Thursday, May 18, 2017

A Criminal DefenseA Criminal Defense by William L. Myers Jr.

I enjoyed this book up until the ending.

It was a tight, legal thriller and mystery. Having grown up in South Jersey, I enjoyed the mentions of Philadelphia landmarks (though I'm pretty sure nobody keeps track of time on the City Hall clock).

Then, we get to the "twist" ending, which I will discuss my problems with in the spoilers.

First, the twist was completely unearned. We were led to believe Mick was a basically decent guy, whose greatest sins were continuing college and law school as his dad was dying of cancer, not thinking through how his change of career would impact his family, and being a little too devoted to his work. But then we were supposed to believe he would shove a woman down the stairs who was threatening him? This guy who'd been matching himself up with the lawyers, cops, and judges of Philadelphia couldn't handle a reporter's shouted threats and resorted to violence? And the man who was so impacted by his brother's revelation that he euthanized their father was able to proceed to defend his frenemy in the trial, immersing himself in the details of a crime he committed, defending the man his wife had an affair with?

Yes, we "never saw it coming." Because it was completely inconsistent with the character we'd been presented with in the first 90% of the book.

Then, there was the supposed arc of Mick's character. I'm not one typically one to judge a work of art by how "problematic" it is, but this guy and his brother combined to kill a young woman, and is blackmailing David for a crime he is innocent of, and the thing he has to atone for is going to college while his father was ill? Really? And the way they brush off the murder as "she would have ruined our family." Guess an Asian woman who sleeps around isn't much compared to the relationship between two white brothers. Ugh.

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