The Southern Lawyer by Peter O’Mahoney is book one of four in the Joe Hennessy Legal Thriller Series. This was a great introductory novel into Joe Hennessy, our main protagonist, a lawyer in South Carolina. Not only is it a great introduction into Joe himself, but also to the great port city of Charleston, South Carolina. Many of the sceneries and historic locations taking place in the story inspired me to look them up on the Internet.
He wasn’t there to cause trouble, he wasn’t there to stir up the past, but trouble always had a way of finding him.
Many times, we have to do things we don’t really want to but because of the need of money, we do them anyway. Thus, we find Joe Hennessy returning to Charleston after 20 years to become a defense lawyer for one of the city’s most notorious criminal. Joe is someone most readers can root for. He’s a family man, has a good moral compass, smart, can be intimidating when he wants to due to his height, and generally well known throughout his career as a prosecutor. The story setup in this first of the series is not bad. It definitely kept me turning the pages. We got our usual conversations with seemingly corrupt politicians with the usual barbs and threats thrown back and forth, shady investigators, issues that test a character’s moral compass, religion and of course, courtroom drama.
Business, politics, relationships–they all exist in the gray. They exist in a world where good isn’t always respected, and bad isn’t always frowned upon. Our lives, the lives of the rich, exist in that area where you always refused to go.” - Richard Longhouse
May Contain Spoilers Below
Unfortunately, I was not satisfied with the courtroom drama part and how it was presented. I’m obviously no lawyer, but this must have been the weakest prosecutor’s case I’ve ever read or seen. The fact that Joe was able to poke so many holes in the witness cross-examination along with the lack of evidence on the prosecution team’s part is staggering. If this was a real life trial, I’d be really surprised. I really hope the author makes things a lot tougher for Joe Hennessy in the later series because these here seems a bit too easy for him. With that being said, though, it still made for an exciting read and didn’t dull things one bit. I’d just wish our superstar lawyer was challenged just a bit more.
“The absence of evidence is not evidence of its absence.” - Joe Hennessy
This is a nice series, and I’d like to see how it continues on for Joe Hennessy. I loved the author’s injection of bit and pieces of details relating to South Carolina and Charleston. If anything, I can’t wait to make my own Frogmore Stew!