If you think America is obsessed with trial lawyers, viz “Law and Order” (or for the old timers – “Perry Mason” or “L.A. Law”), well you’d be right.
Most of us probably hope that one day we can put aside the mundane practice of law, write a novel and follow John Grisham onto “Good Morning America” to field questions like, “Many of our listeners across the nation are just dying to know how you learned to write so well. Is it God-given talent or just natural brilliance?”
Unfortunately, only a fraction of us has the guts to puts our names, reputations and hearts on the line by, gasp! actually writing something. But Richland County consumer lawyer Brian Boger did. And his novel Southern Fate shows he can run with the big dogs.
The novel is set largely in South Carolina, especially Columbia and Charleston. Many of the places are familiar to South Carolinians, which tended to pique my interest. Boger’s book starts off like a cherry bomb (“The day Frank became a millionaire, his wife left him for another woman.”) and doesn’t let up.
The protagonist is Frank Rhodes, a klutzy, second-rate trial lawyer who lives on Richmond Street in Cola Town with his lovely wife Jennifer. (Until she dumps him, that is.) Frank is the type of guy that men appreciate for his obvious flaws and humility. He’s also the type man whom women adore for his good looks. Sort of a blond Tom Selleck-type character.
After graduating from the University of South Carolina, Frank Rhodes weaves a desultory path through law practice until lucking upon client Al Wannamaker, a long-distance runner who is paralyzed when he falls down a manhole.
It’s a nationally reported case, but first Frank has to contend with Charles Holst, a slick, SOB insurance-defense litigator of questionable ethics.
Frank wins – big time – but the courtroom victory is just a tiny part of the novel. From the Gulf Stream to the Big Apple, and from Las Vegas to Costa Rica (not to mention Mount Pleasant), Frank travels as new facets (some understandable, some downright weird) of his life develop. Criminal law, family law and tort law are all mixed up together as the story takes unexpected turns.
I’ll be honest with you – I read Southern Fate start to finish and just couldn’t stop. I suggest you do the same. Boger put his heart on the line. Folks, give him a shot by reading it.
The book may be purchased at amazon.com (type in “Southern Fate“) for only 15 bucks. Brian Boger can be reached directly at 803-252-2880.
Ruth Cupp’s note: Reviewer Warren Moise is a South Carolina trial lawyer from Charleston. He was asked to review this book because Warren can write like Mickey Spillane or Perry Mason.
Boger, graduated with a degree in English from the University of Virginia before he went to law school at the University of South Carolina. This novel was years in gestation but his second novel has already begun. It will involve the Aiken County Bar.
Editor’s note: Cupp began practicing law in 1954. She served in the S.C. House of Representatives and was an associate judge in the Charleston County Probate Court. She writes nonfiction about the legal profession.