Cover image for Uncommon justice
Uncommon justice
Devane, Terry.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : G.P. Putnam's Sons, [2001]

Physical Description:
307 pages ; 24 cm
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Disillusioned with her first foray into corporate law, Mairead O'Clare leaves a high-powered Boston firm to join ranks with Sheldon Gold, a down-at-the-heels criminal attorney. Mairead barely knows how to find the courthouse, let alone how to navigate the treacherous waters of a criminal trial. She immediately finds herself thrust in the middle of a capital murder case when she is assigned to represent Alpha, a homeless man and self-proclaimed hermit charged with the murder of another homeless man on the banks of the Charles River.Mairead's first job is to win Alpha's trust so he will participate in his own defense. As the investigation proceeds and the questions of guilt and innocence become murkier and murkier, she learns just how elusive the search for justice can be.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Mairead O'Clare abandons her corporate law career with a blue-blood Boston firm to hang up her shingle next to Sheldon Gold, a melancholy legal warrior who promises to show her around a courtroom at about a third of her former salary. O'Clare's first case in the real world has her defending an urban hermit called Alpha, who is charged with the murder of a fellow member of the Boston homeless community. With the help of Pontifico Murizzi, a former Boston cop turned private eye, Mairead ties the case to a construction site from which the street people pilfered building materials. A foreman who was friendly toward the less fortunate has vanished and the multimillionaire owner of the construction firm seems inordinately hostile. This is an excellent legal thriller written under a pseudonym by a Boston attorney and best-selling author. Strong characters, incisive dialogue, and irreverent humor define what one hopes is the first in a long series featuring O'Clare and her mentor, Sheldon Gold. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

This legal thriller about the murder of a homeless man in Boston hangs on a garden-variety plot, but it introduces two wonderfully original lead characters who more than make up for any narrative deficiencies. Out front is Mairead O'Clare, a highly earnest young lawyer who has just been fired by one of the city's top law firms because she had the honesty to admit the work bored her stiff. Going out on a limb, O'Clare takes a job in a one-man office run by Sheldon A. Gold, a shrewdly clever yet humble attorney who is at least as eccentric as his new hire. Though he knows she has no criminal law experience, Gold assigns O'Clare the defense of Alpha, a homeless man accused of bludgeoning a fellow bum to death. The well-spoken, highly literate Alpha instantly makes things tough for O'Clare. He says he's innocent and claims he knows who the real killer is, but refuses to reveal any details until he testifies at trial. The plot moves along efficiently and enjoyably to a finale that clunks and grinds a bit too much, but O'Clare and Gold have stolen the show long before. O'Clare is a fine creation. An orphan disfigured by port wine stains a condition known as hemangioma that cover everything below her elbows, she's overcome much in her life, and has an unassuming personality that tends to make opponents underestimate her. Gold is similarly fascinating. An independently wealthy former boxer, he's a man who has suffered much the loss of a child, a wife who's gone mad, severe depression, even impotence. Together, O'Clare and Gold make a formidable, unpredictable and entertaining pair deserving of a return engagement. (Apr.) FYI: Devane is the pseudonym of an attorney and award-winning novelist who lives in Boston. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved