Excerpt from The Attorney by Steve Martini, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reviews |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Attorney

by Steve Martini

The Attorney
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 429 pages
    Jan 2001, 429 pages

  • Rate this book

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt

On a Monday morning, the last week in August, I called Harry into my office. At one time, Harry Hinds had been one of the foremost criminal lawyers in town, trying mostly front-page felonies. Fifteen years ago he lost a death case, and his client lost his life in the state's gas chamber. Harry was never the same. By the time I opened a practice in the same building where Harry had his offices, he was defending drunk drivers and commiserating with them on bar stools after hours.

He came on board to lend a hand with the Talia Potter murder trial, and ever since has been a fixture. Harry's speciality is the mountains of paper produced in any trial. With a mind like a steel trap, Harry refers to his document searches as "digging through the bullshit to find the flowers." He is the only man I know who hates losing more than I do.

I didn't have the heart to tell him I was leaving Capital City, so I put it out as just opening a branch office.

He surprised me. His only question was where.

When I told him, his eyes lit up. It seemed Harry was game for the move himself. A new practice in a fresh place, the mellow swells of the Pacific, a few boat drinks along the way, maybe snag another big judgment in a civil case and head for the pastures of semi-retirement. In that instant Harry saw himself sipping piña coladas and surveying the swells on their yachts from the veranda of the Del Coronado. Harry has a fanciful imagination.

We found an associate to keep things together in the Capital City office. Harry and I weren't ready to burn our bridges. We would take turns trekking back to the home office, keeping one foot in both worlds until we could make the jump south for good.

In these months Susan played a pivotal role as surrogate mother for Sarah. I could leave my daughter with her for a week at a time. When I called Susan's house on those weeklong trips it was difficult to get Sarah even to come to the phone. When she did, her voice was filled with laughter and the abruptness that tells you that your call is an interruption. For the first time in five years, since Nikki died, our daughter was a carefree child. Even when Susan's house was burglarized in the late winter, I felt secure in her ability to protect and care for my daughter.
Susan is seven years younger than I, a dark-haired beauty, and divorced. She has the fine features and innocent looks of a child, coupled with the mind of a warrior.

For eight years, Susan has been the director of Children's Protective Services in San Diego, an agency that investigates allegations of child abuse and makes recommendations to the DA regarding prosecutions and to the courts regarding child custody. To call Susan's vocation a job is like calling the Christian Crusades a hobby. She pursues it with the zeal of a true believer. Children are her life. Her training is in early-childhood development where the mantra Save the kids has become a battle cry.

We have been seeing each other for more than two years, though even now in San Diego, we do not live together. I moved south to be with her, but-after some discussion-we decided not to move in together. At least not yet.

When I moved south, some unstated law of independence dictated that we maintain separate households. It seems we spend increasing amounts of time in each other's company; that is, when I am not on the road back to Capital City.

That particular Gordian knot will be cut as soon as Harry and I have secured a sufficient client base in the south, which is why today I am renewing an old acquaintance.

Jonah and Mary Hale sit across the desk from me. He has aged since I saw him last. Mary looks the same, different hairdo, but in the ten years she has not changed much. That was before Ben's death and Talia's murder trial. Oceans of water under that bridge.

Jonah was one of my earliest cases in private practice, soon after I left the DA's office where I'd cut my teeth. The firm had directed him down the hall to the new man in the cubicle at the end.

From The Attorney by Steve Martini. (c) Novemeber 1999 , Steve Martini used by permission of the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Crossing the Horizon
    Crossing the Horizon
    by Laurie Notaro
    In Crossing the Horizon, Laurie Notaro takes us back to a time when flying was a rare and risky ...
  • Book Jacket
    Auntie Poldi and the Sicilian Lions
    by Mario Giordano
    Munich matron and self-described worldly sophisticate, Isolde Oberreiter, has decided to retire to a...
  • Book Jacket: Of Arms and Artists
    Of Arms and Artists
    by Paul Staiti
    In the late eighteenth-century, the United States of America was still an emerging country, ...
Book Discussions
Book Jacket
The Bone Tree
by Greg Iles

An epic trilogy of blood and race, family and justice.

About the book
Join the discussion!

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Les Parisiennes
    by Anne Sebba

    How the women of Paris lived, loved, and died under Nazi occupation.

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win The World of Poldark

Win the book & DVD

Enter to win The World of Poldark and the full first series on DVD.


Word Play

Solve this clue:

One S D N M A S

and be entered to win..

Books that     

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.


Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!

Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.