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Allen Tanner

Legal Vengeance


I just finished this book and I couldn't wait to write a review. The book held my attention from the beginning, and once I got into the plot I couldn't put it down. I couldn't wait to see what happened next, and how the story ended up. The writer does an excellent job of developing the characters, and obviously has a very creative imagination. He portrays each character so vividly that it was easy for me to form a picture in my head. The book is full of surprises, as there are many twists I did not expect. I am an avid reader, and have been a fan of Grisham, Patterson, Iles and Margolin for many years. I must admit that when I finished this book, I was surprised that I enjoyed it just as much, if not more, than some of my favorite authors.
Lucas is a degenerate criminal defense attorney in Houston who has had a very eventful upbringing. His past comes out slowly throughout the book, as the author gives you little pieces at a time to put together the entire puzzle of who is Lucas? The description of the courtrooms, and the characters in the courtroom are written in a way that make it obvious how much experience this author has had in Texas courts. Lucas gets himself in and out of trouble, and you never know what he is going to do next. He makes decisions that may seem shocking at the time, but once the puzzle is put together it all makes sense.

This was truly one of my favorite books, and I can't wait for the movie or a sequel!

Enertaining read

Allen Tanner's first book Legal Vengeance is an interesting insight into the criminal mind from an interesting perspective, that of a defense attorney.

Lucas Lustic is the product of a highly unusual and heavily suppressed childhood that has left him a damaged man. The bastard son of a young prostitute and a Cal Berkeley professor, Lucas finds himself attracted to a side of life that most would shy away from.

Lucas' young mother turned to a cult for support in raising her child. The abuse he endured here was more than he was willing to take, and he managed to escape with two other children. The three made a pact never to tell anyone where they came from and spent their rest of their childhood in an orphanage.

Lucas' gifted mind helps ensure success through his college years and on into law school, where he becomes involved in illegal gambling activities. He finds that he struggles with intimacy and only finds comfort with women who share his mother's profession.

After graduating, Lucas follows the lead of Amy Kassell, one of the children he made his get away from the cult with, and moves to Houston. He quickly earns the reputation of a highly skilled and ruthless defense attorney. He also maintains his illegal gambling activities and lives a life of simplicity and solitude.

His own distaste for authority leaves him detesting the Texas legal system. After a dispute with a judge, Lucas loses his law license and spends some time in jail for his contemptuous behavior. Upon his release, he leaves for Baltimore and vows to never practice law again. Here his life sinks further into debauchery as his demons manifest themselves in a series of compulsions.

A chance encounter with an interested psychiatrist, Dr. Sarah Lombardi, leaves our protagonist a little more balanced. She shows Lucas that by confronting his problems and taking a reasonable regimen of medication, he can control the compulsions that had driven him to seclusion.

He returns to Houston on behalf of one of his few loyalties in life. Amy's mentally handicapped son finds himself in trouble after being taken advantage of by his supposed friends. The boy was used as a mule in a drug deal, and when this went wrong, the blame falls on him. His world is turned upside down, and Lucas is left seeking revenge on an unsympathetic ex-colleague that presided as judge over the case. His life of petty crime is nothing compared to the atrocious future that lie before him.
In Lucas, we see a character that struggles with parts of himself that he may never be able to understand or control. His logic, though flawed, can be understood if not sympathized with. In a moral dilemma, Lucas makes what he thinks is the best decision and faces the consequences for his actions.

As an entertaining and interesting story, this book hit the mark. One cannot help but turn the page to find out what happens next. This book may not be a literary classic, but it does provide some insight into subcultures that few explore so vividly. This book left me wondering how far I would go to do what I believe is right and what consequences I might be willing to accept for those beliefs.
The writing is simple and easy to understand though the content would not be recommended to anyone who is easily offended. This would not be a recommended story for young readers.

Legal Vengeance is Allen Tanner's only published book. He was raised in Maryland and attended law school in San Francisco. He has practiced law in Houston for over 25 years and has represented thousands of people, nine of whom were facing the death penalty.

John Zavitsanos
More over Scott Turow, Allen Tanner is here!!!

Outstanding, fast paced legal thriller. The protagonist, Lucus Lustik, is a conflicted gritty unwitting champion. The book offers a fascinating view of the world of criminal defense lawyers, gambling and the syndicate. Hollywood would be wise to look at this as a future movie

Horace Tortoise
Can't wait to see the movie!

Legal Vengeance is a great read. Very creative and compelling, with a finish you think you can see coming a mile away, but you won't. I'm hard to surprise, but this one got me in a big way. It's a gruesome tale, but something about the depth of description for the main character urges you to learn what happens next. Everything contributes and drives forward to a strong finish. I agree with Stephen's review - I was thinking Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lucas many times, but I'm also seeing someone darker, more brooding, and capable of such darkness. Tanner has a fine future in legal creative writing.

D. Bak
Wow...what an ending!

The title really describes the story. It is alittle long-winded, but is worth sticking it out to the end. The ending really packs a punch that will explain everything and really make you think. I look forward to future writings from this author and encourage others to give him a try.
One person found this helpful

Feroz F. Merchant
Excellent read

This is an excellent read and provides a great escape. I just couldn't put the book down. Its well written and the character that everyone loves to hate takes the reader for an incredible ride including several unanticipated turns along the way. I highly recommend the book.
One person found this helpful

Walter J. Schafer

The story is exciteing from cover to cover. Well written aparently by an author that understands the law with a great imagination! It is written for an adult audience with quality tastes. Imaginative dialogue, fine vocabulary and very realistic.
One person found this helpful

Stephen Thieberg
legal vengeance

The ending has quite a fantastic twist to it. I thought the book was well written and it kept my interest throughout the read. This book should become a screen play and I can envision Philip Seymour Hoffman playing the title role of the leading character, Lucas Lustic.



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