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A Criminal Defense

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Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything. When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hou Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything. When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death. Mick’s played both sides of Philadelphia’s courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he’ll need every one of them to win. But as the trial progresses, he’s disturbed by developments that confirm his deepest fears. This trial, one that already hits too close to home, may jeopardize his firm, his family—everything. Now Mick’s only way out is to mastermind the most brilliant defense he’s ever spun, one that will cross every legal and moral boundary.


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Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything. When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hou Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything. When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick’s close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death. Mick’s played both sides of Philadelphia’s courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he’ll need every one of them to win. But as the trial progresses, he’s disturbed by developments that confirm his deepest fears. This trial, one that already hits too close to home, may jeopardize his firm, his family—everything. Now Mick’s only way out is to mastermind the most brilliant defense he’s ever spun, one that will cross every legal and moral boundary.

30 review for A Criminal Defense

  1. 5 out of 5

    Matt

    Exploring the world of William L. Myers, Jr., I had hoped to be dazzled by his skills and dedication to the genre. Legal thrillers are a dime a dozen, but well-crafted ones are much harder to come by. Mick McFarland is a gritty Philadelphia lawyer trying to make the world a better place, one case at a time. However, he is in private practice, so his clients must also have the money to pay for his expert legal advice. While handling some meat and potatoes casework, a stunning bit of news hits the Exploring the world of William L. Myers, Jr., I had hoped to be dazzled by his skills and dedication to the genre. Legal thrillers are a dime a dozen, but well-crafted ones are much harder to come by. Mick McFarland is a gritty Philadelphia lawyer trying to make the world a better place, one case at a time. However, he is in private practice, so his clients must also have the money to pay for his expert legal advice. While handling some meat and potatoes casework, a stunning bit of news hits the wire; a well-known investigative journalist, Jennifer Yamura has been found at the bottom of her stairs, dead. What’s worse, McFarland’s long-time friend, wealthy businessman David Hanson, was seen by the police fleeing out the back door. After being retained, McFarland starts in damage control mode, learning that Hanson is clear in his innocence, but that there was a sexual relationship in play with Yamura. However, early discussions and evidence points to the fact that Hanson could well have killed Yamura, or was at least in the house with her dead body and had been cleaning up any sign of his presence. McFarland goes into pitbull mode, but must stay one step ahead of his client and three of the salivating District Attorney’s Office, where senior ADA Devlin Walker has his eye on burying Hanson. While the case is progressing and heading towards a trial, McFarland must face a number of personal struggles involving various members of his family: a wife whose family is money rich but cannot see past their country club lifestyle, and a brother who is now the firm’s investigator, but who harbours a past filled with less than savoury decisions. As guilt exudes from Hanson’s pores, McFarland must trust that his friend is telling the truth and that he is innocent of murder. Could Yamura’s flashy news reports on dirty cops have met with retribution? Might there be another jealous lover who wanted her out of the way? Or, worst of all, might Hanson be colluding with others to cover-up this crime and lying to McFarland at every turn? Whatever the answers, McFarland will stop at nothing to craft ‘a criminal defense’. A stunning legal thriller that mixes all the ingredients to deliver a story that will keep the reader hooked until the bitter end, and what a twist awaits there! Myers is surely an author who knows how to connect with his audience and deliver a realistic account of life in criminal law. This being his debut novel, I had to use this book as my first impressions of Myers. It serves as a wonderful starting point and the legal nuances embedded into the story keep the reader engaged. Myers is able to create a wonderful set of characters, developing them as the narrative builds. Mick McFarland is surely a lawyer of note, whose work ethic and personal foibles make for a highly entertaining protagonist. Myers develops him in many ways and does not shy away from offering the good, the bad, and the ugly, though not in equal measure. Branching out from there, Myers fills the story with a wonderful cross-section of legal minds, money-grubbing business folk, and those who see themselves as above the fray. Peppering them throughout the narrative allows the story to mutate into something more than a courtroom drama, as lives are placed in the balance. Myers is also keen on showing that a lawyer’s work is never tied to a single case, forcing a precarious juggling act to keep a firm afloat. McFarland is forced not only to deal with clients, but also other lawyers and shady witnesses, in hopes of providing the best defense that money can buy. Myers shows that his first foray into the genre has been a great success and I cannot wait for his follow-up, another standalone, out in the early part of 2018. Kudos, Mr. Myers for such a wonderful opening salvo into the world of cutthroat readers and reviewers. Your legal know-how will surely propel you to the top of the pack, given time and great word of mouth. Like/hate the review? An ever-growing collection of others appears at: http://pecheyponderings.wordpress.com/

