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Publisher's Summary

A preacher is found brutally murdered in a Tennessee motel room. A beautiful, mysterious young girl is accused. In this Mystery Readers International finalist for "Best Debut Mystery" criminal defense lawyer Joe Dillard has become jaded over the years as he's tried to balance his career against his conscience.
Savvy but cynical, Dillard wants to quit doing criminal defense, but he can't resist the chance to represent someone who might actually be innocent. His drug-addicted sister has just been released from prison and his mother is succumbing to Alzheimer's, but Dillard's commitment to the case never wavers despite the personal troubles and professional demands that threaten to destroy him. Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will leave you shaking your head in wonder, An Innocent Client - the first in the acclaimed Joe Dillard series - will also leave you wanting more.
©2012 Scott Pratt (P)2013 Scott Pratt
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Critic Reviews

"Pratt's richly developed characters are vivid and believable, especially the strong Southern women who fight their male-dominated culture from behind a facade of vulnerability in this brilliantly executed debut." ( Publisher's Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

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By Wayne on 12-03-15

Great Legal Thriller!

An Innocent Client is Book 1 in Scott Pratt's Joe Dillard legal thriller series. It is superbly written and narrated. Joe Dillard is an ex-Army Ranger lawyer who never wanted to be a defense attorney but went into the business because working for the local prosecutor pays so little. With his wife Caroline and he having two children before he finished law school he has been stuck in his private practice for years and now that their son is in college with a scholarship and their daughter a high school senior with a promised scholarship, he and Caroline are working toward getting enough money to afford to work as a prosecutor. Caroline is his paralegal.

Joe has a history of capital murder cases and is the best criminal defense attorney in the northeastern Tennessee where he practices. Most of his capital cases are with indigent clients assigned him by judges and the state pays him $100 per day which is not allowing him to save the money his family needs. Everything changes when he is offered $250,000 plus expenses to defend a beautiful young female client arrested on a murder charge. An Innocent Client is about that case. The state's case is very week and the client claims innocence. The offer is too good to turn down. This novel is about that case. The characters are well developed and very vivid.

The Innocent Client is not just a good first book for a new author, it is a great suspense/thriller novel. I recommend it.

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29 of 31 people found this review helpful


By Jean on 10-13-16

Brilliant Debut

This book is book one in the Joe Dillard Series. Joe is a cynical burned out defense attorney who keeps saying he will quit law in a year. All he wants is one innocent client.

The story takes place in rural Tennessee. A preacher is murdered after a visit to a strip club. The club owner hires Dillard to defend the club waitress, Angel Christian, who has been charged with the murder. Dillard’s personal life is in chaos, but he carries on with the defense.

The book is well written. I understand this is Pratt’s first book. For a debut book this is an excellent and well-crafted story. The portrayal of a cynical burned out defense attorney is realistic. The characters are well developed and are believable. Pratt has created a male-dominated southern culture for the story. The plot has some twists and turns and there is enough action as well as suspenseful courtroom drama to keep the reader’s attention. I did note that Pratt has created several strong women that are key to the story.

Tim Campbell does an excellent job narrating the story. Campbell is an opera singer, actor, voice over artist and audiobook narrator.

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Ellen on 08-06-16

Not up to standard

I am always on the lookout for crime series to get stuck into. I enjoy Mickey Haller and Harry Bosch from Michael Connelly, Jack Reacher, and numerous British series including Peter Robinsons Alan Banks. Joe Dillard didn't cut it for me. He is boring and much more sexist compared to other male protagonists. The opening statements in the murder trial is where I gave up. The narrator sounded like he was reading the telephone book as fast as he could, no inflexion what so ever. The text provided to him by the author may have been the problem. "I will show you that the defendant did this, a witness saw that, blood was found here etc etc". The prosecutor and defence counsel both laid out their whole case then and there. I could go on and on. Clearly I am not a fan!

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