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How to Kill a Client by Joanna Jenkins

'Everyone is going to say what a great guy and a great lawyer he was. He wasn't. He was a prick … And a shithouse lawyer.' Gavin Jones is dead at thirty-nine. As an in-house lawyer who controlled millions of dollars in fees per year, he was legal firm Howard Greene's biggest client. The firm’s partners relied on him to fund their luxury lifestyles and if they needed to win favour by flattery, they delivered.

However, no one liked Gavin who wielded his power with manipulative contempt. Nearly everyone who had contact with him suffered from his cruelty. But he saved his worst behaviour for women, at work and home. Everyone wanted him gone, but who killed him?

How to Kill a Client is expertly told from three key perspectives; Viv, an idealistic new partner; Ruth, a seasoned partner and recent widow; and Anne, the dead man’s wife. Each of the central characters has the means, motive and opportunity to murder Gavin…

This is a fast-paced, gripping Australian thriller about power, corruption and the legal industry. Joanna’s legal expertise shows in the details of the inner working of a top law firm. However, in her author’s note she says neither the events or the characters are real. “As far as I’m aware, no client of any large law firm in Australia has died of anything but natural circumstances. And I made these people up. They are compendiums of bits of people, their personality traits dissected, exaggerated, altered, mixed around and glued together with other traits I invented to form new people who don’t exist in real life,” she says, with one exception…

Joanna Jenkins grew up in rural Queensland and graduated with degrees in English Literature and Law. In her Twitter profile she describes herself as a recovering lawyer, adding that no clients died! Joanna has practiced as a solicitor, including many years as a partner of an international law firm. In one firm she worked at, Joanna was the first person to work part-time after having a baby, and in another was, for a couple of years, the only female partner of the Brisbane office. Read an excerpt of her first novel How to Kill a Client and follow Joanna Jenkins online.

Reviewer: Andrea Molloy Allen & Unwin

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