Patti Abbot hosts Friday’s Forgotten Books at her blog Pattinase.
“Poised to join the ranks of Scott Turow and Richard North Patterson, trial judge Stan Latreille has firmly established himself as a master of courtroom suspense. Perjury is his stunning debut, a bold thriller about lies, sex, and the conflict between law and justice…”
|My copy of the book.|
It has been a while since I purchased any books from the secondhand bookstalls I frequent. I have promised myself that I won’t buy any more new or old novels, at least not until I read a quarter of the 200-odd physical books in my possession. There’s only so much paper you can have around the house. However, I occasionally buy ebooks from Amazon, my comfort levels with an e-reader having gone up considerably.
Sometimes I break my promise, as I did a couple of days ago when I’d no hesitation in picking up Perjury, a 375-page legal thriller by Stan Latreille. The cover and a new author were the motivating factors. Library Journal described it as “a striking debut…in the tradition of Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent.”
For over two decades Stan Latreille, 76, was a trial judge in
presiding over murder and rape trials, complex civil cases, and family
litigation. Prior to a career in law, he was a newspaper reporter and editor
for ten years. The retired Livingston Circuit Court judge is working on his
second novel, tentatively titled Absolution,
and blogs at The Livingston Post. Latreille also offers his services as a
visiting judge and a case mediator and arbitrator.
While I have not read Perjury yet, the synopsis on the back cover has prompted me to move it way up my list of books to read in the immediate future. It promises a sensitive and delicate story, for it says…
“Jack Brenner, a burned-out public defender from
Chicago, has left lying clients and political maneuvering
behind to take on the more lucrative, predictable routine of civil law in a
town. But when he is asked to defend a woman accused of perjury for falsely
claiming that her husband abused their young daughter, Jack is swept back into
the labyrinth of the criminal justice system—and into a dangerous attraction
for his seductive client whose case he cannot win and must not lose…”
I also liked the opening lines which read: “Davey Alden turned out to be one of those wild flowers that miraculously spring up from the cracks in the concrete. In this case the concrete was the Laffler Country Jail, on the outskirts of Kirtley,
Frankly, I don’t recall the last time I read a legal thriller; perhaps, it was a novel or two by John Grisham and Erle Stanley Gardner a few years ago. I did a search of writers of legal thrillers on the internet and I wasn’t surprised when I failed to recognise most of the dozen-odd names. The ones I’d read, apart from Grisham and Gardner, included Scott Turow and John Mortimer. The ones whose names were merely familiar to me were Michael Connelly, Steve Martini, Brad Meltzer, and Richard North Patterson.
Legal thrillers, if plotted and written well, are exciting to read.
Note: You can see Stan Latreille's photograph at MLive.