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The Good Lawyer: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Thomas Benigno
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,853 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A young, ambitious lawyer is eager to prove he is better than the mobster dominated family he grew up in. Working as a Bronx Legal Aid Attorney he learns how to twist the system, how to become an unbeatable defense lawyer. But it's 1982. The Spiderman rapist is on the loose and New York City is a city in fear. When an outraged victim commits suicide right before his eyes, searching for absolution and determined to prove his client's innocense, he knocks the pegs out from under the prosecution's case. Digging deeper, horrifying revealations about his family's past collide with the true identity of the sadistic sociopath behind the real Spiderman's rampage. In the process, this good lawyer comes face-to-face with his greatest conflict and deepest fear: to win, really win, must he sacrifice every principle he believes in and embrace his family's mafia past to become judge, jury, and executioner?

Editorial Reviews


  • PUBLISHERS WEEKLY REVIEW April, 2014: Benigno presents an engaging but diffuse picture of legal skirmishing and moral ambiguity in the saga of Nick Mannino...The interesting glimpses of courtroom procedure and a cast of eccentric characters will intrigue readers...
  • KIRKUS BOOK REVIEW Benigno's first effort is a crafty legal page-turner, just as good in the courtroom as it is outside...Benigno fortifies his lead character with problems that his law degree can't fix. Readers who like their courtroom thrillers packed with lawyer-speak and zigzagging plot developments should find much to savor.
  • BOOKSPOT.COM REVIEW (STARRED REVIEW)by Chris Algernon 5/6/12 ...The Good Lawyer delivers a genuinely audacious twist that is both effective and very powerful. It's testament to Thomas Benigno's writing that The Good Lawyer remains believable throughout...Benigno creates a sympathetic (if at times slightly naive) protagonist...The twist is a good one, being neither easily guessable or outlandishly absurd. By the end of the novel, there's a sense of something really epic (on a human scale) unfolding. The Good Lawyer...rapidly picks up speed...on the way to a climax that will likely remain in the minds of most readers for quite some time.
  • Benigno's mastery comes through in introducing and developing character after character and weaving them into a complex and totally believable story that connects them all together in the end. The setting too is inspiring and nostalgic ...a flash back to simpler times. I hope we hear more from Thomas Benigno.

From the Author

  • COMING SOON IN 2015:THE CRIMINAL LAWYER a new novel by Thomas Benigno
    BY THOMAS BENIGNO "As a Legal Aid Attorney in the South Bronx in 1982, I handled the grittiest of cases. These cases didn't just include the run-of-the-mill burglaries and robberies or drug deals at a time when miles of square blocks there were leveled to rubble and burnt out buildings seemed to be everywhere. There were much more horrible crimes there. And I was...... defender of all of it.
    But this is not why I became a lawyer. I wanted to do some good--help the innocent, give the guilty poor a second chance-a chance for a better life outside of prison.
    I graduated in the top 11% of my law school class. Tried a case in my 3rd year and won. Took the job at Legal Aid in the Bronx to hone my skills for a few years prior to entering private practice. There were high hopes for me. I started out on fire, getting more cases dismissed in Criminal Court than just about anyone. I was cocky, a bit arrogant. I had the makings of one damn good trial lawyer. For my age, I was convinced there was no one better. I had also fallen in love. Didn't think I needed to study for the bar. Then I flunked. When I did pass I was on a mission to prove myself. Failing was humiliating. So I took on the most difficult of cases intent on winning at almost any cost. And I did win, time and again. Rapists, child molesters and drug dealers were freed, and all my doing. Finally, I couldn't take it any more, accolades and all. I was a young man drowning in the conscience of my own success.
    This was not the boy my Mom raised me to be. She purposely kept me away from my mob connected relatives who were now dropping like flies in burnt out Cadillacs and after hour joints, winding up charred remains of flesh, stuffed in garbage cans, wrapped in plastic.
    Then a case came through the system. Headlines. No prior arrest record. Horrible crime. He could be innocent.
    This is why I became a lawyer- to champion for the innocent man.
    And so life set me up for the greatest fall ever. Years later I couldn't shake what I had done, so I wrote it down. The original title of my novel was "The Confession." Then Grisham came out with it. So why not then..."The Good Lawyer."
    A fictional account--the names changed to protect the innocent. My name on the cover remains the same.

