Twenty-one books were submitted for the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction. The distinguished selection committee included A’Lelia Bundles, Dr. James A. Crank, Jesse Holland, David Mao, and C.E. Tobisman, winner of the 2018 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction..
Three finalists were chosen for the 2020 award: The Satapur Moonstone by Sujata Massey, The Hallows by Victor Methos, and An Equal Justice by Chad Zunker.
Victor Methos was awarded the 2020 Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction for his novel The Hallows. The novel is a legal thriller about Tatum Graham, a Miami defense attorney who moves home to re-examine his life after a guilty client walks free. Ultimately, Graham joins the county attorney’s office as a prosecutor, where he achieves redemption for his own past wrongs.
Methos was presented with the award during a special ceremony coinciding with the Library of Congress' 2020 National Book Festival.
Ruthless defense attorney Tatum Graham has been living large in Miami, but when his recently acquitted client claims another victim, Tatum has a crisis of conscience. Disillusioned, he heads to his small Utah hometown for a simpler life...but that's not what he finds. Soon after he arrives, Tatum's childhood crush offers him a job at the county attorney's office and assigns him a murder case. The victim is a teenage girl not unlike the victim in the last case he tried. Now a prosecutor, Tatum sees a chance for redemption, but politics, corruption, and a killer defense threaten to thwart justice. To complicate matters, Tatum's estranged father has terminal cancer, and the time to reconcile is running out. Tatum moved to Utah to find clarity, but his thoughts swirl with old feelings and present dangers. As the case heats up, so does the risk, threatening to adjourn Tatum's new life before it begins. --Publisher description
A legal thriller --Front cover;" Inside a prestigious law firm, a rookie lawyer is pulled into a dark maze of lies and violence. An ambitious Stanford graduate, David Adams has begun a fast-track career at Austin's most prestigious law firm. It's a personal victory for the rising superstar--a satisfying reversal from his impoverished and despairing childhood. Now he has the life he's always wanted: an extravagant salary, a high-rise condo, a luxury SUV, and no limit to how far he can go in the eyes of the top partners. But after the shocking suicide of a fellow associate--one who, in his final hours, offered David an ominous warning--he feels the pull of powerful forces behind the corporation's enviable trappings. The suicide leads unexpectedly to David's discovery of a secret enclave of the city's homeless, where he can't help but feel an affinity to these outcast souls. Nor can he ignore the feeling that they hold the key to the truth behind a dark conspiracy. When one of his new street friends is murdered, David's clear doubts about his employer start shifting into a dark reality. Now torn between two worlds, David must surrender all that he's achieved to fight for a larger cause of justice--and become his firm's most dangerous acquisition. --Provided by publisher"
India, 1922: It is rainy season in the lush, remote Satara mountains southeast of Bombay, where the kingdom of Satapur is tucked away. A curse seems to have fallen upon Satapur's royal family, whose maharaja died of a sudden illness shortly before his teenage son was struck down in a tragic accident. The kingdom is now ruled by an agent of the British Raj on behalf of Satapur's two maharanis, the dowager queen and the maharaja's widow. The royal ladies are in dispute over the education of the young crown prince, and a lawyer's council is required--but the maharanis live in purdah and do not speak to men. Just one person can help them: Perveen Mistry, India's only female lawyer. Perveen is determined to bring peace to the royal house and make a sound recommendation for the young prince's future, but knows she is breaking a rule by traveling alone as a woman into the remote countryside. And she arrives to find that the Satapur palace is full of cold-blooded power plays and ancient vendettas. Too late, she realizes she has walked into a trap. But whose? And how can she protect the royal children from the palace's deadly curse? -- Provided by publisher
Kelly was a pro until his niece was murdered right before his eyes. His family says he failed her, but Kelly can't share his one shocking, secret and criminal act of vengeance. Now, fellow detectives digging in another case can end Kelly's career and send him to jail
James S. Bostwick
