The Lawyer

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The Lawyer: Collector's Edition: 3 Books Michael Gresham Series - Kindle  edition by Ellsworth, John . Mystery, Thriller & Suspense Kindle eBooks @  Amazon.com.

Title: The Lawyer

Author: John Ellsworth

Published: 2016

Image: www.amazon.com

Publisher’s Summary

Michael Gresham is a criminal attorney with a client accused of murdering a judge’s wife. As the story progresses, the judge whose wife was murdered suddenly tries to hire Michael Gresham for himself. New revelations have the judge backed into a corner in this legal and financial thriller. Can an attorney battle the system and win the notorious case other lawyers turned down? Can Michael Gresham turn the tables on those who would see him dead? And who is going to pay for the injury and disfigurement they left him with?

A legal financial thriller that introduces the first in a ten-book series about Michael Gresham, the Chicago lawyer who defends hopeless cases every day. Watch from your front-row seat as Michael walks into this courtroom drama a huge underdog. Cheer him on as he uses all his wit and cunning to defend the indefensible.

Story Grid 6 Core Questions

Genre: Thriller; Legal

POV: First person, Michael Gresham

Theme: Life is preserved when Michael outwits the villains and brings them to justice

Object of Desire: Wants: get his life on track; Needs: to see justice done

Obligatory Scenes

An Inciting Incident indicative of a master villain. There must be victims: Mextel poisons thousands of Mexican citizens and some Americans

Speech in praise of the villain: Mextel supports the cartels communications and uses them for security, hit men

Hero becomes the victim: Gresham stands accused of Federal crimes and faces up to 20 years in jail

Hero at the mercy of the victim: Cartel kidnaps Gresham and burns him alive, kills his girlfriend to be, and hurts his brother

All is Lost Moment: Top defense lawyer drops his case because she fears he will lose in a trail; Gresham decides to defend himself and gathers his allies (his gift is he is his best lawyer).

False Ending: The judge was dirty from the beginning and hired Lamb to kill his wife who in turn tried to squeeze the judge for more money.

Conventions: 

MacGuffin: Mextel wants to get off Scott free from knowingly poisoning people

Investigative Red Herrings: ex-wife drama, Judge and Lamb case, brother’s Mextel case, FBI fraud, cartel involvement, Crips

Making it Personal: Mextel and the Judge want to put Gresham in Jail and/or kill him especially so Mextel can get to his brother

Clock: Dates for court appearances

Act 1: Gresham defends Lamb in what appears to be a losing case until he gets a hold of video showing the FBI beating a confession out of Lamb and Gresham wins his case

Act 2: Gresham appears to be having good luck when he is hired to defend the judge for $250K against accusations he tried to hire a hitman against Lamb, but then Gresham is tricked and charged for federal crimes

Act 3: Gresham is kidnapped and burned and his brother is hurt and his would be girlfriend is killed, then his lawyer drops him and he decides to defend himself but Marcel discovers Ramons don’t plan on testifying so he appears safe.

Act 4: Gresham succeeds in negotiating $60 million from Mextel and screwing them over by revealing their scandal, then teams up with the Judge to bring Lamb down and finds out that the Judge hired Lamb to kill his wife the whole time

What I liked

1. Constant twists and complications and obstacles

2. I couldn’t see the ending coming

3. He tied up all the loose ends

What I didn’t like

I have to tell you, I don’t usually read Legal Thrillers, but I actually loved the whole things and couldn’t put it down. Read it now!!!!

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The Story Grid

Story Grid Book

If you want to learn more about writing a story using the Story Grid methodology, go to the Story Grid Webpage to find free videos and articles on how to implement the methodology.

These articles contain information about the 5 Commandments of Storytelling and the Editor’s 6 Core Questions from the book The Story Grid by Shawn Coyne. They also give details on obligatory scenes and conventions for specific genres, such as the thriller, love story, war story, crime story, and more.

For an example of how these techniques are used, read Jane Austin’s The Pride and the Prejudice with annotations by Shawn Coyne.

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