  2. 5 out of 5

    Tulay

    Great legal thriller. This unpublished book was free with Kindle First March selection. So very glad I picked this book. Legal mystery/thrill lovers should read this book. All the characters with their actions explained to us who and what they are. Other than little girl Gabrielle and Tommy, they all are disgusting. Michael McFarland has small legal practice, his very rich friend since law school is accused of murder. Trial and investigations keeps you guessing and glued to your seat. You'll never Great legal thriller. This unpublished book was free with Kindle First March selection. So very glad I picked this book. Legal mystery/thrill lovers should read this book. All the characters with their actions explained to us who and what they are. Other than little girl Gabrielle and Tommy, they all are disgusting. Michael McFarland has small legal practice, his very rich friend since law school is accused of murder. Trial and investigations keeps you guessing and glued to your seat. You'll never guess the mind blowing ending.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Nazanin

    2 Stars This story is about a defense attorney (Mick) who his recent client is his college friend (David). David is accused for killing a reporter. Two detectives found him at the crime scene while he was sterilized the place and tried to run away from them and he insisted on he's not the killer. I read the first 32% but I couldn’t concentrate on it. The multiple open cases were too much for me (and also too many names). So I skipped and skimmed and I’m sooo happy for doing that because that endi 2 Stars This story is about a defense attorney (Mick) who his recent client is his college friend (David). David is accused for killing a reporter. Two detectives found him at the crime scene while he was sterilized the place and tried to run away from them and he insisted on he's not the killer. I read the first 32% but I couldn’t concentrate on it. The multiple open cases were too much for me (and also too many names). So I skipped and skimmed and I’m sooo happy for doing that because that ending pissed me off SO MUCH! I don’t care that the victim was b!tch/sl*t or she could have destroyed a family. The thing that is important is she was a human and she had a right to be alive and now right has been taken from her and she is dead, it’s her right that her killer/killers will be punished. JUSTICE WAS NOT SERVED in this book. I don’t care the perp/perps (view spoiler)[will never have peace or her killing will be a burden for the perp/perps (hide spoiler)] It's not fair! I just wanted to see the justice! I HATED THAT ENDING!

  4. 4 out of 5

    Selene

    3.75 stars This book featured a slow burning legal drama based in Philadelphia about a lawyer juggling multiple open cases, an unsteady marriage, unstable family ties, and a financially shaky legal firm. Michael "Mick" McFarland was the protagonist whose POV provided the central vision for this story. The beginning was a bit dull with all of the background information being laid out, but this story gradually became more interesting as the story unfolded. Mick was sort of lifeless and bland to me f 3.75 stars This book featured a slow burning legal drama based in Philadelphia about a lawyer juggling multiple open cases, an unsteady marriage, unstable family ties, and a financially shaky legal firm. Michael "Mick" McFarland was the protagonist whose POV provided the central vision for this story. The beginning was a bit dull with all of the background information being laid out, but this story gradually became more interesting as the story unfolded. Mick was sort of lifeless and bland to me for the majority of this book, but he became more lively during the David Hanson/ Jennifer Yamura trial and that streak of energy continued to the end of the story. I loved the courtroom dialogues and tidbits about the jury's expected reactions. The tension between Mick and the detectives, the fine details gathered to build the David Hanson defense, and the preparation for presenting the case were my favorite parts of this story. There wasn't a single twist or turn in this book that I didn't love and the ending was to die for! I loved it! Actually, the last 15 percent of this book was really the meat and potatoes of this story and transformed that part of the book from a legal drama to a legal thriller! Before that, the protagonist was stiff and a little boring. It was almost as if Mick needed his heart to be ripped to shreds (view spoiler)[by his wife! (hide spoiler)] and to unload those pesky secrets (view spoiler)[between him and Tommy! (hide spoiler)] before he could appreciate his life again. The thought of losing that carefully crafted lifestyle was enough for Mick to put greater effort into repairing the damage he had a part in creating and to strengthen his family's bonds.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Liz Barnsley

    Review to follow but LOVED this. I'm on the lookout for good legal thrillers I mean REALLY good ones and this hit the spot. Review to follow but LOVED this. I'm on the lookout for good legal thrillers I mean REALLY good ones and this hit the spot.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jill