Down on his luck after a string of lost cases and a recent divorce, personal injury lawyer Matt Taylor hopes his next trial will be an easy win. But when he meets a devastatingly injured young man desperate for help, Matt finds himself embroiled in an impossible lawsuit against Salvatore Conte, a powerful lawyer with sinister connections. Despite all warnings, Matt courageously pulls out all the stops to uncover the truth and right a horrific legal wrong. What follows is an epic multi-million-dollar battle of wills, intrigue, and outright violence that could cost Matt everything he cares about--his career, his family, his heart ... and his life. -- Provided by publisher
In this romantically-charged environmental legal thriller, two teenagers die after swimming through chemicals illegally dumped into the Susquehanna River. Mike Jacobs, a young environmental prosecutor for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, is assigned his first big case and must find, and stop the dumpers. Mike's alluring new friend Sherry Stein, an ambitious young Deputy Attorney General, is investigating the man running against the Governor. Another of Mike's friends, Patty Dixon, 'the girl next door, ' is his mother's nurse and Mike wonders whether she is being blackmailed. Their lives intersect. Danger strikes--who will die? Will Mike discover the treachery before the midnight dumper kills again? --Amazon
Martin E. Clark
A Borzoi Book -title page verso;" From Martin Clark--praised by Entertainment Weekly as our best legal-thriller writer --comes a wickedly clever, tenderhearted, and intricately plotted novel about a hard-luck lawyer's refusal to concede defeat, even as fate, the court system, and a gang of untouchable con artists conspire against him. Kevin Moore, once a high-flying Virginia attorney, hits rock bottom after an inexplicably tumultuous summer leaves him disbarred and separated from his wife. Short on cash and looking for work, he lands in the middle of nowhere with a job at SUBstitution, the world's saddest sandwich shop. His closest confidants: a rambunctious rescue puppy and the twenty-year-old computer whiz manning the restaurant counter beside him. He's determined to set his life right again, but the troubles keep coming. And when a bizarre, mysterious stranger wanders into the shop armed with a threatening invitation to join a multimillion-dollar scam, Kevin will need every bit of his legal savvy just to stay out of prison. A remarkable tour of the law's tricks and hidden trapdoors, The Substitution Order is both wise and ingenious, a wildly entertaining novel that will keep you guessing--and rooting for its tenacious hero--until the very last page -- Provided by publisher"
One autumn night, as a grad student named Matthew is walking home from the subway, a handsome skateboarder catches his eye. Leif, mesmerizing and enigmatic, invites Matthew to meet his friends, who are experimenting with tarot cards. It's easier to know what's in other people's minds than most people realize, the friends claim. Do they believe in telepathy? Can they actually do it? Though Matthew should be writing his dissertation on the poetry of kingship, he soon finds himself falling in love with Leif - a poet of the internet age - and entangled with Leif's group as they visit the Occupy movement's encampment across the river, where they hope their ideas about radical empathy will help heal a divided world and destabilize the 1%. When the group falls afoul of a security contractor freelancing for the government, the news coverage, internet outrage, and legal repercussions damage the romances and alliances that hold the friends together, and complicate the faith the members of the group have - or, in some cases, don't have - in the powers they've been nurturing. Elspeth and Raleigh, two of Leif's oldest friends, will see if their relationship can weather the strains of criminal charges Chris and Julia, who drifted into the group more recently, will have their loyalties tested and Matthew, entranced by the man at the center of it all, will have to decide what he owes Leif and how much he's willing to give him. All six will be forced to reckon with the ambiguous nature of transparency and with the insidious natures of power and privilege. Overthrow is a story about the aftermath of the search for a new moral idealism, in a world where new controls on us - through technology, surveillance, the law- seem to be changing the nature and shape of the boundaries that we imagine around our selves --Publisher description;"As grad student Matthew is walking home from the subway, a handsome skateboarder catches his eye. Leif, mesmerizing and enigmatic, invites Matthew to meet his friends, who are experimenting with tarot cards. They're experimenting with reading other people's minds, in telepathy. Matthew should be writing his dissertation on the poetry of kingship, but as he's falling in love with Leif he joins the group. In the Occupy movement's encampment, where they hope their ideas about radical empathy will help heal a divided world and destabilize the 1%, the group falls afoul of a security contractor freelancing for the government. Matthew will have to decide what he owes Leif and how much he's willing to give him. -- adapted from jacket"
