The Local by Joey Hartstone

A legal thriller that dwells in a small town and focuses on fathers and sons. Euchre is a patent lawyer but gets drawn into a murder trial when his client threatens the judge whilst in court. The complication is that the Judge killed was the father Euchre never really had and started him on the straight and narrow with work during the summer term when he was a student.

The small town element is not new. Everyone knows everyone else, old grudges can still be played out if the right buttons are hit, people age well or not at all and rumour has it that the Judge will announce his retirement during his Christmas speech. Only he doesn’t.

The element of racism in the book focuses on Euchre’s client who is Pakistani and once the police had arrested him there really wasn’t any further investigation other than to find evidence to match their expectations.

The dialogue is realistic, quick-witted and humerous in places. We are introduced to a caste of characters that you know will turn up in future books – I bet this becomes a series.

It’s not bad for a debut and was shortlisted for the debut crime dagger.

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