A comic novel involving lawyers and mobsters and a dazzling young woman who lights their fuses.
Imagine it as 40% John Grisham and 60% Jerry Seinfeld
A struggling young lawyer trying to play by the rules -- but whose notorious family runs the local mob -- represents Millicent Simmons, a demurely gorgeous young woman (with a mysterious past) who was a passenger in a taxi whose rear bumper was slightly bumped.
The defense against her case is handled by a privileged young lawyer engaged to marry the domineering daughter of his law firm's Uber-boss. When the overconfident Yale grad asks a routine question at Millie's deposition, her totally unpredictable answer instantaneously imperils the lawyer's career, his impending marriage, and possibly his life. The answer the girl gives him might topple the young lawyer's future dad-in-law; and his law firm; and two dozen politicians and society chieftains who have no idea that a tsunami of hurt is about to engulf them.
Two smart young lawyers on opposite sides of the case begin to fight as lawyers usually do...but soon they have to join forces to control a galloping crisis that neither really understands. At the same time, the most powerful lawyer in the city -- Millie's primary target -- decides to abandon the law; and he begins to play dangerous games with the head of the local mob, with disastrous but comic results.
At the center of the turmoil she inspired, harried by threats from mob enforcers, Millicent Simmons stands her ground and pluckily demands...well...no one can figure out what she demands; but she is unwilling to take anything less. The clock is ticking, Millie set it ticking, and even she doesn't know how to turn it off.
The book is funny and fanciful and sometimes farcical, but the legal details and even an implausibly shocking breakout in the story-line are solidly grounded on reality.
Sexual tension permeates the book, but is often treated comically, and is never treated in a prurient way.
The book is peopled with some intentionally stereotypical minor characters, and I do expect even Politically Correct readers to laugh with (and not just at) amiable mobsters who break bones for a living. Yet the book also has stereotype-shattering female characters who are strong and self-aware.
The book has the structural DNA of a mystery-thriller, but the predictable genes are recessive and the disruptive comic genes dominate the reader experience.
Dealmakers can contact firstname.lastname@example.org for password access to the first three chapters -- including the one with the most amazing fireworks.
I wrote it to be market-worthy, but I edited it for quality. Most of the first draft was written at The MacDowell Colony, the country's oldest and most prestigious artists' residency. If they knew what I was writing there, they might have misconceived it as a cookie-cutter genre book and sent me home.
It's designed to succeed as a one-off, but it works as a series-starter and the book ends with a teaser for the next in series.
The book is set in 59 short chapters, almost like a motion picture shooting schedule; and not by accident.