Thursday, January 28, 2016

Lawyer Games by Dep Kirkland

I thought this was going to be my first non-fiction book review of the year, but apparently not! But it's not surprisingly that it's only January and already I'm reading true crime.

Anyway, Lawyer Games is an account of the four trials of The State of Georgia vs James A. Williams (Apparently there's a really famous book called Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil that was about the same case). It's not really a "did he do it" sort of book, because as the author tells you straight up, he believes that Williams was guilty. What this book is about, are the four trials that eventually ended in a "not-guilty" verdict for the lucky Williams.

Personally, I think the author did a great job with the book. After reading it, I was thoroughly convinced that Williams was guilty and wished that he didn't eventually go free (even if for a few months). This is despite the reminder I got at the start of the book that the author was biased - I really liked that too, by the way. I like it when an author states his bias upfront, instead of spinning his angle as the truth.

The book itself is divided into a succession of very short chapters (think about 10 pages on the iPad), followed by one extremely long chapter. That extremely long chapter is probably the chapter that goes over all the evidence and testimony in the trial. What that meant for me was that I was happily reading along, thinking "Hey, this book isn't that bad", then WHAM, a long, long chapter for me to dig through. I suppose I wouldn't have minded it much if I wasn't reading it in the train (and had to stop halfway), but I did, so it was a little annoying.

As for the narrative style, the book is definitely not casual. While the author can be sarcastic at times, there is this sense of formality throughout the book. Perhaps it's due to the author's background in the law?

At any rate, this was an interesting book. Like I said earlier, it's not really about truth/who the real murderer is. It's about how expensive lawyers who are willing to do anything can drag out a trial long enough.

Disclaimer: I got a free copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a free and honest review.

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