Failed State by Christopher Brown

Failed State

Failed State (Dystopian Lawyer Book 2) by Christopher Brown
English | 2020| Fantasy | ePUB | 2.6 MB

In the aftermath of a second American revolution, peace rests on a fragile truce. The old regime has been deposed, but the ex-president has vanished, escaping justice for his crimes. Some believe he is dead. Others fear he is in hiding, gathering forces. As the factions in Washington work to restore order, Donny Kimoe is in court to settle old scores—and pay his own debts come due.

Meanwhile, the rebels Donny once defended are exacting their own kind of justice. In the ruins of New Orleans, they are building a green utopia—and kidnapping their defeated adversaries to pay for it. The newest hostage is the young heiress to a fortune made from plundering the country—and the daughter of one of Donny’s oldest friends. In a desperate gambit to save his own skin, Donny switches sides to defend her before the show trial. If he fails, so will the truce, dragging the country back into violence. But by taking the case, he risks his last chance to expose the atrocities of the dictatorship—and being tried for his own crimes against the revolution.

To save the future, Donny has to gamble his own. The only way out is to find the evidence that will get both sides back to the table, and secure a more lasting peace. To do that, Donny must betray his clients’ secrets. Including one explosive secret hidden in the ruins, the discovery of which could extinguish the last hope for a better tomorrow—or, if Donny plays it right, keep it burning.

The self-disgust that came on as the scene cued up in Donny’s head was driven not so much by the cringeworthy memory of his wasted performance as the reminder that he spent so much time fraternizing with the enemy during his years fighting the regime.

“What did he sing?” said the judge.

“‘Ebb Tide,’ if you must know,” said Donny, embracing the fool. That was the role the system liked him to play—sometimes to his advantage. “A prescient and underappreciated evocation of amorous melancholy in a drowning world.”

“That was just the warm-up,” said Karen. “Before he got all punk rock. And then degenerated into political rants like some mic-hogging Oscar winner. Best performance as a burned-out lawyer who can’t win a case and blames the system.”

Judge Larriva and Karen both chuckled. They had probably been joking about him before he got there. They had worked together at P&C before the judge went on the bench, and now Karen and her partners were the judge’s most reliable campaign contributors. The only good thing about that setup was you knew the only bribes Judge Larriva took were legal ones.

Donny shrugged. “There may be a few videos still out there in circulation if you really want to see it, Your Honor. And I’m pretty sure there’s one from the same night, of Ms. Keller and Bridget Kelly channeling the Red River Girls, big-hair wigs and all.”

Karen smiled, and the judge joined her. And Donny realized he was doing it again.

“But the only thing either of us should be embarrassed about,” he added, “is that we were partying while Ms. Keller’s client was busy killing people for their politics.”

“Save it for the press conference, Mr. Kimoe,” said the judge. “Because you have a long way to go to make that case, and there are no cameras in here. Now, let’s get on the record and see if we can make up some of the time you wasted. I have a full docket of people with real problems lined up behind you.”

She gaveled them in with a barely audible tap, and her staff attorney, court reporter, and bailiff kicked into gear with the energy of a middle-aged cover band ready to play the same old song one more time.

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