cover image The Lawyer’s Lawyer

The Lawyer’s Lawyer

James Sheehan. Center Street, $22.99 (416p) ISBN 978-1-4555-0866-2

In the opening of Sheehan’s exciting if clunky third legal thriller (after 2008’s The Law of Second Chances), a series of killings in the city of Oakville, Fla., in 1993 leads to the conviction of Thomas Felton for murder. Eight years later, famed Miami lawyer Jack Tobin, now living in the backwater town of Bass Creek, succeeds in getting Felton’s conviction overturned on a technicality. When Jack winds up on trial on trumped-up murder charges after the killer strikes again (a relative of a victim frames him), Jack turns to respected “lawyer’s lawyer” Tom Wylie to represent him. To complicate matters, Jack rejects Tom’s advice when it comes to his defense, because the evidence Tom wants to use will jeopardize the reputation of policewoman Danni Jansen, Jack’s former lover. Sheehan can write a mean closing statement when the courtroom showdown finally takes place, and the conflicting loyalties of Jack and Danni keep the tension high, but readers should be prepared for some wooden dialogue. (Jan.)