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A Criminal Defense  By  cover art

A Criminal Defense

By: William L. Myers Jr.
Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
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Publisher's Summary

Losing the trial of his life could mean losing everything.

When a young reporter is found dead and a prominent Philadelphia businessman is accused of her murder, Mick McFarland finds himself involved in the case of his life. The defendant, David Hanson, is Mick's best friend, and the victim, a TV news reporter, had reached out to Mick for legal help only hours before her death.

Mick's played both sides of Philadelphia's courtrooms. As a top-shelf defense attorney and former prosecutor, he knows all the tricks of the trade. And he'll need every one of them to win.

But as the trial progresses, he's disturbed by developments that confirm his deepest fears. This trial, one that already hits too close to home, may jeopardize his firm, his family - everything. Now Mick's only way out is to mastermind the most brilliant defense he's ever spun, one that may cross every legal and moral boundary.

©2017 William L. Myers Jr. (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about A Criminal Defense

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,260
  • 4 Stars
    938
  • 3 Stars
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Performance
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Story
  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    1,251
  • 4 Stars
    749
  • 3 Stars
    385
  • 2 Stars
    144
  • 1 Stars
    85

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

This is almost unlistenable.

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

The narrator's voice is so unpleasant that it's hard to know if the story is any good.

Would you be willing to try another book from William L. Myers? Why or why not?

Not with this narrator.

How could the performance have been better?

I have NEVER written a review here, but this reading is so awful that I had to write a note.

Was A Criminal Defense worth the listening time?

No

Any additional comments?

I think I've said it all above. Just awful.

39 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

You Think You Know.... But Do You?

This book started off slow for me, but I think that had more to do with the narrator than it did the writing. There were quite a few characters introduced in short succession and their voices did not sound all that different, so it took me a while to sort them all out. The narrator was subpar for the first third of the book. Everyone talking sounded like a version of Clint Eastwood talking thru gritted teeth with an edge, even on the most meaningless of text. It was truly annoying. I wanted to scream, there are more emotions other than bitter angst! but Peter eventually got much better the 2nd and 3rd parts of the book. His voice started to come alive at the trial and it only got better from there. I finally started to relate and feel the characters. I give Peter Berkrot 3 stars because I thought about quitting the book several times from his beginning narration.

But I am so glad I did not! This book is full of twist and turns; some very obvious and others catch you by surprise. I really enjoyed the trial. It was well written and I felt like a juror because I didn't know who did what either, even with the internal thoughts of the main character. The writing from the trial forward kept me hanging on until the end. The reveals are wonderfully executed and timed just right. I am impressed with the debut novel from William Myers and look forward to more legal dramas from him in the future.

33 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best Legal Thriller I have ever read!

Legal thrillers fascinate me especially if they are written as if the case could actually happen. This author presented this case to the reader without the assumption of any legal knowledge. The book was fast paced with several twists that you will not see coming. If I had to guess who authored this book, my guess would have been Scott Turow. The narrator was perfect for the book and kept up with the identities of each character. I am shocked to find that this is the first book for this author! I can not wait for him to write another book. To top it off, you do not even have to spend a credit to purchase the book at this low price. For legal thriller enthusiast, you will not be disappointed.

26 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The mother of all twists in this legal thriller!

A Criminal Defense, which was released in audio format yesterday, is the first novel by attorney William L. Myers. It is one of the best legal thrillers I have read. The publisher's summary sets up the novel well so I will not add to it except to say that A Criminal Defense does not present either the "protagonist" Mick McFarland or the prosecutor in the David Hanson murder trial as honorable members of the Pennsylvania bar. This is a complex novel with well (if slowly) developed characters. The author's timing in presenting details is flawless. In the past I have not been a fan of narrator Peter Berkrot, but he does a superb job narrating this novel.

RECOMMENDATION: A Criminal Defense displays a maturity of story telling that few first time authors achieve. It deals with issues of moral ambiguity in a very sophisticated manner. This novel has my highest possible recommendation.

Finally, do not use an Audible credit to purchase this book. Purchase it for less by looking at the Kindle version at Amazon.

22 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Sluggish And Complicated Plot



A Criminal Defence was a sluggish story about a high-powered defines attorney unable to control his client who is on trial for murder. The tale opens with the Mick leaving the home of a young man who truly needs defending, but that opening is given virtually no content in the novel. Instead, the focus is on a millionaire businessman whose contact in China are on the verge of bringing about a monster of a deal with businesses and the government of China when the millionaire becomes the centre of a murder investigation.

The millionaire suspect, David Hanson, had a penchant for cheating on his wife; he kept several houses for his clandestine affairs and several women occupied those places, all on David's dime. One of those women, a rising news reporter, had just broken a story about corruption in the Philadelphia Police Department, a story that already has seen one very public assassination of a crooked cop who turned State's evidence. That loose end of the plot is never brought to completion.

