4 June 2010

Review: OVERKILL, Joseph Teller

Publisher:      Harlequin
Imprint:         Mira
Pub Date:      August 2010
ISBN:         9780778327769 
Read on my Kindle, review ARC supplied by the publisher, through NetGalley

    It's a case no one can win - which is exactly why he's going to take it.  Harrison J. Walker - Jaywalker, to the world - is a frayed-at-the-edges defense attorney with a ninety-percent acquittal rate, thanks to an obsessive streak a mile wide. But winning this case will take more than just dedication. 
    Seventeen-year-old Jeremy Estrada killed another boy after a fight over a girl: shot him point-blank between the eyes. No one disputes those facts. This kid is jammed up big-time, but almost unable to help himself. He's got the face of an angel but can hardly string together three words to explain what happened that day...yet he's determined to go to trial. 
    All they've got is a "yesbut" defense, as in: "Did you kill him?" "Yes, but...." Jaywalker is accustomed to bending the rules - this will stretch the law to the breaking point and beyond.

Harrison J. Walker is sitting in one of the Supreme Court arraignment courtrooms at 100 Centre Street (New York) waiting for the sentencing of a client guilty of drug possession. His attention is drawn to the behaviour of a particular lawyer who is clearly out of his depth.The lawyer tells the judge his client is "guilty... with an explanation", and before he knows it, the lawyer, Fudderman, has been relieved of the case by the judge, and Jaywalker has been assigned.

OVERKILL is an exploration of how a courtroom drama plays out, the mind games played not only by the prosecutor and the defence, but by the judge too. On the face of it there can be no defence that will save Jeremy Estrada from 25 years in gaol, but if anyone can do it Jaywalker can. Right until the end we don't know how the jury will decide.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this. On reading on the author's website that this is #4 in the Jaywalker series, I can't understand why I haven't come across the earlier titles.

So if you are already a Jaywalker fan, here's one to put on your list. And if you've never read one, then this one doesn't seem a bad place to start - or, you've got time to read some of the earlier ones in the series, before OVERKILL is released in August.

My rating 4.4

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