THE LOCAL by Joey Hartstone
(Releasing June 14 – pre-order available)
In the town of Marshall sits the Federal courthouse of the Eastern District of Texas, a place revered by patent lawyers for its speedy jury trails and massive punitive payouts. Marshall is flooded with patent lawyers, all of whom find work being the local voice for the big-city legal teams that need to sway a small-town jury. One of the best is James Euchre.
Euchre’s new client is Amir Zawar, a firebrand CEO forced to defend his life’s work against a software patent infringement. Late one night, after a heated confrontation in a preliminary hearing, Judge Gardner is found murdered in the courthouse parking lot. All signs point to Zawar—he has motive, he has opportunity, and he has no alibi. Moreover, he is an outsider, a wealthy Pakistani-American businessman, the son of immigrants, who stands accused of killing a beloved hometown hero.
Zawar claims his innocence, and demands that Euchre defend him. It’s the last thing Euchre wants—Judge Gardner was his good friend and mentor—but the only way he can get definitive answers is to take the case. With the help of a former prosecutor and a local PI, Euchre must navigate the byzantine world of criminal defense law in a town where everyone knows everyone, and bad blood has a long history. The deeper he digs, the more he fears that he’ll either send an innocent man to death row or set a murderer free.
The Local is a small-town legal thriller as big in scope as Texas. It crackles with courtroom tension and high stakes gambits on every page to the final, shocking verdict.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Joey Hartstone grew up in Flagstaff, Arizona, a small town not unlike Marshall, Texas, the setting of The Local. After graduating from Brandeis University in 2005 with a major in political science, he moved to Los Angeles with dreams of becoming a screenwriter. It took a decade of working on several reality TV shows, studying at UCLA, and writing lots of scripts that no one was reading before he wrote a screenplay about Lyndon Johnson that ultimately became the movie, LBJ, directed by Rob Reiner and staring Woody Harrelson. He also wrote the screenplay for Shock and Awe, for which he reteamed with Reiner and Harrelson. Hartstone worked with Robert and Michelle King for two seasons on the acclaimed series The Good Fight and is currently a writer and co-executive producer on Showtime’s Your Honor, starring Bryan Cranston.
Joey Hartstone lives in Los Angeles with his family. He still dreams about becoming a lawyer someday, but thinks he’ll probably just stick to writing about the law for entertainment.