A recovering addict of the defunct TV series Boston Legal, I was hoping Con Chapman's cast would include at least some of the usual suspects in a Boston law firm - the nutty but lovable aging partner, the silver-tongued courtroom lion, the stuffy senior partners, feisty young turks, bimbos, serious babes and minor, backstabbing office politicos.
Happily A View of the Charles does have them all - except the silver-tongued courtroom lion. Well, maybe it does at that, but we never get to see Gil Finnerty in a courtroom because A View of the Charles is the first of many books about lawyers I've read that never sets foot in a courtroom.
A View of the Charles approaches the subject of lawyers and their fears, joys, quirks, suspicions, hopes, fantasies, lusts and resentments with such knowing subtlety (Did I mention Chapman's a lawyer?) that we conclude from the following brief conversation between two lawyers who are not close - Finnerty and Jared Berger - that Finnerty likely would fill quite admirably the role of silver-tongued courtroom lion:
Berger: "I've got a couple of disputes that are going to end up in court soon and I need someone who's a real asshole."
There was silence for a moment as Finnerty absorbed this last comment.
Finnerty: "I didn't know you felt that way about me, Jared. Thanks--I really appreciate it."
Berger: "No problem. You're one of the best."
Finnerty: "You can be a real asshole too, you know."
Berger: "Coming from you, that's high praise."
Finnerty: "Well, I mean it."
|Chapman - a real...Boston lawyer|
I can almost see the two of them sipping brandy and smoking cigars, enjoying the evening view of Boston from a veranda outside Berger's office after a tough day of litigation. Two assholes and damned proud of it.
[For more Friday's Forgotten Books check the links on Patti Abbott's unforgettable blog]