The Case Against William by Mark Gimenez
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This book reminded me a little bit of Playing for Pizza by John Grisham if for no other reason than it is about football. Also, Gimenez could have been Grisham's understudy as far as writing legal thrillers.
Frank Tucker is a criminal defense attorney. He is very selective about his clients, only taking those that he believes are innocent, and mostly white collar crime. That is until he represents a football player who, as it turns out, was actually guilty. This sends him in a downward spiral, losing the family he loves, the high profile clients, money, and his career.
A few years later, his own son William, Heisman trophy winner, star quarterback for the University of Texas, football god, and the most entitled player you're ever likely to come across, is accused of rape and murder. He wants nothing to do with his father, regardless of the fact that his father could help him, and is assigned a public defender. But Frank and his fellow losers who have been living near the beach in Rockport won't take no for an answer and begin to unravel all of the clues leading to the real killer. Frank's belief in his son's innocence never wavers.
One thing I love about Mark Gimenez is he is a Texas man, born and raised, and his books are set in familiar places such as Austin, Lubbock, and Rockport in this case, but also Galveston, Houston, and Dallas. They are authentic. Football is a big deal in Texas and an outsider might not realize that "Friday Night Lights" is an actual phenomenon in much of the state. The settings make his books relatable for me.
Gimenez is also a writer who creates multi-layered, flawed characters, most of whom are good people, with the exception of "William the Entitled" in this book. But he had to create a somewhat unlikable character in William to move the plot forward and create change in the characters. They are not one-dimensional.
The outcome was a little far-fetched but fun nonetheless. If you like Grisham, I think you'll like Gimenez, and if you like Texas and football, you're sure to enjoy this book.
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