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A Criminal Defense

(Philadelphia Legal #1)

by
4.04  ·  Rating details ·  33,965 ratings  ·  2,059 reviews
Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything.

When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Micks close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only
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Paperback, 380 pages
Published April 1st 2017 by Thomas & Mercer
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Kimberly Hicks Although profanity in books do not bother me, there's very little in this book thus far. If you're accustomed to legal thrillers, you couldn't keep…moreAlthough profanity in books do not bother me, there's very little in this book thus far. If you're accustomed to legal thrillers, you couldn't keep the realism of the officers of the court intact, if there weren't some profanity. That's how it is in law firms. Lawyers need a release, as does the staff. Having said that profanity is minimal in this story.(less)
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Steven Mastroyin (This answer contains spoilers to answer the spoiler in the question. Just adding this text until goodreads marks this a spoiler)

Mick didn't know…more
(This answer contains spoilers to answer the spoiler in the question. Just adding this text until goodreads marks this a spoiler)

Mick didn't know whether Jennifer had told David that it was Mick that pushed her down the stairs. Presumably, he figured that if David knew, then David was also the one that arranged her actual death and he would want to keep that a secret. Mick's only leverage over David in this situation is the threat of David going to jail. If David is found guilty, he has no reason not to expose Mick.(less)

Community Reviews

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Average rating 4.04  · 
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 ·  33,965 ratings  ·  2,059 reviews


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Matt
Jul 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobook
Exploring the world of William L. Myers, Jr., I had hoped to be dazzled by his skills and dedication to the genre. Legal thrillers are a dime a dozen, but well-crafted ones are much harder to come by. Mick McFarland is a gritty Philadelphia lawyer trying to make the world a better place, one case at a time. However, he is in private practice, so his clients must also have the money to pay for his expert legal advice. While handling some meat and potatoes casework, a stunning bit of news hits the ...more
Tulay
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great legal thriller.

This unpublished book was free with Kindle First March selection. So very glad I picked this book. Legal mystery/thrill lovers should read this book.
All the characters with their actions explained to us who and what they are. Other than little girl Gabrielle and Tommy, they all are disgusting.
Michael McFarland has small legal practice, his very rich friend since law school is accused of murder. Trial and investigations keeps you guessing and glued to your seat. You'll never
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Nazanin
Aug 31, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, thriller, 2017
2 Stars

This story is about a defense attorney (Mick) who his recent client is his college friend (David). David is accused for killing a reporter. Two detectives found him at the crime scene while he was sterilized the place and tried to run away from them and he insisted on he's not the killer. I read the first 32% but I couldnt concentrate on it. The multiple open cases were too much for me (and also too many names). So I skipped and skimmed and Im sooo happy for doing that because that ending
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Selene
3.75 stars

This book featured a slow burning legal drama based in Philadelphia about a lawyer juggling multiple open cases, an unsteady marriage, unstable family ties, and a financially shaky legal firm. Michael "Mick" McFarland was the protagonist whose POV provided the central vision for this story.

The beginning was a bit dull with all of the background information being laid out, but this story gradually became more interesting as the story unfolded. Mick was sort of lifeless and bland to me
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Liz Barnsley
Dec 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Review to follow but LOVED this. I'm on the lookout for good legal thrillers I mean REALLY good ones and this hit the spot.
Terri Lynn
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jill
Jan 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Fantastic! I was really blown away by this book. There are so many surprises and plot twists- I was kept guessing until the very end. I love clever lawyering and tense courtroom drama-I really enjoyed the courtroom scenes. The real surprise for me, though, was the characters and the drama/conflict between them. Legal thrillers these days are too often filled with thin, almost cliche'd characters. The characters in this book, including the protagonist Mick, are layered and their relationships ...more
Leslie
Dec 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cops, philly, mystery, ku
This is a legal procedural set in Philadelphia. As a Philly local I love books set in Philly. Love them. And the first 50% of this book had me absolutely charmed. It was an excellent mystery and Philly was well featured. when the twist in the tale came I was stunned. Stunned. STUNNED. And then annoyed.

