Excerpt from Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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Her Kind of Case

A Lee Isaacs, Esq. Novel

by Jeanne Winer

Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer X
Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer
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    Aug 2018, 320 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Kim Kovacs
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CHAPTER ONE

Someone was knocking on her office door, but Lee didn't move or call out. It was much too early to deal with other people's problems. Her first appointment wasn't scheduled until nine, an hour and a half away, so whoever was knocking so insistently wasn't one of her regular, semi-normal clients.

Her regular clients may have broken the law, perhaps even a very serious law, but they knew about etiquette. You called, made an appointment, and waited downstairs in the beautifully appointed lobby until the receptionist phoned the lawyer and she came down to meet you. So, more likely than not, it was her new court appointment, a client suffering from borderline personality disorder in the first phase of her relationship with Lee: I love you; you're my savior; I have to spend all my time at your feet. Later, in about a month, the second phase would begin: I hate you; you're about to fuck me over; I want a new lawyer.

The knocking stopped and Lee could hear footsteps retreating across the tiled hallway. Good. Although she was often grumpy, today was worse than usual. Partly it was the new pain in her neck—she tilted her head sideways and immediately regretted it—but mostly it was the fact that in exactly eight months she would turn sixty.

Sixty?

How distant and improbable it once sounded. The age when people were officially on the downhill side of their lives. They might still live another twenty or even thirty years, but never with the same physical ease and belief, whether true or not, that any disability could be overcome, that every trauma would eventually heal. When they were young, the Rolling Stones sang, "Time is on My Side." Well, not anymore.

Lee had woken up at home a few hours earlier with the new ache in the upper left side of her neck. When she'd pressed her finger on the exact spot where it hurt the most, she could hear a slight cracking sound. She'd made it crack about fifteen times and then given up. The ache was here to stay. She could tell. It had that certain quality she'd come to recognize: Hi, I'm your latest physical discomfort and I'll be with you for the rest of your life; get used to me.

She would try. In the meantime, she got dressed, ate breakfast and drove here, stopping on the way for a cappuccino, which briefly consoled her.

Now, instead of working, she was staring at the fake silk tree that took up a corner of the office. She'd bought the tree twenty-four years ago when she'd quit the Public Defender and gone into private practice. After looking at more than a dozen spaces, she'd picked this expensive one in the Highland building and been here ever since. The office was large and she'd needed to fill it up fast with appropriately classy furnishings so that her future clients, defendants in various criminal actions brought by the District Attorney in counties all over Colorado, would feel relaxed and reassured that they were hiring someone substantial, someone who wouldn't take their money under false pretenses and leave town in the middle of the night. Like they would.

Lee didn't think of herself as a fake-tree kind of woman, but the reality of watering and maintaining a real tree that would eventually lose its leaves or catch some kind of incurable disease convinced her. As she continued studying it, the tree struck her as a kind of minor miracle. After twenty-four years of benign neglect, it still looked good. No, it looked great. Real. Almost everyone who entered her office commented on how lovely it was and how did she keep it so healthy et cetera. She never responded, merely shrugged. Unless you actually walked over and fingered one of the perfect green leaves, you'd never know they were silk.

Maybe when her cat Charlie finally died—he had to be at least seventeen—she'd replace him with a fake silk cat, and position it near his favorite red ceramic food bowl. No more brushing, no more feeding, no more contemplating his eventual demise. She shook her head and frowned. Morbid reflections on a fake potted plant that was only doing what it was supposed to: look real, stay lovely, never age.

Excerpted from Her Kind of Case by Jeanne Winer. Copyright © 2018 by Jeanne Winer. Excerpted by permission of Bancroft Press. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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