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Leo Maxwell always lived in the shadow of his older brother Teddy, one of San Francisco's most ruthless and effective criminal defense lawyers. Then a gunman shot Teddy in the head. Although Teddy survived the shooting, he has been left disabled and dependent on Leo, now a criminal defense attorney practicing in Oakland. The Maxwell brothers are living together in Oakland while Leo, chafing in his role as junior attorney in his former sister-in-law's small criminal defense firm, is on the lookout for the big case that will make his reputation. He thinks he's found that when a mysterious woman nearly runs him down, then appears at his office to hire him to defend her brother on a murder charge. One problem: Leo hasn't actually met the client when he sets out to investigate what seems like a hot tip on a burgeoning scandal in the Oakland Police Department.

About the Author

Lachlan Smith

I'm a lawyer who writes novels. I was a Richard Scowcroft Fellow in the Stegner Program at Stanford and afterward graduated from law school at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall. While in law school, I worked at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office. From day one, I knew that I wanted to write about that world.

I'm an entertainer, not a documentarian, so nothing in the books comes from real life, most of which wouldn't be believable as fiction, anyway. What is real in the books is the drama of idealism colliding with the moral ambiguity of criminal law, and the sleepless anxiety of a young lawyer who has taken on far more than he can handle. I can assure you that Leo's practice is a good deal more exciting than the practices of most lawyers I know.

Happy reading!

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