Two Books Featuring a Joe

This week I indulged myself by listening to two audiobooks I picked up at the library. They were both thrillers which is good escapism for me. So as not to feel too guilty about my indulgence, I managed to clean out some dresser drawers and a few shelves while I listened. (Goodwill and the library were happy too.)

In Good Faith

The first book was In Good Faith by Scott Pratt. This is the second book in the Joe Dillard series. (My review for the first book is here: An Innocent Client) I like the setting, east Tennese, and Joe Dillard, the main character. He’s one of those basic good guys who tries to hold on to his principles in the midst of people and situations where the easiest thing to do is give up.

After ten years as a defense attorney, Joe Dillard retired. He was too young to sit and do nothing, so he went to work for what was previously his opposition — the district attorney’s office. The day before he is to start he is given a gruesome case. Satin-worshippers have killed a family of four and a few days later they kill a high-school principal.

It doesn’t take long before investigators apprehend the two teenage boys who did the killings. The tough part for Joe Dillard is being able to prosecute the young woman who controls the teenagers. This is a fast-paced, some-what complicated, always tense case. In addition, Joe has to deal with all the politics of a new job.

I highly recommend this legal thriller.

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The other book I listened to was Supreme Justice by Max Allan Collins. This book started off with what seemed like a Supreme Justicegood plot. (It reminded me of John Grisham’s Pelican Brief, but only at the beginning.)

A Supreme Court Justices has been killed during an armed robbery attempt. Joe Reader, a former Secret Service agent turned CEO of a high tech security company, sees the footage of the crime and calls it murder.

Joe is an expert in reading body language.When he sees the body clues of the killer and the justice, others are convinced as well. Joe is called in to advise the task force. One of his good friends is leading the task force. When a second Justice is murdered, Joe and the others on the task force know they must catch the killer soon before the whole court is wiped out.

I liked, not loved, this story, up until the ending. It didn’t compute for me. The killer was not who I figured it would be. To me, it just didn’t make sense the way the author intended. I know it sounds crazy, but I liked it up until then.

There is one thing I really enjoyed in this novel: the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. They were quotes from mostly Supreme Court Justices, although John Kennedy was quoted twice. Here’s a sample:

“Ethics is knowing the difference between what you have the right to do and what is the right thing to do.”   Potter Stewart, Associate Justice 1958 to 1981

Out of these two books, both featuring a Joe, I can only recommend one — In Good Faith by Scott Pratt. It was good enough for me to go on to Book #3 — Injustice For All.

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4 Responses to Two Books Featuring a Joe

  1. Diane says:

    Sounds like a legal thriller I might enjoy. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Kay says:

    I love that quote you put at the end by Justice Stewart. And totally agree with it. Thanks for sharing it, Margot!

  3. Beth F says:

    I used to listen to a lot of mysteries and thrillers. I’ve gotten out of the habit lately. I bet Mr. BFR would really like Supreme Justice.

  4. Harvee says:

    I should read these books. I have a Joe at home 🙂

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