The plot just becomes more and more complicated, sometimes to the point where the listener loses interest in the story. This loss of interest is assisted by the William Myers' writing style, where trivial details are pushed forward while the story bogs down. The rambling backstory should have been much shorter. The author does wrap up the murder mystery, bringing all the players together in a rather convoluted climax. Doubtful that I will listen to another of Myers' books.

Peter Berkrot was just OK with the delivery of the story

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Outstanding!

This book is a labyrinth of legal drama in which everyone will do whatever it takes to exonerate the accused, David Hanson, of killing his mistress, Jennifer. She was a reporter who was breaking a sensational story about dirty cops involved in a drug ring. It seems Jennifer was not only having an affair with David but also several other man. Mick Mc Farland is David's attorney who crosses several ethical and legal lines in order to keep David from being convicted. David's brother, Tommy, an ex-con and his investigator who has suddenly developed a close relationship with Piper (David's wife) has his own secrets.

It has so many twists and turns that makes your head spin! There's also a lot of internal soliloquy in David's mind as he tries to justify his actions and keep his own secrets, which as the story progresses, the author brilliantly ties all the loose ends. I enjoyed this book very much and highly recommend. I'd never read this author before but he did a great job!

Peter Berkrot was excellent in his narration and all the characters sound different so it's easy to distinguish. He adds lots of drama just like Scot Brick does in his narrations.

14 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars

Left me wanting to throw up!

One of the worst purchases of my life. The characters were totally unbelievable, but worst was the protrail of a corrupt lawyer, assent D A ., and police. Morality was lacking in all the characters. Sloppy and stupid.

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Odd

You'd think this was going to be pretty much a standard who-done-it. Usually one might expect two or three or four turns and a surprise ending. Surprise ending all right. I couldn't keep track of all the turns. The mystery was overly dark and the main character slipped into what seemed like a special case of mental self destruction. Anyway, the book is an OK read although you might find something better to choose.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Narration Nightmare

I am only about half way through this book but I am thinking of abandoning ship because of the incredibly aggravating narration. Others have said the same, and I wish I had taken heed. The narrator speaks every single sentence like he is spewing venom. Every word is an angry, raspy snarl spoken with such dramatic urgency that it is utterly exhausting to listen to and a total distraction from the story. Why oh why did he choose (or was he directed ) to do it this way? It makes no sense at all. The plot thus far is actually quite interesting, and although none of the characters are particularly likeable that is not an issue for me. I am going to try my best to just grit my teeth and listen to more of it so I can see where the story goes, but it will take a heroic effort to endure more of this exasperating narration. Such a shame.

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

More twist than a pretzels!

Without providing a reason to write SPOILER ALERT!! the end of this story during the trial was written magically, total jaw dropping conclusion.

6 people found this helpful

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  • mgemelia
  • 04-09-17

What a great story

Fantastic book never read one of his before but looking forward to another. The way he brings it altogether at the end is amazing

6 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • D V Thorburn
  • 04-20-17

Great story, narrator needs to calm down

Narrator was raging most of the way through. Great story though, will look for more from this author

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Judi G
  • 05-07-17

had to return it

I had to return this book because of the narrator. I have no idea if the book is good or not. The narrator over acted and had identity crises switching between Marlon Brando in The Godfather , Clint Eastwood, and Snoop Dog. Pure torture. I hope they will get the narration replaced, as it could be a good listen......

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Michael Wild
  • 03-08-21

A good story spoiled by cartoon voices.

A good, standard criminal law whodunnit spoiled by the reader's exaggerated style. The words made me think of a tired, world weary elegance. The readers voice is cynical gin joint.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Carol
  • 09-21-20

Not a bad story

Kept me listening to the end. Good courtroom detail. Strange narration though - a sort of aggressive whisper. Didn’t put me off

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Jaye22
  • 06-25-20

Unusual Justice

I read and listened to this book but found the narrator a bit distracting and unusually for me I disliked most of the characters, all flawed and showed the lengths both sides of the legal teams would go to both cover up and stitch someone up all at the same time in a crime. The wrong people seem to prosper in this tale and at the same time I felt compelled to see what would happen next hence the four * review it left me with a nasty taste in my mouth.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Huw Thomas
  • 06-06-20

Good story terrible narration

I very nearly gave up on this book early on as I found the narrator so irritating. The urgent breathless style of every sentence is maddening. However I’m glad I stuck with it as the story is entertaining with quite a few twists and turns if slightly improbable

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • tomsboxers
  • 03-11-20

A Gripping Courtroom Drama

A tale of four halves, gripped mystery, the courtroom escapade is brilliant, you can easily visualise sitting watching it all play out.
In my opinion this is a very well written novel and you don’t want to miss out on a fantastic reading experience.
I also part listened to the audiobook and can definitely recommend this too, the narrator does a first class job in bringing the book too life.
I received this book for free in return for an honest review.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • MSMS
  • 09-14-19

Narrator

Narrator needs to give his head a wobble, spent the whole book shouting his way through.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 05-24-18

Cleverly constructed

Cleverly constructed crime puzzle that left me connecting the dots right until the end of the story.