Martin Clark—who has set, according to the Winston-Salem Journal, “the new standard by which other works of legal fiction should be judged”—now delivers his finest novel yet.
Lisa and Joe Stone, married for twenty years and partners in their small law firm in Henry County, Virginia, handle less-than-glamorous cases, whether domestic disputes, personal injury settlements, or never-ending complaints from their cantankerous client Lettie VanSandt (“eccentric” by some accounts, “certifiable” by others). When Lettie dies in a freakish fire, the Stones think it’s certainly possible that she was cooking meth in her trailer. But details soon emerge that lead them to question how “accidental” her demise actually was, and settling her peculiar estate becomes endlessly complicated.
Before long, the Stones find themselves entangled in a corporate conspiracy that will require all their legal skills—not to mention some difficult ethical choices—for them to survive. Meanwhile, Lisa is desperately trying to shield Joe from a secret, dreadful error that she would give anything to erase, even as his career—and her own—hangs in the balance. In The Jezebel Remedy, Clark gives us a stunning portrait of a marriage, an intricate tour of the legal system, and a relentlessly entertaining story that is full of inventions, shocks, and understanding.
This eBook edition includes a Reading Group Guide.
Clark, whose Southern legal thrillers (The Legal Limit) feature a unique blend of intricate plotting and comedy, stumbles in his latest about the fight over a mysterious, and potentially lucrative, chemical compound. Joe and Lisa Stone are an attractive pair of married lawyers in Martinsville, Va., known for their fairness in helping out the townspeople in all manner of disputes. One of their frequent clients is a "legal hypochondriac" and cat lady named Lettie VanSandt, who calls 911 to complain so frequently that the dispatcher has compiled a "Best of" CD of her ravings. VanSandt files endless lawsuits and patent claims, but when her trailer explodes after a visit from representatives of a sinister pharmaceutical company, Benecorp, it seems as if one of her crackpot inventions, a skin balm, may have actually been valuable. As the Stones wade deeper into the case, they each compromise their integrity in an effort to combat a well-funded opponent as skilled at manipulating the legal system as they are. The central plot is thin, the subplots sap the novel's momentum, the resolution depends less on legal wrangling than luck, and the dialogue lacks Clark's previous punch: "Great googly moogly... what a hodgepodge of colorful lies. It's a bushel basket's worth of deceit and half-truths." Clark's concoction could have used some more tinkering in the lab.
Customer ReviewsSee All
It has been a long time since I read a book that I hated to finish. Smart writing. Great characters. When is the next one?
Clark does it again!!!!