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Death Penalty

(Charley Sloan #2)

4.21  ·  Rating details ·  780 ratings  ·  45 reviews
Detroit lawyer Charley Sloan has been around the block once or twice. Down for the count, drinking heavily, a three-time loser in the marriage wars, Charley repairs his tattered career and gets back in the game. Heading his rogues' gallery of clients is the infamous, twisted angel of mercy, Doctor Death, whose patients have a strange habit of dying under very peculiar circ ...more
Paperback, 432 pages
Published November 2nd 2004 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published October 1st 1992)
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Average rating 4.21  · 
Rating details
 ·  780 ratings  ·  45 reviews

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Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: legal-fiction
I picked this up from the clearance rack at Half Price Books, and this is a definite winner.

Charley Sloan is arguably the nicest defense attorney you'd ever want to meet. Recovering alcoholic and thrice-divorced, Charley made it big before losing everything and almost getting disbarred. Climbing back from the brink, selling shoes and real estate to make ends meet, he rebuilds a small one-man practice by handling divorces, real estate transactions,representing petty criminals and the occasional h
Charley Sloan has become my new favorite character I have never really been a fan of legal thrillers up until know
I read the first book in the series and really enjoyed it .
but the author has moved up another level with Death Penalty lots more happening in the second book to keep you on the ball. i am looking forward to reading the next one in the series
5 stars and well worth the read
May 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of the few mysteries written in first person that I've read recently. I really liked the narrative voice of this lawyer-as-hero mystery. Though he's a lawyer and former judge, Coughlin doesn't get bogged down in trial scenes. ...more
Apr 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not a Turow. Not a Grisham. Nevertheless, a worthwhile legal thriller. "Thriller" may be too strong a term, given the low-key, matter-of-fact style of the first person narrative.

Basically, I like the character of Charley Sloan, a lawyer who has lost almost everything to alcoholism and is struggling to regain control of his life. This is the second novel featuring Sloan, and unfortunately only one remains, which I will certainly read shortly.

Charley juggles multiple cases while grappling with a d
Apr 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is the second in the series about Lawyer Charley Sloan. I loved the first one and this is equally as good. Charley Sloan lives in Detroit and is a lawyer, with his own small office. He used to be rich and have everything, then something happened, his license was taken away, but Charley worked his way up and got his license back.

He is now defending, Dr Death. He is a doctor accused of giving lethal injections to older patients that don't want to suffer. Not one of Charley's favorite clients,
Sam Reaves
Jun 22, 2013 rated it liked it
Legal thrillers are a sub-genre I don't dip into much, but now and again it's fun to see how lawyers work, or at least how writers want us to think they work. William J. Coughlin, who wrote a bunch of these from the seventies to the nineties, was a judge, so his books presumably rate high on the authenticity scale. His character Charley Sloan is a recovering alcoholic in the Detroit area who lost a high-flying career to drink and since sobering up has been running a little one-man practice handl ...more
Beverly E. McWhirk

Coughlin's second novel in the Charley Sloan Courtroom Thriller series is one of the best legal thrillers I've ever read. The main story is woven through the book with many short legal cases that are all interesting. Some are longer and also weave in between, but none are boring and some are downright spine tingling with suspense. The ending of the main story is totally unpredictable! I can't wait to read the next book in this series.
Jalana Azevedo
Apr 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Good book

Charley Sloan number # 2. Very enjoyable. Light reading. No great upheavals. Just the thing for the beach. And as it is a series, no running out. At least as long as you are on the beach.
Rita Chapman
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
A lawyer who has lost everything and is trying to claw his way back is approached to take on a case that could make or break him. He soon regrets his decision to take it on as he grapples to work out which Judge he can trust and which ones are out to destroy him. An enjoyable read.
Nov 12, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Charley Sloan prevails in court again

Enjoyed watching Charley Sloan prevails again in court. He gets tangled up with client-side doesn't like and then gets approached by a crooked judge. Charley struggles to be a good man. You want him to win.
joanne R. Hepworth
Great read.

