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An Innocent Client

(Joe Dillard #1)

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  43,109 ratings  ·  2,319 reviews
A preacher is found brutally murdered in a Tennessee motel room.

A beautiful, mysterious young girl is accused.

In this Mystery Readers International finalist for "Best Debut Mystery," criminal defense lawyer Joe Dillard has become jaded over the years as he's tried to balance his career against his conscience. Savvy but cynical, Dillard wants to quit doing criminal defe
Paperback, 374 pages
Published October 23rd 2012 by Phoenix Publishing (first published November 4th 2008)
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Angie Boyter It is not the profanity so much as the crudity of the people and what they do and think. I lasted until 37% through, when the protagonist is going to …moreIt is not the profanity so much as the crudity of the people and what they do and think. I lasted until 37% through, when the protagonist is going to talk to his latest client, a man who killed his girlfriend's 13-month-old son while he was high on drugs. The little boy was crying, so he put his cigarettes out on the bottoms of the little boy's feet, then laid him on the metal protective rack of a hot kerosene heater, and then shook him so hard his brain hemorrhaged. You decide if you want to read this; my answer was NO! (less)

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Average rating 4.14  · 
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 ·  43,109 ratings  ·  2,319 reviews

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Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
As I've said in other reviews, I'm always looking for a good mystery/thriller series - one in which the stories are good enough that I'm happy to read them any time, but mostly to fill in gaps between other books - when I need something dependably enjoyable and easy to read. As luck would have it, I've found two winners in that department over the last couple of weeks - this one included.

I keep a running list of free and low-cost books I've downloaded as a result of membership in services like B
Dec 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery-thriller

This is the first in the Joe Dillard series. An Innocent Client is billed as a legal thriller and comes up woefully short - filled with one-dimensional cardboard characters, stilted dialogue and an extraordinarily simplistic plot. There is nothing original here let alone engaging.

Dillard is a defense attorney in Tennessee, who has become more than jaded with, and definitely tired of his job. There are political and border-line incompetent judges, who all seem to hold a grudge
Nov 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
A preacher goes to a strip club and is all over the girls. The next morning he is found murdered. Angel, a waitress from the club is arrested and charged with the crime. She insists she is innocent and attorney Joe Dillard believes her. In fact, the case against her is very weak and her arrest is due more to politics than to evidence. Will she be the truly innocent client Joe so desperately wants before he retires?

This book was fun; a quick read and fast-paced legal thriller. The description of
May 25, 2013 rated it really liked it
I picked this one up in the kindle lending library. This is the first in the Joe Dillard series.
I had never read anything by this author, but the reviews were solid, so I decided to give this one a try.
Joe is the rarest of rare men. A lawyer with a conscience. He would rather put the guilty behind bars than defend them, but for the time being he is sort of stuck where he is.
When a beautiful exotic dancer is accused of killing a minister, Joe is hired to defend her. He then must deal with the de
DNF. Too much testosterone and belittling of women.
Oct 13, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is book one in the Joe Dillard Series. Joe is a cynical burned out defense attorney who keeps saying he will quit law in a year. All he wants is one innocent client.

The story takes place in rural Tennessee. A preacher is murdered after a visit to a strip club. The club owner hires Dillard to defend the club waitress, Angel Christian, who has been charged with the murder. Dillard’s personal life is in chaos, but he carries on with the defense.

