Last Lawyer Standing
Review: Honolulu criminal defense attorney Kevin Corvelli may not be in top shape physically, still suffering from the effects of a previous case, but he is in fine form juggling two cases in Last Lawyer Standing, the third mystery in this series by Douglas Corleone.
Due to the enormous press coverage of his previous cases, Corvelli is known to the people of Honolulu as a clever attorney, which is why the governor of the state hires him when a woman with him he was suspected of having a "relationship" is found murdered. The governor has a rock solid alibi for the time of her murder — he was out of the state on official business — but he wants to make sure he's well represented all the same. But Corvelli's primary effort is keeping Turi Ahina, a long-client, from being convicted of murdering a police officer, a corrupt cop who Corvelli believes was actually trying to kill Turi in the first place.
How, I wondered, do you begin to solve murders, how do you begin to control violence, when all the usual suspects wear guns and badges and dark blue uniforms, and every witness you discover is determined to remain deathly silent?
Last Lawyer Standing moves along at an incredibly rapid pace as Kevin Corvelli builds a defense for his client. He knows that he should focus his attention on simply winning a not guilty verdict for Turi, but he's obsessed with seeing justice done for the people of Hawaii; winning his case would, in effect, bring down an entire division of law enforcement. It's a little ambitious, to be sure, and is probably the only significant aspect of the book that seems overly incredible — that an entire government-run organization is corrupt and no one can, or has been able to, do anything about it. Corvelli is at his best planning his client's defense and in the courtroom, where he appears a couple of times, but even his action scenes are well scripted and executed, helped mostly by the presence of a new — and hopefully recurring — character, Scott Damiano. (His backstory is cleverly integrated into the plot.)
Last Lawyer Standing is — to use an appropriate term — in toto a sharply written legal thriller. And while it is not strictly necessary to have read the previous two books in this series to enjoy this one, it would probably help — and they are both recommended — as there are numerous references to Corvelli's past cases included here.
Acknowledgment: the author provided an ARC of Last Lawyer Standing for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Night on Fire
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), April 2011
ISBN-13: 9780312552275; ISBN-10: 0312552270
Good As Gone
Minotaur Books (Hardcover), August 2013
ISBN-13: 9781250017208; ISBN-10: 1250017203
Location(s) referenced in Last Lawyer Standing: Honolulu, Hawaii
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Last Lawyer Standing by Douglas Corleone — A Kevin Corvelli Mystery
Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: August 2012
List Price: $25.99
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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