    Fantastic! I was really blown away by this book. There are so many surprises and plot twists- I was kept guessing until the very end. I love clever lawyering and tense courtroom drama-I really enjoyed the courtroom scenes. The real surprise for me, though, was the characters and the drama/conflict between them. Legal thrillers these days are too often filled with thin, almost cliche'd characters. The characters in this book, including the protagonist Mick, are layered and their relationships com Fantastic! I was really blown away by this book. There are so many surprises and plot twists- I was kept guessing until the very end. I love clever lawyering and tense courtroom drama-I really enjoyed the courtroom scenes. The real surprise for me, though, was the characters and the drama/conflict between them. Legal thrillers these days are too often filled with thin, almost cliche'd characters. The characters in this book, including the protagonist Mick, are layered and their relationships complex. As the story unfolded, I enjoyed learning the causes underlying the tensions and estrangements between the charachters and the conflicts inside them.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Terri Lynn

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I enjoyed the writing itself but took off 3 points for the plot, storyline, and the way it ended. The plot and storyline had the feel of a bad soap opera. Yes, I understand wanting to add twists and surprises but this was absurd. I mean, having our "hero" lawyer Mick, his troubled brother Tommy, the prosecuting attorney, Mick's wife, the defendant David Hanson, and David's wife Marcie all cheating and being cheated on and involved in the murder of reporter Jennifer Yamura in different ways was j I enjoyed the writing itself but took off 3 points for the plot, storyline, and the way it ended. The plot and storyline had the feel of a bad soap opera. Yes, I understand wanting to add twists and surprises but this was absurd. I mean, having our "hero" lawyer Mick, his troubled brother Tommy, the prosecuting attorney, Mick's wife, the defendant David Hanson, and David's wife Marcie all cheating and being cheated on and involved in the murder of reporter Jennifer Yamura in different ways was just unbelievable and too over-the-top. It's as if the author couldn't decide who to make guilty. The ending is disturbing. He tried to make something positive out of it but that made it even creepier and was no justification for Mick's (or any other character's) behavior.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Leslie

    This is a legal procedural set in Philadelphia. As a Philly local I love books set in Philly. Love them. And the first 50% of this book had me absolutely charmed. It was an excellent mystery and Philly was well featured. when the twist in the tale came I was stunned. Stunned. STUNNED. And then annoyed. So 4 stars rather than 5. I still plan on reading the next book by the author.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Brenda

    At about 30% in, I checked some Goodreads reviews to encourage me to continue. I’m so glad I finished the book. It got really engrossing and became a book I couldn’t put down. “Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive.” Ethics, shmethics. I now have to read the next book, because I have to know if anyone from this book is redeemed and continues.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Angelika

    Every once in a while I enjoy a good book about the law. This was an engrossing story of criminal defense but I hated the ending. There were no good guys and justice was not served. Maybe I'm naive, but at least in fiction, I want to like at least one person, and there was no one. Every once in a while I enjoy a good book about the law. This was an engrossing story of criminal defense but I hated the ending. There were no good guys and justice was not served. Maybe I'm naive, but at least in fiction, I want to like at least one person, and there was no one.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Jean

    This is a new author for me. The book was recently published on April 1, 2017. The author is a practicing attorney. A young female reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of the murder. Our protagonist is Mick McFarland. He finds himself in a quandary. David Hanson, the defendant, is a close friend and law school buddy. The T. V. news reporter had call Mick to seek help only hours before her death. Mick had been a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. M This is a new author for me. The book was recently published on April 1, 2017. The author is a practicing attorney. A young female reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of the murder. Our protagonist is Mick McFarland. He finds himself in a quandary. David Hanson, the defendant, is a close friend and law school buddy. The T. V. news reporter had call Mick to seek help only hours before her death. Mick had been a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. Mick discovered his friend had lots of skeletons in his closet. The ADA in charge of the case was his major rival in the D.A.’s office when they worked together. Nothing is as it seems even to the point as to whether it was an accident or murder. The book is well written. The plot is complex with subplots interwoven. The characters are well crafted, layered and complicated. The diverse characters include flawed and damaged people and broken relationships. The ending was a surprise. The courtroom scenes were electrifying. The book is highly entertaining. I read this as an audiobook downloaded from Audible. The book is thirteen hours long. Peter Berkrot does an excellent job narrating the book Berkrot is an actor, voiceover artist and audiobook narrator. This is the first time I have heard him narrator a book. His voice is ideal for a certain type of book, such as this one. I will keep an eye out for more books narrated by him.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Louise Wilson

