It is unique perhaps to find someone who, during the course of his college education, was successfully trained for two careers. Author Tim Green attended Syracuse University and was an All-American football player. In 1986, the Atlanta Falcons selected him in the first round of the NFL draft, and his professional career covered eight seasons. However, his off-the-field accomplishments easily match his football skills. He majored in English literature and studied with award-winning writer and Syracuse professor Tobias Wolff. Syracuse taught him football and writing, and following graduation, he has been successful in both endeavors.
Green’s writing career has included a nonfiction account of his NFL days, THE DARK SIDE OF THE GAME, and a series of books for young readers set in the world of professional sports. He is best known for more than a dozen legal-themed suspense novels, the last five having reached the New York Times bestseller list. While playing in the NFL, Green also managed to attend law school as well as work in radio and television journalism. His experience is the foundation for the plot and characters of his thrillers, in which legal and media themes abound. And FALSE CONVICTIONS is his latest effort. Characters who have appeared in his previous books show up on the pages of this engaging and entertaining novel. Readers again follow Texas attorney Casey Jordan and investigative TV reporter Jake Carlson in an interesting series of plot twists that have as their blueprint current headlines in print and visual media.
Very few fictional courtroom attorneys devote their careers to simply earning lucrative fees. They usually want more; they want justice. And Casey Jordan is no exception. She has established a law office that handles many cases for the less fortunate of society. When she is offered an annual stipend of one million dollars by Robert Graham, a wealthy businessman who has founded the Freedom Project, Jordan accepts the opportunity. Graham immediately sends his private jet to Fort Worth, Texas, to bring Jordan to upstate New York in an effort to establish that Dwayne Hubbard was wrongfully convicted of the rape and murder of a female college student in 1989.
In addition to his wealth, Graham is an unabashed self-promoter. With his cooperation, Carlson is granted an in-depth interview to promote his efforts to free the wrongfully convicted. Sometimes people are just too good to be true, and Carlson suspects that about Graham. FALSE CONVICTIONS takes several interesting plot twists and turns as the “White Knight” Graham turns out to be hiding some skeletons in his closest. Furthermore, Hubbard’s wrongful conviction --- one that appears to be part of a small-town conspiracy involving local political power brokers --- is far more complicated in scope and impact, and Jordan finds herself the target of a criminal investigation. The lawyer is forced to go on the run, seeking exoneration (a common plot in legal fiction). And Green handles all these plot lines with skill, providing excitement and entertainment for the reader.
FALSE CONVICTIONS has the basic ingredients for a thrilling courtroom novel --- a victim of injustice, some romance, political intrigue, and a good villain or two. It also contains a few plot twists that readers may find a little difficult to swallow, but that is the joy of a good suspense novel. It is those intriguing twists that separate fact from fiction and make writers like Tim Green frequent visitors to bestseller lists.
Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on April 27, 2011