I will listen to another of Myers' books.

Peter Berkrot was just OK with the delivery of the story

13 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Tim
  • San Jose, Costa Rica
  • 06-01-17

3 stars total is a gift

I was not going to even bother to write a review but then I see all these four-star and five star reviews and I figure I will be the one to tell the truth. How is that for Hubris?

Did you ever find yourself staying up late watching a movie that is clearly dreadful, you know it's dreadful, but you cannot turn it off? That's exactly what you have here. About the only thing accurate from the other reviewer's in my opinion is that the narrator truly does suck. Saying that the protagonist is unlikable even from the first paragraph. The other people are corrupt unethical suffering from complete moral vacuum. As I think back, there is actually not one likable character. Not one character that I feel is in the right. Not one character is Innocent. Even the victim is sleazy. Hard to get into a book where you can't stand anybody who is even involved in the book itself.

I like a good plot twist as much as anyone, but these are just dumb. This may be arguably the dumbest storyline of any book I have read or listen to. These are simply a group of lowlife sleazy people and that includes the protagonist who apparently feels it's just wonderful to take a 10 mile run and then as he says dry himself off with some paper towels and either step into his office or into bed with his wife. Yuck. That obviously has nothing to do with the plot. That's because there is no plot, just run on drivel. I really should've stopped right at that point. Sorry for the micro spoiler.

Normally after I read a book I go back and review the reviews looking for someone who can express exactly how I feel about the book. It's how I find good reviewer's to follow. Sadly nearly everyone who gave this an accurate one star per topic rating stopped reading after a chapter or two and returned the book. I wish I had done that but my policy is if I actually finish a book even though it's horrible I figure the purchase was my fault. No return.

Anyway kind reader it is your call. It is likely you will ignore what I have written because there are so many positive reviews. On the other hand you may also realize that there is somebody who really enjoys good literature and just kind of picky. That would be me.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • mgemelia
  • 04-09-17

What a great story

Fantastic book never read one of his before but looking forward to another. The way he brings it altogether at the end is amazing

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • D V Thorburn
  • 04-20-17

Great story, narrator needs to calm down

Narrator was raging most of the way through. Great story though, will look for more from this author

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Judi G
  • 05-07-17

had to return it

I had to return this book because of the narrator. I have no idea if the book is good or not. The narrator over acted and had identity crises switching between Marlon Brando in The Godfather , Clint Eastwood, and Snoop Dog. Pure torture. I hope they will get the narration replaced, as it could be a good listen......

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • janet.lewis1@btinternet.com
  • 05-24-18

Cleverly constructed

Cleverly constructed crime puzzle that left me connecting the dots right until the end of the story.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Patrick
  • 02-10-18

The narrator sounds like Donald Trump!!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This might have been the best book ever but I started listening and the narrator sounds like Donald Trump and I turned it off. He was not good!

What was most disappointing about William L. Myers Jr.’s story?

The Narrator

What didn’t you like about Peter Berkrot’s performance?

He sounds like Donald Trump and I can't take it seriously

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Gemma Dooley
  • 10-07-17

Geewiz

Honestly took a while for the book to take off, when it did it was great but did not last long then the end. Little disappointed at the ending however I really enjoy the story line.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Sean
  • 09-30-17

Excellent

Starts slowly but builds to a real double twist. Better than Grisham or Mickey Haller.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • ZedBooks
  • 08-23-17

I SAW THROUGH THE PLOT HALFWAY THROUGH THE BOOK

What was meant to be a shock revelation at the end was anything but, for me anyway. That, plus the fact that the plot was well over the top, meant that it was only worth three stars.
The narration was problematic. Although the reader got all the accents and differentiation spot on., he never managed to lose a sense of breathless hysteria -- which meant that when the book actually called for some breathless hysteria, there was just nowhere for him to go. B

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Mark Say
  • 07-19-17

Gripping legal thriller

Full of twists and turns, you think you've worked it out and then maybe you haven't. I changed my mind a few times and managed to solve a few of the questions before the end but it was no less entertaining.

The characters are alright and although I was never exactly rooting for anyone I was concerned with their plight.

Without spoiling the story I think I can say that if you're a fan of legal thrillers a la John Grisham then you'll no doubt enjoy this.

The main downside for me is the narrator the first hour or so was very uncomfortable as his voice really grated on me and there are many "shouty" bits through the book where I actually cringed listening. For the first 30 seconds of the book I actually thought it was whoever is the voice of Stewie Griffin from family guy but that's maybe just me. You do get used to it so Don't let that put you off.

Towards the end of the book you'll be remembering the clues left throughout and realise how you could have filled in the blanks quicker, I like it when this happens in books, knowing you had all of the pieces but needed the author to help you out them together.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • martyn
  • 05-30-17

good story shame about the narrator

really good story. narrator in my opinion was very poor. lots of twists and turns and a really​ big surprise at the end.