When Robert Worth relocated his law practice to the Venice Beach boardwalk, he never thought he'd be cutting movie deals. But when his pal Reyes needs legal help with his film project, Robert agrees to look into it. The road to Hollywood fame takes a crooked turn after a potential billionaire backer turns up dead in his Brentwood mansion--and Reyes is arrested for first-degree murder. Robert may not have any criminal-law experience, but with the help of his girlfriend, Gia, and his buddy Erik, a retired cop, he takes the case. He even zeroes in on the logical prime suspect. Appearances can be deceiving, however, in a city where the truth often ends up on the cutting room floor. It'll take an aggressive lawyer with a fine-tuned BS detector to find the real killer in a sunlit town full of shady characters--unless his own death becomes the next Hollywood option --Amazon.com;" A beach lawyer novel --Cover"
Former CIA case officer Charles Jenkins is a man at a crossroads: in his early sixties, he has a family, a new baby on the way, and a security consulting business on the brink of bankruptcy. Then his former bureau chief shows up at his house with a risky new assignment: travel undercover to Moscow and locate a Russian agent believed to be killing members of a clandestine US spy cell known as the seven sisters. Desperate for money, Jenkins agrees to the mission and heads to the Russian capital. But when he finds the mastermind agent behind the assassination--the so-called eighth sister--she is not who or what he was led to believe. Then again, neither is anyone else in this deadly game of cat and mouse. -- Amazon.com
Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper of the Manhattan Sex Crimes Unit is finally back at work following a leave of absence, and not a moment too soon. With more women feeling empowered to name their abusers, Alex is eager to return to the courtroom to do what she does best. But even she can't anticipate the complexity of her first case when she meets Lucy, a young woman who testified years earlier at a landmark federal trial . . . and now reveals that she was sexually assaulted by a prominent official during that time. Yet Lucy's isn't the only secret Alex must uncover, with rumors swirling about one colleague's abusive conduct behind closed doors and another's violent, mysterious collapse. As the seemingly disparate cases of her client, adversary, and friend start to intertwine, Alex, along with NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace, finds herself in uncharted territory within Manhattan's Rockefeller University, a premier research institute, hospital, and cornerstone of higher learning. But not even the greatest minds in the city can help her when unearthed secrets begin to collide in dangerous ways . . . and unless she can uncover the truth, the life-saving facility just may become her grave.
A feast of political intrigue and an astute exploration of Argentina's nefarious past.
From the critically acclaimed author Ausma Zehanat Khan, A Deadly Divide is the devastatingly powerful new thriller featuring beloved series detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty. In the aftermath of a mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec, the local police apprehend Amadou Duchon--a young Muslim man at the scene helping the wounded--but release Etienne Roy, the local priest who was found with a weapon in his hands. The shooting looks like a hate crime, but detectives Esa Khattak and Rachel Getty sense there is more to the story. Sent to liaise with a community in the grip of fear, they find themselves in fraught new territory, fueled by the panic and suspicion exploited by a right-wing radio host. As Rachel and Esa grapple to stop tensions shutting the case down entirely, all the time, someone is pointing Esa in another direction, a shadowy presence who anticipates his every move. A Deadly Divide is a piercingly observed, gripping thriller that reveals the fractures that try to tear us all apart: from the once-tight partnership between detectives Esa and Rachel, to the truth about a deeply divided nation -- Provided by publisher
J D. Trafford
Matthew Daley is a Manhattan corporate lawyer at the top of his game. As the first defense attorney on call to get pharmaceutical companies out of trouble, Matt is rising in the judicial system exactly as he planned. Until his sister dies of a heroin overdose. Now, torn between conscience and career, the newly minted law partner faces a critical choice: defend the very companies that manufactured the addictive drugs, or give up his fianc├⌐ and his hard-won dream job to fight for justice in his sister's name. Returning to his blue-collar hometown with a ragtag band of law-school misfits by his side, Matt squares off against a team of New York corporate attorneys in a high-stakes courtroom battle. If he wins, the case could have national implications, bringing down the Big Pharma industry. If he loses, he'll become collateral damage in the greatest fall of his career and his life. --Publisher description
