The Street Lawyer
America's favorite courtroom writer reportedly hung with D.C. street people to get firsthand insight into homelessness for this novel about a yuppie lawyer-turned-legal advocate for the indigent. His research didn't pay off. Once again, he has set up a character-driven plot, then succumbed to a fast-paced, formulaic story that leaves motive and character development by the wayside. A homeless man walks into Michael Brock's swank corporate offices and takes him and several attorneys hostage. Haunted by the violent outcome of the incident, Brock finds out the homeless guy is a Vietnam vet who'd been illegally evicted, and in a moment of moral indignation, quits the firm to work at a legal clinic. What follows is classic Grisham lawyer-detective action, with Brock stealing the obligatory secret file, getting into car wrecks and risking life and limb, supposedly driven by his desire to right the wrongs done to the homeless. But our hero's change of heart is hard to swallow when we see him fretting about the bad parts of town behind the wheel of a Lexus.