Friends Like These
Joth Proctor is an under-employed, criminal defense lawyer with a marginal solo practice in Arlington, Virginia, where a mix of southern charm, shady business dealings, and Washington, D.C. intrigue pervade the story. Upon the suspicious death of the wife of a close friend, Proctor enters a web of drug and alcohol abuse, family real estate deceit, and friends of questionable character whose intentions are not to be trusted. An ex-athlete, Proctor is cynical but principled, world-weary and still preoccupied with Heather Burke, the woman who jilted him years ago and remains a crucial player in his professional life. Everyone he knows and meets seems willing to bend the law and compromise their ethical standards in the pursuit of individual self-interest. Proctor places his reputation at risk as he navigates a world of strip clubs, corrupt cops, con men and crooks, including the sinister Jimmie Flambeau. Increasingly isolated, Joth must live by his wits in the midst of volatile circumstances and unpredictable twists of fate that place his career, his life and the lives of those he loves in jeopardy.
"As an ex-prosecutor and practicing attorney, I find Jim Irving's book series to be authentic, gripping and right on point, and as a reader, I couldn't put it down. His protagonist, Joth, reminds me, for better or worse, of several lawyers I have known, and I hope and pray that aspiring lawyers will learn from his experience. I highly recommend all three books in the series." —Steve Moriarty, ex-Fairfax County, Virginia prosecutor
"Friends Like These portrays several excellent character studies set amidst a legal world of scrupulous and sketchy figures, which, unfortunately, is probably occurring all over America. Irving shines a wild, informative, and highly entertaining light on all kinds of despicable behavior in his entertaining cannon of "people behaving badly"."
—Kathryn Smerling, PhD, MSW Dean’s Council, NYU School of Social Work
"Irving’s writing is relaxed and authentic and takes readers inside a compelling world of legal and social issues. For anyone taking a vacation, I have a fine book series to recommend." —Bruce Kluger, columnist, USA Today
"Friends Like These is a welcome book series for anyone wishing to escape their own world and dip their toes into a netherworld of do-gooders, procrastinators and outright criminals. As a psychiatrist, I find his characters genuine and fascinating. As a private reader, he’s got me hooked on a roller coaster of mystery and real-life adventure." — Mark Banschick, MD, family psychiatrist, author, The Intelligent Divorce, Books One and Two