    When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of her life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick's close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, has reached out to Mick for legal help hours before her death. Mick had been a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. There is a lot more going on under the surface than you think. This book has a slow pace but I don't thin When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of her life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick's close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, has reached out to Mick for legal help hours before her death. Mick had been a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. There is a lot more going on under the surface than you think. This book has a slow pace but I don't think it would have worked with a quicker one. There are several twists and surprises along with great characters who is believable but complicated. The first half of the book builds up the case while the second half is the courtroom drama. We get some of Mick's background story, which I like as it builds up the main character up. We learn of his marriage and his relationship with his brother, Tommy, who is also a member of Mick's team. The book does not end the way I thought it was going too but that just made me like it all the more.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I got this through Kindle First and I guess I'll never learn that free books are terrible books. I chose it because it had the best reviews of them all... what are y'all smoking?? Also this author didn't seem to know that Thatcher Gray (Grey) is a well known soap opera character from Grey's Anatomy. I got this through Kindle First and I guess I'll never learn that free books are terrible books. I chose it because it had the best reviews of them all... what are y'all smoking?? Also this author didn't seem to know that Thatcher Gray (Grey) is a well known soap opera character from Grey's Anatomy.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Ms.pegasus

    What would you look for if you needed a defense attorney? Experience? Graduate of a prestigious law school? Referral from a professional peer? What about motivations — an unknowable unknown? In this unusual legal procedural, Mick McFarland can point with confidence to his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his highly successful stint in the D.A.'s office, and his pro bono work evidencing his idealism in the justice system. It was this idealism, he tells us, that diverted his ambitio What would you look for if you needed a defense attorney? Experience? Graduate of a prestigious law school? Referral from a professional peer? What about motivations — an unknowable unknown? In this unusual legal procedural, Mick McFarland can point with confidence to his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his highly successful stint in the D.A.'s office, and his pro bono work evidencing his idealism in the justice system. It was this idealism, he tells us, that diverted his ambitions of becoming the next district attorney to the defense side of the aisle. He started a small partnership, arousing the ire of his allies in the D.A.'s office and of his wealthy father-in-law. Despite his talent and the long hours he invests in the practice, the transition has been difficult. He and his wife are drifting apart. They have a young daughter. They live in a roomy cape with newly remodeled kitchen, bathrooms, flooring and basement. His wife just bought a new BMW convertible. It feels like a godsend when McFarland's former law school roommate David Hanson is arrested for murder and calls him. Hanson is in a different league of wealth. He has access to private jets. He is chief counsel to a world-wide conglomerate run by his half-brother. He and his wife are prominent in upper echelon social circles. Hanson's case will ease McFarland's always tenuous financial situation. There's just one catch. Every word out of Hanson's mouth is a lie. Nevertheless, McFarland resolves to mount a successful defense, even if it means jettisoning ethics. The story is narrated in McFarland's first person present POV. It enables the reader to watch McFarland react to each new development, and gives the reader an intimate look into his legal maneuvering. At the same time, McFarland can be an unreliable narrator, unaware of and even rationalizing his emotions. McFarland's back story is revealed incrementally. He begins with memories of his rising career and the romantic courtship of Piper, his wife. The reader is led to wonder what has precipitated the deterioration of this perfect marriage. A second backstory traces the troubled life of his brother Tommy, now employed as an investigator for McFarland's law firm. After years spent caring for their dying father while McFarland was earning his law degree, Tommy went into a tail-spin of alcoholic binges, brawling and jail time. McFarland believes Tommy might be on the verge of another relapse. Tommy has seemed moody and distant lately. Another plot element concerns the murder victim. She was a young and beautiful reporter who recently broke an exclusive story about a secret grand jury investigation of corruption in the police force. The prosecutor in the murder case is eager to find the reporter's missing laptop which would reveal the identity of her source. This is a plot-driven story, ingenious in its surprising plot twists. (Don't look for anything deep here). It was a pleasant bit of escapist fiction which I obtained from the Amazon Prime program. Well, perhaps pleasant is the wrong word, but certainly entertaining!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Pat (not getting friend updates currently)