    Don't hesitate to give the author feedback after or even during your read of "The Good Lawyer" at:
    Website: Benigno, Author 
  • Twitter: @thomasbenigno
  • Book clubs don't hesitate to email the author at for an appointed video conference with your club anywhere in the world, or an in-person talk in and around the New York City, Long Island or Westchester areas.
    Thank you in advance for your interest.
    Thomas Benigno

  • Product Details

    • File Size: 1041 KB
    • Print Length: 338 pages
    • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 1480088854
    • Publisher: Landview Books; 1 edition (March 14, 2012)
    • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
    • Language: English
    • ASIN: B007OWO0YE
    • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
    • X-Ray:
    • Word Wise: Enabled
    • Lending: Enabled
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,520 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews
    121 of 129 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars A very good read May 8, 2012
    By jenpnc
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I enjoyed this book. For some reason, I knew from the beginning who the Spiderman rapist would be, but it didn't dilute the fun of reading the book, because it took some twists. I liked that it was set in the early 80's when surveillance cameras and cell phones were non-existent. Those times required a lot more true detective work.

    I did get a bit bogged down in who was who, sometimes. There were a lot of side characters - attorneys, criminals, family, friends...past and present - all with names. "Now who is Ventura? Who is Ryan? Who is Tedeschi? Who is Charley? Who is Joey? Who is Farkas? Who is..."

    One last point - the author needs a better editor. There were some spelling errors.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    261 of 285 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I ever read! March 20, 2012
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    i admit never hearing of this author but came across this book while searching on amazon. i do this from time when i either have read all of the mainstream authors or simply get bored of them. The outcome is not always favorable but every now and then you strike gold. As with this book. The title of the book is what made me look further since i did not know what a good lawyer was, especially a defense lawyer! Turns out I found myself rooting and cheering for him as the book progressed. This is a terrific story written with a fresh and unforced prospective. Thomas Benigno may not be very well known...but he will be. Read this book.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    58 of 62 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good book but too many annoying mistakes! October 21, 2012
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    This book almost ended up in the garbage after reading the first 25 pages. I'm not an English teacher by far, and in college I got A's in most classes EXCEPT English. But I was extremely annoyed many times while reading this book. Spelling mistakes, missing or incorrect use of commas, and story line errors. It's like no one proofread this book before publishing it. Examples of the mistakes: Shiela on one page, Sheila the rest of the book; barley instead of barely; inn instead of in; curcumstances instead of circumstances; not using commas and quotation marks around "the judge said" in a dialogue sentence; confusing descriptions of the three little boys; and mentioning Nick's previous visit to see Dr. Terkel when there was no such previous visit in the book. I am surprised that no other reviews mentioned the large number of mistakes in this otherwise good book. If you're the type of person who is annoyed by such things, consider yourself warned. When you spend good money on a book (not a free Kindle version), you have expectations that it will be free of distractions such as these errors.

    That being said, it was a very good book. It held my attention, which is saying something considering how many times I was frustrated by blatant mistakes. The story line keeps moving and has some nice twists. Good character development and it builds suspense nicely. I hope to see more from this author and maybe he will be able to get a book deal with a publisher that has professional editors.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    80 of 91 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars Good Lawyer a GREAT Read This Weekend April 23, 2012
    By Fred
    Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
    I loved this true-to-life tale which I couldn't put down over the rainy weekend. Whether you are a "Good Lawyer", or know one, or wish you had access to one, Benigno's fast read is for anyone who's ever pursued a passion through its ups and downs, and twists and turns.
    Comment | 
    Was this review helpful to you?
    91 of 106 people found the following review helpful
    1.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish and poorly written! March 6, 2013
    Format:Kindle Edition
    The number of five star reviews is baffling---Mr.Benigno can't have that many relatives.
    I won't go into the plot (others have rightly described it as cliched) but with the quality of writing. The author would benefit greatly from joining a writers' workshop, hopefully as soon as possible. His prose is so purple it positively glows, his sentence structure is awkward, grammar shaky and spelling atrocious. He claims to be an attorney but it's hard to believe someone who has gone through the rigors of law school wound up with such a poor grasp of the English language.
    Just read this horrible example: "Ocean blue eyes searing though her straight blond hair alternated between my own glances and the fumbling files in my hands." WTF??? This is not even a sentence. Are her eyes in the back of her head, peeking through her hair? And what are "fumbling files" for god's sake? Doesn't he ever do a rewrite or self-edit? And this: "...led us through a joulessey screened porch..." Could he by chance mean JALOUSIE? Doesn't the man have spell-check? Scarier still, is this a supposedly educated man who doesn't know what a jalousie is?
    I suppose some people get off on this style of turgid writing, however if your IQ can be written in more than two digits, avoid this like the plague.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
    Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
    I'm sorry, usually I like books like this, but this book was a waste. I love this genre, but this book was slow and often unimaginative. Rather than using words to paint a really good picture to bring you into the emotion of the story, the author simply unemotionally tells the details of an event, and throws in the F word about 50-100 times for no discernible reason (if you can't write, curse?). There are better reads for sure.

