I just finished “The Broken Lawyer: A Legal Thriller” by Donald L’Abbate. I nearly put it down after the first couple of pages because I’m a pitiful, wannabe editor. The book is advertised as a “new re-edited version,” so heaven help those who tried to read it the first time around. It’s written in first person, a stream of consciousness style with run-on sentences, rarely used commas and periods, and oddly placed words. Here is one sample: “I called Gracie told her I like to take her to lunch and for a look at my new office.”
So why did I read it? I couldn’t put it down! You’d think the Charley Sloan series would have provided sufficient reading material about alcoholic lawyers, but “The Broken Lawyer” is something special. There’s no way it could have been written by anyone who hasn’t been through the AA program. The main character, who remains unnamed throughout, is brutally honest about his struggles. His path to sobriety is authentic, courageous, and humorous. He’s a wisecracking lawyer who’s fallen from grace and gradually, unsteadily, gets to his feet.
The plot twists and turns through complicated and realistic criminal cases, always keeping me one or two steps behind. It’s hard to believe the author was a civil litigator. The characters are believable, real enough to touch.
I don’t know the name of this broken lawyer, but he tells a funny and complex tale. If you can figure out what happened with the Huangs before that lawyer tells us, let me know and I’ll give you a prize.
This is a book worth reading. And I almost started smiling at his run-on sentences.