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The Mayor of Lexington Avenue Paperback – August 1, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Yorkville Press; out of print edition (August 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 097674421X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0976744214
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (133 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,775,338 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Sheehan, a Florida trial lawyer, serves up a story of miscarried justice and loyalty in his debut novel. A corrupt small-town Florida police department arrests Rudy Kelly, a "slow" 19-year-old, for a murder he didn't commit, and, after an ineffectual public defender fumbles the case, Rudy receives a death sentence. Meanwhile, Sheehan sketches in flashback the 1960s New York childhoods of Mikey Kelly and Johnny Tobin. Ten years after Rudy's conviction, Tobin, now a hotshot Miami lawyer who goes by Jack, leaves his firm and finds a new direction after reading about Mikey's death-looking into his son Rudy's conviction. The plot may seem predictable, but surprises pop up along the way. Unfortunately, Sheehan leans on clichés, tired similes and unrealistic dialogue ("I love you so much it hurts. I've never felt this way about anyone."), and characters fall in love and make decisions for no reason other than to advance the plot. Glitches aside, the story picks up in the later parts of the book, and Sheehan's bar experience shows in his courtroom scenes and passages on legal maneuvering.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Here's a legal thriller that's so good it instantly leaves Grisham and the gang choking on its dust. And it's a first novel, too. The story centers on a young man who was railroaded into confessing to a murder and now, 10 years later, sits on death row awaiting execution. Jack Tobin, a New York lawyer with a high-powered past, is the only one who can prove the man's innocence. Not only is this a top-notch legal thriller, it's also a moving story about love, guilt, personal redemption, and friendship (the condemned man is the son of Mikey, Jack's old friend). Sheehan is a truly gifted storyteller, and the novel's format is fresh and clever: the first half of the book is devoted to the murder and its aftermath, interspersed with vignettes (set in the 1950s and '60s) showing the evolving relationship between Jack and Mikey; then the story switches to the present day (1996), and we watch Jack try to assimilate events that the reader has experienced firsthand. This is a terrific novel, a genuine literary achievement, and it's just the kind of book--unknown author, small publisher--that will make readers' advisors look terrific when they put it in the hands of legal-thriller fans searching for something new. David Pitt
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 133 customer reviews
If you like legal thrillers I recommend you read this book.
Pat E.
Very strong characters, plot flows, great storyline--I will read any book written by this author along this story of these characters and locations.
Amazon Customer
The various twists in the story and sub-plots kept me wanting to read another page and I found myself unable to put the book down some evenings.
Bobby K.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Pat E. on August 13, 2005
Format: Paperback
This book keeps your attention from page one. I found it to be an easy read, great well developed characters and a wonderful storyline. If you like legal thrillers I recommend you read this book. It takes place between New York and Florida so if you live in either place you'll enjoy reading about real places and if you don't it will definately take you there. The story is filled with so many twists and turns you'll be surprised in every chapter right up until the exciting conclusion. A must read!!!
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Mystery Reader on August 26, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Some of the elements of this excellent story are: naive young man accused of a brutal murder and facing the death-penalty; dedicated, single mother with few financial resources; heavy-handed, corrupt police action; vanishing witnesses; arrogant, mercenary attorney; incompetent lawyers; and ruthless political ambition. I suspect that mystery lovers are now thinking that this is an old story, and one that doesn't require much more for them to fill in the blanks. Wrong. The elements indeed are familiar but the way this author puts them together is both fresh and thought-provoking. There are many twists and turns to this story, and while some can be anticipated all this does is lull the reader into thinking that the next turn will be familiar - it is not.

The murder occurs in a small town with a small police force and few murders. A young man, slow but not retarded, is enticed by a young woman to an assignation. He shows up at her home as planned, but things go awry and the woman later is found murdered. The young man is spotted coming from her home at about the time of the murder, and a rather dim detective is manipulated by a local politician to bring the case to a swift conviction. In fact, there doesn't seem to be much risk in concealing evidence and in railroading the young man as the local public defender is known to be a dedicated alcoholic with few remaining resources to devote to a client's defense. The young man's mother, however, is able to scrape together enough money to hire, at least initially, a prominent attorney. This attorney discovers evidence that convinces her that the young man is innocent and also reveals who she believes is the real killer. But that's the best news the book delivers for many, many pages.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Thriller Lover VINE VOICE on March 2, 2008
Format: Mass Market Paperback
THE MAYOR OF LEXINGTON AVENUE is a very decent book, and a promising start for author James Sheehan. Apparently this book started as a small press publication, and its popularity led the big New York publishers to take notice of Sheehan's talents. I can understand why, since this book reveals Sheehan to be a good writer and gifted storyteller.

THE MAYOR OF LEXINGTON AVENUE is essentially a story of a miscarriage of justice, and a brave attorney's attempt to make things right. The first half of this novel is actually quite superb, as Sheehan details how the miscarriage of justice occurs. I thought this part of the book had great characterization and was very realistic.

But Sheehan stumbles in the second half of the novel, which fully introduces the protagonist Jack Tobin, and his quest to make things right. Tobin is a bit too good to be true, and I found his heroics rather unrealistic and kind of corny in spots. His "romance" happens rather instantaneously and is not well developed at all. I did enjoy the courtroom scenes at the end, however.

But overall, THE MAYOR OF LEXINGTON AVENUE is quite enjoyable to read, and reminded me of John Grisham's A TIME TO KILL. If you like Grisham's early writing style, you may want to give this novel a try, since it strongly reminds me of Grisham's work. I look forward to reading his future work.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Eddie Russell on December 16, 2006
Format: Paperback
You know when you like a story ? When you are sorry that it ends. You have gotten to like the characters and have somehow vicariously immersed yourself in their lives. I was sorry when then this story ended. Even though it had its corny and predictable bits. Like when the two Irish-descended protagonists fall in love. And likewise when the two Puerto Rican characters fall in love. In modern day America it doesn't matter how far removed from the racist attitudes of the past writers and common folk alike still match up same and same. God forbid that an Irish person should fall in love with a Puerto Rican person.

Well they did, and Rudy was their son. Who also happens to be the central character in this court room drama. I am not going to reveal too much of the story other than to say it's not a bad yarn. Somewhat contrived with the pitfalls somewhat obvious. Corrupt police official, corrupt prosecuting attory, incompetent public defender - aren't they ever - and some heartbreaks along the way.

The courtroom theatrics are rather weak. And no, they are not good as good as Grisham. Because Grisham's arent that good either. If you want to read good courtroom theatrics read John Lescroart or William Berndhardt. The reason that I bring this up is because the lame publisher stick nowadays a sticker on the front cover of the book saying "As good as Grisham or we will send you a nude photo of my spouse." Not exactly, but words to that effect. Taunting you with the promise of a legal thriller as good as Grisham's. Well actually I am hoping for something better than Grisham. Because he is last 7 efforts were rather weak. I am talking about the Street Lawyer, The King of Torts, The Summons, The Brethern, The Broker, The Last Juror and The Testament.
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