The Defense

Eddie Flynn, a New York City lawyer who hasn't practiced in almost a year due to fallout from a case, is forced to defend the head of the Russian mob in a murder case--and the trial begins the morning Eddie receives the "request." He can't refuse because the mob boss's goons have kidnapped Eddie's 10-year-old daughter, Amy, and Eddie has only 48 hours to gain a mistrial or Amy dies.

What the Russians don't know is that before Eddie became a lawyer, he was a con man, and he now calls upon skills from his grifter days to pull off the greatest con of his life--pretending to play along while plotting Amy's rescue, even as he's under constant surveillance. Helping him is his childhood friend Jimmy Fellini, now head of the Italian mafia. Eddie just wants his daughter back, but Jimmy's involvement could start a war between the Russians and Italians. As with all wars, there will be casualties, one of which may be Eddie.

The Defense rises above generic courtroom dramas and mob-related thrillers mostly because of Eddie. The swindler-turned-lawyer (Eddie doesn't see a big gap between one and the other) gets put in impossible situations, with the clock ever ticking and vise ever tightening, but somehow he finds clever ways to keep his head above water. He shares a few interesting tricks about reading and manipulating juries, but there's nothing dishonest about his love for Amy, and even the most righteous readers would probably agree the end justifies his means. --Elyse Dinh-McCrillis, blogger at Pop Culture Nerd

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