Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales

Dead Lawyers Tell No Tales

4.5 29
by Randy Singer
     
 

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Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for.

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the onlySee more details below

Overview

Landon Reed is an ex-quarterback convicted of organizing a points-shaving scheme. During his time in prison, he found forgiveness and faith and earned his law degree. Now he longs for an opportunity to prove his loyalty and worth. Be careful what you ask for.

Harry McNaughton is one of the founding partners of McNaughton & Clay—and the only lawyer willing to take a chance employing an ex-con-turned-lawyer. Though Landon initially questions Harry’s ethics and methods, it’s clear the crusty old lawyer has one of the most brilliant legal minds Landon has ever encountered. The two dive into preparing a defense for one of the highest-profile murder trials Virginia Beach has seen in decades when Harry is gunned down in what appears to be a random mugging. Then two more lawyers are killed when the firm’s private jet crashes. Authorities suspect someone has a vendetta against McNaughton & Clay, leaving Landon and the remaining partner as the final targets.

As Landon struggles to keep the firm together, he can’t help but wonder, is the plot related to a shady case from McNaughton & Clay’s past, or to the murder trial he’s neck-deep in now? And will he survive long enough to find out?

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
While doing time in prison for fixing games, ex-football quarterback Landon Reed earned a law degree. When he gets out, there's only one man willing to take a chance on him—Harry McNaughten of McNaughten and Clay. Not long after, Harry is killed. It looks like a mugging gone wrong, but soon other members of the firm die as well. Landon races against the clock to find the killer. Is it a former client, or are the murders somehow tied to Landon's current case? VERDICT This riveting and thought-provoking legal thriller is sure to please Singer's (The Last Plea Bargain) fans and earn him new ones. Recommend it to those who appreciate Joseph H. Hilley.
Booklist
Singer, the attorney-author of several solid legal thrillers, turns in another winner. Landon Reed used to be a football quarterback, until he fixed a couple of games to make some quick cash. He did his time, then went to law school, and now he’s joined a legal firm run by the affable Harry McNaughten, who is soon killed in a mugging gone wrong. When more members of the firm are killed, Landon suspects these are not random tragedies but deliberate acts of murder. Landon is deeply affected by the men’s death, and the reader shares his grief. As usual, Singer, a pastor and a lawyer as well as a writer, nicely balances the crime drama with his exploration of Christian themes—in this case, exploring a man’s quest for redemption for past sins and the difficult decisions he must make when confronted with a choice between keeping his family safe and bringing a killer to justice. Singer’s many fans will be lining up to read this one.
Booklist Tyndale House Publishers
Singer, the attorney-author of several solid legal thrillers, turns in another winner. Landon Reed used to be a football quarterback, until he fixed a couple of games to make some quick cash. He did his time, then went to law school, and now he’s joined a legal firm run by the affable Harry McNaughten, who is soon killed in a mugging gone wrong. When more members of the firm are killed, Landon suspects these are not random tragedies but deliberate acts of murder. Landon is deeply affected by the men’s death, and the reader shares his grief. As usual, Singer, a pastor and a lawyer as well as a writer, nicely balances the crime drama with his exploration of Christian themes—in this case, exploring a man’s quest for redemption for past sins and the difficult decisions he must make when confronted with a choice between keeping his family safe and bringing a killer to justice. Singer’s many fans will be lining up to read this one.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781414385815
Publisher:
Tyndale House Publishers
Publication date:
05/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Sales rank:
130,833
File size:
2 MB

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Read an Excerpt

DEAD LAWYERS TELL NO TALES


By RANDY SINGER

TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC.

Copyright © 2013Randy Singer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4143-8675-1


Excerpt

CHAPTER 1

ATLANTA, GEORGIA


LANDON REED EMERGED from his two-year prison sentence into the muggy warmth of an August morning wearing the jeans, gray T-shirt, and sandals that Kerri had dropped off the day before. He squinted as he left the dingy interior of the Fulton County jail and stepped into the crisp, brilliant light of the sun. He held a paper bag containing the suit and shoes he had worn to court two years earlier when he pleaded guilty. There were sunglasses in the bag as well, but Landon had decided not to wear them, concerned they might send the wrong message—a former all-star college quarterback still trying to play it cool.

He had been sentenced for his role in a point-shaving scandal, and it was not surprising that only one former teammate came for his release—his best friend and center, a mountain of a man named Billy Thurston. While Landon served his time, Billy had been drafted by the Green Bay Packers.

The media formed a semicircle around Landon, cameras rolling to capture the scene. The same reporters who had crucified him two years earlier were back to record his moment of freedom and to rile up the Southeastern University fans all over again. Landon didn't hold it against them. He had changed in prison, his bitterness replaced by contrition. But he didn't expect people to understand.

He held it together as he hugged his mother and older sister. They didn't say anything, mindful that the cameras would capture every word. Kerri waited in line, just as she had waited for two years, true to her word, enduring the scorn of most of her old friends. On her hip was the little girl Landon knew would grow into the same kind of strong-willed, independent, beautiful woman her mom was. Maddie had been born after Landon started serving his term. He had never held her outside the prison walls.

Landon and Kerri had scripted this moment. There would be a brief hug; then Landon would say a few words to the press about how much he appreciated Kerri's loyalty. He would answer a few questions. They would keep it low-key. The emotional dam would burst later.

