The Law Clerk by Stan R. Gregory

March 31, 2012 

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

Stan Gregory’s first novel The Law Clerk is the story of Ben, a hard working judicial clerk not long out of law school enjoying his job but struggling to make ends meet. Ben is like a grounded caterpillar trudging along until the transformation to fly.  Just when it seems fate has provided the right romance comes along an opportunity to get out of all his burdensome debt.  Unsatisfied in his grounded state he attempts to speed up the process to fly to financial freedom.  That opportunity presents itself in the form of a moral choice between right and wrong. Ben must decide whether to take a bribe and steal privileged documents from the Evidence Room for a rogue felon with a history of stock manipulation.

The temptation is too great. He succumbs to the dilemma gambling his future and license for immediate financial security.  Ben sells his soul hoping it’s done but knowing it’s not over. As usual in cases of bribery blackmail follows and Ben is pressured to steal more documents. So how does Ben make it all right and reclaim his integrity? He begins by using the money to hire a private eye to track down and disclose the source of his new misery.

The Law Clerk is chocked with suspenseful action. It’s well written with organic metaphors and subtle classical allusions and an adequate sprinkling of romance. It’s a real legal thriller. Too often a new novel is touted as a legal thriller only to discover the thrill is gone. As promised Gregory delivers gripping suspense. Writers are often advised to make the protagonist suffer with the challenge of overcoming that suffering. The theme of temptation and its consequences makes the reader uncomfortable siding with Ben’s conscience warning him not to do it, but he does and thus becomes a lawyer without principle. And that just won’t do for a hero. Butterflies are free, but not in your stomach. So how does he make it right and what is the lesson learned?

I won’t spoil the ending with too much detail, but I recommend The Law Clerk with five stars.

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