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In The Presence of Enemies
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In The Presence of Enemies

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  135 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Attorney and client, they broke the first law: never fall in love.

Elizabeth Daren

With evidence missing and key witnesses changing their stories, the battle for her dead husband's fortune is turning ugly. Someone is out to get her, and only one of the country's shrewdest, most battle-hardened lawyers can save her. If he can trust her.

Jake Martin

He's a rising star in a power
Paperback, 407 pages
Published January 15th 1994 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published 1989)
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I liked this book. It was a pretty straightforward legal drama. There was nothing thrilling about it, but I thought the trial procedure was fun to read. I particularly appreciated the balance Coughlin used - half the time, things went well for Jake and the other half, things went badly. But at no point did I know for sure how the jury would find. The balance was nice because I don't like reading books where things go badly the entire time, and books where everything goes right all the time aren' ...more
I picked up this book based on the synopsis posted here on Goodreads. Boy, was I misled! The posted synopis has NOTHING in common with this book. The only thing right in it was the two names mentioned.

I expected an edge-of-my-seat legal thriller on a par with works by Michael Connelly. What I got was a novel that started off slow and maintained that pace through 18 chapters of Machiavellian plotting by every character to screw over every other character in the book. Then it crawled through a few
Jake Martin is weary. He's being considered as a partner in the Sperling Beckmann law firm, his wife has just served divorce papers on him, and he's been made lead council in a probate case that most likely will turn very ugly, if it goes to trial. How this is going to influence his possibilities of partnership is anybody's guess. Now he finds himself (having never tried a case before) going up against council whose textbook he'd found in a used book store while he was still in school! His oppos ...more
Charles Duvel
While I am not much for courtroom dramas I really like the fish-out-of-water story of a lawyer having to argue a case for nearly the first time. The backstory and mystery of the differing motives of the various players was interesting and kept the story moving along. I look forward to reading more of Mr. Coughlin's work.
J. Ewbank
This is the last book wy William J. Coughlin, and those familiar with his work know how very readable his novels are and how compelling the plot.

This one is really good. What looks like a simple open and shut case for the lawyer becomes anything but and things seem to go out of contro. But, therein lies the mystery and the thrill of reading how the characters try to overcome the problems which are thrust before them.

This is an excellent and enjoyable read.

J. Robert Ewbank, author "John Wesley, N
With evidence missing and key witnesses changing their stories, the battle for her dead husband's fortune is turning ugly. Someone is out to get her, and only one of the country's shrewdest, most battle-hardened lawyers can save her. If he can trust her.Jake Martin is a rising star in a powerhouse law firm. Everything he ever dreamed of and sweated for now means nothing to him. He's become Elizabeth Daren's lover-and made her enemies his own. It's a choice that could take him down....and the onl ...more
The Goodreads review for this book is completely wrong. The lawyer and his client were attracted to one another, but they were not "in love" - they never even kissed. I don't know why the publishers or whomever felt they had to lie to sell this book, which is a perfectly good and engaging legal thriller without that sexy stuff. I am offended by that review and I would never have read the book if I'd known the review was full of lies, regardless of how enjoyable it was. I despise lying.
Another great story from this guy. I'm so sorry that so much of his stuff is out of print... This time lawyer Jake Martin risks his partnership in the firm of his dreams to defend the young widow of a very old, rich man. Coughlin never takes the cheap way out and in this story there were plenty of opportunities.
Good basic story; engaging characters; and lots of boring pages of legal jargon that can be skipped to follow the story. makes for a quick read. Legal "thrillers" always offer lots of passages and pages that are easily identified as non-essential, so the reader can skip them and move on with the plot.
Great look into the life and workings of a big time law firm, the polîtics of becoming a "partner", the power struggles, etc... on top of that, good legal drama (Another hand-me-down from dad :-)
Joe O'c
OK; lawyer and widow fight the efforts of other family members to revoke will of bank megamillionaire.
Fred Bayley
This was a real pleasure of a read! It was fun to experience the hero overcome the odds to win.
Beginning of summer candy. Easy legal drama. Thriller wouldn't be the right word.

Fun read!
No murder, just mystery.
Another good effort by Coughlin.
Jackie Simons
Read 7/97
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William Jeremiah Coughlin (1929-1992), former defense attorney and judge in Detroit for twenty years, was the author of sixteen novels. He lived in Grosse Pointe Woods, Michigan with his wife, Ruth, an author and book critic.

Also wrote under the pseudonym of Sean A. Key.
More about William J. Coughlin...
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