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An Innocent Client (Joe Dillard Series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Scott Pratt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,998 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
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Book Description

A preacher is found brutally murdered in a Tennessee motel room.

A beautiful, mysterious young girl is accused.

In this bestselling debut, criminal defense lawyer Joe Dillard has become jaded over the years as he's tried to balance his career against his conscience. Savvy but cynical, Dillard wants to quit doing criminal defense, but he can't resist the chance to represent someone who might actually be innocent. His drug-addicted sister has just been released from prison and his mother is succumbing to Alzheimer's, but Dillard's commitment to the case never wavers despite the personal troubles and professional demands that threaten to destroy him.

"Pratt's richly developed characters are vivid and believable, especially the strong Southern women who fight their male-dominated culture from behind a facade of vulnerability in this brilliantly executed debut." -- Publisher's Weekly

"It’s Scott Turow and Grisham... The opening chapter is maybe the most compelling I’ve read in a decade.” – Ken Bruen

Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will leave you shaking your head in wonder, "An Innocent Client" -- the first in the acclaimed Joe Dillard series -- will also leave you begging for more.


Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Former attorney Pratt delves into rural Tennessee law and politics in this brilliantly executed debut. When a preacher is murdered after visiting an infamous strip club, the club's owner hires jaded attorney Joe Dillard to defend Angel Christian, a beautiful waitress accused of the crime. Dillard, savvy but cynical, wants to quit doing criminal defense, but he can't resist the chance to represent someone who might actually be innocent. His drug-addicted sister has just been released from prison and his mother is succumbing to Alzheimer's, but Dillard's commitment to the case never wavers despite the personal troubles and professional demands that threaten to destroy him. Pratt's richly developed characters are vivid and believable, especially the strong Southern women who fight their male-dominated culture from behind a facade of vulnerability. Readers will eagerly anticipate Dillard's further adventures. (Nov.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Scott Pratt was born in South Haven, Michigan, in 1956, and grew up in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from East Tennessee State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and four dogs.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1872 KB
  • Print Length: 374 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1480030473
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Phoenix Flying, Inc. (December 13, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009WQ9YMS
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #889 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
96 of 100 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Great Debut April 1, 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really really enjoyed this book. First of all, I really liked the way the author went between first and third person. It was a great way to move the book along. I liked that you felt a kind of connection to the character when he was front and center and then the watching view when it was the other characters. Kind of like real life, you know what is going on in your head, you are only watching the rest!!
I have to admit, using the old "former soldier" as the main character has been done over and over, I know it gives the author a way to have the character handle physical problems that come along, that most of us could not handle. I didn't mind that. I also saw the end coming, well most of it anyway, I didn't mind that. I loved that the character loved his wife and kids, had a family, it just seemed, normal. I liked that as an adult, he was doing normal kind of soul searching, like have I made the right decisions in my life?
Anyway, I laughed and I was surprised and I just really, really , liked this book. I see the author has a new one coming out in paper in June, I'm surprised they have not picked him up for a hardback yet, but I won't be surprised if that happens on his third. Again, great debut.
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91 of 96 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Strong Debut that will Appeal to Grisham Fans November 29, 2008
Format:Mass Market Paperback
AN INNOCENT CLIENT is an impressive legal thriller debut. If you enjoy the work of John Grisham, you might like this one too, since it's written in a similar style.

This novel takes place in rural Tennessee, and stars Joe Dillard, a burnt out criminal defense lawyer who hopes to represent at least one innocent client before he retires. When the novel opens, he is seemingly handed such a client, an 18-year old waitress at a strip club who is accused of murdering a fundamentalist preacher.

AN INNOCENT CLIENT has a lot of good qualities. Author Pratt, an ex-attorney himself, does a superb job with all the courtroom scenes. The prose in this book is quite polished (truly exceptional for a first effort), and the main character is easy to root for. Pratt also does a good job structuring the plot, which sustained my interest until the very end.

