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Ollie Olsen is a second year law student who has worked hard to make marks that have put him at the top of his law class. Because of his efforts he is selected for a position working as a summer associate at a prestigious law firm.

The starting wages are away more per month than his hard working father has ever made. It’s a great opportunity and he  needs the money. Unlike the other “summers” he does not come from a wealthy privileged background. He comes from a working class family and he will graduate with a heavy load of debt because he has had to have student loans for his education. He was raised with values much different that those he encounters in his new position: a world of extreme opulence, power, a sense of entitlement and greed.

He went to law school because he wanted to help people. He quickly finds himself torn between the two options that are open to him. On one hand he can have money, comfort, luxury and prestige if he stays at the firm, but some of the ethics there are re-pungent to him. Or he can walk the moral high road and join his girl friend in Legal Aid, following the ideals he started out with. The first option is very tempting and he decides to go for it.

His first assignment has him investigating a twelve year old murder case involving a state senator who was convicted of murdering his wife. The case has been floating around the courts for years; direct appeals in state courts, state habeas petitions and finally the time has come for the senator to file a federal habeas petition. Ollie is told that the man is guilty beyond doubt, but Ollie’s job is to find a way to get the convicted senator free on a technicality. The only way to do it is to argue that he didn’t have a fair trial due to ineffective assistance of council, even though he had one of the best–no the best–lawyer in the country.

This doesn’t fit with Ollie’s idea of justice; if the senator murdered his wife why should they try to get him off? However, when Ollie meets senator Steele in prison, he seems like a guy who is sincere in his insistence that he did not kill his wife and gradually Ollie believes him and wants to find out who really committed the crime.

As Ollie begins to dig and starts to uncover clues about the case, he finds himself in a precarious position. He realizes that someone is stalking him. At first he thinks he is just being paranoid; then he wishes he had never gotten involved. He is afraid for his life.

I really liked Ollie, even though in many ways he was so clueless and sometimes hopelessly immature. He is 24 years old and has the book learning, but is sorely lacking in practical experience. When faced with dealing with real clients with genuine problems, he just fumbles his way around, hoping to get it right, and he is insecure enough to feel certain that he won’t.

Fingers Murphy writes in first person, so you are right there in the story with him. He makes Ollie very human. He second guesses himself all the time, and makes dumb mistakes. Some times his internal dialogue is hilarious. He’s so lifelike,I couldn’t help but care about him. Sometimes I wanted to shake him. Sometimes I wanted to kick his ass–hard. Sometimes I felt sorry for him. Sometimes I was afraid for him. But in spite of all that, I always liked him and found myself rooting for him.

For me this was a great read. It was serious, humorous and full of twists and turns, suspense and murder.  I highly recommend it. I look forward to reading another of “Fingers” books.

you’ll find Fingers Murphy at http://www.fingersmurphy.com/

Pull up a chair and settle in for a great read and know you’ve got the “Finger”!

Have a sip and enjoy,

  Here’s my toast to you!