BOOKS

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THE LOCAL

 

“The plot is gripping, and Hartstone, a veteran screenwriter, sketches his characters with real verve and affection.” 

- The New York Times, Editors' Choice

“The finest legal thriller debut since Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent...”

- The Daily Mail

In the town of Marshall sits the federal courthouse for the Eastern District of Texas, the epicenter of patent law in the US because of its reputation for speedy trials and massive punitive payouts. Every big-city legal team needs a friendly voice, a local attorney, to sway the hometown juries. James Euchre is the best there is.

 

Euchre’s new client is Amir Zawar, a firebrand CEO forced to defend his life’s work against a software patent infringement claim. Late one night, after a heated confrontation in a preliminary hearing, a beloved judge is found murdered in the courthouse parking lot. All signs point to Zawar—he has motive, he has opportunity, and he has no alibi. Moreover, he is an outsider, a wealthy Pakistani-American entrepreneur who stands accused of killing a local hero.

 

Zawar maintains his innocence and demands that Euchre defend him. It’s the last thing Euchre wants. The victim was his good friend and mentor, but the only way he can get definitive answers is to take the case. With the help of former federal prosecutor Layla Stills and local PI Lisa Morgan, Euchre must navigate the byzantine world of criminal defense law in a town where everyone knows everyone, and bad blood has a long history. The deeper he digs, the more he fears that either an innocent man will be sent to death row or a murderer will be set free.

 

The Local is a small-town legal thriller as big in scope as Texas. It crackles with courtroom tension and high-stakes gambits on every page to the final, shocking verdict.

Reviews of The Local

“The plot is gripping, and Hartstone, a veteran screenwriter, sketches his characters with real verve and affection.” 

-The New York Times, Editors' Choice

“The finest legal thriller debut since Scott Turow's Presumed Innocent...”

-The Daily Mail

“Terrific new legal thriller” 

-The New York Times Review

 

Impressive debut... surprising twists... Scott Turow readers should take a look."

-Publishers Weekly

"Impressive first outing from a talented writer."

-Kirkus Reviews

"A courtroom thriller with a dazzling cinematic quality... An extremely promising debut, and readers will want more of Hartstone's razor's-edge style. A natural for fans of Grisham and Turow."

-Booklist