The Common Lawyer Paperback – 15 Apr 2010
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The Common Lawyer is about an overpowering need to right a shocking wrong, and it contains violence, romance and some heart-warmingly managed ethical dilemmas . . . The pace is perfect; the style clean and transparent; the emotional manipulation, effective; and you can see the film from here. It will entertain many people. (TLS)
Mark Gimenez writes colloquially smart dialogue but plots like an old master. (The Australian)
The latest blockbuster from the man hailed as 'the next Grisham'.See all Product description
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The gently-paced first part of the book centres around the lifestyle of the main character Andy, a young, unambitious lawyer who leads a bohemian lifestyle in south-of-the-river Austin, Texas, whilst scraping a living dealing with traffic violations.
Andy's life changes when he is visited unexpectedly by a well-known local billionaire seeking his services. Several twists and turns in the plot follow, and the pace shifts upwards a gear or two.
I hate the cliche "unputdownable", but there is a fifty-page stretch about two-thirds of the way through the book which is so gripping that I lost all awareness of my surroundings whilst reading it, and I couldn't predict the ending at all. On another level, the author made the SoCo area of Austin sound more enticing than any travel guide.
If you like a good thriller in the Grisham/Lee Child mould, you'll love this.
Now that's done the novel in its own right. Andy Preston is a lowly Lawyer scraping a living but having fun in 'grovey' area of Austin, Texas. His big love is his mountain bike. He gets asked to carry out some work for a rich buisness man, Russel Reeves, because of his connection with the area and things develop in an interesting way.
Overall this isn't a terrible book but its not fantastic either. I did enjoyed the characters, the description of the area and the writing style. Having been a dedicated mountain biker I really enjoyed the mountain bike action scenes.
However lots of things didn't fit together that tightly. For example Andy does a high profile job for the rich man effectively because being local it will be good PR with the community, yet Russell later ask's Andy to hire a Private Investigator for some work he want to remain annoymous from. The PI must be pretty stupid if he can't guess Andy's client from his PR job.
The unravelling 'mystery' wasn't particularly hard to see roughly where it was going, though the actual truth of the mystery was a bit unrealistic. There's also a romance that comes from nothing and the final action was exciting but not that realistic.
So in short an enjoyable read but don't expect it to hang together perfectly. I'd read another from Gimenez but it won't be a priority.
I felt there was too much run around for the lawyer in this story, back and forward with his client. A lot of repetition and lack of clarity.
However give M.Gimenez a chance and you might like him..probably try The Perk first which is a better book!
The plot, when it eventually appears, never really gets going and never really grabs the attention. I didnt find it exciting. The only bits of interest to me were points about the health service in America and details of Austin Texas which seems a nice place to live.
'The Colour of Law' immediately put Mark Gimenez, in my mind, in the top three crime writers of present time - with John Grisham and Michael Connolly as his companions.
The Common Lawyer is Mark's fourth book (he has now written five novels) and is, as always, very gripping and a fabulous ride. An ex-Lawyer himself he knows the ropes and so he can really paint a true and accurate picture of the legal system in the US.
If you haven't discovered Mark Gimenez yet then start with 'The Colour of Law' and work your way through his books and follow with 'The Abduction', 'The Perk', 'The Common Lawyer' and 'Accused'. They are all stand-alone novels with the exception of 'Accused' which is a sequel to 'The Colour of Law' and so it is best to have been there first (but not essential).
After reading one of Mark Gimenez's books then I am sure that you will be hooked and will just wait with baited breath for his next novel to be released. I know that I do! Sadly I now have to wait until May/June 2012 (it is now August 2011) for his next book 'The Governer's Wife'!
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Will try Mark Gimenez books again
In the future. Different way of writing a plot
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