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 by Steve Martini X
The Attorney by Steve Martini
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 429 pages
    Paperback:
    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!

Award Winners

  • Book Jacket: Educated
    Educated
    by Tara Westover
    Voted 2018 Best Nonfiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Tara Westover had the kind of ...
  • Book Jacket: Circe
    Circe
    by Madeline Miller
    Voted 2018 Best Fiction Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Towards the end of Madeline Miller...
  • Book Jacket: Children of Blood and Bone
    Children of Blood and Bone
    by Tomi Adeyemi
    Voted 2018 Best Young Adult Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    What would you do if, in a ...
  • Book Jacket: Where the Crawdads Sing
    Where the Crawdads Sing
    by Delia Owens
    Voted 2018 Best Debut Novel Award Winner by BookBrowse Subscribers

    Where the Crawdads Sing was a ...

See all Award Winners & Top 20

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Unsheltered
by Barbara Kingsolver

A timely novel that explores the human capacity for resiliency and compassion.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    A Ladder to the Sky
    by John Boyne

    A seductive, unputdownable psychodrama following one brilliant, ruthless man.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win The 7 ½ Deaths of Evelyn Hardcastle

The 7 ½ Deaths of
Evelyn Hardcastle

"Agatha Christie meets Groundhog Day...quite unlike anything I've ever read." - A. J. Finn

Enter

Word Play

The Big Holiday Wordplay: $400+ in Prizes

Enter Now

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & 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.