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Old 10-04-2010, 04:09 PM   #1
Shelley Brewster
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Favorite Legal Thrillers on "First Monday in October"

Today is the First Monday in October, when the United States Supreme Court convenes each year. Here are a four fast-paced legal thrillers, set at the High Court, all written by lawyers-turned-novelists:

"The Pelican Brief" by John Grisham. Even if you didn’t read the book, you may have seen the Julia Roberts’ movie. The book begins with the assassination of two Supreme Court justices in separate incidents, and only law student Darby Shaw can figure out the connection. It all has to do with creating two vacancies on the Court so that...wait...no spoilers!

"Reversal" by Paul Levine. This thriller was the inspiration for the CBS drama “First Monday” starring Joe Mantegna and James Garner. Justice Sam Truitt comes to the Supreme Court with high ideals, lofty intentions...and a troubled marriage. Lisa Fremont, his stunning and brilliant law clerk, has a dark secret in her past. If Lisa doesn’t get Truitt’s vote in multi-million dollar case involving a catastrophic airplane crash, she’ll be killed. There’s nasty intrigue inside the marble palace, illicit sex on the outside, and danger everywhere in this fast-paced tale.

Brad Meltzer’s "The Tenth Justice" also involves a Supreme Court law clerk. Smart but naive Ben Addison is tricked into revealing the outcome of a case not yet officially decided. He’s then blackmailed into giving up info on future cases and soon realizes that one of his best friends may be on the other side. It’s a fast-paced ride where Ben begins trying to save his career only later having to save his life, too.

"The Simple Truth" by David Baldacci involves a 25-year-old murder conviction now at the Supreme Court and yet another law clerk in hot water. This time, the clerk steals a convict’s court filing and tries to visit him in prison. The conspiratorial bad guys who may have framed the inmate kill the clerk and set the wild plot in motion. Soon, fellow law clerk Sara Evans and the dead clerk’s ex-cop brother are on the case, and the body count mounts.

"Reversal" is the bargain of the bunch at $2.87 on Kindle. The others range from $6.79 to $9.99.

Do you have a favorite Supreme Court novel? Or...a legal thriller you love?
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Old 10-04-2010, 10:53 PM   #2
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Author Says Thank You!

Many thanks, Shelley.
As I'm writing this, "Reversal" is the number one bestselling hardboiled mystery/thriller on Kindle.

(Aaron Patterson's "Sweet Dreams" is number 2, and Stephen King's "The Colorado Kid" is number 1).

Now, to answer your question, Scott Turow's "Presumed Innocent" is my favorite legal thriller. Robert Traver's "Anatomy of a Murder" is a distant second. Neither, of course, is set at the Supreme Court, a rare venue for fiction.

Thanks again.

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Old 10-06-2010, 10:45 AM   #3
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So many! Love Turow, Presumed Innocent was magnificent.

Right now I'm reading The Reversal by Michael Connelly. Usually he writes procedurals, of course, but this one seems as though it's going to focus on legal. I'm about 20% into it and it's good.

This time Harry Bosch is a supporting player to Mickey Haller. It's overpriced thanks to the agency model, if I hadn't gotten it as a gift, I'd be waiting until the price drops in a year
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Old 10-06-2010, 11:13 AM   #4
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If you liked Turow's "Presumed Innocent", then be sure and read his "Innocent". I just finished it and thought it was very engaging,

cheers
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Old 10-13-2010, 11:19 AM   #5
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I agree with both of you!

Scott Turow is the king of the legal thrillers. The Rusty Sabich character, both in "Presumed Innocent" and "Innocent" is a complex creation. A lawyer/judge who grows, yet is burdened by the ghosts of his past. First rate, both.

I'm enjoying Michael Connelly's foray into the legal thriller genre with Mickey Haller, as well. (I knew a lawyer in Miami who worked out of the trunk of his Caddy, ala the "Lincoln Lawyer."

And forgive me for this, but my "Mortal Sin" is the number 3 bestselling legal thriller on Kindle this morning and Turow's "Innocent" is 4th. Of course, mine is $2.99, and his is $14.99, so I'm not worried about Scott missing any meals!

Paul Levine
"To Speak for the Dead"
"Night Vision"
"False Dawn"
"Reversal"
"Mortal Sin"
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Old 10-13-2010, 10:32 PM   #6
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I don't think any of her books are ebooks as yet but Nancy Kopp's 5 books are good reads. Last time I checked they were all available in paperback from Amazon. I had the chance to meet the lady a few times some yrs ago and got my copies of her books autographed. She has a site (hasn't been updated for a while) here: http://www.nancykopp.com/
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