    4.5 stars. I've had a looong break from legal thrillers. I don't know why, I just did. I loved all the books by Sydney Bauer but she seems to have stopped writing and is concentrating on television for now. I also didn't realise she was Australian as her books are set in Boston (Boston legal anyone)? There were other authors too but Bauer was the standout for me. Why am I telling you this? Because I think William L. Myers might just be in the same league. This was a damn good book but, oh my, so 4.5 stars. I've had a looong break from legal thrillers. I don't know why, I just did. I loved all the books by Sydney Bauer but she seems to have stopped writing and is concentrating on television for now. I also didn't realise she was Australian as her books are set in Boston (Boston legal anyone)? There were other authors too but Bauer was the standout for me. Why am I telling you this? Because I think William L. Myers might just be in the same league. This was a damn good book but, oh my, so many twists and turns. A young reporter, Jennifer Yamura, is found dead in her home. She has fallen down the basement steps cracking her head open. There are certain elements at the scene which lead the police to suspect murder. David Hanson, a wealthy businessman, is found fleeing from the scene and arrested. He had been trying to erase evidence of his presence in the house. David seeks the help of Mick McFarland, a successful Philadelphia criminal defence attorney and a law school buddy of David's. The case seems cut and dried but Mick is confident of an acquittal. This confidence starts to wane as David's lies and evasions add up. Then some CCTV evidence finds its way to Mick that throws a real spanner in the works. He formulates a cunning plan but it is very complex and tricky and delicate and the timing is a bitch - sort of like passing a camel through the eye of a needle or whatever the expression is. However things are still not as they seem. Twist upon twist leaves you reeling until the final shocking revelation. Wow, this was a complex and convoluted thriller that ticked all the boxes.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com 4.5/5 I’m always slightly hesitant before I read a legal thriller, will it be full of legal jargon that bores me to tears? Will it be bland and dry with more long speeches by blabbing lawyers than actual thrills? None of that happened here, in fact it was quite the opposite. I was highly engrossed in this story and had a hard time putting it down. This isn’t a straightforward legal drama, there is much more going on under the surface than you i All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com 4.5/5 I’m always slightly hesitant before I read a legal thriller, will it be full of legal jargon that bores me to tears? Will it be bland and dry with more long speeches by blabbing lawyers than actual thrills? None of that happened here, in fact it was quite the opposite. I was highly engrossed in this story and had a hard time putting it down. This isn’t a straightforward legal drama, there is much more going on under the surface than you initially think, which is exactly why I ended up loving A Criminal Defense so much! This was jam packed with complex characters with even more complex relationships and they all toed the line in terms of morality. Mick is the protagonist and the defense attorney for his old friend, David. He was caught at the scene of the murder of Jennifer and things don’t look good for his case at all. You also have the prosecutor, Devlin, Mick’s wife Piper, his brother Tommy and David’s wife Marcie. No one seems to be playing by the rules, they all have hidden agendas and dark secrets full of corruption and betrayals. It was a tangled web to say the least and I couldn’t have loved their twisted relationships any more. The beginning of the book is a lot of build up as the case doesn’t actually go to court until after the halfway point, however the author was laying the groundwork for some explosive moments later on down the road, so it was all necessary in the end. His writing style is crisp and his legal knowledge is on point, but as I mentioned earlier, it’s not over the top. He details exactly what the reader needs to know and nothing more or less. The final twenty percent is where things get super intense, the courtroom drama is full of tension and is vividly rendered. The main plot twist blindsided me, I’m talking jaw dropping, I never saw it coming type of twist, though in hindsight, the breadcrumbs where all there, I just didn’t follow them. A Criminal Defense is an outstanding debut from a talented writer to keep your eye on.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Cathie

    So I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars and have decided to go with 4. There were parts of this book that were excellent, there were parts of this book that were not, but they always led to new questions of "what's he up to now" and "who is on that tape". I thought I new; I did not. (view spoiler)[In the end the one person I was sure was on that tape was not and they were the one that had actually done the deed. I guessed the right person but not the right motive. (hide spoiler)] Nearly everyone i So I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars and have decided to go with 4. There were parts of this book that were excellent, there were parts of this book that were not, but they always led to new questions of "what's he up to now" and "who is on that tape". I thought I new; I did not. (view spoiler)[In the end the one person I was sure was on that tape was not and they were the one that had actually done the deed. I guessed the right person but not the right motive. (hide spoiler)] Nearly everyone is guilty of something

  18. 4 out of 5

    Judy D Collins

    A fantastic new legal thriller and love Peter Berkrot! Highly recommend the audio. Review to follow.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Terence M