So 4 stars rather than 5. I still plan on reading the next book by the author.
Brenda
Aug 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
At about 30% in, I checked some Goodreads reviews to encourage me to continue. Im so glad I finished the book. It got really engrossing and became a book I couldnt put down. Oh what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive. Ethics, shmethics. I now have to read the next book, because I have to know if anyone from this book is redeemed and continues. ...more
Angelika
Mar 07, 2017 rated it liked it
Every once in a while I enjoy a good book about the law. This was an engrossing story of criminal defense but I hated the ending. There were no good guys and justice was not served. Maybe I'm naive, but at least in fiction, I want to like at least one person, and there was no one.
Jean
Jun 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
This is a new author for me. The book was recently published on April 1, 2017. The author is a practicing attorney.

A young female reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of the murder. Our protagonist is Mick McFarland. He finds himself in a quandary. David Hanson, the defendant, is a close friend and law school buddy. The T. V. news reporter had call Mick to seek help only hours before her death. Mick had been a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney.
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Louise Wilson
Nov 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of her life. The defendant, David Hanson, was Mick's close friend in law school, and the victim, a TV news reporter, has reached out to Mick for legal help hours before her death. Mick had been a prosecutor before becoming a defense attorney. There is a lot more going on under the surface than you think.

This book has a slow pace but I don't
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Stephanie
Mar 05, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I got this through Kindle First and I guess I'll never learn that free books are terrible books. I chose it because it had the best reviews of them all... what are y'all smoking??

Also this author didn't seem to know that Thatcher Gray (Grey) is a well known soap opera character from Grey's Anatomy.
Pat
Jan 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I've had a looong break from legal thrillers. I don't know why, I just did. I loved all the books by Sydney Bauer but she seems to have stopped writing and is concentrating on television for now. I also didn't realise she was Australian as her books are set in Boston (Boston legal anyone)? There were other authors too but Bauer was the standout for me.

Why am I telling you this? Because I think William L. Myers might just be in the same league. This was a damn good book but, oh my, so
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Amy
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: netgalley
All of my reviews can be found on www.novelgossip.com

4.5/5

Im always slightly hesitant before I read a legal thriller, will it be full of legal jargon that bores me to tears? Will it be bland and dry with more long speeches by blabbing lawyers than actual thrills? None of that happened here, in fact it was quite the opposite. I was highly engrossed in this story and had a hard time putting it down. This isnt a straightforward legal drama, there is much more going on under the surface than you
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Terence M
Oct 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Audiobook - 13:02 Hours - Narrator: Peter Berkrot
3Stars - I liked it

From my Reading Activity:
@50%:
"I have just finished chapter 20 and I am still waiting for this book to really "grab" me! I am persevering only because several GR friends rated it very highly and I have 'faith' in their reviews. Also, the narration is not good, so that doesn't help🙄!"
@85%:
"I resumed reading this novel following an extended hiatus..." [time wasted by being unwell and unable to tolerate my "second ears", my lovely
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Terynce
Mar 25, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Twists and turns a plenty, but it doesn't make for a good story. No drama, no anticipation, Grisham it ain't. Hey, let's make a convoluted plot, that no one will see coming because it doesn't make any sense, and have the bad guys get away with everything. No reckoning, no justice, no punishment for the guilty. If that was the intended overall message I suppose the book succeeded, but I can't help but think it was just happenstance.

(view spoiler)
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Cathie
So I'm wavering between 3 and 4 stars and have decided to go with 4.

There were parts of this book that were excellent, there were parts of this book that were not, but they always led to new questions of "what's he up to now" and "who is on that tape". I thought I new; I did not.

