A famous Texas trial lawyer becomes a plaintiff in this third installment of a series.
Cal Connors, the well-known Fort Worth prosecutor of dubious morality, is suing Texas Matters Magazine over a damning profile that he believes will hurt his reputation—as well as bring him unwanted attention from the U.S. Attorney’s Office. The author of the article, veteran reporter Leah Rosen, has recently suffered a setback of her own: the man who tortured and sexually assaulted her (at the request, she believes, of Connors himself in an attempt to quash her story) recently beat the charges against him by outlawyering the state. When Rosen learns that Connors is now suing her in a multimillion-dollar defamation case, she seeks representation from the one attorney who turned Connors down: his longtime rival, Jace Forman. With a history of defending corporations against the suits of individuals, Jace is uniquely suitable for the job, but Connors and his daughter Christine will stop at nothing to retain their family secrets and the fortune that they protect. Things are big in Texas, but the world of the law is small, and the shared history of all those involved will make this a particularly emotional case—one that may leave Jace questioning if he made the right decision when he said no to Connors. With typically taut and colorful prose, Crouch (The Word, 2015, etc.) enlivens even the thorniest legal concepts that propel his intricate plot. Jace is a complicated and not always endearing hero, and through his worldview, the book manages to shine a light on some of the problems with the way cases are litigated in this country. “That’s what’s wrong with the system,” a private investigator reminds Jace early in the novel. “The rich can pay for some hotshot lawyer and walk, while some poor kid from the projects does time for having a few grams of cocaine.” In this latest volume of the Jace Forman series, there are more than enough hotshot lawyers to go around, and even the rich may have a hard time buying the outcomes they desire.
A thoughtful and highly readable legal thriller.