    Audiobook - 13:02 Hours - Narrator: Peter Berkrot 3Stars - I liked it From my Reading Activity: @50%: "I have just finished chapter 20 and I am still waiting for this book to really "grab" me! I am persevering only because several GR friends rated it very highly and I have 'faith' in their reviews. Also, the narration is not good, so that doesn't help🙄!" @85%: "I resumed reading this novel following an extended hiatus..." [time wasted by being unwell and unable to tolerate my "second ears", my lovely Audiobook - 13:02 Hours - Narrator: Peter Berkrot 3Stars - I liked it From my Reading Activity: @50%: "I have just finished chapter 20 and I am still waiting for this book to really "grab" me! I am persevering only because several GR friends rated it very highly and I have 'faith' in their reviews. Also, the narration is not good, so that doesn't help🙄!" @85%: "I resumed reading this novel following an extended hiatus..." [time wasted by being unwell and unable to tolerate my "second ears", my lovely new Bose 700 headphones, which pissed me off mightily!]. "After tolerating much introspection, self-pity and weeping and gnashing of teeth from the main protag, the actual trial started - thank Zeus! This has been my favourite part of the book so far and I had to force myself to turn out the light early this morning!" Later in the day, I listened to the final hour and a half pretty quickly and ultimately I was happy with the book. However my Reading Activity comments spell out my concern that it took way too much time to create enough interest for me to want to finish the story. I enjoy "legal procedurals" and I finally became involved when the trial itself started, but it didn't start until way into the second half of the book! Also, the narrator seemed to be trying a bit too hard and the narration sounded a bit too "dramatic" for my taste, although this is quite a subjective comment and it won't stop me listening to the next William L. Myers Jr. "Philadelphia Legal" novel in my collection, "An Engineered Injustice". There were plenty of twists, turns, surprises and unexpected goings-on to satisfy my jaded early feelings about "A Criminal Defence" and I am pleased to say "I liked it", but not enough to add the "really" to award the extra star😄.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Terynce

    Twists and turns a plenty, but it doesn't make for a good story. No drama, no anticipation, Grisham it ain't. Hey, let's make a convoluted plot, that no one will see coming because it doesn't make any sense, and have the bad guys get away with everything. No reckoning, no justice, no punishment for the guilty. If that was the intended overall message I suppose the book succeeded, but I can't help but think it was just happenstance. (view spoiler)[And Walker asking about scars or visible marks in Twists and turns a plenty, but it doesn't make for a good story. No drama, no anticipation, Grisham it ain't. Hey, let's make a convoluted plot, that no one will see coming because it doesn't make any sense, and have the bad guys get away with everything. No reckoning, no justice, no punishment for the guilty. If that was the intended overall message I suppose the book succeeded, but I can't help but think it was just happenstance. (view spoiler)[And Walker asking about scars or visible marks in chambers? Sure, he was put up to it, but the judge wouldn't find such a specific question that leads to the perfect answer suspicious? A judge who, up till now, has been on top of his game? (hide spoiler)] And after writing that out, I'm lowering my rating by a star.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Kelsea

    As a nearly-exclusive reader of the fantasy genre, I don't typically pick up books like A Criminal Defense. However, looking through the March 2017 Kindle First choices, I noted that the fantasy/sci-fi option this month was a YA dystopian sci-fi. Honestly, I just couldn't bear to read another YA dystopian, so I decided to branch out and go for the "legal thriller" instead. All of this is to say that I'm not typically a reader of thrillers, legal or otherwise. As such, I can't speak to the qualit As a nearly-exclusive reader of the fantasy genre, I don't typically pick up books like A Criminal Defense. However, looking through the March 2017 Kindle First choices, I noted that the fantasy/sci-fi option this month was a YA dystopian sci-fi. Honestly, I just couldn't bear to read another YA dystopian, so I decided to branch out and go for the "legal thriller" instead. All of this is to say that I'm not typically a reader of thrillers, legal or otherwise. As such, I can't speak to the quality of the book compared with others within the genre. All I can share is my opinions as a reader unfamiliar with books of this type. Overall, I was pleasantly surprised by the book. I started reading sometime in the late evening and ended up staying up to finish the book in one sitting. The tone of the book felt abrupt at the start and sure enough, some measure of abruptness caries through the rest of the story. However, I came to think early on that the abrupt tone actually suited the story well enough and it stopped bothering me for the most part. The plot progression felt natural enough, with the reader fully apprised that the main character is of questionable reliability throughout, giving him room to withhold some information. Readers who are annoyed by the main character (whose story is told from the first person view) intentionally hiding secrets from the audience might be annoyed by some parts, but it seems to me the type of thing that is difficult to avoid with stories centering around a mystery. It didn't bother me personally. There were a few themes I found too repetitive (view spoiler)[(namely, the overabundance of extramarital affairs - especially within the same circle - and lack of communication between characters) (hide spoiler)] as well as a handful of inconsistencies. (view spoiler)[(1. We can surmise that perhaps Marci didn't want to lose the reputation and wealth that came with her marriage, but we never really hear how that very abrupt decision comes about or are given any reason beyond those we can guess. 2. Susan is a partner at a law firm supposedly familiar with defending criminal types and yet her moral objections and discomfort begin early, leading to blatantly hostile and unprofessional actions toward her client. 3. Mick never really explains why he left without trying for the DA position, only the fallout that resulted. 4. For someone as bullheaded and controlling as Piper's father to leave on a vacation to "cool off" seems less likely than making a choice to confront the parties he considers culpable.) (hide spoiler)] Still, this was a well-thought out story and a fun, fast-paced read. If you want likable characters and physical action/maneuvering/prowess, this is a not the book for you (the battles are all verbal rather than physical). If you want a puzzle/mystery-centered plot involving flawed/damaged people, broken relationships, and the clash of strategic minds with few scruples on a legal battlefield, you'll have as much fun with A Criminal Defense as I did.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Chris Steeden

