A Minor Fall

Davy Jessie is a young, personal injury trial lawyer working as an associate in a top-drawer law firm in Houston, Texas in 2005. In addition to trying difficult (sometimes impossible to win) cases assigned to him by the firm, Davy also assists Tim Sullivan (one of the named partners in the firm) in prosecuting more serious cases. Sullivan is a flamboyant, fashionable, facile at formulating a memorable turn of phrase, philandering litigator with a long history of trial victories and the material rewards that a contingency fee practice can yield. Davy is enamored with Sullivan and attempts to emulate Sullivan’s professional (and personal) behavior.

After Davy wins one of the cases he was not expected to win, Sullivan designates Davy to lead the firm’s efforts in representing a group of landowners in eastern Kentucky whose properties have been contaminated by oil field production. Beth Sheehan, a contract lawyer hired by the firm to help with discovery on the case, travels to Kentucky with Davy where they have a brief affair, Davy returns to find that his wife Michelle is pregnant. The fallout from the affair and the stress of preparing the case send Davy spiraling into depression and emotional paralysis. Along the way down to his moral crisis, Davy contemplates existential questions about the nature of law, the importance of literature, the existence of God, and what (if anything other than single malt Scotch or cold chardonnay) gives meaning to life as he considers losing his wife, leaving the law firm, and abandoning the practice of law.

My Review

I was hyped to start reading this book. After having recently finished reading, The Outsider by Anthony Franze. However, this book fell short as it did not deliver the big punch that I was hoping for.

Right from the beginning, I liked Davy's enthusiasm to want to follow in his idol's footsteps. Although, I will let you know that I did not understand Davy's enthusiasm for Tim Sullivan. In fact, Tim was unmemorable to me. If anything, I found this book to be more about Davy's life and relationship with Michelle then his time as a lawyer. The law office that Davy worked for was making him to be a scape goat. So this made me more compassionate towards him; even, despite some of his short comes in his relationship with Michelle. Overall, I did find this book to be a nice read and I would try this author again.


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