This novel, written from a physician's point of view, explores a dark corner of the American justice system, where toxic tort plaintiffs and defendants collide, battling for billions. After Hurricane Katrina hits in 2005, thousands of displaced persons living in FEMA trailers are subjected to formaldehyde. The injured seek justice while the system laughs in their faces
Who would ever suspect that their mentor, teacher, and friend is a cold-blooded killer? Attorney Jessie Martin didn't--at least not until she answers the midnight call. Late one August night, Jessie's lifelong mentor and friend--and presently a popular, charismatic, and handsome high school teacher--Terrence Butterfield calls. He utters a startling admission: he's killed someone. He pleads for Jessie's help, so out of loyalty she rushes to his aid completely unaware that she's risking her relationship, her career, and her life--and that of her unborn child--to help Terrence. Does Jessie's presence at Terrence's home implicate her in the gruesome murder of the teenage boy found in the basement? Why does Terrence betray Jessie when he has a chance to exonerate her of any charges? Has he been a monster in disguise for all these years? To reclaim her life and prove her innocence, Jessie must untangle the web of lies and reveal the shocking truths behind the homicide. This quest turns out to be the fight of her life: to preserve everything and everyone she holds dear
Daniel P. Moskowitz
Sex, drugs and the Rock 'n Roll of dysfunction are on the docket of Bronx Family Court, the busiest family court in NYC. Schwartz the lawyer fights for justice for families in that court while struggling with personal demons that place his own family at risk. The boook dramatizes the inner life of the denizens of The Bronx behind the se aled doors of the courtroom.
Shirley A. Aaron
A sequel to Sweet tea with lemon.;"Lincoln Garrett is a well known attorney who defends inmates on Texas' death row. He is diligently working to save his client, Silas Burton Hadaway, from a lethal injection.He locates and contacts Silas' mother who hasn't seen her son in thirty years. Beulah makes the journey from Alabama to Texas in hopes that Garrett and she can learn the truth: Did Silas murder the five members of the Foley family or was the testimony a lie."
When convicted cop-killer Phillip Dawkins is finally sprung from prison after decades in solitary, everything about him and the outside world has changed. Phillip is a prisoner of his past and turns to friend and lawyer David Thompson for help dealing with his new life of freedom. Convinced that someone or something is out to kill him, Phillip is ensnared in a tangled web of memory lapses, paranoid delusions, insidious desires, and horrific nightmares. Soon David gets caught up in it, endangering himself, his wife, and his son. Can David quickly untangle Phillip's dark web of secrets, free him from his demons, and save the family? Or will the shocking, diabolical truth unleash a serial killer first? When a life is built on lies, the truth can be a killer . .
His last challenge: live long enough to save the lives of those he loves. Cold-blooded killer JimBone Wheeler blames Tom McMurtrie for putting him on death row. He once vowed that he'd bring 'a reckoning' on Tom and everyone the southern lawyer holds dear. When Wheeler escapes from prison, he aims to fulfill his promise. Victim by victim, he's getting closer to his ultimate target. But for Tom, who's dying of cancer, the role of savior and protector is a struggle that is becoming more desperate by the hour. As the body count mounts, Tom, his partner, Rick Drake, and his best friend, Bocephus Haynes, brace for a confrontation like nothing they have ever faced before. This battle will be waged not in a courthouse but on the streets and fields of north Alabama. With all those he loves at risk, Tom must save his family, his friends, and his legacy from a killer whose hunger for retribution knows no bounds. Now, as time ticks down and fate and vengeance close in, who will survive Wheeler's final reckoning? --Provided by publisher
In a fictional Michigan town, a man is pulled over by the local police. The man wonders: What did I do wrong? The officer asks for I.D. The driver mentions he legally carries a gun. The officer panics-confusion reigns- shots ring out. An innocent man lays bleeding to death and the incident is captured on video. The shooting becomes the national headline-the dead man is black-the shooter is white. Protestors on both sides of the racial divide take to the streets while a widow struggles to make sense of senseless tragedy. She turns to high-profile trial lawyer, Zachary Blake. Together, they dare to fight city hall. How far will the police go to protect the status quo? -- From the author Mark M. Bello's personal website