- Audible Audio Edition
- Listening Length: 6 hours and 44 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Lawrence Block
- Audible.com Release Date: September 16, 2014
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00NMO18C0
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Defender of the Innocent: The Casebook of Martin Ehrengraf Audible – Unabridged
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Top Customer Reviews
Ehrengraf works hard behind the scenes to make it so.
These dark little tales, a dozen to date, finds a lawyer that makes his clients innocent by whatever means necessary. He doesn't like courtrooms and leaving the decision to twelve people. As a result, he rarely appears in court, commanding large fees payable only if his client is absolved of all guilt. One fee, no billable expenses or charges for anything else.
And don't even think of deciding not to pay when it's over. Ehrengraf makes it clear from the beginning he gets paid whether he seems to have done anything or not. He doesn't like client who pull that one.
One new tale in this collection, eleven previously published stories.
A lot of fun.
Make no mistake—Ehrengraf is every bit as evil as the worst of his clients. Part of the fun is finding out just how low he is willing to go to collect his fee. Most of the real dirty work happens off-the-page, which allows Martin to maintain his cultured and fastidious image, creating a sort of cognitive dissonance within the reader’s mind.
In addition to the original “Ehrengraf Defense,” I also highly enjoyed “The Ehrengraf Affirmation” which is a spirited send-up of Block’s own self-help seminar and book Write For Your Life. “The Ehrengraf Nostram” is the best of the tales wherein Ehrengraf frames someone for a crime, only to later have to exonerate that same person. “The Ehrengraf Settlement” reminds you to always pay Martin’s fee on time and in full. Otherwise, the consequences are striking.
In 1994, Lawrence Block collected the first 8 Ehrengraf short stories in Ehrengraf for the Defense. In 2012, this book was expanded and reissued as an e-book (with a print-on-demand option) which featured 3 new stories. This was the version I first read several years ago.
In 2015, Subterranean Press brought out Defender of the Innocent in hardcover, e-book, and audio formats. This version includes a new twelfth story “The Ehrengraf Fandango”. Fandango was nominated for a 2015 Shamus award, but it lost to “Clear Recent History” by Gon Ben Ari.
I read “Fandango” on my Kindle, then listened to the whole 12-story collection from the beginning on audiobook. The reading by Don Sobczak was spot-on: dry and matter-of-fact, no matter how outlandish the implications of the material.
These stories all follow a similar formula and can seem repetitive if you read them straight through. I recommend spreading them out over several days for maximum enjoyment. Highly recommended.
Joseph Amiel, author of A QUESTION OF PROOF, DEEDS, STALKING THE SKY.