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Hostile Witness by William Lashner

Legal Thriller involving the Philadelphia Mob with lawyer Victor Carl

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Loved the Sleezy Victor Carl, Lashner's "Dark" Lawyer!

  • Mar 6, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
This is my second book by this author and he has a marvelous talent for including some of the most intriguing and different characters I have read in a legal thriller. Just about everyone in this book falls into this category. Starting for the high class Winston Osbourne who is being sued by a client represented by Victor Carl (Victor is the main character in the book) all the way to the mysterious Veronica, Morris, the Mafia Don, and Jimmy Moore.

The book is told in first person which is told marvelously since we get a deep sense of what Victor is thinking throughout. He feels intimidated by Osbourne and his ilk because they represent the high class with old money for which Victor can only observe but never be accepted into their "club." Victor brings down Osbourne and then is pulled into a case involving a city councilman (Moore) and his aide (Concoran) being charged with the murder of a nightclub owner. Victor is asked by Moore's attorney (Prescott) to represent Concoron and basically stand by and do nothing while Prescott runs the whole show. In reward for Victor being a "good soldier" and doing what he is told, Prescott offers Victor a lucrative future.

Victor starts to smell a lot of things wrong with everyone and starts believing that his client is in fact innocent. Victor has to decide if he wants to be a man of principal and throw everything away that was promised by Prescott and go against his instructions. The choices are like this throughout especially after Victor meets the troublesome Veronica who he falls madly in love with. The author places Veronica on one end of the spectrum like a siren luring sailors to their death and Victor's partner, the "pure" Beth on the other side. Victor has to decide whether to go with his libido or his common sense.

To further complicate matters, a slew of people may want Victor dead including Moore, a drug dealer, a Mafia Don, his former partner and possibly even Osbourne. The story just sucks you in and doesn't let go until the last page. Excellent work!

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Ranked #9
I first got on this blog to discuss my first passion which is books. Since I have gotten on I find that books are only a piece of this blog and I can discuss just about anything that comes to mind. It … more
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Philadelphia attorney and first-time novelist Lashner has written a dark, gut-wrenching thriller about a down-on-his-luck lawyer with a big chip on his shoulder. Victor Carl, who couldn't get into a top law school, couldn't get hired by a top firm, can't pay his bills, and can't get a break, seems destined to be one of life's losers--until William Prescott, partner at prestigious Talbott, Kittredge, and Chase, offers Victor the deal of a lifetime. Represent Chester Concannon, chief aide to Councilman Jimmy Moore, who, along with the councilman, has been indicted for extortion and racketeering. An easy case, Prescott assures Victor, since all Victor has to do is sit in the courtroom, keep his mouth shut, and let Prescott do the work. It sounds too good to be true, and of course, it is. Even as readers are crying out, "Victor, don't do it," the poor schmuck allows himself--despite the cries of his conscience--to be drawn into a world of flashy cars, dirty drug money, sleazy high rollers, and big trouble. By the time Victor recognizes he's in over his head, it's way past too late. In the tradition of his highly successful colleagues, Grisham and Turow, Lashner has written an absorbing legal thriller. What sets this one apart, though, is the dark, despairing view it takes of human nature. A superb, disturbing read. Emily Melton
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