    The grammar was horrible, spelling mistakes, and just amateur at best. #1 legal thriller of 2012? I don't think so! Don't trust the number of five star reviews, read the one and two stars for the accurate picture. I'm guessing the author or his family put this book as a free download on Kindle so they could game the system in all these false five stars.
    Was this review helpful to you?
    Most Recent Customer Reviews
    5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome crime drama
    Thomas Benigno has created an outstanding crime drama with "The Good Lawyer". I can't wait to read his next novel! Read more
    Published 10 hours ago by CC56BUMS
    3.0 out of 5 stars Good but could have had a better flow.
    It was a good story, but the writer was confusing in his delivery. A better editor could have cut or re-arranged things in the story to make it flow better.
    Published 19 hours ago by gmoneytanker
    4.0 out of 5 stars Well written and intriguing.
    I found this a very good read. The characters are well developed and the reader feels as though he gets inside the moral thinking of the leading man as he meets head on the... Read more
    Published 20 hours ago by Freda A Coyner
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    A very good book and exciting and interesting.
    Published 3 days ago by Franny
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Well crafted - enjoyed the author's writing style.
    Published 4 days ago by Steve Block
    5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
    Published 5 days ago by Amazon Customer
    4.0 out of 5 stars could have had better character development
    This was a quick read, could have had better character development, but not a bad book.
    Published 5 days ago by careful shopper
    3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
    Never got up close and personal with characters.
    Published 5 days ago by mike
    3.0 out of 5 stars a reasonably good book but the plot is not terribly original and ...
    a reasonably good book but the plot is not terribly original and it seems overwritten. Heavy on the courtroom stuff but that is what the reader expects.
    Published 5 days ago by Ivan Pless
    5.0 out of 5 stars This story held my interest from beginning until the end ...
    This story held my interest from beginning until the end. I actually looked for another book written by Mr. Benigno, and found this was his first. Read more
    Published 5 days ago by SHIRLEY P
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    More About the Author

    "This one scared the briefs off me. Make room Grisham, legal suspense fiction has a new senior partner..."-Mike Shain, The New York Post

    "Gritty and true-to-life; a can't-put-down-read."-Gil Clancy, commentator CBS, HBO, MSG Network

    "Tom Benigno, blends his knowledge and experiences as a trial lawyer with a hardhitting, literary style with THE GOOD LAWYER."-Ron Ross, author of Bummy Davis vs. Murder, Inc.

    Thomas Benigno is a practicing attorney on Long Island, N. Y. After graduating Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in Manhattan in 1979, at the behest of his Criminal Law Clinic Professor, Barry Scheck (who later obtained fame for representing O. J. Simpson) he was fast-tracked to a position as Associate Attorney with the New York City Legal Aid Society in the Bronx. While there he sought out and tackled the grittiest of cases, even representing the infamous Spiderman Rapist. If you ask him why he repeatedly took on the defense of child molesters and rapists, he'll sound off two reasons: 1) no other attorney would take these cases, and 2) he was young and out to prove himself. The year before he left Legal Aid to go into private practice he was featured in a two page spread in the New York City Legal Aid Society's Annual Report for his success in winning what seemed like an unwinnable case-a teacher's aide charged with molesting three of his students. At a party held in his honor he was handed a beautiful plaque commemorating his court victory-a plaque he never hung up or put on display ever. Two years later he left Legal Aid, and within eighteen months after that, left the practice of criminal law behind forever having never lost a trial. Currently he practices real estate and business law, enjoys acting in staged productions on Long Island, appeared as an actor in two movies, one an award winning short film, and even produced (along with others) a Broadway show (Burn the Floor and its U.S. tour). He is married to the same beautiful woman since shortly after graduating law school and has three adult children. THE GOOD LAWYER is a novel inspired by real events while he was working as a Legal Aid Attorney in the Bronx.

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