The book is well written. I understand this
Jan 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Entertaining book #1 in a series about Tennessee lawyer Joe Dillard and his efforts defending a young woman of murder and mutilation of a preacher. In addition to dealing with a crooked detective and politically motivated prosecutor, Dillard has to protect himself and his family from the deceased preacher's son, a police officer in another town. Not quite up to the legal literary standards of John Grisham or David Ellis, Scott Pratt has written an excellent book #1 with good characters, action, ...more
Judy D Collins
The audiobook was quite entertaining! My first by Pratt, and looking forward to reading all the books in the Joe Dillard, series. Review to follow!
Rex Fuller
Jul 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Great fun read. Joe Dillard wants one thing before he gets out of criminal defense forever, an innocent client. What happens between wanting and getting one is a right fit murder trial yarn. The characters we can't help but like, as well as the ones we don't, are all just a little bit guilty. Or maybe more. The book keeps you wanting come-uppance and catharsis to be properly distributed and satisfies the desire. ...more
Jul 18, 2016 rated it really liked it
This turned out to be a well written and fast paced read. I never really felt a strong feel of suspense but the plot was well executed. The characters had a genuine and relateable feel to them as well. I'm glad it was offered as kindleunlimited. I'll deinfately check out more of this writers work in the future. ...more
Jun 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Justice is in the eye of the beholder. When burned out defense attorney, Joe Dillard was made a monetary offer he could hardly refuse, he may have known better, he may have had an idea of the real events of the night the zealot preacher was killed, but he also knew his job was to defend the accused murderer.

Angel was a beautiful, young waitress at a strip bar run by a business savvy Southern Belle who knew how to twist people around her bejeweled fingers, or if necessary, load their coffers of c
Ray Cerrone
Jun 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series
I stumbled onto Scott Pratt through the Kindle Owners Lending Library. This is a feature provided to kindle readers that allows for one book per month at no charge.

Pratt writes a books that moves at the pace of a John Grisham novel, but tells multiple stories from the life an an attorney at one time. Most Grisham novels, focus on one case while Pratt focuses on many cases.

Pratts books also develops the character in a manner that allows the reader to understand the perspective of the attorney in
Michael E. Humphrey
Don't waste your time or money.

This book verifies the old saying "If you can't be clever, be crude." Whether he's trying for shock value or he he's over compensating for an inferiority complex in sexual matters, the frequency of the crass sexual descriptions detracts from the story line so much that I gave up on the whole book after the first few chapters. I have no interest whatsoever in knowing how this story turned out and no interest in reading any more books by this author. John Gresham, Sh
Joseph - Relax And Read Reviews
This is the first book in the Joe Dillard series of legal thrillers by Scott Pratt. It is also the first book by this author that I have ever read.

Joe Dillard is a criminal defence attorney, that is he defends murderers, thieves, drug dealers, prostitutes and rapists among others. Although he has made a lot of success in this career, he is now fed up of defending such scumbags. Having now saved a considerable amount of money, he wants to quit the legal profession permanently but before that he w
Holly Haze
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love short chapters. Makes it easier to read. A well-crafted crime novel. Not overly complex in my opinion, but still a good read. Dillard is a good character. This is book one and I'll definitely try more of this series. I like Pratt's style. A good legal thriller. ...more
Jeff Dickison
Jul 21, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good first book. A defense lawyer, tired of dealing with bad people, decides to leave the field. But first, he wants to defend one innocent client and he thinks he has that client. Want to bet! I liked Pratt's writing and I will probably read more in this series. Recommended. ...more
Jul 25, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: legal-drama
Joe Dillard has had it with the justice system. "The whole system is crazy. For over ten years, I've been traveling every day to this bizarre world of lies and deceit.  There's no honor in it anywhere. It's all a sick game, and the people who win the most are the ones who lie the best.  They call it the criminal justice system​​​.  What a crock.  Defendants lie and cheat, police officers lie and cheat, prosecutors lie and cheat, defense lawyers lie and cheat, and judges--Jesus, don't get me star ...more
Apr 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
I did enjoy this book, I liked the storyline but the characters annoyed me a bit. Like let's take the main character Joe for example, he seemed whiny to me. He said he felt like the justice system was flawed and he wanted to help innocent people, totally not what most of his cases were which is why he was miserable. Either accept it or don't. Then constantly feeling bad for his sister and accountable for something he didn't do or have control over, that was annoying until the end when they seeme ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This was better than I had expected. Why my expectation was that low? Because this book was cheap!! (I downloaded this one when it was on sale.)

