Defending Billy Ryan

Defending Billy Ryan

by George V. Higgins
     
 

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A thrilling account of the ins and outs of the Suffolk County Superior Court, this novel is vintage George V. Higgins.
 
The third installment in the Jerry Kennedy series finds the Boston lawyer defending his toughest client yet, Billy Ryan. But it’s a few years on and battered Boston lawyers don’t look so hot under strong white light.…  See more details below

Overview

A thrilling account of the ins and outs of the Suffolk County Superior Court, this novel is vintage George V. Higgins.
 
The third installment in the Jerry Kennedy series finds the Boston lawyer defending his toughest client yet, Billy Ryan. But it’s a few years on and battered Boston lawyers don’t look so hot under strong white light. Seemingly not the man he was, Jerry has to dig deep to come out on top in discrediting the prosecution. He looks to the likes of Bad-eye Mulvey, Cadillac Teddy and Carlo (a heavy-hitter) for assistance. Will the drama that ensues reveal that Billy Ryan has cut one shady deal too many?
 
Jerry Kennedy leaves no source unprobed in Defending Billy Ryan, a work of stylish, racing prose.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Higgins ( The Friends of Eddie Coyle ), once a Boston lawyer, is known for his talky novels. In the third Jerry Kennedy tale, his narrator-hero's speech is wonderful--he's a crackling, supple raconteur. Following a bruising, impoverishing divorce in early 1986, the veteran Kennedy's law practice is moribund until Massachusetts Superior Court Justice Colin Ryan asks him to defend his father, the state's public works commissioner from time immemorial, against charges of corruption. Everybody knows Billy Ryan has been skimming at the public trough for years, but now an ambitious prosecutor has found a state representative who is willing to testify against him in court. Kennedy's story slips between 1986 and the present (readers must pay close attention) as he tells how things get done in the Bay State: lawyers, politicians and Mafiosi scratch backs in various ways, and they talk and talk and talk, colorfully and gloriously. Higgins's subtle examination of Boston Irish society is as acute as any by John O'Hara or Louis Auchincloss, but funnier. (Irish Alzheimer's? ``You forget everything but your grudges.'') Billy's wake and funeral are delicious. Author tour. (Sept.)
Library Journal
Nobody doubts that state public works commissioner Billy Ryan tipped off cronies to where a new highway was going to cause land values to skyrocket. Certainly Jerry Kennedy, his lawyer, harbors no illusions, though he can hardly guess the depth of the corruption. This audiobook has much to offer. Don Feldheim's reading captures Kennedy as an intelligent raconteur. Through Kennedy, listeners gain insight into a defense attorney's mind and experience courtroom strategy. If, however, Kennedy fails to charm, he may strike listeners as a long-winded old poop, whose endless digressions attempt to hide the fact that he doesn't have much of a story to tell. While this audiobook lacks most of the elements that usually ensure widespread popularity (e.g., fast pace, suspense, plot), libraries where Higgins circulates well may still want to consider.-- John Hiett, Iowa City P.L.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780307947352
Publisher:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/06/2012
Series:
Jerry Kennedy Series
Sold by:
Random House
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
256
Sales rank:
861,531
File size:
2 MB

What People are saying about this

Scott Turow
I look forward to all [his] books.
John Grisham
The best at writing about lawyers.
Julian Symons
The great classical novelist of twentieth-century America.

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