Sunday, August 07, 2022

Eight of the best legal thrillers

Jillian Medoff is the author of four acclaimed novels: This Could Hurt, I Couldn't Love You More, Good Girls Gone Bad, and Hunger Point. Hunger Point was made into an original cable movie starring Christina Hendricks and Barbara Hershey and directed by Joan Micklin Silver (Lifetime TV, 2003).

My Book, The Movie: This Could Hurt.

Medoff's new novel is When We Were Bright and Beautiful.

At CrimeReads she tagged "eight [courtroom dramas] that stunned me with their artistry, insight, and sheer brilliance," including:
William Landay, Defending Jacob

I’m a sucker for a terrifying final twist, and Defending Jacob more than delivers. Like Presumed Innocent, this psychological thriller combines elements of a courtroom thriller and multilayered family drama. The two novels also feature a prosecutor who knows more about a murder case than he leads you to believe. In Defending Jacob, however, the accused is the prosecutor’s son, a classmate of the victim, which allows Landay to explore the ties that bind families together and rip them apart. Landay’s approach to the courtroom scenes is spellbinding. While the novel takes place mostly during the aftermath of the murder and the subsequent trial, the story is interwoven with witness testimony from a grand jury trial that occurs six months later. This seemingly unrelated testimony adds to the book’s suspense, especially since it’s not revealed until the final chapter, when you’re hit with the (aforementioned) knockout reveal.
Read about another entry on the list.

Defending Jacob is among Kimberly McCreight's five top mysteries & thrillers with lessons for the good marriage, Heather Chavez's six novels where those fighting injustice also happen to be parents, Sophie Hannah's thirteen creepy & dysfunctional families in literature, Hallie Ephron's top ten novels that harness unreliable narrators, Charlie Donlea's top ten slow-burn thrillers, Alafair Burke's six top legal fiction / domestic suspense hybrids, Kate Moretti's eight suspense novels that explore nurture vs. nature and Nicholas Sparks' six top books about family.

The Page 69 Test: Defending Jacob.

--Marshal Zeringue