Is the Legal Thriller really dead? According to a July 27, 2015 article in Library Journal, The Journal reports that, at Thrillerfest X in New York City July 7-11, 2015, there was a debate over the question by the “Where Legal Thrillers are Headed” roundtable, a discussion which has been kicked around since July 2013 when Slate Magazine declared the legal thriller, and its close cousin, the courtroom drama, officially killed by Hollywood. The panel’s answer to the question was a wishy-washy “No, they’re not dead,” but the Journal went on to report that “The inherent drama of the courtroom assures that, even if lawyers aren’t today’s most beloved professionals.” However, according to the Journal, “The number of agents at Thrillerfest looking specifically for legal thrillers seemed low.”
Author Alafair Burke, in his March 2012 blog post, “Putting the thrill back in the Legal Thriller,” contends that, “Perhaps trying to replicate the success of groundbreaking novels like Scott Turow’s Presumed Innocent and John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, publishers had over purchased and over promoted courtroom-centric novels by lawyers who managed to turn the term “legal thriller” into an oxymoron.”
However, given the recent revolution in publishing, where, according to Digital Book World, 50% of all book sales are online sales, legal thriller authors like Paul Levine and Clifford Irving are finding a resurgence of interest of the books on their backlist in electronic sales. Paul Levine’s Bum Rap is the number two best-selling book in the legal thriller genre, knocked out of first place by To Kill a Mockingbird (#27 in the Kindle Store) after the release of Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchman (#3 in the Kindle Store) in July 2015.
My conclusion? Don’t hold your breath waiting for the demise of the legal thriller. For some reason, which escapes us lawyer-authors who write them, people are fascinated by the law and its application to life situations. Perhaps it is the mystery that surrounds a profession whose language appears to be foreign to most people, or human curiosity in general, but the legal thriller should be around for many years to come.
Kenneth Eade is the author of the Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series and the Involuntary Spy Espionage Series. He offers free books and prizes to those who sign up for his mailing list at: http://kennetheade.com.
Already a best-seller and hot new release on Amazon, ’Unreasonable Force,’ is the fourth in a series of courtroom dramas by author Kenneth Eade dubbed as the ’Brent Marks Legal Thriller Series.’ The series has been called “a wild ride” by critics, who believe that Eade is the one who will become “the next John Grisham” in the political and legal thriller genres.In the vein of his wildly popular courtroom drama series, Eade delivers another solid and intricately plotted tale.
At its core, ‘Unreasonable Force’ is an examination of the problem of police violence in America. “I always make sure my books accomplish two things. One, they are entertaining and full of action on their own; and 2) They make people think about current issues of our time,” says Eade.
Synopsis: William Thomas grew up with a distrust of contact with the police. However, he worked hard and made a name for himself as a successful lawyer. After leaving a ball game with friends, Thomas is assaulted by police and one of the officers is killed. Accused of murder, William calls his colleague, Brent Marks, to defend him. Can Brent convince the jury that the police have crossed the line between keeping order and police brutality? Can he formulate a defense for a client who believes himself that he could be guilty? This contemporary novel confronts a contemporary reality of tolerance, prejudice and violence in American society.
Unreasonable Force has already received critical acclaim, including reader comparisons to Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird”:
“An insightful and thought provoking look into the politics of the criminal justice system.” – InD’Tale Magazine
“In ’Unreasonable Force’, Kenneth Eade manages to tackle some important topics for today’s American society: tolerance, prejudice, violence, self-defense. Readers will immediately relate to the main characters and try to find answers to the intriguing questions their actions raise. Yes, ’Unreasonable Force’, is a fast-paced, action-packed legal thriller, but it’s also much more than that. It speaks directly to the readers, drawing their attention towards what’s happening in reality, around them, each day of their life.” – NY Books Examiner
The Kindle version of ‘Unreasonable Force’ is available for pre-order now at the special pre-order price of $2.99 and the paperback version at $13.95 at: http://amzn.com/B00YKG8YTY. The book is available for sale on July 27, 2015.
About the Author
Author Kenneth Eade, best known for his legal and political thrillers, practiced law for 30 years before publishing his first novel, “An Involuntary Spy.” Eade, an up and coming author in the legal thriller and courtroom drama genre, has been described by critics as “Brilliant when it comes to creating complicated, intriguing stories that end in mind-blowing surprises, who have said that his novels will remind readers of John Grisham, proving that Kenneth Eade deserves to be on the same lists with the world’s greatest thriller authors.”
Says Eade of the comparisons: “John Grisham is famous for saying: ’I always try to tell a good story, one with a compelling plot that will keep the pages turning. That is my first and primary goal. Sometimes I can tackle an issue-homelessness, tobacco litigation, insurance fraud, the death penalty-and wrap a good story around it.’ That is exactly what I try to do in my books. Not only do I want to tell you a thrilling story that you will love to read, I also hope you come away with it having learned something important.”
Eade has written seven novels. His sixth, “Unreasonable Force,” a courtroom drama, is already on Amazon’s hot new release list, and is due to be released in August. He is known to keep in touch with his readers, offering free gifts and discounts to all those who sign up at his web site. Link to mailing list: bit.ly/1LUyVq0
Stay connected with Kenneth G. Eade and news about ’Unreasonable Force’ through social media:
It’s very frustrating when I get a one or two star review on one of my books and the comment is something like, “The story was good, but the author was pushing his agenda,” or “Great writing, but the author is pushing his left wing views.”
I didn’t realize that my views were left wing, but all labels aside, my work is called “political fiction” and marketed as such because I am trying to make a political statement with fiction. I’m happy for my readers who enjoy both the story and appreciate the message, but if you’re looking for ‘James Bond” or ‘Jason Bourne,’ you’re not going to find it on my bookshelf. My novels always have something to say. And you don’t have to accept my “political agenda” or my feelings about George Bush. You may think he was the greatest president the U.S. ever had. Or maybe you’re his cocaine dealer. I don’t know.
The point is that every literary work of political fiction will have a political point. You don’t have to agree with it. You just have to understand what it is. And, if you disagree with the political view, but thought the story was good, don’t give it one star.