But when Kerri stepped forward to hug him, the script no longer mattered. She started crying, though they had agreed she wouldn't cry and neither would he. Unbidden, tears rolled down his face as well. Kerri buried her head on his shoulder, and they held each other for much longer than they had planned, with little Maddie right there between them, an arm around each of their necks. For the old Landon, the hotshot quarterback of three years ago, this public display of emotion would have been embarrassing. But the new Landon was beyond all that. Once you've been humiliated in the national press, crying in public is no big deal.

The questions started even before the little family disengaged. Kerri handed Maddie to Landon, and when he turned to face the reporters, his little girl turned her back to them, hiding her face in Landon's chest, holding on for her life. It was all overwhelming for an almost-two-year-old.

"What're your plans now?"

"Are you going to play football again?"

"What do you have to say to your teammates and coaches?"

He took them one at a time. "I'm pretty sure my football career is over." Who would want me? "I'm grateful for everyone who stood with me during these last two years." He put his free arm around Kerri's shoulder. He nodded toward his mother and sister, standing on the other side of him. His mom, always a slender woman, looked wiry and gaunt, with tears streaking her face. Prison had aged her even more than him.

"I'm sorry that I let my teammates and coaches and fans down. I know I can never undo the damage I've done to Southeastern University or my own reputation."

Kerri held her head high, as if she were standing next to a prince. His mom and sister kept their chins up as well.

"I'm incredibly grateful to Kerri for waiting for me these past two years. I certainly wouldn't have blamed her if she had moved on to someone else. In terms of what I'm going to do, one of the first things will be tying the knot."

Kerri had her arm around his waist and gave him a little squeeze. The questions kept coming and he patiently addressed each one. Reporters were a cynical lot. Marriage, yeah, yeah—that's quaint. But what about a comeback on the gridiron?

"Are you saying you haven't been contacted by any NFL teams?"

"That's what I'm saying."

"Are you planning on attending any tryouts?"

It was Billy Thurston who decided enough was enough. He stepped between Landon and the microphones and made a little announcement. "Let's respect this family's privacy and let Mr. Reed go about rebuilding his life," he said. And then, as he had done so many times in the past, he cleared a path for his quarterback to follow.

The reporters took this as a cue to ask the same questions louder, shouting at Landon and the others as they worked their way toward the parking lot. Landon, no stranger to the spotlight, knew the drill. Once you've decided the press conference is over, keep your head down, ignore whatever they say, and just keep moving.

They had almost completed the gauntlet when Landon spotted Bobby Woolridge, an older reporter from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution who had always been more than fair. Bobby believed in redemption and had written a piece a few months ago about Landon's jailhouse conversion. Unlike the others, Bobby didn't assume it was just part of a sophisticated PR campaign.

"You going into the ministry?" Bobby asked.

Landon grinned a little and kept walking. "No, Bobby. I hardly think I'm qualified."

"How are you gonna feed your family?"

"I'll figure something out," Landon said. He was tempted to tell Bobby. Sooner or later, it would all come out anyway. But he and Kerri had talked about this. They would keep their plans private until this new wave of publicity had washed over. He had finished his undergrad degree in prison. Now they would start a new life miles away from Atlanta, in a town with lots of history but few SEC football fanatics.

"Good luck," Bobby said.

Billy had double-parked his Land Rover, and they all hopped in, leaving the media behind to snap a few final pictures. As they pulled away, Landon could feel the pressure in his chest begin to loosen. He was a free man again. He could do whatever he wanted.

"Where to?" Billy asked. "Pizza? Burgers? The Varsity?" For Billy, it was always about food.

But Landon had a commitment to keep. "Trinity Church," he said. "We've got our best man and flower girl in the car. No sense giving the bride a chance to change her mind."

Kerri was sitting in the back with Maddie. She leaned forward and placed a hand on Landon's shoulder. "She's had two years to think it over," Kerri said. "She's not getting cold feet now."

They had been planning this day for six months, and Landon couldn't believe it was finally here. It wasn't exactly a dream wedding, but Kerri didn't seem to care. Even her parents' refusal to attend hadn't fazed her. They would have each other, she had said. What else did they need?

That afternoon, the minister at the small church Kerri had been attending made it official. Kerri Anderson became Kerri Reed. And when they made their vows, pledging to stick with each other for better or for worse, the minister actually paused for a moment and turned to Kerri.

"I think you've already got this part down," he said.

Kerri was beaming, as was Landon. And they didn't stop smiling until long after the minister pronounced them man and wife.

Later that day, Kerri said it was the most romantic wedding she could ever have imagined. With just the seven of them in the small sanctuary, it somehow felt more private and intimate. She had been smiling, she said, because it felt so surreal she almost had to pinch herself. The three of them were officially becoming a family. She was Mrs. Landon Reed. Maddie would have her daddy home.

Landon didn't tell her the reason he had been smiling. Like Kerri, the whole experience had felt like a dream. The entire two years behind bars, he kept thinking that any day Kerri might come to her senses, find somebody else, and bolt. She was beautiful and smart with a larger-than-life personality. But she kept coming back. And now, Landon was married to her.

That was enough to make any man smile. But there was also one other thing.

The honeymoon would start that night.


(Continues...)


Excerpted from DEAD LAWYERS TELL NO TALES by RANDY SINGER. Copyright © 2013 by Randy Singer. Excerpted by permission of TYNDALE HOUSE PUBLISHERS, INC..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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