From Publishers Weekly
A. Scott Fenney, the hotshot young Dallas attorney of Gimenez's debut, has a beautiful house, an idle, social-climbing wife and a spoiled daughter; his most lucrative client is local magnate Tom Dibrell, whom he regularly rescues from sexual harassment suits. When Clark McCall, the no-account son of Texas' senior senator (and presidential hopeful), is murdered, Fenney is forced by his firm to pro bono the suspect, heroin-addicted prostitute Shawanda Jones. Jones claims innocence, and refuses to plead out to avoid the death penalty--giving Fenney fits." With Jones's life on the line, Fenney agonizes about whether he can do the trial, losing wife, job, and country club membership as he slowly uncovers the truth about McCall. Along the way, Fenney takes custody of Jones's precocious daughter, Pajamae, in a cross-cultural subplot with more cliché than life-lesson. A former Dallas attorney, Gimenez offers an entertaining window onto the city's legal world, but he telegraphs most of the story, and his attempts at negotiating Dallas's race and class conflicts fall flat; whether platitudinous or wise-cracking, the minor characters unintentionally reinforce the stereotypes the book works so hard to combat.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
--This text refers to the
*Starred Review* Did someone pass John Grisham's Law when we weren't looking: Only survivors of law firms can write legal thrillers. Gimenez, former partner at a major Dallas law firm and current lone-wolf attorney in a single practice, not only boasts all the right credentials but also delivers an authentically creepy debut novel. A big part of this thriller's appeal is its moral backbone. The hero, former college-football legend and current corporate lawyer Scott Fenney, has struck a Faustian bargain--his whole life for billable hours--the cost of which is encapsulated when he signs an agreement to terminate the tenure of a friend in the firm who has lost his worth by losing a big client. Fenney's own fate turns when he makes a speech praising Atticus Finch, and a federal judge takes him at his word, ordering him to defend a black prostitute accused of murdering the ne'er-do-well son of a Texas senator and presidential candidate. The judge's whim is bad for the firm, bad for the senator, and bad for Scott, whose fortunes start to take a dive. This is a well-calibrated contemporary morality play, set in get-rich-quick Dallas, with tours of country clubs and gated communities, and knowledgeable forays into Darwinian legal tactics. Gimenez also gives us a hateful character who becomes more sympathetic the more he fails. Fast-paced and thought-provoking fare. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
--This text refers to the