I love the court scenes in general, and this has that. I especially liked the ending. This lawyer is not the pure justice guy, which I really like.

It seems like this series has 8 books already. I might read on if the 2nd book is on sale again!

Tracie Payne
Oct 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Audiobook. I love this series so far. Joe Dillard is a badass who loves his family and the law. These aren't very deep and the mystery isn't hard to figure out, but you can tell the author practiced law and I just love how he writes the characters. This series is just so entertaining. ...more
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Clever book with a few twists. First from this author but probably not my last. Good character development & storyline.
Wendy Soliman
Jul 11, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-fiction
I really enjoyed this disillusioned defense lawyer's quest for an innocent client and his ethical struggles to come to terms with what he did for a living, juggling his family life, along with a drug addict sister and mother who was dying.

When a preacher visits a gentleman's club and then finishes up dead in his hotel room with his penis chopped off, Joe defends the beautiful young lady accused of the crime. Could she be his long-awaited innocent client? I only deducted one star because the reas
Oct 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I re-wrote this novel and removed almost all of the offensive language. It's a better book now. ...more
Feb 13, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2019-read
Interesting storyline, nice short chapters, characters were written quite well. Three stars is suppose to mean "I Liked It" and I did, I just did not REALLY Like it. Wasn't left with a yearning to know what was going to happen next when I took a break from reading. The strongest emotion I got from the book was the complete dislike, and great desire to see justice done to TBI Special Agent Phillip Landers. Pratt wrote him as such a despicable individual you just hoped he also wrote a fitting endi ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's fun to get a book that you can read fast and get a good story. An Innocent Client was that kind of book for me. There were enough story twists to keep me interested and wanting to read to find out what was going to happen. I like Scott Pratt's writing style; it's easy to read with good dialogue. I did not care for the subject matter with the sleazy strip club setting, and the characters involved in that business, but I let that slide in getting involved in the characters, particularly, Joe ...more
Una Tiers
Feb 25, 2016 rated it liked it
An unintentional re-read. At the beginning the book is funny, poking at the system. It resorts to really vulgar stuff. What really disappointed me was the one dimentional characters. Some were perfect, others really bad.
james a paraskeva
No mystery here

This is not my cup of tea. straight line plot and not much intrigue. It was an easy, fast read, but Scott turow has nothing to worry about here.
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Kept my interest all the way through!
Vicki Willis
Feb 10, 2018 rated it liked it
This was a legal mystery about a defense lawyer who wanted out of the business. Due to his personal obligations he needed to work for another year before getting out. He lands a high paying case that takes him on a roller coaster ride through the book.
The beginning of the book did not impress me. It was just icky and offensive the way the author wrote the characters. It did improve and I became invested in the story. I liked how the author set up the side characters and can see how they will fi
Jul 06, 2014 rated it liked it
This was a good, light read. The story moved along at a good clip which I really like. I appreciated the character development of the main character and his sister. I gave it 3 stars instead of 4 because while it was intriguing and I definitely enjoyed it - I do recommend it - I didn't lie awake nights wondering what was happening with the characters as I do with fiction I consider exceptionally compelling.

If you like a fast paced courtroom drama with relatable characters and good action you'll
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Grammar used in book 12 43 Jan 30, 2020 01:35PM  
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Scott Pratt was born in South Haven, Michigan, in 1956, and grew up in Jonesborough, Tennessee. He was a veteran of the United States Air Force and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from East Tennessee State University and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Tennessee. He passed away in November 2018.

Other books in the series

Joe Dillard (9 books)
  • In Good Faith (Joe Dillard #2)
  • Injustice For All (Joe Dillard #3)
  • Reasonable Fear (Joe Dillard #4)
  • Conflict of Interest (Joe Dillard #5)
  • Blood Money (Joe Dillard #6)
  • A Crime of Passion (Joe Dillard, #7)
  • Judgment Cometh: And That Right Soon (Joe Dillard, #8)
  • Due Process (Joe Dillard, #9)

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