    I really enjoyed this book. At first I thought it was going to be a run of the mill Grisham with a moral lawyer who sticks up for the vulnerable and powerless against the wealthy and powerful. It does start by following that path or so it seems. Mick McFarland is the lawyer and the setting is Philadelphia which made a change from the normal New York, LA or London settings. I referenced Google Maps a few times to see the different locations I had never heard of. McFarland is brought in to defend a I really enjoyed this book. At first I thought it was going to be a run of the mill Grisham with a moral lawyer who sticks up for the vulnerable and powerless against the wealthy and powerful. It does start by following that path or so it seems. Mick McFarland is the lawyer and the setting is Philadelphia which made a change from the normal New York, LA or London settings. I referenced Google Maps a few times to see the different locations I had never heard of. McFarland is brought in to defend a wealthy old law school friend who has been charged with murder in the first degree. The book is chock full of twists and turns. Maybe too many but I wasn’t counting. I was enjoying the ride far too much for that.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kathi Defranc

    Wow...A Legal Thriller with a BANG! A great story of a lawyer,his family and a murder that is much more than meets the eye! A courtroom tale with characters so diverse that it is hard to find any to like. Just when you think you understand a plot, there is a twist that changes everything. A nice job of writing by author William L. Myers, even the ending is totally unexpected. Anyone who likes legal thrillers should grab this book immediately!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelli Wilson

    Solid suspense, twisting around until the very end. enjoyed!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Carol

    In reviewing the world of William L. Myers, Jr., I had hoped to be wowed by his talents and dedication to this type of book. Legal thrillers are very popular, but well-crafted ones are much harder to come by. Mick McFarland is a gritty Phily lawyer trying to make the world a better place, one case at a time. However, he is in private practice, so his clients must also have the money to pay for his expert legal advice. This was not my favorite book. It was too heavy and it lot a lot of my interes In reviewing the world of William L. Myers, Jr., I had hoped to be wowed by his talents and dedication to this type of book. Legal thrillers are very popular, but well-crafted ones are much harder to come by. Mick McFarland is a gritty Phily lawyer trying to make the world a better place, one case at a time. However, he is in private practice, so his clients must also have the money to pay for his expert legal advice. This was not my favorite book. It was too heavy and it lot a lot of my interest fairly early on. It's WAY TOO LONG also. A well-known investigative writer, Jennifer Yamura has been found at the bottom of her stairs, dead. What’s worse, McFarland’s long-time friend, wealthy businessman David Hanson, was seen by the police fleeing out the back door. After being retained, McFarland starts in damage control mode, learning that Hanson is clear in his innocence, but that there was a sexual affair with Yamura. However, early discussions and evidence points to the fact that Hanson could well have killed Yamura, or was at least in the house with her dead body and had been cleaning up any sign of his presence. McFarland goes into dragon type mode, but must stay one step ahead of his client and even more of the Walker has his eye on burying Hanson. While the case is progressing and heading towards a trial, McFarland must face a number of personal struggles involving various members of his family. First a wife whose family is money rich but cannot see past their clubbing lifestyle, and a brother who is now the firm’s investigator, but who harbours a past filled with less than popular decisions. As with all of us, guilt exudes from Hanson’s pores, McFarland must trust that his friend is telling the truth and that he is innocent of murder. Could Yamura’s flashy news reports on dirty cops have met with retribution? Might there be another jealous lover who wanted her out of the way? Or, worst of all, might Hanson be colluding with others to cover-up this crime and lying to McFarland at every turn? Whatever the answers, McFarland will stop at nothing to craft "a criminal defense".

