Author: Bill Walk Category:

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A New Arrival on the Legal Thriller Landscape: Meet Attorney Ben Jennings

Two weeks before the biggest trial of his law career, Memphis attorney Ben Jennings is on the brink of implosion. His partner nearly bankrupts the firm, his teenage daughter struggles with a serious mental health crisis, and his long-held rationalizations about the practice of law have been battered by the cynical truths of day-to-day practice. Juggling clients, an ex-wife, tricky single fatherhood, and the inevitable vicissitudes of fate, Jennings takes on the powerful medical establishment to fight for justice in a tragic case of a newborn’s mismanaged care.

Twenty years ago, fresh out of law school, Jennings believed in the inherent goodness of people and their desire to do right. He believed in the law and in the power of ordinary citizens to judge their fellows, like the jurors in the classic film Twelve Angry Men, the movie that made him want to become a lawyer in the first place. When we meet him, Jennings’ romantic ideals have faded, replaced by the cynicism of life in a Brooks Brothers-clad sausage factory—until a particular client comes his way.

Haunted by the case, involving a difficult premature labor and the ensuing mismanagement of her child’s neo-natal care, Jennings battles a system stacked against them from the start. Along the way, Jennings discovers that some of the characteristics he has  always perceived as weaknesses—particularly his dyslexia and his wrong-side-of-the-tracks upbringing—become surprisingly handy when unraveling the flaws in his opponent’s game plan.

Set in Memphis, Tennessee—the home of Elvis Presley’s Graceland, blues cradle Sun Studio, the Peabody Hotel (with its famous ducks), and, of course, the Lorraine Motel, where Martin Luther King was assassinated—Holes in the Soles of His Gucci Loafers is a courtroom drama that does side duty as a travelogue, taking the reader on a journey through tree-lined streets, lovely historic neighborhoods, and hole-in-the-wall BBQ joints of a town bisected and defined by the mighty Mississippi River. Beneath the city’s charm, however, are the unspoken truths of a centuries-old class system that extends to all corners of life—and to the very system of justice upon which our democracy is based.

Author Bill Walk pulls back the curtain on the seemingly glamorous lives of high-stakes trial lawyers and the subsequent effects on real people. The courtroom scenes are authentic and tightly wired, drawn from Walk’s own experience. The first book in a series, Holes in the Soles of His Gucci Loafers introduces Ben Jennings, a new arrival in the legal thriller landscape. Fans of Scott Turow and John Grisham will enjoy this new and fresh take on the lives of the men and women who fight for the little guy.