Wednesday, December 04, 2019

From the Grave - Jay Brandon

From the Grave is Texas author Jay Brandon’s second Edward Hall novel. It follows 2018’s Against the Law, the novel that introduced the impulsive ex-con, (disbarred) lawyer who never expected to practice law again but soon enough finds himself defending his own sister against a charge of murdering her husband. 

Now, this time around, Edward is back in the courtroom at the specific request of a Houston district attorney who wants him to defend the black man accused of kidnapping and terrorizing the D.A.’s sister. If he accepts the case, Edward will be facing a judge who justifiably despises him and a ruthlessly aggressive court-appointed prosecutor who wants to put his client away for the rest of his life. If it doesn’t sound like Edward has much of a chance of keeping his client a free man, that’s because he doesn’t. But Edward has been assured that if he impresses the District Attorney and her cronies enough with his handling of this case, the state board will consider reinstating his law license on a probationary basis. 

Jay Brandon
Edward Hall is no fool. He understands that the only way he is going to impress the D.A. is to lose the case in spectacular fashion. They are making it easy for him to let that happen, but Edward is not even certain that he wants to practice law again in the first place – and losing a case that will cost his client the rest of his life behind bars, is most certainly not the way he wants to get reinstated. It doesn’t hurt that the accused kidnapper happens to be the only friend that Edward made during his years in prison, the man who protected Edward from all-comers and made it possible for him to walk away from the Texas prison system in one piece. It’s a no-brainer; Edward is taking the case - and he plans to win it. 

Bottom Line: From the Grave allows Jay Brandon to expand nicely upon his Edward Hall character. Hall has a good sense of right and wrong, but he is not a man who plays by the rules if that means that the bad guys are going to come out on top. He considers burglary to be a useful evidence-gathering tool despite having been caught both times he’s previously tried that tactic. And now he has a girlfriend who is even more enthusiastic about the potentials of burglary than he is – so what could possibly go wrong? This one may be a bit farfetched, but that’s what makes it so much fun.

Review Copy courtesy of Severn House Publishers


  1. My library has both Against the Law and From the Grave. Yay! I'm excited to give these books a try. :)

    1. That should work out well, Lark. This one is published on January 7, so you will be able to read the first one and should be pretty high in line for the second one when it comes out in January.

  2. Replies
    1. Branson is a good writer and I've been reading him since his first book. This one struck me as being more "lighthearted" or less serious than a lot of his other books even though the plot was all about murder and the like. That seems to be kind of a trend these days in crime fiction with very little in-between. They are either dead serious or almost comedies no matter how many people get whacked.