The Last Defense

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Praised as the "literary dream team" (Entertainment Weekly), prosecutor Christopher Darden and award-winning author Dick Lochte return with a novel about a troubled lawyer with one chance to defend his career-and his life.
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Overview

Praised as the "literary dream team" (Entertainment Weekly), prosecutor Christopher Darden and award-winning author Dick Lochte return with a novel about a troubled lawyer with one chance to defend his career-and his life.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The third pairing of former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Darden (In Contempt) and veteran mystery author Lochte (Sleeping Dog, etc.) pinballs the non-stop action from courtroom to bar room to bedroom. At the center of it all is Mercer Early, an ambitious young lawyer at the prestigious African-American law firm Carter and Hansborough. From his successful defense of a punk drug dealer whose father is a pillar of the church and the community to his romance with Vanessa Hansborough, the senior partner's daughter, Mercer appears to be on the fast track. But Mercer has a secret that could derail him. The authors' dark view of the Los Angeles legal system extends from the antiquated courts to the corrupt or incompetent police force, to the lawyers and law firms litigating, to the victims and defendants on trial. Amid the simmering stew of sex, drugs, alcohol, violence and courtroom pyrotechnics are a stable of memorable characters, including a racist white cop Mercer must defend and a homicide cop who lost his gun and his badge while drunk in a bar. Darden and Lochte (L.A. Justice; The Trials of Nikki Hill) make a formidable team, as murder and a frame-up reach from street dealers to boardrooms to pulpits to politics. It's a fast ride with a jolting, surprise finish. (Oct. 1) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In another legal thriller from the authors of L.A. Justice, young lawyer Mercer Early juggles a puzzling murder case and a forbidden love affair with his boss's daughter. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Hotshot lawyer Mercer Early, the putative hero of this third collusion between Darden and Lochte (L.A. Justice, 2001, etc.), wouldn’t recognize a legal principle if it were labeled as such and personally delivered by Thurgood Marshall. What Mercer—black, bright, and ethically challenged—does recognize is the path to partnership at prestigious Carter & Hansborough, a path he’s following lickety-split as this courtroom drama opens. On behalf of a drug-dealing lowlife, he uses a doctored tape to discredit a key witness. Mercer’s client walks, but not far: he’s offed that very night. Indicted for the crime is LAPD Detective Claude Burris, the selfsame key witness discredited by Mercer. Along with virtually everyone else, Mercer thinks Burris guilty, but his belief becomes irrelevant when Burris’s girlfriend, armed to the teeth with a Mercer indiscretion, cows him by demanding: Defend my boyfriend, or I’ll ventilate your checkered past. So here’s the made-for-daytime-TV situation: a white cop with a black lover, on trial for killing a black drug dealer, is represented, under duress, by a black lawyer. Carter & Hansborough, as morally myopic as its star litigator, wrings every single set of its hands at this scenario until certain political advantages become evident. Hand-wringing stops, bullets fly, blood flows, bodies fall, Mercer triumphs, readers yawn.

Riddled with knowing banalities ("In most cases, D.A.’s and defense lawyers choose different kinds of jurors") and bad prose: hackwork unredeemed by occasional bursts of courtroom energy.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780451207326
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 10/1/2002
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.86 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.16 (d)

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2006

    Looking for a 'good read'?

    I like Grisham, Sheldon, Patterson, Lisa Scottoline, Pearl Cleague, Sandra Brown, the team of Virginia Berry and Donna Grant, Gloria Malette and Dan Brown, to name a few. They write what I call a 'good read', books that will probably never win a Pulitzer or Nobel prize, but they are a good, fun, entertaining read and worth the buck. That said, I liked 'Last Defense' enough to buy me a copy 'cause I know I'll read it again.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    exciting legal thriller

    Mercer Early has everything a man could want. He is a defense attorney at one of the most prestigious law firms in the country; he¿s in love with the boss¿s daughter; finally one of the two senior partners thinks he¿s got a bright future ahead of him. He has just won an acquittal for doper Darion Mayfield by proving that the lead detective on the case, Detective Burris beat a confession out of the defendant and then perjured himself on the stand. <P>Before Burris is taken into custody, he threatens to get even with Darion. Only a few days later the doper is found dead in a dumpster with a witness placing Burris at the scene. The detective¿s lover blackmails Mercer into defending Burris who believes his client is innocent and is being framed. Mercer is getting insider information from Internal Affairs Detective Mingus who is investigating an officer who may be responsible for a frame. <P>THE LAST DEFENSE is an exciting legal thriller that will appeal to fans of John Grisham. It¿s obvious that Christopher Darden knows his way around a courtroom as he proves to be a winning writer when paired with veteran author Dick Lochte. The story line is fast-paced hooking the reader from the early courtroom drama to the strong climax. <P>Harriet Klausner

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