(view spoiler)
Nearly everyone is
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Judy Collins
A fantastic new legal thriller and love Peter Berkrot! Highly recommend the audio. Review to follow.
Ms.pegasus
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller
What would you look for if you needed a defense attorney? Experience? Graduate of a prestigious law school? Referral from a professional peer? What about motivations an unknowable unknown? In this unusual legal procedural, Mick McFarland can point with confidence to his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania, his highly successful stint in the D.A.'s office, and his pro bono work evidencing his idealism in the justice system. It was this idealism, he tells us, that diverted his ...more
Kelli
Mar 07, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Solid suspense, twisting around until the very end. enjoyed!
Carol
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was ok
In reviewing the world of William L. Myers, Jr., I had hoped to be wowed by his talents and dedication to this type of book. Legal thrillers are very popular, but well-crafted ones are much harder to come by. Mick McFarland is a gritty Phily lawyer trying to make the world a better place, one case at a time. However, he is in private practice, so his clients must also have the money to pay for his expert legal advice. This was not my favorite book. It was too heavy and it lot a lot of my ...more
Kelsea
Mar 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
As a nearly-exclusive reader of the fantasy genre, I don't typically pick up books like A Criminal Defense. However, looking through the March 2017 Kindle First choices, I noted that the fantasy/sci-fi option this month was a YA dystopian sci-fi. Honestly, I just couldn't bear to read another YA dystopian, so I decided to branch out and go for the "legal thriller" instead. All of this is to say that I'm not typically a reader of thrillers, legal or otherwise. As such, I can't speak to the ...more
Chris Steeden
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. At first I thought it was going to be a run of the mill Grisham with a moral lawyer who sticks up for the vulnerable and powerless against the wealthy and powerful. It does start by following that path or so it seems.

Mick McFarland is the lawyer and the setting is Philadelphia which made a change from the normal New York, LA or London settings. I referenced Google Maps a few times to see the different locations I had never heard of. McFarland is brought in to defend a
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Suze
Mar 03, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A CRIMINAL DEFENSE

This is an exceptional book, nothing is as it seems. The author did an amazing job of putting an elaborate puzzle together, very complex story-very good book.
Debbie Oxier
Mar 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic!

This is the best legal thriller I've read in a long time. A couple of times I thought I had something figured out then the author would throw in another twist and I'd be back where I started. And the ending blew me away! I sat there stunned for several seconds as I absorbed what I'd just read. The author did an excellent job of mixing things up to keep you guessing.

When Mick McFarland gets a phone call from good friend David Hanson saying David needed legal representation, of course
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Kathi Defranc
Mar 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Wow...A Legal Thriller with a BANG! A great story of a lawyer,his family and a murder that is much more than meets the eye! A courtroom tale with characters so diverse that it is hard to find any to like. Just when you think you understand a plot, there is a twist that changes everything. A nice job of writing by author William L. Myers, even the ending is totally unexpected. Anyone who likes legal thrillers should grab this book immediately!
Delaney Diamond
May 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery-thriller
Although I enjoyed this story, I did skim some of the courtroom scene in the second half of the book. But the storyline kept me glued to the pages, trying to figure out who the murderer was. First of all, the victim was not a nice person, and neither was the defendant. But few of the supporting characters had any redeeming qualities, either, quite frankly. This was one of those stories where you cant figure out who did it, and even when you think you do, theres more to the story. Plot twists, an ...more
Kristin
May 15, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was really hard to get though. I generally am able to sit and read a book for a few hours and finish within a day or two, but I kept finding that I had to put this one down and take a break from it. This took me over a month to read. None of the characters had any redeeming qualities. They all acted reprehensible and awful. The story dragged forever until the plot twist at the very end. That didn't redeem the book either. It made very little sense to the rest of the story and only served to ...more
Jim
I have to admit that I was surprised at how good this book was. Discussing the book in detail would mean spoilers and I just won't do that to other readers. There are a lot of twists and turns in this legal thriller even though some of them arrive by telegraph. He created characters that I cared about and a story that I wanted to keep on reading.
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William L. Myers, Jr. is the No. 6 best-selling author on Amazon Kindle in 2017 for his debut novel, A Criminal Defense. That was the first in what has become the Philadelphia Legal Series. The third book in that series, A Killers Alibi debuted earlier this year.
A Killers Alibi has had rave early reviews including New York Times Bestselling author, Bill Lasher

William Myers riveting new novel is
...more

Other books in the series

Philadelphia Legal (4 books)
  • An Engineered Injustice (Philadelphia Legal #2)
  • A Killer's Alibi (Philadelphia Legal #3)
  • A Criminal Justice (Philadelphia Legal #4)

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