  26. 5 out of 5

    Literary Escapades

    Wow. Just wow. I highly highly recommend this. Just when you think you know it, you realise that you don't. This is damn amazing. Till the last page, literally till the last page, it keeps you hooked. Just when you think its over, you'll its not. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Can't wait to read more by him. Wow. Just wow. I highly highly recommend this. Just when you think you know it, you realise that you don't. This is damn amazing. Till the last page, literally till the last page, it keeps you hooked. Just when you think its over, you'll its not. A.M.A.Z.I.N.G. Can't wait to read more by him.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Suze

    A CRIMINAL DEFENSE This is an exceptional book, nothing is as it seems. The author did an amazing job of putting an elaborate puzzle together, very complex story-very good book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Debbie Oxier

    Fantastic! This is the best legal thriller I've read in a long time. A couple of times I thought I had something figured out then the author would throw in another twist and I'd be back where I started. And the ending blew me away! I sat there stunned for several seconds as I absorbed what I'd just read. The author did an excellent job of mixing things up to keep you guessing. When Mick McFarland gets a phone call from good friend David Hanson saying David needed legal representation, of course h Fantastic! This is the best legal thriller I've read in a long time. A couple of times I thought I had something figured out then the author would throw in another twist and I'd be back where I started. And the ending blew me away! I sat there stunned for several seconds as I absorbed what I'd just read. The author did an excellent job of mixing things up to keep you guessing. When Mick McFarland gets a phone call from good friend David Hanson saying David needed legal representation, of course he agrees to help. A reporter, Jennifer Yamura, has been killed. The police caught David running from the scene of the crime, her apartment, where he was trying to clean up evidence he'd been there. He admits he and Jennifer had been involved but claimed she was already dead when he got to her place. He panicked, not wanting his wife to find out he'd been cheating on her, so tried to get rid of all traces of his presence. As Mick starts building his case, he discovers David has been less than honest with him and that David and his wife, Marcie, are working behind the scenes to make sure the trial goes David's way. In addition there's video that turns up implicating more than one person. And someone is blackmailing David with it. Then there's Mick's brother, Tommy. Tommy is his brother's investigator and has a close relationship with Mick's wife, Piper. Tommy has a questionably past and is keeping secrets of his own. This was just good all around. The courtroom drama with Mick pitted against an ambitious hard nosed prosecutor, the characters and their relationships with one another, the crime, the victim, all so very well written I hated it to come to an end. I'm thinking about going back and reading it again just to make sure I didn't miss anything and I can't recall ever doing that before. I just can't recommend this enough!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Delaney Diamond

    Although I enjoyed this story, I did skim some of the courtroom scene in the second half of the book. But the storyline kept me glued to the pages, trying to figure out who the murderer was. First of all, the victim was not a nice person, and neither was the defendant. But few of the supporting characters had any redeeming qualities, either, quite frankly. This was one of those stories where you can’t figure out who did it, and even when you think you do, there’s more to the story. Plot twists, Although I enjoyed this story, I did skim some of the courtroom scene in the second half of the book. But the storyline kept me glued to the pages, trying to figure out who the murderer was. First of all, the victim was not a nice person, and neither was the defendant. But few of the supporting characters had any redeeming qualities, either, quite frankly. This was one of those stories where you can’t figure out who did it, and even when you think you do, there’s more to the story. Plot twists, an unexpected ending, and shock after shock kept me turning the pages. Definitely a 5-star read.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Val

    At 34% read, I was ready to give up on this book. After reading reviews by other readers who said they had persevered and it was worth it; I persevered. It wasn't worth it for me. I've also read comments like: It's easy to see the author was a trial lawyer before he became an author. All I can say is if that is the way the legal system works I hope I never have to use it! The story had so many twists, lies, schemes, blackmail, and more. I didn't find the characters particularly likable, other tha At 34% read, I was ready to give up on this book. After reading reviews by other readers who said they had persevered and it was worth it; I persevered. It wasn't worth it for me. I've also read comments like: It's easy to see the author was a trial lawyer before he became an author. All I can say is if that is the way the legal system works I hope I never have to use it! The story had so many twists, lies, schemes, blackmail, and more. I didn't find the characters particularly likable, other than the minor character, Vaughn. The number of affairs had me shaking my head. (view spoiler)[The prosecuting attorney, The defense attorney's troubled brother, the defense attorney's wife, and the defendant were all cheating and being cheated on - both with the murder victim, as well as with each other. Really? (hide spoiler)] And then I got to the ending. Some reviewers loved it. I hated it. Definitely not my kind of book.

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