Hostile Witness

William Lashner, Author ReganBooks $23 (501p) ISBN 978-0-06-039146-1
Murder, extortion, drugs, political corruption and base legal shenanigans animate this colorful debut from the latest attorney-turned-novelist. Victor Carl is a disillusioned protagonist whose foundering Philadelphia law practice only heightens his resentment toward the prestige law firms and WASP blue bloods who have kept him down. But when William Prescott III, managing partner of Talbott, Kittredge, and Chase, dangles a chance before him to make the big time, Victor grabs it. Prescott is representing antidrug crusading councilman Jimmy Moore, under indictment for extortion, murder and arson. Victor will represent Moore's lieutenant, Chet Concannon, in the high-profile case. Chet's previous attorney has died unexpectedly, and the trial begins in two weeks. Victor soon begins to suspect that his real job is to let his client take the fall for Moore. Lashner navigates the seamy side of the legal profession with skillful pacing, finding betrayals, both personal and professional, at every turn. While his narrative occasionally lacks subtlety-Victor's bitterness toward the city's elite is badly overplayed, and characters like the cannoli-baking Mafia don and the corpulent, orthodox Jewish private investigator are cartoonish-it is suspenseful. Comparisons to Grisham and Turow are premature, but this remains a promising debut. 75,000 first printing; author tour; audio by HarperAudio. (May)
Reviewed on: 05/01/1995
Release date: 05/01/1995
Mass Market Paperbound - 608 pages - 978-0-06-100988-4
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-134433-6
Downloadable Audio - 978-0-06-134434-3
Analog Audio Cassette - 2 pages - 978-0-694-51559-2
Hardcover - 683 pages - 978-1-56895-248-2
Open Ebook - 608 pages - 978-0-06-072629-4
Peanut Press/Palm Reader - 608 pages - 978-0-06-072627-0
Ebook - 608 pages - 978-0-06-114942-9
Ebook - 608 pages - 978-0-06-174697-0
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