Accurate legal issues, believable characters and good plot. I couldn't put it down. I love Charley Sloan and his genuine goodness.
Aug 22, 2017 rated it liked it
This is a pretty good book, even though it's your typical down and out lawyer working his way back into favor theme. The writing is good and the story kept me reading. ...more
Chick Marks
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
These books are so well written. I wish I had discovered this author years ago.
Lisa Desposito Spica
May 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
This is a good quick read. Interesting characters and subject matter. Keeps you wanting to read more.
Al Macy
Oct 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Excellent legal thriller.
Dawn M.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Maybe Everything is too Perfect

Maybe everything is too perfect in this story but I loved it. Maybe Charley is just an unlikely lovable hero.
William H. Jurney
Wow. What a great read. Captivating
Nov 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Great adventure, edge of your seat thriller.
Gina Levert
Looking forward to the next Charley Sloan novel!
Edward Weiss
Feb 29, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Besides being able to write, a fact I only discovered almost 25 years after the guy died, and me not being able to believe that I have never read anything by this guy, this is one of the best legal novels I have ever read. That includes those by my hero, Scott Turow, and my hero-runner-up, John Grisham. Where is the sand my head was buried in?

Even so, the story here wasn't about any one case, or even a few of them. It was about the life, both in toto and daily, of one lawyer. I was so taken in b
Jan 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
Charley Sloan is an unlikely hero, but a great character. He is a "scum bag" lawyer from Detroit with a heart of gold trying to regain his reputation after being disbarred and disgraced. An old colleague and raging alcoholic friend manipulates Charley into finishing a law suit against a major corporation for him which would result in great financial reward for both of them (well, Charley gets 25%) and the pathetic invalid victim who deserves to win.

I particularly liked this book because of the d
robert a boardman
All you want and more..

I am very critical and selective of the material I read. My absolute favorite reading is legal thrillers; especially with a fair amount of court room drama. It's very difficult to find new favorite authors after reading all from the old favorites, but I think I really found a winner in William J. Coughlin. This is the second of his Charley Sloan series and it is fantastic. This book has all you could possibly ask for and much more. Unlike most stories that have a central t
Sue Munson
Nov 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable

This was an enjoyable book for me. Charley Sloan is an authentic character, not a super hero or a super cool detective, but a man who has made mistakes, learned from them, and is attempting to live an honest and useful life. He doesn't have all the answers and actually reaches out to others for help and advice. I found myself rooting for him. If you're looking for grizzly murders, car chases, or exploding buildings, this series is probably not for you. If you're looking for a good
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good book

The book covers two primary cases and some other nonessential stuff too. As is the case when you have two dishes one is better than the other. The better of the two had good twists and an interesting conclusion - you will know what I mean when you read the book. It really is a good one.
Joanne R.
Sep 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another great read but the editing is TERRIBLE

4 Star's for the story, writing, characters but the typos in this book were unbelievable. And it seems to be a pattern. Some errors are to be expected but some of these were ridiculous. However, I just downloaded another Charley Sloan book so that should show how much I am enjoying this series and author :-)
Susannah Carleton
Nov 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Excellent! A compelling story with an interesting and engaging main character involved in a criminal defense case as well as a product liability case, for which he will argue the appeal for a friend. But he gets more than he bargained for in the latter case. Will the case make his reputation or destroy him?
Jillian Higham
Dec 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really good read

This was a very interesting read and I was thoroughly engrossed in all the different cases and scenarios. Charlie is a very likeable character and I felt his anxiety and stress. For a lawyer he's an admirable person.
May 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
This was a very entertaining legal mystery....a believable & interesting plot; likable, engaging characters; and enough corruption and greed to keep the pages turning! A face-paced, fun ride.
Feb 22, 2009 rated it liked it
I normally enjoy Coughlin's books. I read Death Penalty and The Stalking Man back-to-back and both had a few errors. Ex: lunch when it should have been hunch. ...more
JoAnn Ainsworth
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Well written. Sympathetic, flawed protagonist. Kept a good pace, not to fast and not too slow. Enjoyed it.
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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.

Other books in the series

Charley Sloan (4 books)
  • Shadow of A Doubt (Charley Sloan #1)
  • The Judgement (Charley Sloan #3)
  • Proof of Intent (Charley Sloan #4)

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