Overkill by Joseph Teller

From Amazon ~

Harrison J. Walker – Jaywalker, to the world – is a frayed-at-the-edges defense attorney with a ninety-percent acquittal rate, thanks to an obsessive streak a mile wide. But winning this case will take more than just dedication. Seventeen-year-old Jeremy Estrada killed another boy after a fight over a girl: shot him point-blank between the eyes. No one disputes those facts. This kid is jammed up big-time, but almost unable to help himself. He’s got the face of an angel but can hardly string together three words to explain what happened that day…yet he’s determined to go to trial. All they’ve got is a “yesbut” defense, as in: “Did you kill him?” “Yes, but….” Jaywalker is accustomed to bending the rules – this will stretch the law to the breaking point and beyond.

My Review ~

Trust me, if I ever get into any sort of legal trouble Harrison J Walker (Jaywalker as he likes to be called) is the lawyer I’m going to call.

Jaywalker is in the courtroom on another case when a 17 year old boy is brought in to face murder charges. Unfortunately his lawyer is completely incompetent, and thankfully the judge recognizes this.  The judge sees Jaywalker sitting in the courtroom and quickly makes it his case.  The judge knows that if anyone can help this boy, it’s Jaywalker. Even, as ridiculous as it may seem, it means getting him convicted of manslaughter instead of murder.

Jeremy Estrada shot and killed Victor Quinones more than once, with the kill shot being dead center being between the eyes, as if he were performing an execution. There is no disputing this, he readily admits it. But in order for the case to be won, it will be with the “yes – but” defense. Yes, the defendant had killed the deceased, BUT it had been an accident, self defense or some other “valid” reason.

Jeremy made the mistake of falling for the beautiful Miranda Raven. Unfortunately for Jeremy, one of Victor’s friends thought she belonged to him (even though she had no interest in him). So began a time filled with nothing but torture for Jeremy.  Where ever Jeremy went Victor and his gang, the Raiders, would follow.  They hunted and haunted him. The screamed horrific names at him and on more than one occasion made a hand motion of a gun shooting in his direction. Jeremy stopped going to school, stopped eating, and became very nervous and agitated.  He was afraid to leave his home. Until one day when he thought he’d be safe in going to a carnival. What could happen with hundreds of people around?  It turns out, something deadly.  Jeremy and Victor get into a fist fight. And Jeremy ends up the winner – that is until Victor pulls out a gun. A struggle begins and Victor is killed.

Now here is where Jaywalker’s trouble starts.  The prosecutor, Katherine Darcy, calls it a full out execution and wants Jeremy locked away for life. Jeremy’s mother Carmen continues to call it “the accident”.  Julie, Jeremy’s twin sister, is a witness to her brother’s torment, but her mother won’t allow her to testify because she fears for her safety.  A witness to one incident of torture, a barber in the neighborhood, has moved back to Puerto Rico. Several witnesses at the scene say that they saw Jeremy pull the gun and not the victim, and finally Miranda has disappeared. On top of all that, Jaywalker has trouble getting Jeremy to explain what happen, it’s like pulling teeth. When confronted with the evidence, Jeremy continues to say “that’s not how I remember it.”  How can Jaywalker possibly turn all of these negatives into a positive outcome for his client?  Can he possibly be the greatest lawyer there is and get his client found innocent of what he has freely admitted doing?

Overkill is the fourth in the Jaywalker series.  I stumbled on Mr. Teller’s first book a while back and was immediately taken in. Now I anxiously await each next book in the series! Jaywalker is dedicated, hard working, and loyal and determined to a fault. He goes after his cases with guns blaring. He will work himself to the bone, forsaking sleep and food if it means justice for his client.  Too often I find myself reading as fast as I can to find out just where he will take me, but then force myself to slow down so that I can savor every question, every thought, and every emotion. Overkill is a legal thriller on par with any John Grisham or Scott Turow I’ve read. You will marvel at his way with words, at his finesse in the courtroom and his skill when handling witnesses. You too will fall in love with Jaywalker.

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