If this novel has a downside, I would say it's the rather superficial characterization. Like John Grisham, author Pratt tends to see things in black-and-white, moralistic terms. As a result, most of the supporting characters in this novel are little more than colorful caricatures of one sort or another. The villains in particular are outrageously corrupt and evil, which makes the story more corny than realistic in many spots.

Overall, though, AN INNOCENT CLIENT is an entertaining debut, and Grisham fans should definitely give it a try. This is apparently the first in a series, and I look forward to future installments.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Protagonist - Interesting Book September 28, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is my first Scott Pratt book and I enjoyed it very much. The story itself is an interesting one and the protagonist, Joe Dillard, is extremely likable. I also liked that he is happily married with a family, something you don't often see in this kind of book. It is told alternatively in the first person by Dillard and the third person for the rest of the story. I have read comparisons of Scott Pratt to John Grisham, but I would disagree. I would compare him to Harlan Coban, which is a compliment. The characters are likable and there is enough humor to offset some of the more tragic aspects of the story. The book moves along quickly, always keeping your interest and has a very satisfactory ending. I would highly recommend it and look forward to reading more of his books.
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89 of 114 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Doesn't Work July 8, 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first in the Joe Dillard series - billed as a "legal thriller", it comes up woefully short. This book is filled with one-dimensional cardboard characters, stilted dialogue and an extraordinarily simplistic plot. There is nothing original here let alone engaging.

Dillard is a defense attorney in Tennessee, who has become more than jaded with, and definitely tired of his job. There are political and border-line incompetent judges - who all seem to hold a grudge against Joe - and continually assign him the most evil of clients to defend - they're all on or destined for death row - which he reluctantly accepts. There's a "bad cop" who will bend any and all rules to put scumbags behind bars and an incompetent, and again, political DA. Joe of course is in the middle of all this, Don Quixote-like, fighting the good fight.

On the personal side, Joe has a mother fighting Alzheimer's, a drug addicted sister and a family of his own, complete with a cute dog - rescued from a shelter of course - and a loving wife, whom Joe treats like a door-mat - which I believe is an unintentional character flaw. Joe is also haunted by his past. He's an Army Ranger - suffering from a mild case of PTSD - from his service in Grenada.

At the center of all this is Joe's new client, a waitress at a strip joint accused of murdering a preacher, a patron of said establishment - the client's name - Angel Christian. I kid you not. Joe's job is to defend her. The reader's task - to keep a straight face.

The case, the trial, the plot, the twists and turns - nothing works here. Pass on this one.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this was the first of his books that I read ...
this was the first of his books that I read. It kept me reading and interested all throughout the book. Looking to read next book.
Published 3 hours ago by Bob
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I liked this one so much, I went on to read the entire series.
Published 7 hours ago by Jody M
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVE IT.
I have read it twice and am ready to read it a third time. LOVE IT.
Published 13 hours ago by Jeannie Barnhart
5.0 out of 5 stars First in the series
Really enjoyed reading this author, and really liked the characters. Will definitely keep buying these books!!! Taking them on vacation with me.
Published 21 hours ago by Mary M. Stafford
5.0 out of 5 stars Anxious to read other books by Scott Pratt
This is the first book from the Joe Dillard Series and I found it to be accurate and easy read--it was interesting enough to make me want to try the next book by him
Published 1 day ago by CharS
5.0 out of 5 stars Honesty, Integrity, and Courage -- Obviously Fictional.
I am actually working on my third Joe Dillard book now, and I certainly wouldn't be doing it if I didn't thoroughly enjoy the series. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Michael Carl Eaton
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Interesting but not gripping
Published 1 day ago by Michael Dubrosky
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story line. Easy read. Kept me interested to the last page.
Published 1 day ago by Linda Freeman
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written with a twist!
Very well written, enjoyed this book from start to finish. This is definitely a recommended read.
Published 1 day ago by Henry A. Mober
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
There is way too much self loathing by the main character.
Published 1 day ago by Jill Wallace
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More About the Author

Scott Pratt was born in South Haven, Michigan, and grew up in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from East Tennessee State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee. He lives in Johnson City, Tennessee, with his wife and four dogs.

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