Saturday, December 24, 2016

Review of "The Color of Law" by Mark Gimenez

This enjoyable thriller reads a lot like a John Grisham novel with a dash of Perry Mason thrown in.

Dallas lawyer A. Scott Fenney was a star football player in college. This helped propel him into his job as an attorney at the elite Ford Stevens law firm where he happily learned less-than-ethical techniques to benefit his clients and bring in fees of 3 million dollars a year. Thus Scott and his family live in a mansion in classy Highland Park, he and his wife Rebecca drive expensive cars, and Rebecca aspires to be hostess of the glamorous Cattle Barons Ball. To top it off Scott has a whip-smart daughter he adores, 9-year-old Boo. Scott feels like he's living the perfect life.

Then United States District Court Judge Samuel Buford appoints Scott to be the pro-bono lawyer for black prostitute Shawanda Jones, who 's accused of killing Clark McCall. Clark is the bad-boy son of Senator Mack McCall, who's determined to become the next President of the United States. Moreover, Senator McCall is friends with Scott's boss Dan Ford, who's poised to become the attorney of the next President.

Scott tries to get rid of Shawanda as a client by urging her to cop a plea. But Shawanda insists she's innocent and wants a trial. From here the book takes a predictable, but still entertaining, turn. The Senator is determined that his son's past as a druggie who hits and rapes women doesn't become public knowledge. Thus the Senator pulls a few strings and Dan Ford urges Scott to throw the case. When Scott gets a twinge of conscience and refuses his life starts to go downhill at breakneck speed.

Though the story plays out much as expected I enjoyed the book, which is well-written with engaging characters. Some of the most likable characters in the story include Scott's old law school buddy Bobby - who helps with the case; Shawanda's endearing daughter Pajamae - who Scott takes into his home during the trial; and Boo - who supplies the conscience Scott sorely needs. The rascals in the tale include Dan Ford - whose sole interest in life is making money; Tom Dibrell - Scott's best client, who never met a pretty woman he couldn't harass; and Senator McCall - who would do anything to get his way.

The book has the requisite courtroom scenes, which add interest to the story. I liked the book and recommend it to fans of legal mysteries.

Rating: 3.5 stars

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